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Kobe

October 2, 2015

 Sunday, September 27

Many years ago on my first visit to Japan, I bought a guitar in Kobe,  a Takamine, and I’ve kinda remembered the place fondly ever since. I still have the guitar,  but I don’t remember much about Kobe. We pulled into town last night and found our lodgings, a nice and funky youth hostel, walked around the immediate neighborhood, and called it a day.

Here’s Hostel Yume-Nomad:

   
 
It’s a walkup from the street. This morning we talked to the hostel hostess about what to see, and settled on a couple of things, the Kobe harbor, and the view of town from the mountains. On our way, coupla random shots:

  
Megascooter.

  
For Rent – 3BR 2BA close to shopping, transportation. W/ shrine.

  
Bicycles. Gotta have ’em to get anywhere close by. Apparently, everybody rides. They share the sidewalks with pedestrians. To our ongoing amazement, we have yet to witness a collision.

  
Yes, Life! A sample of what you see in Japanese supers that won’t come to a Safeway near you:

   
    
 
Not to mention many, many others.

So to the harbor. We were expecting ships, cranes, docks, maritime commerce full bore. 

But no. Welcome to Harborland.

   
    
 
Bring the kids, and some money.

   
    
   

And so on to our second objective – the cable car trip to Mt. Maya, the most popular peak in the Rokko mountain chain north of the Kobe-Osaka area. We traveled by train to Shin-Kobe, we hopped into our cable car for a breath-taking ride up into the hills.

   
 
We were stunned, frankly, at the sight of the city spread out before us. Kobe had struck us as a small town, and now we saw it to be to be a part of one big city stretching from Osaka to Kobe and beyond.

  
The station at the top is modeled on some idea of a Swiss village, complete with beer, bratwurst, soft-serve ice cream, trinkets and German songs over the P.A. 

  
A view of Kobe from the parapets.

The real draw of the spot, though, is the view of the coastline at night, and people started pouring in as the sun went down.  

 The scene at night.

  

From the cable car on the way back down the mountain.

Last but far from least, a few pix from the red-light district only a block away(!) from our hostel.

   
 
  

Rates, in fifteen-minute increments…

  

Monday, September 28

We left Kobe this morning, but stopped on the way to the station to visit the magnificent Minatogawa shrine.

http://www.japan365days.com/kobe_minatogawa_shrine.php
   
   
 

  

   
 
Now, off to Okayama.

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