Travel Diary: Japan 2015 part 4
A shorter post this time! Thank goodness for you and me
I had a vague idea that we were going to Kobe, because it’s pretty easy to get there from Kyoto and we wanted to eat Kobe beef. The lovely receptionist made a booking for us at Ishidaya, a rather nice Kobe beef restaurant with great lunch time prices.
Before that, breakfast at the station, in another bakery. It was pretty early so we just sort of sat and collected ourselves, wandered around nijo market again and then off we went.
Once we got to Kobe, we realised that there were multiple Ishidayas. We haphazardly walked into one, but it turned out that the booking was for the main store. As Japanese service is usually impeccable, the staff walked us over to the right restaurant and we had the most delicious meal.
With full stomachs we decided to wander around the historic parts of Kobe. As Kobe was a merchant town it’s full of houses in various styles from all over the world and from all the receptions and wedding dress stores also seemed to be a really popular area for weddings. If you choose to enter the buildings most of them charge an admission fee, but there’s a pass that can be bought for a collection of houses. There seemed to be a flower exhibition on in some of the rooms with pretty detailed dresses and table pieces made out of flowers.
Unfortunately, as Kobe is a port city it was really really cold and in another commonly reoccurring theme on this trip I was soon freezing and longed to be inside with heating. So, we decided to visit the Starbucks which is also a bit unique as it is situated in, and looks like an old house.
Then, on my boyfriends suggestion we went to the harbour at night, for some more last minute shopping and just to enjoy the sights.
There is a funny story behind this day. We went to Kobe because I told my boyfriend that I had never been before and was interested in checking it out. Upon standing on the harbour looking at the ferris wheel, it hit me like a tonne of bricks. I had been to Kobe before. In fact, this was the first place I went on my very first trip to Japan many many years ago. I just wasn’t aware that it was Kobe because I was with my parents on a Chinese language guided tour and they have totally different names for places. After sheepishly telling my boyfriend this, he laughed and called me an idiot… I did manage to buy a warm and toasty scarf though!
We could have left it at that for the day and gone back to the hotel but we had picked up some brochures earlier in the day, at the tourist centre at Kobe station and it seemed like there were still a few Winter light shows around. Interested in catching one of those we went to a nearby aquarium. To be honest, the show was pretty lame and low budget but wandering around the (warm) aquarium by night with almost no one else around and fairy lights outside was in itself a little bit magical.
Stay tuned for another post soon!