Moji-course: Explore the architectural heritage of private businesses that drove the economic development of the Kanmon area.

The required time:2 to 4 hours

After opening up to foreign commerce around the beginning of the Meiji period, Mojiko grew in preeminence to represent the face of Japan to the outside world as an international shipping hub. Joining ranks with Yokohama and Kobe as one of Japan’s Three Main Ports at the time, it is said that Japan’s leading trading houses and banks at the time vied over rights to open branches in the Moji area. Even today, Mojiko boasts many historical buildings built between the Meiji and early-Showa periods that resonate the fortunes of the era to today’s visitors. There is another aspect in this area that flourished with the continental trade of the times: traditional Japanese Ryotei restaurants and entertainment districts. Many ryotei restaurants can be found in the Moji area, such as the Kiyotaki area with over ten ryotei restaurants clustered together in a row. It is said over 200 Geisha entertainers worked the area which used to have over 20 traditional Okiya Geisha guesthouses.