Thursday, 18 September 2014

Kobe, Kobe

I travelled to Kobe last weekend. Japan is famous (at least in my mind) for its incredible amount of long weekends. September has two, and this year I decided to take the bus from Tottori to Kobe for a short blip in the major port town. I headed down with three other girls and soaked up the last bits of summer sunshine, even managing to get a slight tan!! After a summer inside a Japanese office the sunshine was a nice finishing touch to the season. We decided to stay at a tiny hostel a few stops away from the main hub in Kobe, which is known as ハバランド. The hostel itself is within 5 minutes of the underground and is also a small café and art gallery. It was absolutely adorable!! Fresh coffee is roasted every day by a cute barista with a twirly moustache, like something out of a quirky film. It was a definite experience considering it only cost about $26 a night! The downside was the cockroach. Yes, cockroach. I was not impressed to say the least, but that is summer in Japan for you.

We all had different sites we wanted to visit so on our first morning we all split up, and I headed to the giant mall for breakfast at a cute café I had spotted the night before. Sitting right on a little pond and advertising freshly roasted coffee I couldn’t say no. As I perused the menu I noted a Canadian set so I had to have it. Unfortunately the only thing about it that was Canadian was the bacon inside the sandwich (delicious!) but other than that it was a traditional Japanese meal. The kind where they try really to hard to Westernize it but they fail. It was delicious though and that is Japan for you, the land where everything (even the foreign stuff) is Japanese. I walked to the Harbor after and enjoyed reading by the water with the sun warming me. It was so relaxing and the bustle of the harbor made me miss White Rock so much! For lunch we met up at a beautiful and fancy restaurant near China Town. The restaurant featured set dinners with Kobe steak so we had to try it! I got the wagyu steak- which is just a marbled cut of Japanese beef. My meal ran me about $60 Canadian, however Sarah splurged and got the actual Kobe beef with her dinner, making her meal around $140 Canadian!! The restaurant was delicious, the atmosphere was fun and it was definitely a meal to remember. I rarely cook meat for myself so eating a steak every once in a while is a really nice treat! We headed for the Kobe ropeway and cable car after lunch, with the slight uphill walk a good balance after our huge lunch. We arrived around 5pm which, luckily enough, was when the price drops for admission to about 700\ roundtrip. It was a beautiful trip to the top and we were greeted with a German beer market that was set up there. We were too stuffed to drink anything but it was fun atmosphere. There was also a small venue for weddings up there- oh my goodness! It would be such a stunning spot for a wedding ceremony!! We finished our night off with a ride up Kobe tower, where we enjoyed sitting in the revolving restaurant and chatting over beer. It was a great Kobe day.
The rest of the weekend was composed of making new friends (one of whom proposed his love for Sarah with 24 hours), eating a Hawaiian breakfast (So incredible) and shopping…a lot! I am so getting used to the constant stream of long weekends and the easy access I have to affordable travel! I am so thankful I have eleven months left to explore!!

Canadian Breaky...ya just no. 
Japanese steak. Worth it. 

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