It was Thursday in the afternoon. The wind was quite strong that day due to the typhoon. I was a bit worried if the typhoon would ruin my weekends. Fortunately, aside from the wind, everything was great. No rain, no cloud, and the sun shined brightly.
When I heard from my friends that they planned to go to Kobe in the weekends, I thought that it was a crazy thing to do. If I wanted to join, I needed to pack my things, to arrange a place for me to stay, and to buy the Shinkansen ticket as soon as possible. I needed to do everything within one day. No, I should have said within half day because I had to work on Friday. It's going to be a tough journey but I was sure that it's going to be a fun one. It's going to be a FUN one ! With that in my mind, I decided to join the fun.
Next day after work, I immediately went home, grabbed my bag, and headed to Tokyo to take the next Shinkansen to Kyoto. Kobe is quite close to Kyoto. It takes around an hour to go from Kyoto to Kobe by taking the Tokaido-San-Yo Line. Since one of my friends is living in Kyoto, I felt an obligation to stay at his place. Or maybe that's just an excuse because I couldn't find another place to stay. =)
I went out early in the morning to meet with my friends in Osaka. Osaka is located between Kyoto and Kobe.
Folks who use Suica will be happy to know that they can use their Suica card in JR lines. Unfortunately, other than JR, the Suica is useless. So it's better to get Icoca card for your convenience.
Our first stop was Shin-Nagata station. You can see the reason why we went there in the next photo.
The famous 1:1 scale of Tetsujin 28! Tetsujin 28-go was the first manga to feature a giant robot. It was written and illustrated in 1956 by Mitsuteru Yokoyama. Tetsujin 28 is also known as "Gigantor" in America.
The statue has just been completed in the beginning of October 2009. It is also one of the reasons why I decided to go to Kobe. The height is 18 meters and it is located in Wakamatsu Park. The statue will be there permanently, so you can visit it anytime you want.
Truth to be told, I was a bit disappointed with it. The colors were not as good as I hoped. It was not as cool as what I expected. The Odaiba Gundam is way much better than Tetsujin 28. Or maybe it's because I don't have connection with Tetsujin 28 as much as I do with Gundam.
Next stop was the Kobe Harborland. Kobe Harborland is a really beautiful section of the city of Kobe.
The view from the port was absolutely gorgeous.
Danbo couldn't resist posing in the port. It's been a while since I brought him with me. Due to accident, he was hospitalized with broken arm for a while. It's good to be able to do traveling with him again. ^^
Don't know what this is. It looks like you can buy the marker and write anything you want on the brick.
As always, you could expect to see some cute drawings in here.
It's a dream come true for Danbo to be able to travel again.
The Harborland is also home to the famous Kobe Port Tower. With the height of 108 meters, this red steel tower is a famous tourists attraction.
One group photo before we left the port.
The next stop was Motomachi, the China Town. The China Town was quite similar to the one in Yokohama.
If you go to a tourist spot in Japan, I recommend you to visit the tourist information center first. Here we got the Kobe Welcome Coupon for free (after filling in the questionnaire) which give us discount for all the tourist places.
Our next stop was Ijinkan. Ijinkan is a historical district in Kobe which contains a number of foreign residences from the late Meiji and early Taishō eras. You could see and enter a lot of foreign houses such as the English House, Holland House, Uroko House, Denmark House, and so on. It costs from 300 to 1000 yen per house if you want to enter it. We spotted one of the fanciest looking Starbuck there.
By the time we got there, it was already 4 PM. We didn't have much time left so we decided to go to the English House. Inside the English house, you can do a little bit of cosplaying. =)
And more importantly, there was a replica of Sherlock Holmes' sitting room over there !!
Is that Irene Adler's photo I see there ?
I had an urge to take that pipe. :)
Tired from all the walking, we decided to take a rest for a while in the garden.
No matter how tired we are, we should never let it stop us from taking a good photo.
Our journey was far from over. We strolled down the street a bit to enjoy the city view.
I could smell the love in the air.
A cute sankaku (3D) flower.
Our last stop was the Rokko Mountain.
You need to take a cable car and a bus in order to go there. You could use the Kobe Welcome Coupon here.
It was cold and the wind was strong, but the view was too amazing to be missed.
And that's the end of my one day Kobe trip. My legs were tired from all the walking. Unfortunately, I still had some places I wanted to visit on the next day. But that will be the story for the next post. See you on the next post !