Kobe Day Trip!

August 23, 2022

I always wanted to visit Kobe but we always had other things to do. Finally, I made it to Kobe with my husband. We woke up early and took the train from Osaka to Kobe. We went to Umeda Station first before changing to Hankyu line. It took us 30 minutes to get to Kobe. I really love taking the train in Japan.

Our first stop was Chinatown. It was amazing. It was a whole street full of food vendors selling buns, roast duck, xiao long bao, etc. 

We walked around and started sampling the food on the street. Check out what we ate here. 

After eating, we walked along another long shopping street. We found a stationary store. I bought some pens for my sister and I bought myself watercolour paper. 

We passed by this clothing store and I immediately wanted the blue swallow sweater that you see in this picture. I tried it on. And it fits and the material of the sweater was really soft. I bought it! 
The small independent stores in Japan are mostly cash only (no credit cards) so I burn through my cash so quickly. Make sure you always carry cash with you. 
I took this picture for Keiko. It has her initial. 
We walked to the port to take pictures. Not much happening here. 
We didn't stay too long at the port because we walked up the hill to Kitano Tenman Shrine. 
This is one of the major Shinto shrines in Kobe. It was fun to explore. Look at the view from the top. Also, we found plum trees blooming. 
I love how quiet it is in Japan. You can be in a bustling city but you will never hear people shouting or being loud. 
We found some unusual houses in Kitano square. The Former Thomas House was the residence of the German trader Godfried Thomas back in the early 1900s. As the only western building in the area that has a weathercock on the roof, its Japanese name is Weathercock Mansion.

The old houses are now museums. It's interesting to see European style architecture in Japan. 

One day in Kobe is not enough to see everything but it was worthwhile to have a day trip. Just walk around, eat, and see some sights. Next time, I will be more prepared and maybe even stay for a night or two. 

What I Ate: Kobe, Japan

July 20, 2022

A day trip in Kobe is not complete without going to Nankimachi (Kobe's Chinatown). 

It's a whole street filled with food vendors. It was so exciting to walk down the street and also see food. We were in heaven looking at the different types of food that each vendor is cooking. Our first order of business was just to walk down the street once and figure out which food we should try. 

Our first choice was the pork belly buns. Looked too good to resist it. 

The pork belly was cooked for a long time. It was very soft and delicious! 
Peking duck wrap! Oh man, this was really really good ;)
And of course, we had to get xiao long bao. It was perfect to eat since it was cold. 
We found this food stand with a line. Immediately, joined the line. I love eating croquettes. We got curry, beef, and pork. 

Seafood Lunch at Makishi Public Market

June 24, 2022

Our last day in Okinawa was a lot of fun! We had a seafood feast at Makishi Public Market. It's a seafood market on the first floor and restaurants on the second floor. 

We found a restaurant upstairs and sat on tatami mats to eat our lunch. I ordered a sashimi set. My husband ordered a chirashi bowl with tuna and sea grapes. I never heard of sea grapes before but they are everywhere in Okinawa. It's a type of seaweed that grows around Okinawa. It's good for your health because it's packed with minerals. And it's fun to eat! 

Keiko ordered tofu with pork. We ended up sharing our food so we could taste each item. Love the pre-covid days! 

The seafood was of course amazing and it was so cheap. My set was only ¥1,200 yen ($13 CAD). You can't get that price here in Toronto. 

We were enjoying our lunch and just minding our own business when 3 guys sat beside our table. 

They started talking to us (mostly in Japanese so Keiko had to translate). They ordered beer and a big sashimi boat. They bought the seafood at the market on the first floor and the restaurant prepared it for them for a fee. 
They were really friendly and nice to us. They shared their seafood with us. They gave us oysters, unni and lobster sashimi. They offered to buy us drinks.  

Okinawans are really friendly. They are very open to talk to strangers which is surprising because I find most Japanese people are shy and they mind their own business unless you approach them first. 

Fun Adventures in Naha, Okinawa

June 10, 2022

Our flight was cancelled so we drove to Naha to sort out our flights. My husband called Customer Service but they were not very helpful so we had to go to the source in order to sort out our plans. 

We drove in a torrential downpour from Onna to Naha. Poor Keiko was driving and it was scary on the road with the heavy rain. 

We made it to Onna and we went to the airport directly to speak to the counter agents at Jetstar. They were really nice. We were all offered a flight the next day with free hotel and food voucher. We were supposed to all go to Osaka together and Keiko was supposed to stay with us for 1 night. But she decided to stay with us in Naha for 1 more night and fly back directly to Nagoya. 

We had 1 night together before we had to go our separate ways again so we made the best of it. 

Our first stop was lunch. We found this small restaurant close to our hotel. I remember eating the best rice bowl with pork here. Maybe I was just super hungry but it was really delicious! 

We walked around the touristy main street of Naha. Lot of stores and restaurants. And of course we have to stop by the pharmacy. I still regret not buying this kawaii backpack. 

Keiko and I found this cake shop where they make Baumkuchen which means tree cake in German. Not sure how it became popular in Japan but we were intrigued. It's made in a spit which is how it looks like tree rings. I don't know how long it takes to make Baumkuchen but I wanted to eat it. We got a slice and took it back to our hotel and we both demolished it. 

Also, finally tried Blue Seal ice cream. I tried the Okinawan sea salt flavour. It was good but nothing to get excited about. 


This was our eating day adventure and we found a dumplings restaurant. 

We sat on the tatami floor and Keiko ordered for us. We basically copied what people ordered besides us, haha. We got dumplings, pigs ears, veggies, and cucumbers. We also ordered lemon whisky highball (the best!!!). 


The restaurant was really fun. I don't speak Japanese but the atmosphere was great.        

After eating, we walked around some more and found another izakaya. We ordered more whisky highballs and ordered liver sashimi. Oh man, it was soo good. 

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