Kyoto trip

Well, spent one day in Kobe, one day Nara, one day Osaka, two days Kyoto.

I wasnt sure whether to go to Kobe or not. The guidebook said there wasnt much there for the tourist. But, I went along anyway, purely because people have told me its a beautiful city and I was curious to visit this place where the terrible earthquake happened in 1995. The earthquake that made me open my eyes to Japan, and in turn, made me love Japanese culture. 10 years ago.

I loved it. Injinkan street with the Eikoku kan house (English house) ;) Union Jacks-a-flying! Hey, I might be in Japan, but sometimes its nice to see something non-Japanesey. Especially as Im satying in Kyoto with 2,000 temples..., me, a non-temple fan.. ;) (Modern Japan is my thing)

Meriken Park was lovely. It was a BAKING HOT day, so the cool sea breeze and the sit under a tree was GORGEOUS. I never went up Kobe Port Tower, Ive seen lots of city scapes etc - Tokyo, Kyoto, London, France, Hong Kong, Sapporo... After a while, it all looks the same. The Earthquake memorial both here and in another nearby park was ... sad. To see what the earthquake did. To see the names of those who died.

It got me thinking - was their a tsunami of any kind in the Great Hanshin Earthquake?

I was excited to see a branch of the Hong Kong Store, Giordano in Motomachi Shopping Arcade. ;) Wonder if theres a U*Right anywhere?? If you are in the Kyoto area, its about a fiver to get to Kobe, about an hour by train. It IS a beautiful city. Kobe:s well worth the visit, ignore what your guidebook says.

As for Nara, the day I went was 30degrees. I was wearing jeans and not in a good mood. I was too hot to enjoy anything. I didnt put suntan lotion on, so my shoulders were turning red-raw, and I was hungry. The place itself is nice -I only went around the Nara Park area, seeing the Todaiji temple etc. Guess its best to go to Nara on a good day - park. Maybe its because I was too hot, or maybe its because Im not really a fan of temples, Nara was just OK for me. Nothing exciting. If I want to see old Japan, Im staying in Kyoto, why go Nara?
...The deers were nice though ;)

Will post pix when I return home.


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