Kobe lies on the south coast of southwestern Honshu Island, on Osaka Bay, near the city of Osaka. Behind the narrow coastal site of the city are mountains on which suburban residences and hotels have been built. Hyogo, which is now part of Kobe, had for centuries been a major Japanese port trading with China and Korea and benefited in the 1860s, when Japan was re-opened to foreign trade. Since the 1890s several adjoining cities, including Hyogo, have been absorbed by Kobe. Following the 1995 earthquake tragedy, Kobe Phoenix Plaza became a help centre and now features a collection of photographs that reveal the devastating force of the earthquake . Kitano-cho is Kobe’s former foreigner’s quarter and features restored buildings now used as museums. boutiques and restaurants. The district has a synagogue, a mosque, and a Russian Orthodox cathedral. Meriken Park houses the Maritime Museum and nearby Kobe Tower. The city has Christian churches, Shinto and Buddhist temples and shrines, two famous statues of Buddha, a fine arts museum, and a municipal museum with a collection on Western cultural contact. Nearby is the city of Himeji and the stunning Himeji Castle (Shirasagi-jo), begun in the 14th century and now designated a National Treasure of Japan and UNESCO World Heritage Site. From here tourists can also visit Osaka, Kyoto, Nara and Sorakuen Garden.