As you step off the train and start walking, you'll likely catch sight of a peculiar UFO-shaped building protruding out of one of the surrounding buildings. Walk towards that structure and you should find the entrance to the Kobe Fashion Museum. This museum is Japan’s first museum dedicated to all things fashion and is located on Rokko Island in the city of Kobe, Hyogo-ken. It comes as no surprise that a fashion-museum is located in a city that is recognized by UNESCO as City of Design.
The museum has a permanent exhibition that focuses on the origins of clothing. There is also a library that is located on the 3rd floor of the museum that is open to public. The exhibition is divided based on the following: Clothing of Napoleon 1, Structures, Colors, Materials, Designers and a chronological table of clothing. There are constantly new rotating exhibitions related to fashion at the museum, such as Kisa Takeda's The Shoes. The current exhibition is on wool clothing and the museum is also hosting a few events, such as seminars and workshops related to this theme.
The Kobe Fashion Library also has an extensive collection of fashion and design related magazines and books (28,000!) from all over the world. To say the least, there should be something for everyone's liking and this library will have you browsing and reading for hours on end. The library even has quite the DVD collection, which you can select from and watch in-house. There is also a small shop in the library that sells a curated yet tasteful collection of jewelry, clothing and other handmade goods.
The Kobe Fashion Museum is in itself worth the visit to Rokko Island. Between the permanent and special exhibitions, as well as the library with its diverse collection of print media, you could easily spend an entire day getting immersed in the world of fashion.
Closed: Wednesdays and Holidays
Access: Transfer from JR Sumiyoshi or Hanshin Uozaki to the Rokko Liner. The museum is located immediately southeast of Rokko Liner Island station.
Hours: 10:00 am to 18:00 pm (you must enter 30 minutes before closing)
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