A Travellerspoint blog

Kobe

sunny 20 °C

I was here for a couple of days without once feeling the urge to see a temple, unless you count this

P1000747.jpg

It is Nishamura's Coffee House, and quite the local icon, having been in business for more than 50 years, owned by the same family throughout. I had a long wait for a table, despite the bottom two floors (at least) being given over to the cafe. Its not exactly a casual place - the waiters had a silver service level of formaility, and the menu was an eleborate affair, with lots of different ways to get your coffee (all VERY expensive), fancy cakes and combinations of the two. I ended up with a cake and a filter coffee, and occupied myself with people watching: a few tourists like myself, but the bulk of the custom seemed to come from well-heeled locals.

After wandering the town for a bit, curiosity got the better of me. I was checked in to a capsule hotel, and they were very strict about not letting me in until after 3:00. Since it was well after that, I had to go. The first floor communal area was very much like a communal area in a backpackers - internet, comfy chairs, TV's, food vending machines - with one minor difference: a bath the size of a small swimming pool out the back. Upstairs was the sleeping area - my reading had led me to expect drawers, a bit like in a morgue, but it was nothing like that:
P1000783.jpg

I reckon I had more space than in many backpacker bunks

P1000784.jpg

and I even had my own TV (at least I thought I did - turns out it was not functioning)

P1000785.jpg

The thing that made staying in a capsule hotel very different from staying in a backpackers is that some of the guys (it was a men only space) would come out of the bath and pop into the communal space without troubling to robe themselves very carefully - finding me a little unprepared for so much naked Japanese man and leaving me a little nonplussed.

The centre of Kobe, around the railway station, didn't do much for me - lots of garish entertainment places - but I walked out towards the harbour and found it much more rewarding. There was another long covered alley between shops - I saw a place selling really good looking umbrellas (Kansai brand) but decided it would be too awkward to buy a bunch of umbrellas to carry for the rest of the trip, thinking I was bound to find another shop in Tokyo (I never did). Looking back into town from the pier, it could have been almost anywhere

P1000749.jpg

I was hanging about, enjoying the sun, doing a bit of reading when I heard some strange noises - music, engines, and someone speaking through a megaphone. Here are the engines I could hear

large_P1000750.jpg

I think it may have been this fellow with the megaphone

large_P1000753.jpg

He led off and then left them to dance

P1000756.jpg
P1000758.jpg
P1000762.jpg

I had no idea what they were up to but my brother could tell me that they are something of a utube sensation - they are training exercises for the Kobe motorcycle police
P1000771.jpg

There were a couple of examples of hi-tech marine craft nearby
P1000778.jpg
P1000781.jpg

as well as some much older examples
large_P1000782.jpg
large_P1000773.jpg

And that was Kobe, for me anyway.

Posted by NZBarry 20:56 Archived in Japan Tagged kobe

Email this entryFacebookStumbleUpon

Table of contents

Be the first to comment on this entry.

Comments on this blog entry are now closed to non-Travellerspoint members. You can still leave a comment if you are a member of Travellerspoint.

Enter your Travellerspoint login details below

( What's this? )

If you aren't a member of Travellerspoint yet, you can join for free.

Join Travellerspoint