Tuesday – April 11, 2017
I started the day getting up early, as I usually do, and writing the blog post for yesterday. After that I woke up the boys and once they were ready, we figured out a game plan for the day.
We left the apartment by 10am and got breakfast at Y and A, our local breakfast spot. We then walked to the train station were, upon getting on the platform, we split ways. Pete went to the Glion Auto Museum and Dan and I went to the Nara Deer Park.
Nara Deer Park
Our train ride took about an our and we arrived at 12pm. We then walked to the park. Along the way, as we got closer, we started seeing deer on the sidewalk. The closer we got, the more deer we saw. Eventually we reached a little stand where you could buy snacks to feed the deer. Dan bought a thing of snacks and was immediately surrounded by deer. He started feeding them the snacks but they were pretty aggressive; one even bit him.
Dan feeding the deer at Nara
After that we made our way into the park where we walked around for a bit. The one cool thing was that the deer are so accustom to seeing people bow at them, that if you bow, they will bow their head in return. There wasn’t very much to see there and the weather was kind of shitty so after a about an hour of walking around we were ready to go.
We got on a 12:56pm train back to Nippombashi. The ride back was only about 45 minutes. From there we took the train to the Tsutenkaku Tower.
Walking from the train station to Tsutenkaku Tower
Though from the outside it looked old and cool, the tower itself was really tacky and filled with weird stuff. It’s hard to explain but I really didn’t like it. To top it off, the tower wasn’t very tall so the views were only ok.
Dan and I basically raced through the place and the only thing I literally got out of it was a small box of Pocky. After that we made our way on foot to the Nanbayasaka shrine. There we met up with Pete. We also met these two Canadian tourists who were cool and whom we may meet up with again in Tokyo.
Lion’s head at Nanbayasaka Shrine
From there we walked to the subway Pete had taken to meet us. We took the train to Shin-Osaka to switch to the JR to Kobe. On the platform we were trying to to figure out which train we needed to take. A native must have seen that we were struggling and asked if we needed help. We told him we were trying to go to Kobe and he informed us that we we in fact at the right platform and that the next train would work for us.
We took the train to one of the stations in Kobe and started to exit the station. However, I informed Dan of my game plan and so we then had to get back on a train heading in the same direction to get to the station we wanted.
When we arrived at Shinnagata station, we had one mission, find the Gigantor (from Tetsujin 28) giant robot statue. We started walking the right way, thanks to Dan, but then, thanks to me, we ended up going to the wrong way. Eventually, we got on track and found Gigantor.
Gigantor from Tetsujin 28-go Manga
We spent about 10 minutes getting pictures with him before splitting for food. We walked through one of the many shopping streets we’ve come across. We were in search of a spot to get some famous Kobe beef for dinner.
However, when we realized that we were nowhere near any of the restaurants we had looked up on Google, we made our way back to the train.
After getting off the train and walking a few blocks away, we found ourselves on a side street that was littered with restaurants. We walked to the one we had looked up but it was way too expensive. We walked to a second one but it too was pricey. We then just walked in the next place that looked decent and relatively inexpensive.
Kobe Port Tower and the Kobe Maritime Museum
The place we found did serve beef, but it served all the parts that are unappealing. At least unappealing when you read it off a menu. I’m sure intestine and tongue are delicious, but I don’t want to know that’s what I’m eating. We eventually all found something on the menu that satisfied all of us and everything we ate was really good.
However, the pre-search for food combined with being hangry, combined with not being able to agree on where to eat had led to some tension. This however was solved at a nearby pastry shop Isuzu Bakery where we all grabbed a few items for dessert.
Kobe Meriken Park Oriental Hotel
Next we made our way down to the port where we got great views of the Kobe Maritime Museum, the Kobe Port Tower and The Kobe Meriken Oriental Hotel. We walked around the port area for a bit, grabbing pictures of the aforementioned things lit up in the night. Pete and I even checked out the lobby of the hotel which was dope.
After chillin’ in the port area for a while, we decided to go back to one of the bars we had passed on the way to the port. The bar was called Brugge. Dan and I liked that they sold craft beer. He got in Asahi Dark and I got a Kobe Lager which was very light. I mainly got it because it was a local brew and because it was seemingly made just for the bar we were at.
After finishing our drinks it was kind of late so we went straight back to the Air BnB. I was cooked. Partially because we had had a long day and partially because beer makes me sleepy I conked out the second we got back to the room.