Thursday, September 17, 2015

Japan (2013) Day 4: Kitano-cho of Kobe

Date Visited: 13 October 2013

The first half of the day both mommy and I spent touring around Himeji Castle and Kokoen Garden, then we continued to the next city, Kobe. Just mention about Kobe and instantly remind of Kobe Beef. Unfortunately, our mission to there not for the sake of world's priciest and signature marbled beef cause we can't have it due to religion belief (that's too bad) but solely for sightseeing and wandering around the city. 

Japan - JR Kobe Station
#1: Welcome to the sophisticated city of Kobe

What To Do & See In Kobe
There are plenty of things to do and see in this attractive city:
  • Harborland - popular waterfront area
  • Kobe Port Tower
  • Mount Rokko
  • Sun Yat-Sen Museum and Akashi Kaikyo Bridge
  • Nankin Machi (Kobe Chinatown)
  • Kitano Foreigners' Residences 
We arrived at JR Sannomiya Station and when we queries the helpful and friendly JR staff, the nearest attraction at the point was Kitano Foreigners' Residences. In order to reach there, the JR staff advised us to take City Loop Bus instead. 

Japan - Kobe City Loop
#2: City Loop Bus Station bound for Kitano area

What's City Loop Bus
City Loop Bus is a green colour bus with retro design that circulates around the city of Kobe for about one stopping at popular tourist spots including Kitano Foreigners' Residence, Shin-Kobe, Sannomiya, Motomachi, Nankimachi and Harborland. During the ride, the city loop guide explains various sightseeing spots. A day pass with the cost of 660 yen is available inside the bus. You can opt for single trip too which cost 260 yen and pay upon existing the bus. 

Single Trip = 260 yen
Day Pass = 660 yen

And what so special of Kitano-cho? This is where many early foreign settles to Kobe took up residences in Kitano after Port of Kobe was opened to foreign trade in the second half of the 19th century. Some of their old western-style houses and former mansion still exist and open to the public as museums. Most of them charge an admission fee between 550 to 750, while combination tickets are available to see these multiple houses. 

Japan - Kobe 01 Kitano
#3

Japan - Kobe 02 Kitano
#4

Japan - Kobe 03 Kitano
#5

Japan - Kobe 04 Kitano
#6: Moegi House - National Important Cultural Property 

Japan - Kobe 05 Kitano
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Japan - Kobe 06 Kitano
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Japan - Kobe 07 Kitano
#9: Spotted London underground sign

Japan - Kobe 09 Kitano
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Japan - Kobe 11 Kitano
#11

The entire district is a pleasant and enjoyable to walk through, although there were some part where we had to dread ourselves up the sloppy and steep hill. Majority of these colourful houses were well preserved and maintained in the original form even after so many years. You can see houses including England House, France House, Italian House, Denmark House, Holland House and more. Besides those houses, Kitano-cho offers abundant of restaurants, cafes and boutiques. No surprise this area attract aplenty of young Japanese couples spending their sweet little time here. 

Japan - Kobe 08 Kitano
#12: Kobe's signature dessert - sweet and custardy Kobe Pudding

Back to the City Loop Bus, we only found out the last service ended around 6pm which indicates that we don't have sufficient of time to explore the rest. Honestly to say, spend at least a full day in Kobe, not half day like us did.  

Japan - Kobe 10 Kitano
#13: Kobe is also well-known for its delicious Western style sweets and desserts.

Japan - Kobe Ramen
#14: Ended our day with scrumptious ramen for dinner

How To Get To Kobe
Kobe is located 20 minutes away from Osaka, 50 minutes from Kyoto and 40 minutes from Himeji with JR trains. Apart from JR West Kansai Area Pass or Kansai Thru Pass, another alternative passed you can opt is Hankyu Tourist Pass (1 Day Pass for 700 yen and depart from Osaka Umeda) or Hanshin Tourist Pass (1 Day Pass for 500 yen and depart from Osaka Umeda/Namba). These passes are available in Kansai Tourist Information Center Kansai International Airport.

Next Post >>> Day 5: Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan

3 comments:

  1. Kobe looks lovely.... very inspiring entry for me to revisit Japan :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Wow, the view in Kobe is so beautiful!

    ReplyDelete
  3. good info, nicely captured photos. sharing my photos as well of
    Kitano City District

    ReplyDelete

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