Select Page

Alvinology goes to Japan – Day 10 of 14

Alvinology goes to Japan – Day 10 of 14

On the tenth day, we headed to Kobe (神戸市), the sixth-largest city in Japan. Kobe is also the capital city of Hyōgo Prefecture and a prominent port city in Japan with a population of about 1.5 million.

Kobe is known for it’s cosmopolitan past, being one of the first cities to open for trade with the West in Japan. It is also known for the 1995 Great Hanshin Earthquake which destroyed much of the city. Finally, the city is also the point of origin and namesake of Kobe beef (神戸ビーフ), the most expensive beef in the world.

The first place we went to in Kobe was Kitano Ijinkan (北野異人館). It is a historical district which contains a number of foreign residences from the late Meiji and early Taishō eras of Japanese history. Each of the individual foreign houses charge separate entry admission fees. As we thought it’s rather silly to pay to look at “foreign houses” given we are foreigners ourselves and also because globalisation has made attractions like these lose their allures, we just walked outside the street and took photos.

Btw, there are lots of bridal salons and other wedding-related shops near Kobe Kitano. It’s probably because the many old foreign architecture that make ideal backdrops for wedding photos.

The express train we took

The express train we took

Ladies only train cabin

Ladies only train cabin

A train driver

A train driver

The train driver at work

The train driver at work

The train drivers name is displayed to the passengers so you can file complaint if they dont drive properly

The train driver’s name is displayed to the passengers so you can file complaints if they don’t drive properly

area map of Kitano

area map of Kobe

In front of a bridal salon - there are lots of wedding-related shops in Kobe, probably because the old cosmopolitan buildings make good backdrops for wedding photos

In front of a bridal salon

High quality wedding kimono

High quality wedding kimono

Hiring ad for gigolos

Hiring ad for gigolos

There are lots of buildings like this with interesting architecture in Kitano

There are lots of buildings like this with interesting architecture in Kitano

Wooden wheel in the background

Wooden wheel in the background

Weird looking ad which I do not know what it is promoting

Weird looking ad which I do not know what it is promoting

We spotted a halal-certified restaurant at Kitano - very rare in Japan

We spotted a halal-certified restaurant at Kitano – very rare in Japan

At Kitan Ijinkan

At Kitano Ijinkan (北野異人館)

Cardboard Mickey Mouse

Cardboard Mickey Mouse

Nice shrubs and bushes

Nice shrubs and bushes

Japanese school kids on school excursion

Japanese school kids on school excursion

On a slope in the street of Kitano

On a slope in the street of Kitano

Bird cage with flowers inside

Bird cage with flowers inside

Wild pussy willow

Wild pussy willow

A French house

A French house

A foreign house with two oriental statues outside

A foreign house with two oriental statues outside

A Dutch dwelling

A Dutch dwelling

Kitano street

Kitano street

My comrades house

My comrade’s house

Beautiful flowers

Beautiful flowers

Strange looking mini truck we spotted

Strange looking mini truck we spotted

Someones little statue outside the house

Someone’s little statue outside the house

Sherlock Hormes house

Sherlock Holmes’ house

One of the few free admission attractions in Kobe Kitano

One of the few free admission attractions in Kobe Kitano

Description of the museum house

Description of the museum house

Photos depicting the devastating Hanshin Earthquake which ravaged Kobe in 1995

Photos depicting the devastating Hanshin Earthquake which ravaged Kobe in 1995

A closer look at one of the photos

A closer look at one of the earthquake photos

Window view from the free museum

Window view from the free museum

Lots of beautiful flowers like these

Lots of beautiful flowers like these

Cabbage flower

Cabbage flower

Bottle-shaped flowers

Bottle-shaped flowers

Petit bottle-shaped blue flowers

Petit bottle-shaped blue flowers

Blue flowers with long petals

Blue flowers with long petals

Purple and white flowers

Purple and white flowers

Petit red flowers

Petit red flowers

Rachel likes to look at flowers

Rachel likes to look at flowers

Pretty red flowers

Pretty red flowers

Stalks of tiny pink flowers

Stalks of tiny pink flowers

Outside a cat-themed cafe

Outside a cat-themed cafe

A vintage poster on Kobe beef

A vintage poster on Kobe beef

Vintage poster depicting Kobes cosmopolitan past

Vintage poster depicting Kobe’s cosmopolitan past

Another exotic vintage poster

Another exotic vintage poster

Vintage European wadrobe

Vintage European wadrobe

Hello Kitty dressed up as a Kobe cow

Hello Kitty dressed up as a Kobe cow

Kobear - a Kobe mascot

Kobear – a Kobe mascot

Residential park in Kitano

Residential park in Kitano

One of the many foreign houses

One of the many foreign houses

Decorative Kitano Ijinkan shields

Decorative Kitano Ijinkan shields

A clubhouse for foreigners

A clubhouse for foreigners

Oranges spotted in someones house

Oranges spotted in someone’s house

Grand looking foreign house

Grand looking foreign house

Another majestic house

Another majestic house

For lunch, we split way with Mark and Meiyen who went to eat a luxurious Kobe beef meal. Rachel and I find the price tag for Kobe beef a tat too steep. Hence we headed to a nearby small restaurant serving charcoal-grilled beef with rice. It was delicious! In fact, we came back here to eat it again on our second last day in Japan.

Related Post:  Alvinology goes to Japan - Day 2 of 14

After lunch, we did some light shopping at the Kobe shopping district. We did not buy much stuff as the exchange rate for the Japanese yen was at an all time high and we found most of the stuff too expensive. In fact, some brands like Agnès B. and Porter bags, which were supposed to be cheaper in Japan than in Singapore were more expensive due to the pathetic exchange rate.

The restaurant Mark went to for his Kobe beef

The restaurant Mark went to for his Kobe beef

Entrance to the restaurant

Entrance to the restaurant

Restaurant interior

Restaurant interior

The chef who prepared Marks Kobe beef

The chef who prepared Mark’s Kobe beef

Slicing up the meat

Slicing up the meat

Close-up of the Kobe beef

Close-up of the Kobe beef

Preparing the vegetable side

Preparing the vegetable side

Marks Kobe beef meal

Mark’s Kobe beef meal

Rachel and are less wealthy, we had lunch at this small restaurant

Rachel and I are less wealthy, we had lunch at this small restaurant

The chef who cooked our delicious beef

The chef who cooked our delicious beef

Close-up shot of the beef

Close-up shot of the beef

The beef bowl Rachel and I had for lunch

The beef bowl Rachel and I had for lunch

Indoor flowers

Indoor flowers

Caramel pudding flavour Kit Kat - exclusive in Kobe

Caramel pudding flavour Kit Kat – exclusive in Kobe

Weird-looking Indian bath salt

Weird-looking Indian bath salt

Ghostly bath salt

Ghostly bath salt

Bath salt for dirty people who work in coal mines

Bath salt for dirty people who work in coal mines

Glueboy lip balm

Glue boy lip balm

Anime soft drink

Anime soft drink

An interesting store that sells just merchants vouchers and coupons at values lower than the printed rates

An interesting store that sells just merchants’ vouchers and coupons at values lower than the printed rates

Some pet charity group in Japan - Rachel made a small donation

Some pet charity group in Japan – Rachel made a small donation

Entrance to a long shopping street in Kobe

Entrance to a long shopping street in Kobe

Shopping street

Shopping street

Interesting looking buildings which look like water colour paintings

Interesting looking buildings which look like water colour paintings

Seen outside an expensive looking Japanese western restaurant - I seriously do not know what the text is trying to say

Seen outside an expensive looking Japanese western restaurant – I seriously do not know what the text is trying to say

Meat shop specialising in Kobe beef

Meat shop specialising in Kobe beef

Thereafter, we headed to Kobe Chinatown, Nankin-machi (南京町). If you were to ask me, I find the name quite ironic, given the atrocity committed by the Japanese soldiers during the Nanking Massacre in WWII. The place is actually quite cheesy. It looks like the kind of stereotypical “Chinatown” you find in western video games and movies with lots of touristy nonsense perpetuating the notion of the mystical Orient.

Kobe Chinatown

Kobe Chinatown

Kobe Chinatown

Cheesy red lanterns everywhere

These two China doll statues are the ultimate in cheesiness!

These two China doll statues are the ultimate in cheesiness!

I hate Chinese-themed shops like this!

I hate Chinese-themed shops like this!

Chinese snacks

Chinese snacks

Pork dumpling stall - whats with the picture of the fat Chinaman with rosy cheek?

Pork dumpling stall – what’s with the picture of the fat Chinaman with rosy cheek?

Statue of the rabbit - there are statues of all 12 of the Chinese zodiac animals

Rabit statue – there are statues of all 12 of the Chinese zodiac animals

Famous char siew pau stall with long queue

Famous char siew pau stall with long queue

Famous char siew pau stall in Japan

The char siew pau wrapping

The tiny char siew pau - It sucks! The skin tasted very rubbery and tough

The tiny char siew pau – It sucks! The skin tasted very rubbery and tough

Kobe beef coroquette - Rachel and I still tasted Kobe beef afterall :)

Kobe beef coroquette – Rachel and I still tasted Kobe beef afterall 🙂

Small bits of Kobe beef inside the coroquette

Small bits of Kobe beef inside the coroquette

Fugu (puffer fish) spotted

Fugu (puffer fish) spotted

Fugu sashimi - for foolhardy gourmet hunters

Fugu sashimi – for foolhardy gourmet hunters

Exiting Kobe Chinatown

Exiting Kobe Chinatown

After Chinatown, we went to Harborland (神戸ハーバーランド), a shopping district in Kobe to do more shopping. Harborland is located along Japan’s eastern coast and you can get a fantastic seaview from the area. It is also home to the famouse Kobe Port Tower (神戸ポートタワー).

We visited the Hankyu shopping mall and the Mosaic Garden amusement park located in the area. We managed to catch the sunset in the Mosaic Garden ferris wheel. They had a Valentine’s Day special promotion going on for the ferris wheel whereby you can get a discounted price if you ride in the cheesy pink cabin with heart-shaped cushions and lots of gay-looking pink and red feathers.

Related Post:  $385 for 23kg worth of durians - Netizen Eugene Lau warns others of random door-to-door durian sellers

Rachel and I had dinner at Saizeriya (サイゼリヤ) which is also available in Singapore at Liang Court. The restaurant chain in Japan has a wider selection in their menu and frankly, the quality of the food is also better.

After dinner, we took the train and headed back to our hotel. This ended our day tour of Kobe. We will be visiting the historic capital city of Kyoto () the next day. Stay tuned for my next blog entry. 🙂

A decorative piece at the underpass from the train station to Harborland

A decorative piece at the underpass from the train station to Harborland

Another decorative piece

Another decorative piece

An interesting installation ad for the local zoo

An interesting installation ad for the local zoo

First time I ate pork from McDonalds

First time I ate pork from McDonald’s

We spotted a ferris wheel from afar, on our way to Harborland

We spotted a ferris wheel from afar, on our way to Harborland

An elegant motorbike we came across

An elegant motorbike we came across

Mosaic Garden - a small seaside amusement park

Mosaic Garden – a small seaside amusement park

Mosaic Garden ferris wheel

Mosaic Garden ferris wheel

Beside the ferris wheel

Beside the ferris wheel

Various amusement rides available at Mosaic Garden

Various amusement rides available at Mosaic Garden

By the sea

By the sea

An expensive hotel at Harborland

An expensive hotel at Harborland

Hankyu shopping mall

Hankyu shopping mall

We bought the Valentines Day special ferris wheel tickets

We bought the Valentine’s Day special ferris wheel tickets

Cheesy heart-shaped cushions found in the ferris wheel cabin

Cheesy heart-shaped cushions found in the ferris wheel cabin

The cushions are more suitable for Mark and Meiyen

The cushions are more suitable for Mark and Meiyen

Rachel and I, minus the cheesy cushions

Rachel and I, minus the cheesy cushions

Kobe Port Tower as seen from the ferris wheel

Kobe Port Tower as seen from the ferris wheel

Its almost sunset

It’s almost sunset

Sunset as seen from the top of the ferris wheel

Sunset as seen from the top of the ferris wheel

From another angle

From another angle

Another angle again

Another angle again

Rachel and Anpan-man

Rachel and Anpanman (アンパンマン)

Me with Anpanman and his friend

Me with Anpanman and his friend

Merry-go-round

Merry-go-round

Rachel was excited to see a specialty store selling Totoro toys and other Hayao Miyazakis stuff

Rachel was excited to see a specialty store selling Totoro toys and other Hayao Miyazaki’s stuff

Pandas!

Pandas!

The pandas from Hayao Miyazakis earlier work, Panda! Go, Panda! (パンダ・コパンダ)

The pandas from Miyazakis earlier work, Panda! Go, Panda! (パンダ・コパンダ)

Rachel loves this panda anime

Rachel loves this panda anime

Totoro collectible figurine

Totoro collectible figurine

Totoro on a plant

Totoro on a plant

 Clothes Rachel and I bought at the COMME ÇA DU MODE store

Clothes Rachel and I bought at the COMME ÇA DU MODE store

Baseball park at Harborland

Baseball park at Harborland

Mark and Meiyen beside a Valentines Day wishing tree

Mark and Meiyen beside a Valentine’s Day wishing tree

Japanese teens excitedly writing their wishes on free red ribbons

Japanese teens excitedly writing their wishes on free red ribbons

Tying the ribbon to the wishing tree

Tying the ribbon to the wishing tree

Mosaic shopping mall

Mosaic shopping mall

The Kobe Port Tower in the night

The Kobe Port Tower in the night

The sea breeze was freezing cold

The sea breeze was freezing cold

Me, freezing as well

Me, freezing as well

Very beautiful seaview at night

Very beautiful seaview at night

Mosaic Garden from afar

Mosaic Garden from afar

The lighted ferris wheel looks very different at night

The lighted ferris wheel looks very different at night

Rachel and I had dinner at Saizeriya

Rachel and I had dinner at Saizeriya

The Saizeriya menu in Japan has exotic offerings like cheese

The Saizeriya menu in Japan has exotic offerings like mozarella cheese

Our dinner - a pizza and a hamburger steak

Our dinner – a pizza and a hamburger steak

Close-up of my hamburger steak - much better than what they served in the Saizeriya in Singapore

Close-up of my hamburger steak – much better than what they served in the Saizeriya in Singapore

Slicing up our pizza with the roller

Slicing up our pizza with the roller

Japans Mister Donut

Japan’s Mister Donut

Rachel bought a box of doughnuts from Mr. Doughnut

Rachel bought a box of donuts from Mister Donut

Bee Hoon donut?

“Bee Hoon” donut?

Chocolate-coated donut

Chocolate-coated donut

Cinnamon donut

Cinnamon donut

Sugared donut with filling

Sugared donut with filling

Giant kiwi that Mark bought for supper

Giant kiwi that Mark bought for supper

Bye bye Kobe!

Bye bye Kobe!

Bought this soda flavour popsicle from the Family Mart beside our hotel

Bought this soda flavour popsicle from the Family Mart beside our hotel

Links to my previous blog entries on my Japan  trip:

Related Post:  Christmas Wonderland @ Gardens by the Bay Returns Bigger, Brighter, Cooler

Day 1 – Kansai Airport, Hokkaido

Day 2 – Skiing, Otaru

Day 3 – Asahikawa, Asahiyama Zoo

Day 4 – Sledding, Shiroi Koibito, Crab Buffet

Day 5 – The 60th Sapporo Snow Festival

Day 6 – Staying with the Asai, Shōnan

Day 7 – Ueno, Tokyo

Day 8 – Shibuya and Akihabara, Tokyo

Day 9 – Ikeda, Osaka

Day 10 – Kobe

Day 11 – Kyoto

Day 12 – Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan and Dotonbori

Day 13 – Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge and Mt. Rokko

Day 14 – Return to Singapore

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

About The Author

alvinology

Alvin is a marketer by day and blogger by night. He is a 100% geek who spends too much time surfing the web.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Wheel of Lunch | Yosef's Blog - [...] Alvinology goes to Japan - Day 10 of 14 « A L V I N O L O G…
  2. Alvinology goes to Japan - Day 11 of 14 « A L V I N O L O G Y - [...] Day 10 - Kobe [...]
  3. Alvinology goes to Japan - Day 11 of 14 - [...] Day 10 - Kobe [...]
  4. Alvinology goes to Japan - Day 12 of 14 - [...] Day 10 – Kobe [...]

Leave a Reply

GET LATEST UPDATE

Advertise with us

DHgate has all for travelling

Get in touch

Editor:
editor (at) alvinology (dot) com

Alvin Lim:
alvin (at) alvinology (dot) com

AM Collective:
claudia (at) alvinology (dot) com

Asia 361:
kat (at) asia361 (dot) com

Topics

Partners