Apr 16 – 20, 2018
Kobe University Convention Centre / Kobe International Conference Center
Asia/Tokyo timezone

Practical Information

Credit card and cash dispenser

Your credit card mostly works in Japan if it is one of the major brand (Visa, Master, JCB - and with much less frequency for Amex and Diners). Union Pay is also widely accepted. There are often cases, however, that your card company blocks your card in Japan since it is considered to be an unlikely location for your visits. We suggest you to bring more than one card as well to bring minimum amount of cash.

The cashing with your bank or credit card would work if it is one of the service listed on the Seven Bank web pageBasically all the Seven-Eleven convenience stores has the Seven Bank ATM. The locator is here. (choose "Hyogo" - name of the prefecture, then Kobe City Chuo Ward)

There is a Seven Bank ATM on the Shimin Hiroba Mae (Convention Centre) station, the nearest station to our parallel session venue, outside the ticket gate inside the station. You find also in Kansai and other international airports. There are plenty in Sannomiya (city centre) area. No ATM nearby the plenary meeting place: we strongly suggest to withdraw cash in advance, especially if you plan to pay your registration fee by cash.

Foreign currency exchange at Sannomiya

We suggest you exchange at the arrival airport first - if you exchange at a bank the exchange rate is very similar for banks. Travelex is more expensive, usually.

Minato bank: http://www.minatobk.co.jp/personal/use/exchange/ (south of Sannomiya station: see map there) 11:00-19:00 for weekdays, 10:00-18:00 for weekend/holidays

Travelex Sannomiya: https://his-coupon.com/en/shop_9000563.html  10:30-19:30 for weekdays, -19:00 for Saturday and -18:30 for Sunday. 

Power plug in Japan

The power plug is type-A (North America) with 100V, 60 Hz in Kobe or west part of Japan. In the east the frequencey is 50 Hz.

There is a plug / seat in the plenary venue.

There are very limited number of plugs during the parallel sessions. Please be advised that you charge your battery for mobile devices before you come in your hotel.

Kobe weather in April

Kobe is directly on shore and the climate is relatively mild w.r.t. other part of Japan. It is located to quite south (35degree North) and sun is quite strong when the weather is dry. In spring we expect both fine and rainy days. It rains sometimes quite strong so you need an umbrella if it rains.

Cherry blossom is over unless you go to quite north of the country. During the meeting you start to see green.

The average high: 19 degrees, low: 11 degrees - the range would be 5-25 degrees.

People wearing surgical masks in Japan

Don't be afraid of such people. They like to protect against pollen in the spring season to avoid hay fever, mainly from ceder trees. More detail can be found on the web, e.g. on here.

Kobe city: area by area

The city centre map shows the central area of the Kobe city. The coach from Kansai airport arrives at the south of the Sannomiya train station, north to the Sogo department store. Your hotel is either in Port Island (conference venues - see bottom-right corner) or Sannomiya area - many of them are located south-east to the Sannomiya train station. To go to Port Island you take the Port Liner shuttle train (red line on the map) or take a shuttle service if you plan to stay in Portpia hotel, departing from the bus (coach) station below the MINT Kobe building coloured dark green.

There are plenty of restaurant in Sannomiya - most convenient are in (a) MINT Kobe shopping building right at the south of Sannomiya JR station (b) Santica underground around the south of the Sannomiya station (c) San Plaza and Center Plaza shopping centres (a bit old one) at the south-west of Sannomiya station, all within 300 m from the station. 

If you go for drinking, many bars that serve also food for evening are located to the north-west of the Sannomiya station, like Kitano-zaka avenue, Higashimon-gai street, Ikuta road, Tor road and along the smaller streets around there.

Shopping possibilities are around the Sannomiya Center Gai street, Hon-dori street, Motomachi (one station west from Sannomiya) shopping street etc. A quick way is to go to department stores: Sogo, south of Sannomiya, and Daimaru, south of Motomachi station. Shops of famous western brands are in the former foreign settlement area. For stationary, tools and craftworks can also be found in Tokyu Hands department store at the end of the Ikuta road (north west of Sannomiya station). If you aim for smaller shops collecting fancy items you could stroll around Isogami area (south east of Sannomiya) or Otsunaka street south of Nankin Machi China Town (south of Motomachi) - the China town is of course one of the best area for snacks and more sophisticated Chinese dishes.

For sightseeing, three popular area are (a) Meriken park (sounds like "American Park") old port and Kobe Maritime museum + Port tower (b) Kobe harbour land shopping centre with Ferris wheel and many restaurants / shops and (c) Kitano area, with old western-style houses of about century ago built by the foreign inhabitants at the hillside of Sannomiya by about 1km north.