※ This article discusses the 1st of October 2016.
So it is our first Saturday in Kobe. We visited the convenience store in the morning to got some sweets. In the following, we headed towards Sannomiya.
Sannomiya is the center in Kobe. As it will turn out, the municipal office, the City Hall, the ward office and other important building are close to the station. We started our ride with the Portliner to travel the opposite direction of the previous day; from Kita Futo to Sannomiya. It is very funny to sit in the Portliner and look across Minatojima from above. If you look at my pictures, you might recognize that the trains don’t have a human driver. At Sannomiya I felt that I was in a big city. If we look at the data, we have:
making Kobe, the fifth-largest city of Japan. It is smaller than Vienna in terms of number of inhabitants, though you need to point out that space is much more compressed in Japan. Houses of many floors are usual and the tram is built into the air to use space more efficiently. This means that on an average train station in Kobe, you will see more passengers than in Vienna.
Walking around in Sannomiya, I added the goal to visit Ikuta Jinja, but Martina correctly pointed out that we went in the opposite direction. We sticked to our main goal to find a suitable restaurant where we can eat something more nutritious than the previous days. We stopped in front of a Japanese restaurant and because we didn’t know what to expect, we were excited about this next challenge.
We sat down between a pair of Japanese women and a young couple. The Oshibori were laid down immediately when we sat down and water to drink was offered as well. Unlike most Japanese menus, this menu did not feature picture to represent what is going to be ordered. We peeked to the other desks to see some wonderful plates of sushi and Sashimi. We settled down to interpret the menu. Thanks to Martina’s skills, we were able to get a general idea of the menu and iterated over the items multiple times. Apparently, the women must have wondered about us and eventually asked us whether we are fine. We asked them to translate a few items. Thanks to the woman, we were able to order some noodles with onion salad for me and Martina got a mixed plate including Tempura. In total we paid roughly 2,100 Yen which corresponds to 18 Euros in the EU. The taste was definitely above the average. Martina conjectured that the women got a free drink by the serving lady, because they helped us ordering. When leaving the restaurant I recited a new phrase I learned by Martina: "Oishii katta desu" (It was delicious), the past tense of "Oishii desu" (Delicious!).
After this awesome experience, we went through the city without particular goal. But Higashiyuenchi Park ( 東遊園地 ) was just beautiful, so we stayed there for a long time. We watched Japanese people in daily life passing by. We say parents playing with their children in the grass. Lukas was fascinated by a small kid which excited about the Hanshin Awaji Monumentum, which reminds people of the 1995 Kobe earthquake. It drops water on a glass plate. Below this glass plate, a monumentum is built with names of all victims. The kid ran excitedly towards the water, made gestures with its hands and ran back to the bench close to its mother. On our back home we recognized other people taking a photo of a butterfly and I joined in. Furthermore we learned that the golden statue holds the clock stopped at the time of the earthquake, because originally it fell down due to the earthquake and stopped working.
Considering a wonderful meal and a nice trip to Kobe City, we went back to the residence. I tried to take photos of our street comparable to the one of Google Street View, but failed with the first attempt. I ended up writing blog articles.