30 October, 2013

Kobe's little Europe: A walk in Kitano Ijinkan

Situated mere 15 minutes away from Sannomiya station, the Kitano Ijinkan, or Foreign Residences, are the beautifully-preserved houses of well-off foreign traders and diplomats who lived in Kobe city in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. There are many stylish stores and restaurant in the area around those homes that makes the area one of the iconic attractions in the city today. 

16 July, 2013

Japanese baseball game experience at the Hanshin Koshien Stadium.

Baseball sounds very much American thing. However, I can assure you now that Japanese baseball game is more entertaining than that of the USA. The Hanshin Tigers baseball club in Hyogo, known as the Tigers, has Japan’s most passionate sporting supporters. Their famous home stadium Hanshin Koshien Stadium was built in 1924, where is also a famous ground of the National High School Baseball Championship. I’ll introduce some tips to enjoy baseball experience at the Hyogo’s most visited place with their biggest match of the season against the Yomiuri Giants.

26 June, 2013

Kobe Harborland: Umie

Big attraction in Kobe has opened last month. Kobe’s top tourist destination Kobe Haborland has added new tourist attractions into the area. New shopping mall Umie and Kobe Anpanman Children’s Museum has opened and become a new family day-out destination. I’d like to introduce a bit of it today, starting off at JR Sannomiya station.

30 April, 2013

Himeji: The Road to Engyo-ji Temple on Mt. Shosha.

Written by Yuka
Himeji Castle is undoubtedly the most iconic attraction of Himeji City, Hyogo. At present, the Japan’s greatest castle has been under five-year restoration process. Some of you, therefore, might hesitate to visit Himeji due to the construction. Well, Himeji is a gem and they have plenty to offer other than the castle. I’d like to introduce some of Himeji’s charms today. One place that is definitely worth a pilgrimage is Engyo-ji Temple on Mt. Shosha which is a film location of the Hollywood movie The Last Samurai. Here’s guide and some tips to enjoy a journey to the thousand-year old temple. 

Himeji can be easily reached by JR or Sanyo Railways from Kobe/Sannomiya or Osaka. When you get to JR Himeji Station, you’ll spot a nice tourist information center. Guides and maps of foreign languages, and Internet are available here. Friendly staff are on hand to offer you helpful advice and information to help you make the most of your trip.

Hungry in the morning?

05 March, 2013

Celebrate the Chinese New Year in Kobe Nankinmachi.

Hi readers! How did you celebrate the New Year's Day? China celebrates the Chinese New Year as the most important celebration in the Chinese calendar, letting off firecrackers and performing lion dances and dragon dances. Nankinmachi in Kobe has been hosting the Spring Festival with their own twist for the last 27 years.

The Chinese New Year’s Day of 2013 was February 10 and Nankinmachi held the festival from February 2 to 17. One of the highlights of the festival a parade featuring Chinese historical figures, in which people dress up in clothes and makeup from Beijing Opera or the Chronicle of the Three Kingdom, was held on February 10. There are some other great performances each day during the celebration.

Jalan Besar Community Club who won the Shanghai 4th World Dragon & Lion Dance Championships were invited to perform this year. Their 30 minutes stage was tremendously exciting. Even though it was a cold winter day here, the crowds were mesmerized by that performance.

Look how lively it was!

It really was like the dragon was alive! I saw the performance for the first time, and didn’t know how hard they worked inside of the dragon. Their teamwork was amazing.

Yummy part...
Mouthwatering Chinese foods on the street are something you can’t miss. There are limited foods exclusively available during the New Year’s celebration. There was also the New Year’s calligraphy. It was like a beautiful painting.

The Spring Festival  takes place every year in Nankinmachi, Kobe. Why don’t you join next year? Nankinmachi itself is open all year round, so you can enjoy the Chinatown at any time of the year.
Happy March,

28 January, 2013

Learn about the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake

What comes to mind when you think of the city of Kobe? Many people probably think of the sophisticated modern city with western influences that it is today. When you look at this beautiful city, it’s hard to imagine what it looked like 18 years ago when a huge earthquake devastated Kobe and the surrounding areas at dawn on January 17, 1995 and more than 6,000 people lost their lives.

I would like to introduce the best places to learn about that event.
The Disaster Reduction and Human Renovation Institution (The Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake Memorial), located in Chuo ward in Kobe, provides real insight into the tragedy and how the city managed to recover from the effects of the earthquake to come back as one of the most beautiful cities in Japan. It also has plenty of resources on disaster management and an earthquake simulation theater, both of which have contributed a lot to national and international disaster risk reduction.
Disaster Reduction and Human Renovation Institution
Recreation of the earthquake’s aftermath