Hyogo Prefecture is located roughly in the center of the Japanese Archipelago in western Honshu. The north coast faces the Sea of Japan and in the south Hyogo extends across the Seto Inland Sea to Awaji Island and the Pacific Ocean. As a result, the prefecture is divided into three climatic zones: the Sea of Japan region with heavy snowfall in winter, the central mountain region, and the Seto Inland Sea region, which has low rainfall and a mild, comfortable climate.

The city of Kobe, where the G8 Environment Ministers Meeting is being held, is in the south of Hyogo Prefecture. Despite being a large city of 1,530,000 inhabitants, Kobe lives close to nature nestled along a narrow band of land between the wooded Mount Rokko (max height 931m) to the north and the calm Seto Inland Sea to the south.

The Port of Kobe
The Port of Kobe
The Seto Inland Sea and the Akashi Kaikyo Bridge
The Seto Inland Sea and the
Akashi Kaikyo Bridge