The predecessor of Kobe University School of Medicine is Kobe Hospital; it was established in 1869, following the opening of Kobe Port in 1868, as the third hospital in Japan with the aim of “curing a wide range of illnesses,” through donations.

Hyogo Prefectural Medical University was established in 1946 and reorganized into Kobe Medical University in 1952. In 1964, its management was transferred to the government, and it became the Faculty of Medicine of Kobe University; moreover, the Department of Surgery was also established—it was reorganized in 2007, giving birth to the current Department of Gastrointestinal Surgery.

from the Chairman


Yoshihiro Kakeji, M.D., Ph.D.


  • Gastrointestinal Surgery
  • Endoscopic Surgery
  • Computer Surgery
  • Chemotherapy


  • Japanese
  • English


  • Kyushu University School of Medicine,
    Japan (1987)

The Department of Gastrointestinal Surgery at Kobe University carries out diagnosis of and treatment for digestive tract ailments, such as esophagus, stomach, and colorectal diseases. As a result of aging, one in every two Japanese has cancer, and one third of these are cancers of the digestive tract.
We mainly provide advanced treatment for esophageal, gastric, and colorectal cancers, and are implementing better treatments that are easy on the body and pursue radical cure.
Among surgical operations, endoscopic surgery for the gastrointestinal tract has become more popular, and robotic surgery, too, has increased. We are also working on further ensuring safe and accurate surgery by incorporating computer-assisted techniques from medical engineering.
On the other hand, progress in drug therapy, such as new anti-cancer agents, molecular target drugs, and immune checkpoint inhibitors, has been remarkable. We also provide combined treatment in addition to surgery. We aim to support patients in any condition and provide world’s most advanced treatments.
Clinically, we face various problems to help the patients in front of us. How to deal with a situation for which the textbook does not provide an answer, and figure out a solution might be a challenge for young doctors. It is, therefore, important to improve your ability by examining, thinking, and consulting on your own. We also value the experience of working in research and learning how to think.
In our department, we continue to employ state-of-the-art facilities in the field of clinical research. We also encourage our members to study abroad or elsewhere in Japan to learn new technologies and present the results to the world. We will consider individual life planning to not only acquire specialist doctors and degrees but also move forward continuously.
There are various members in our department, and we work as a team. Ours is an environment where we can further develop our abilities with the help of colleagues, and we are making progress every day to deliver the best medical care to patients. We will pass on the good traditions to the next generation, train leaders, and produce human resources that can contribute in various areas.
If you are interested in surgery and want to expand your possibilities, please do not hesitate to visit our office. We welcome our new members.


The following teams at the Department of Gastrointestinal Surgery at Kobe University provide treatment:

Esophageal Surgery Team

  • Minimally Invasive Esophagectomy
  • Robotic-Assisted Esophagectomy

Gastric Surgery Team

  • Laparoscopic Gastrectomy
  • Robotic-Assisted Gastrectomy

Colorectal Surgery Team

  • Laparoscopic Colectomy
  • Transanal Total Mesorectal Excision
  • Robotic-Assisted Colectomy

Clinical Ward

The general ward is located on the 8th floor, while operation theaters and Intensive Care Unit are on the 3rd floor. Depending on the general condition and surgery, the patient is transferred to the general ward via the ICU after surgery. The surgery team takes care of the patient during hospitalization.


Outpatient Clinic

If this is your first consultation at our hospital, you must bring a referral letter from another medical institution; otherwise, you are required to pay an additional ¥10,800 fee to see a doctor. This is because ours is an advanced treatment hospital certified by the government, and therefore, we provide care based on referral from primary or secondary medical care personnel. We appreciate your cooperation and understanding in this matter.

For International Patients

If You Need
Language Support


We provide language services to patients who wish to receive medical care in other languages such as English.
We also provide support in more than 50 languages via FACIL (a multilanguage center in Kobe). There is an additional fee to avail FACIL’s services.

For Information

International Patient Center Reception Desk

On the 1st floor of the outpatient clinic building, at the same counter as General Internal Medicine

Phone : 078-382-6598  
FAX : 078-382-5815

Click the links for further information for our hospital.