Have you ever seen a wild boar or like the students at Kobe University, been tackled by one? Kobe University is a public university located in Kobe, a beautiful port city in Hyogo prefecture.
The university is ranked as one of the most prestigious public universities in Japan. However, this university has its perks that no other campuses have – wild boars. While these boars may seem cute with their round bellies and long noses, they can also be quite dangerous when angered so beware if you ever see one while visiting. It is also banned by Kobe City’s bylaw to feed them so keep that in mind as well.
The campus is located on Rokkō mountain; on a slope and deep in nature. This location is precisely the reason why wild boars roam freely around and within the campus. Kobe City itself is famous for its wildlife sightings including wild boars and also raccoons; they often make it into local news. Wild boars are commonly sighted around the university’s campus that they have become the official mascot of the university’s library, named Uriko (うりこ).
Wild boars are so frequently sighted around and in Kobe University’s campus that in 2007, they decided to name one of their promenades as Uribō Road, which literally translates as: “Baby Wild Boar” Road. In Japanese, Uribō (ウリ坊) is a nickname for wild boar piglets. The name was given to the piglets because of the physical similarity that they had to ‘shima-uri’ (シマウリ), a type of striped melon-cucumber that grows in Japan.
Having mother nature surrounding the students may cause some inconveniences at times, but it sure makes the college experience more exciting. If you are interested, maybe you may want to take a hike up a mountain to the campus. However, remember that only certain facilities of the campus are open to visitors (the cafeteria and the library) and I recommend checking with the university first prior to visiting.
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