This would be our last full day in Japan. The next morning we had to get up early to leave for Kansai International Airport. The Airbnb apartment was in a residential area, and there were not really any cafés Ottor liked around. So when we woke up we had breakfast at the apartment – a home cooked meal and some instant coffee was a lovely start of the day. Then we headed out for the day.
We took the bus to Harborland to see the harbour area and to enjoy a special coffee. The harbour area is quite nice with a boardwalk along the sea. There are plenty of small shops and restaurants overlooking the coast. There’s also a museum of Japanese’s animation Anpanman as well as a few carnival installations such as a Ferris wheel. We did not enter the Kobe Anpanman Children’s Museum & Mall but we walked along the boardwalk and soaked in the ocean breeze. The view is beautiful, and the atmosphere was quite nice.
It was time for Turtle’s coffee, and we had a special coffee place in mind located at the Harborland – Streamer Coffee Company. It’s a pretty hip coffee shop, and they have some quite interesting options on their menu. Turtle is a huge fan of the Korean Binggrae banana milk, so when he saw that they had Banana milk Latte then of course he had to try that. Ottor had a strawberry latte, and both shared a doughnut with a seaweed tasting army glaze. The coffee and the doughnut was an interesting experience. It all was very sweet, but still quite good so we consumed everything. Though we would prefer normal coffee over this sweet fruit induced coffee.
Next up we went to Kobe Chinatown. Though on the way we found some very cute clothing stores that Ottor could not resist to check out. She found quite a few nice outfits that even Turtle would agree looked very good on her. We continued to Chinatown. It was a lively street with a lot of different street food. We tried a couple of cool looking dumplings. We thought that the one with chicken face would have chicken meat and the one with a pig face would have pork meat. That would make sense, right? Though we were very wrong. The chicken was filled with custard and the pig was filled with red bean paste. It was very tasty, if we didn’t had a really nice dinner plan later that day we would probably have eaten many more.
From there on we went to Don Quiote, which is a pretty strange store. They sell everything, and they sell so much strange stuff, and they’re also quite cheap. You get everything from candy, to clothes, to electronics. Ever wanted to try Sake flavoured Kit Kat? You will get it at Don Quiote!
Once we were done shopping, we jumped on the train to Mikage Station and travelled to Rokkomichi Station. We were going to travel with the Rokko Cable Car to see Mount Rokko (932 m). We had pre-purchased a Rokkosan tourist pass which we highly recommend doing it, as it covers the bus to the cable car, the cable car, the bus on top of the mountain, then back again all the way to the train station. We took the cable car, which was a nice ride in itself. It was quite steep and crawled up the mountain into the forest.
The view from the top was amazing. Both from the top of the cable car as well as at a few other locations along the bus ride at the top. We took the bus to an observatory on the other side of the mountain. Unfortunately we were a bit late so we missed the sunset. We were in a bit of a rush once we got there, as we had a dinner reservation and the bus only runs every half hour. We only had 5 minutes at the observatory, and had to run to catch the bus for the way back.
By now you have probably guessed what our dinner was this evening. When in Kobe, OF COURSE we would have Kobe beef. We had a reservation at Misono Kobe. This place is actually quite close to Chinatown, so we went back the exact same way we came from. We were seated at a teppanyaki with huge windows behind the chef. Misono is located quite a few floors up in the building, so the view from our spot was astonishing. We ordered 200g of Kobe beef for JPY24,000 with some different vegetable and rice side dishes. You do get cheaper Kobe beef in Kobe, but this was premium quality even for Kobe beef and also prepared perfectly. The experience was mind blowing. The chef had such skill and control over what he was doing. We have eaten quite a loot of beef in our lives, but Kobe beef is a whole different experience. It’s like it’s a different kind of animal. The meat is so juicy and tasty, it’s like a savoury bomb that explode in your mouth the moment you put your teeth into it. The tenderness is exquisite, you could cut the meat with a spoon if you wanted to. The feeling of biting into a piece of this meat was a mix between happiness, joy, but also sadness. It’s sad because this beef made us realise we will not eat as good beef until we are back in Japan, and who knows when that will be. Knowing that there will be so many disappointing beef moments when knowing what beef can actually taste like, was a bid sad. However, it also made us treasure each piece and each moment of this meal a lot more. In this paragraph when I write “we” and “us” I should probably state that it’s Turtle that had this euphoric Kobe beef experience with the feelings as described.
Once we were finished with our amazing meal we headed back to our Airbnb apartment. The day had been a wonderful with a lot of new impressions. This was our last full day in Japan. The morning after we had to take the plane to Seoul which is where Ottor lives, and Turtle’s second home. Hence, the rest of the evening was spent packing and preparing for the departure next morning. This is hardly exciting, so we won’t bother you with writing about our packing journey. Turtle had walked 17,428 steps this day, while Ottor walked 19,980.
When we went to bed we were in a state of reflection with mixed feelings. On the one hand, we had experienced so much interesting / fun / new things this trip and we had created memories that we will cherish for the rest of our lives. These are experiences that we were grateful for, and made us happy. On the other hand, this was our last day in Japan for now. Thinking that our adventuring had to be put on hold until our next trip gave us a feeling of disappointment. We would soon have to go back to our regular every day lives, in a way back to reality.
Thank you for tagging along with us during our trip. We hope to see you in the next one!
Good night, Turtle and Ottor out!