It was the first city to engage in foreign trade in the modern era.
Since then, many foreigners have come and inhabited the area.
As a result, numerous new foods, cultures, and ideas have made their way into Japan via Kobe.
For a considerable period, the foreigners that arrived in Kobe all lived in designated area.
According to the industry records, by the second year of Meiji era (1869), the bakeries were operated by the English and French living in the area.
It is believed that those who baked bread on the sailing vessels were the first to open the shops, but the Japanese who worked under these Englishmen and Frenchmen soon learned the techniques and established independent bakeries.
By the 40th year of Meiji (1907), there were 1,500 foreign residents in Kobe.
The bakeries labored day in and day out to Supply the foreign residents of Kobe, as well as the ships docked in the port with bread.
Yet, these western products and tastes soon took hold in the general populace of Kobe and then, with people all over Japan.
Cake and chocolate also started in Kobe, and today the residents of Kobe are the leading consumers of cakes and confections in Japan.
This level of consumption is supported by numerous bakeries and confectionary of Kobe.