While Ruth, Jonas and I were in the Kansai area we also just had to pay Kobe a visit again, of course. I think it’s a pretty sure thing to say that Kobe is my favourite city in Japan and I wanted them both to get a glimpse of it. But considering that I’ve already written two articles about Kobe on this blog (3/2010, 5/2011) I didn’t want to repeat stuff and chose a few photos, which show a few different things than before.
The first is the Ikuta shrine, which I seem to have left out so far, which is quite a shame. While this one is definitely not the biggest and most impressive shrine in Japan, it is one of the oldest and is also dedicated to the patron saint of Kobe. It is said to have been founded in the 3rd century by the Japanese Empress Jingū after her return from fighting in Korea, but noone knows for sure.
As you can see in the picture, we had really nice and pleasant weather and we even were a bit lucky, because there was some Shinto ritual going on inside the main hall. Of course we didn’t enter, but it was interesting to watch it for a bit. The priest was chanting in front of the altar and also performing a ritual cleaning of the guy sitting in the front row later. I have no idea what exactly this was about, but it’s also not the first time that I was able to observe religious practices in Japan. So the traditional religion is still pretty much alive here.
Of course we had to go to the port after that, but on the way we stumbled upon a small shop that I wouldn’t have expected there: a curry sausage snack bar! Besides the question, if the curry sausage was invented in Hamburg or Berlin, it definitely is a dish that is strongly linked with Hamburg in my mind and I definitely had to eat one! And it even tasted surprisingly good! The sauce was nearly perfact and only the sausage itself (although well-grilled) would have been better if they had used one of a different kind. Still really nice!
Now while I just mentioned us going to the port I’ll just skip this part here, because I didn’t make photos of things that you didn’t already see here. Instead I’ll do a small time jump and show you Kobe’s Chinatown at night, as I found that to be really nice place to be and the atmosphere seemed to be different than from the daytime.
Just look at the nice illumination and compare the plaza to the daytime when it’s totally crowded and you’ll notice how much more relaxed it is. Of course, the people wanting to sell their foods were still screaming like mad because it seems to be the thing to do, but it was still more enjoyable, I think.
Still, walking around all day, we were a bit exhausted in the evening and Jonas would also be leaving the next day to travel to Kyoto an his own while Ruth and I were going to travel to Mt. Fuji again. So the next day we brought Jonas to the station and spent some time in the city on our own before planning to catch the night bus in the evening. And we met up with Yoshino and Yannik in a nice café in Kobe, which had a relaxed atmosphere and a whole small bamboo forest in front of the entry. It was nice meeting them again
Did I mention I really like Kobe?