Hokudan Earthquake Memorial Park


Hokudan Earthquake Memorial Park preserves the Nojima Fault, which was the epicenter of the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake that struck southern Hyogo Prefecture at 5:46 a.m. on January 17, 1995.

The museum was established not only as a place to study the mechanisms of earthquakes, but also to draw lessons from the earthquake and sound a warning for the future.

The museum was designated as a national natural monument in 1998 as a good place to understand earthquakes and fault activity, two of Japan's most famous natural phenomena.

In this article, we will provide some tips for sightseeing as well as the charm of the Nojima Fault Preservation Museum as we actually visited the museum.

What is the Nojima Fault?

The Nojima Fault, which was the epicenter of the M7.2 (magnitude 7.2) "Southern Hyogo Prefecture Earthquake" that occurred on January 17, 1995, is located in the northern part of Awaji Island, and recorded a maximum lateral displacement of 2.1 m and an uplift of 1.2 m. The fault is about 9 km long from the former Hokudan-cho to the former Ichinomiya-cho. The total length of the Nojima Fault is about 9 km from the former Hokudan-cho to the former Ichinomiya-cho, and in particular, an extension of about 185 m in the Shin Ogura area of Hokudan-cho is protected as a place that clearly shows the phenomenon, and part of it is open to the public as Hokudan Earthquake Memorial Park.

Tourist Attractions of Hokudan Earthquake Memorial Park

Hokudan Earthquake Memorial Park has the following three tourist attractions.

  • Actual exhibit of the fault
  • Corner for experiencing the earthquake
  • Exhibition of records of the earthquake

Hokudan Earthquake Memorial Park preserves a portion of the Nojima Fault that was created by the earthquake, allowing visitors to see up close the changes in the topography caused by the earthquake. In particular, the Fault Preservation Zone preserves the fault as it was at the time of the earthquake, allowing visitors to see the landform changes, such as land cracks and lateral displacement, in their original form.

In addition, there is a corner where visitors can simulate the shaking of a major earthquake, allowing them to experience the horror of an actual earthquake and raise their awareness of disaster prevention.

There are many exhibits showing what it was like at the time of the earthquake. In the Memorial House, the interior of a house immediately after the earthquake is reproduced, allowing visitors to feel the real impact of the earthquake.

What you can experience at Hokudan Earthquake Memorial Park

Hokudan Earthquake Memorial Park includes the Entrance Hall, Fault Preservation Zone, Memorial House, Earthquake Experience Hall, and Kobe Wall. Each facility is introduced below.

Entrance hall

The first thing you see upon entering Hokudan Earthquake Memorial Park is the truck that fell onto National Highway 43 in Nada Ward, Kobe City. The highway's collapse has been faithfully recreated.

Fault preservation zone

After paying the admission fee and looking at the exhibits, we proceeded to the fault preservation zone. On this day, there was an attendant who guided us around the fault and gave us a detailed explanation of the Nojima Fault.

The trench exhibit, in which you can see the fault, is located at the end of the path while looking at the Nojima Fault.

Kobe Wall

This is the Kobe Wall, which is displayed next to the Fault Preservation Zone.

The Kobe Wall is a disaster prevention wall at the public market in Wakamatsu-cho, Nagata-ku, Kobe, which survived the five air raids on Kobe during World War II (February to August 1945) and the earthquake and fire of the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake. It has been preserved together with the Nojima Fault as a record to tell the story of the earthquake.

Memorial house

The Memorial House preserves a private house where a fault line crosses the site. The house has been preserved as it was at the time of the earthquake, and in particular, the kitchen immediately after the quake illustrates the magnitude of the impact.

Earthquake experience museum

Finally, there is the Earthquake Experience Hall. Here, visitors can experience the shaking of the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake at the Earthquake Experience Corner, and watch a video recording of the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake at the Earthquake Theater.

On this day (October 2023), the earthquake experience area was not available due to mechanical failure.

Overview of Hokudan Earthquake Memorial Park

NameHokudan Earthquake Memorial Park
Address177 Ogura, Awaji City, Hyogo Prefecture
Official WEB
Opening hours9:00-17:00
ClosedOpen daily from January to November (with a temporary closing in late December)
AdmissionAdults 730 yen, junior high and high school students 310 yen, elementary school students 260 yen
Parking200 passenger cars, 50 tourist buses
Parking feeFree
AccessPublic Transportation: 5-minute walk from Hokudan Earthquake Memorial Park.
By car: 15 min. drive from Awaji IC. 10 min. drive from Hokudan IC.