Rokko meets Art 2016

※ This article discusses Sunday, 20th of November 2016.

So we shifted event day from Saturday to Sunday. This week on Sunday we visited Rokko meets Art 2016. For one reason, we got free tickets from our Faculty and for the other reason November is momiji season (autumn colors watching season). So visiting Nara, Kyoto or Mount Rokko is generally recommended. The exhibition takes place between 14th of September and 23rd of November. So we picked the last weekend of this exhibition.

As described on the homepage, "Rokko Meets Art 2016" is an exhibition of modern art held on the summit of Mount Rokko located in the port city of Kobe. It is held annualy. The first event seems to go back to 2010. We started at 10:00. We first went to Rokko Station and asked about the Rokkosan Tourist Pass. It costs 1000 Yen for foreigners with a short-stay visa and 1770 Yen for others (adults). However, the homepage only listed sale places in Osaka. We went to the train station staff and asked for the ticket. They told us we cannot buy it here, but they can offer another ticket. 1950 Yen with the same public transport included. As far as we don’t have a short-stay visa, the proposed price was 180 Yen higher. We decided to take the ticket.

First we took the Kobe City Bus to go Rokko Cable Shita station (the lower Cable Car station). Actually this bus is used frequently by Kobe university students because it passes their campus. However, we never took the bus and always went by foot. I have to admit we are lucky to be mostly assigned to campusses which are not too far up the hill. Afterwards we took the Cable Car. It is very comparable to a Cable Car, for example, at the Uhrturm in Graz (Austria). At the top I recognized the first art exhibition station. It consisted of two stands with a square ground connected at the top and flags were sticking on the object’s surface. Rokko Sanjo Bus was responsible to bring us to all sites of the exhibition.

Site 1: Rokko International Musical Box Museum

Musical boxes are small instruments with a metal comb which produce sounds automatically. The Museum opened in 1992 and collected lots of musical boxes in this time. Besides historical remarks, it sells many pocket-sized musical boxes as gifts and offers a musical box performance every 30 minutes. One performance takes a quarter of an hour is accompanied visually by sand drawing as done by Kseniya Simonova. To the best of our knowledge, they told a story which is roughly based on Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

We also got a map for the sites we can visit together with a stamp rally pass. So we started to have fun collecting stamps.

Site 2: Rokko Alpine Botanical Garden

Because the Botanical Garden is so close to the Museum, we didn’t use the bus. The Botanical Garden features 1500 varieties of polar and northern plants. In autumn, they don’t flourish and are difficult to spot. But we switched to discussing the art objects and collecting stamps. This Garden might be more interesting in spring.

We skipped "Rokkosan Country House" as a site due to time constraints.

Site 3: Rokko Garden Terrace

This site is used to enjoy the beautiful view at (almost) the summit of Mount Rokko and eat something. At late lunch time, we sat down and got some ramen and potatoes with butter in plastic dish. This cheap meal warmed us up and compared to the other food, it was very cheap. We finished the meal with French Fries and ice cream (with Green Tea topping).

Site 4: Rokko Shidare Obversatory

The Shidare Obversatory is an obversatory famous for its shape. We checked it out and looked down the hill as far as possible. Due to the fog, you could not see far. After this station at ~17:00, it started to get dark.

We took the Kobe City bus to go to university. We wanted to attend the theather performance "Potato salad" at university, but we were half an hour too late. We decided to head back home instead. From Rokko Station we took the train as usual back home. Conclusion: Nice autumn, arts exhibition was rather boring especially due to the bad weather and the view over Kobe and Osaka was interesting even though it was foggy.