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Kobe Masjid: Japan’s First Mosque

Kobe Masjid is the first mosque built in Japan in 1935. It is located in Nakayamate Dori in Chuo-ku.

Kobe (神戸市) is the sixth-largest city in Japan and is the capital city of Hyōgo Prefecture. It is located on the southern side of the main island of Honshū, on the north shore of Osaka Bay and about 30 km (19 mi) west of Osaka. With a population around 1.5 million, the city is part of the Keihanshin metropolitan area along with Osaka and Kyoto.

Kobe Mosque (神戸モスク Kōbe Mosque), also known as Kobe Muslim Mosque, was founded in October, 1935 in Kobe and it is Japan’s first mosque. Its construction was funded by donations collected by the Islamic Committee of Kobe from 1928 until its opening in 1935.


The opening ceremony of Kobe Masjid in 1936.

The opening ceremony of Kobe Masjid in 1936.


The mosque was confiscated by the Imperial Japanese Navy in 1943. However, it continues to function as mosque today. It is located in the Kitano-cho foreign district of Kobe.


Front side of Kobe Masjid.


During the Second World War, Kobe was destroyed to the ground. However, the shocking fact is that the mosque was still standing erect whereas every building surrounding the mosque was completely demolished. There were only few cracks on the outer walls of the mosque and the glass windows were broken.


Kobe Masjid after Second World War bombing in 1945.


Old photo of Kobe Masjid. (exact date is unknown)

Old photo of Kobe Masjid. (exact date is unknown)


The mosque was known as a place of refuge during the war. It is believed that the soldiers who were in the basement of the mosque were the ones who survived the bombings. The mosque was later used as a place of refuge for the victims of the war.

During the Great Hanshin earthquake in 1995, which is one of the worst earthquakes in Japan, Kobe was devastated again. The earthquake caused major damage to Kobe, but the Kobe mosque was still standing strong and upright.


The Great Hanshin earthquake or Kobe earthquake, occurred on January 17, 1995.

The devastation of Kobe city after The Great Hanshin earthquake (Kobe earthquake), occurred on January 17, 1995.


The mosque was built in traditional Indian style by the Czech architect Jan Josef Švagr (1885–1969), who worked mainly in Japan, the architect of a number of Western religious buildings throughout Japan.



The dome and the minarets of Kobe Masjid.


Kobe Masjid from inside: Mihrab (qibla wall) and the Minbar.

Inside Kobe Masjid : Mihrab (qibla wall) and the Minbar.


Kobe Masjid from inside.

Inside Kobe Masjid.


Inside Kobe Masjid: women prayer room.

Inside Kobe Masjid: women prayer room.


Watch Kobe Masjid story :


Kobe Muslim Mosque’s website:

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  1. Anuar Mohd Noor says:

    May Allah bless all the Muslims worldwide and the Japanese Muslims.

  2. Najir U. Ismael says:

    What a beautiful mosque, I only wish one day soon I will be able to perform a prayer in such a historic mosque
    Allah bless and the Japanese Muslim .

  3. Nur Hasanah says:

    Kobe Mosque is one of my priority destination in Japan. I will go there this Shawwal. Aamiin. Ramadan Mubarak for the Muslims 🙂

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