Today was awesome. We went to work for an hour, and then our boss took us to immigration. I had heard stories of immigration which amounted to: wait a long ass time to hand in your application and come back again after you get a postcard. Even our boss was amazed – we got there at 9:30 and left at 10. Then, she told us we could just leave and take the rest of the day off. So we did! Which meant we got to get an early start on our Kobe trip this weekend!!
Kobe is a town in Western Japan. It is one hour from Nagoya by shinkansen. Kobe is a port town which was devastated by a 7.3 magnitude earthquake in 1995. As a way to remember the victims and to help with the recovery after the earthquake, Kobe began to have a huge illumination festival every December from 1996. This festival is called Luminarie. It runs from December 5th-16th this year.
First, I’ll start with pictures of our hostel! We are staying at Yume Nomad, near Minatogawakoen Station. It is super cheap. It was only 12,000 yen for two nights. (Which is like $120).
I was astounded by the toilet, though. Really? Japanese style? I can use them, but I totally dislike them. They do have Western toilets you can use, but they are not in your room.
The shower is decent, though.
After checking in, we walked down to the port. The area around the port is called Meriken Park.
There were pretty floral decorations all around.
This giraffe is fabulous.
There was a display of beautiful handmade flower wreaths.
There was an Elvis statue, too! It made me think of my grandma, so I took this picture for her!!
Cute Christmas snowman and ferris wheel.
Kobe is one of those magical places where you cannot buy food for lunch between the hours of 3 and 6, so we were “forced” to eat cake for lunch. What a pity!!
Teddy got the tea-mousse chocolate cake.
I got the baked cheesecake. My ice cream tasted like apple pie, and was amazing.
A cute Christmas tree with Kobe Tower in the background. I truly believe that Japan has a contest for ugliest tower. I also think that Kyoto might be the winner of that contest. (Really, Google “Kyoto Tower” if you’ve never seen it.)
Kobe Tower and a fabulous pirate ship.
Kobe Tower close up.
The Yamato 1 in front of Kobe Tower. The Yamato 1 is a super conductor electromagnetic propulsion boat (according to the fabulous translation).
Teddy and me in front of Kobe Tower.
A mosaic bell tower.
A cute butterfly sculpture.
Me in a carved rock.
This is the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake Memorial. They left this part of the port as it was after the earthquake and reinforced it so it remained unchanged.
A mosaic at the Port.
I don’t know why, but this seagull looks to me like he belongs on South Park.
After the port, we headed towards China Town and Luminarie.