February 20, 2024

Kobe Trip (Four Years Ago)

And so I am back, posting again on the same day as my last, puny post, with my first real post in four years but…

It is a post from 10 years ago that I never published! This draft has been setting in my site, waiting to see the light of day for ten years.

So here it is, ten years late.

And yes, I will be posting something new THIS YEAR, sooner than later. Stay Tuned!

August 2014

I recently had a trip to Kobe. It was the first time I had visited there since 1995, one month before the Great Hanshin earthquake.

In December of 2014, when I was living in Kochi city, I went to Kobe to take the Japanese Language Proficiency test level 2 (and I passed). Little did I know that one month later, the great earthquake would hit. As I watched the news about the earthquake on my television, I was horrified to see the destruction of places I had just visited, including the Sannomiya Center Street.

After 1995, when I moved back to Texas, I visited Japan several times, and have also lived there twice (including now). During all of those summer and fall visits, and also a period of living here for two years from 2007 – 2009, I never once visited Kobe again, even though it is one of my favorite cities in Japan.

So now after moving to Japan for the third time, I finally made it back to Kobe. This time it was for my summer, or Obon, vacation.

Why is Kobe one of my favorite cities? I like kobe because it is situated between mountains and the sea. Visually, it is a beautiful place. I also like the people of Kobe.  They have the straight forward characteristics of people from Kansai, but also have a unique Kobe charm of kindness and Hospitality.

My dates of travel were from August 14th to August 16th. I was given August 13th – August 17th off, and I chose to go one day after the summer travel rush started, and come back to Tokyo one day before the end of the vacation period to avoid some of the travel congestion. Even though I avoided the heaviest traffic days, it was still pretty hectic. I used the Tokkaido Shinkansen, or bullet train, for my travel to and from Kobe. For my lodging, I used my own companies’ service, Rakuten Travel. I was able to book a nice room with a queen bed at the Kobe Motomachi Tokyu Bizfort hotel. It was the first time that I had used my own companies’ service, and it was fun.

My hotel was located right next to Kobe’s China town, also known as Nanking Matchi. I was never around the area when I was actually hungry, so I didn’t eat any of the good morsels there, but it was fun to walk through it a few times for sight seeing.

On my first day in Kobe, I visited the Merikin Park in the harbor. There, I found the Memorial for the 1995 Great Hanshin earthquake. I felt a connection to it, since I was in Kobe before it hit, and also I felt the seismic waves myself.

Then after that, I had two more good days in this nice city. I went to a nice bar owned and run by a nice lady. I ate Kobe Beef at a local restaurant. I visited the husband of my friend I met in Dallas, but they moved back to Japan. My friend wasn’t available, so I had dinner with her husband, whom I also knew.

I also took a walk around the port. Overall, it was a great trip!

Filed under: Travel — Brad @ 9:54 pm

Wow, 4 years and NO Blog Entries?

My poor neglected site. No Posts in almost four years. This has got to stop. So… I will make a plan to have more regular blog posts.

Stay tuned as I come up with this plan.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Brad @ 7:38 am