Kobe

Port of Kobe @ Kobe, Japan

The meat is overrated, but the city is beautiful.

Stepping off the Shinkansen, we had no idea where we were going or even what Kobe had to offer besides beef.

JR Kobe @ Kobe, Japan
Kobe seems like a city that is very in touch with the earth. Ivy adorned many of the buildings. The skyscrapers here were few and far between.

Kobe Apartments @ JR Kobe, Japan
We tried to go on the ropeway but got there too late. It closes very early (4 or 5 if I recall correctly).

Rope @ Kobe Underground Food Mall, Japan
Having heard promising things about Kobe Harborland, we set our sights on that, figuring we could grab dinner and just walk around. We ended up walking around in some underground food mall in the hotel building adjacent to the JR station. The building is incredibly confusing to navigate.

Kobe Lanterns @ Kobe, Japan
We couldn’t figure out how to navigate the trains out there and evening was quickly approaching, so we took a taxi over to Kobe Harborland to not waste any time. It was a very expensive ride ($25 or so).

Kobe Harborland @ Kobe, Japan
Kobe Harborland is a cute seaside mall with some stores for kids, clothing boutiques and a bunch of restaurants. The Anpanman museum can be found in Kobe Harborland, as can the Ferris wheel.

Kobe Lighthouse @ Kobe Harborland, Japan
Love’s Post Box is located on the pier. It’s just a mailbox but a lot of couples come take pictures around it.

We totally forgot to take a picture in front of it! Perhaps next time…

Kobe Harborland @ Kobe, Japan
Though the pizza smelled great, we decided we couldn’t come to Kobe and leave without having eaten Kobe beef.

Ryu-en @ Kobe Harborland, Japan
It was evening, and we quickly found out that most of the restaurants had run out of their supplies of Kobe beef! We did find one that still had some on the upper level of the mall (“Ryu-en”), and it had a great view of the bay to boot. It was expensive as all hell though ($50/plate) which is probably why they were the only game left in town.

Ryu-en @ Kobe Harborland, Japan
You order your entree and they bring out a plate of raw meat chunks. Each table has its own tabletop grill. You skewer the meat and wave it in the fire just enough to sear it. Heat it any longer and it turns to leather.

Ryu-en Kobe Beef @ Kobe Harborland, Kobe, Japan
I did so and took my first bite. What the fuck is this?

Not saying anything about the restaurant (it was good in and of itself) but Kobe beef is pretty gross, and I say this after having savored the taste of (human?) flesh and having previously dined on offal. If you’re the sort of person who thinks Angus meat is anything special then you’d probably like Kobe beef; it’s incredibly rich and tastes really gamey. Seriously, the fat content is on par with American meat.

Ferris Wheel @ Kobe Harborland, Japan
We walked around the pier after eating, trying to burn that shit off. The Ferris wheel looked cool but none of us were up for going on it.

Kobe Harborland @ Kobe, Japan
On the way out we wandered for a while until we did successfully find a train station. We love how the Japanese leave Christmas-style lights up all year round. It makes everything seems so festive, regardless of the season.

Kobe Streets @ Kobe Harborland, Japan
By the end of the train ride my bowels had turned to liquid so I spent the rest of the evening catching up on all manner of world news in the comfort of our hotel’s porcelain office.

Johnny

Pro-family and anti-drug, when he's not too busy living with four beautiful ladies, he likes long walks on the beach and poking dead things with sticks.

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