Sunday, October 23, 2016

Japan September 2016 - Part 12 Kobe

The end of our trip was approaching... We continued our journey to Kobe city, of course mainly to have Kobe Beef. We arrived at Kobe's Sannomiya Station at around dinner time, and we headed to our dinner place right away. It was a good thing I've already decided where we were going to eat in advance. Our dinner of choice was beef steak and beef roast bowl at Red Rock that was a short walking distance from the station. There was a short lineup when we arrived but the line moved very quickly. The did not have a lot of things on their menu, and you simply order through a vending machine. We had opted for a small roast beef bowl and a small steak bowl at 800 yen each. Our food arrived within 2 minutes time and they were both delicious. I personally would like it to be more salty but that was just my preference.

Steak rice bowl

Roast beef bowl

After dinner, we walked to our hotel. Or so we thought! I had booked Kobe Motomachi Tokyu REI hotel but we had gone to Kobe Tokyu REI hotel instead. Oh well, a little extra exercise for us!

Kobe was hit by a huge earthquake in 1995 known as the Great Hanshin Earthquake. Thus, most of the buildings in Kobe were relatively new. As a remembrance of the disaster, in December they have "Kobe Luminaire," an illumination event on the street near this Daimaru building.

Kobe Motomachi Tokyu REI hotel seemed newer than the Kobe Tokyu REI hotel, at least based on their reception appearance. It was very similar to the Hiroshima location. From 3 pm to midnight everyday, their lounge was open and offered complimentary coffee, tea, and soft drinks. Oh, remember the umbrellas we borrowed from the hotel in Hiroshima? Well since I didn't make it back to the hotel there, I returned the umbrella here. Hehe.

Kobe was a harbour city and was one of the first areas in Japan that opened up to foreigners. This is one of the reasons Kobe beef was more famous worldwide compared to other Japanese beef. As soon as we checked in and dropped off our luggages, we headed out and walked to Kobe Harbourland. It was just a few blocks away from our hotel. It was just not our luck that evening, as soon as we got there and pulled our camera out, it started raining. We ended up stuck under a roof for a while and when only drizzles were left, we walked back to the hotel.

The following morning, we went to Exelcior Cafe next to our hotel for breakfast. I wanted to save a lot of room for my planned Kobe steak lunch afterwards so I opted for a light breakfast.

View from the cafe

Breakfast for two

Kobe has one of very few Chinatowns in Japan. It was just a block away from our hotel (again, what good location!) so we decided to check it out. Well it felt really weird because in most Chinatowns I've been to, I would hear Chinese language being spoken. But not here, they all speak Japanese.

From Chinatown, we walked a block further to Kobe Motomachi Shopping Street. After several shopping streets on this trip, they all started to look about the same. They did have some nice decorations here as well.

Owl cafe

In Jakarta, we have several outlets of Maquis Cheesecake. It was originally from Kobe. Well, I saw a Maquis store at the Motomachi Shopping street. :) They have a lot more variety of cakes and pastries!

While walking in the shopping arcade, I received a message from a friend from back in my first years of University. She saw my posts on Facebook and it turned out that she works in Kobe! Wow, that was very exciting, and we decided to meet up for lunch. She was so kind to go along with our lunch plan at Kobe Steakland, even though the line up was rather long. Near Sannomiya station, there are 2 Steakland locations. One on the street level and it was small, and one on the 6th floor of a building about a block away, but much larger. Sadly the line moved so slow that she had to go back to work before eating lunch. I felt bad..., but happy that I got to see her again!

Steakland Kobe has quite affordable lunch menu selection. We ordered a small Steak and Tender lunch set to share. The cost was about 3000 yen plus tax for both of us, so it wasn't bad at all. They were both good. 

Tender on the left and steak on the right (I assume tenderloin and sirloin?)

After lunch we headed towards the station and moved on to Osaka....
Stay tuned for the final post of this Japan September 2016 series!