Hello Kobe! Not Kobe Bryant. Kobe. One of the ten biggest cities in Japan.
For our last destination in Japan, we made a stop over to this beautiful city in Hyogo Prefecture. We took the Shin-Kobe Ropeway to the Nunobiki Herb Gardens, we visited ≪Kobe Misterious Consulate of Trick Art≫ in Kitano-cho, we enjoyed a nice stroll in the streets of Sannomiya and the Motomachi area, went window shopping at Mediterrasse, and we tasted the most amazing Kobe steak in my life.
Shin-Kobe Ropeway & Nunobiki Herb Gardens
The ropeway is open year-round and the hours are from 10:00AM to 5:00PM on weekdays and 10:00AM to 8:30PM on weekends, national holidays, as well as the period between July 20th to August 31st. Admission ends 15 minutes right before closing time. Entrance fee is ¥1,400 (~$16 CAD) round trip plus admission to the herb garden, ¥900 (~$10) for one way and admission to the herb garden, or ¥800 (~$8.95) round trip after 5:00PM.
Each ropeway car provides panoramic view of Kobe City and the Seto Inland Sea, which stretches all the way to the Osaka area. The ride is 10 minutes and Nunobiki Herb Gardens lies at the top. Its hours are from 10:00AM to 5:00PM and it is also open year-round. Admission for the garden alone is ¥200 (~$2.20).
View Rest House
Entering Mori no Hall (Concert Hall in Forest) & the Fragrance Museum.
The garden grows different flowers at various times of the year. Here is a breakdown of their seasonal flowers: http://www.japan-ryokan.net/kobeherb/en/index2.html.
Overlooking the Glasshouse.
出合いの門 – Gate of the Encounter
愛の像 – Image of Love
The garden was huge, it was ginormous. It is Japan’s largest herb garden and is actually composed of 14 smaller gardens. There are approximately 200 types of 75,000 herbs/flowers blooming throughout the year. We unfortunately only had the opportunity to see some of the gardens and it was such a shame because the herbs here, the flowers here, they were beautiful! Not to mention the breath taking panoramic view of the city! Definitely a great spot for a romantic date or in general an amazing activity choice for flower lovers.
Mediterrasse in Sannomiya/Motomachi
Mediterrasse is a shopping center located about a 5-minute walk from Sannomiya Station or a 1-minute walk from Motomachi Station. We didn’t come here for shopping though, we came here to sightsee because Mediterrasse is actually a very unique architectural spectacle known for replicating the old streets of Southern France Marseilles. There was another side as well, but we somehow missed it. Regardless, it was still quite the interesting sight to see this lined against Kobe’s urban city designs.
Kobe Beef at Mouriya
For our last meal in Japan, we went all out and enjoyed ourselves at Mouriya in Sannomiya. The waiter recommended us to try their sirloin and tenderloin and I don’t recall their respective grades or portion, but it was A4 and A5 for sure and most likely 120g and 160g in size.
Appetizers of the night.
Kobe feef refers to beef raised from the Tajima strain of Wagyu cattle. It is well-marbled and fatty, very tender, and extremely exquisite in taste. This was my first time trying Kobe beef and I was in awe. I’d never tasted anything like it and it put all the steaks I’ve had in my life to shame. It was absolutely delightful and was just so beautiful I wanted to cry. Well, figuratively speaking of course.
The chef gave us several types of seasonings to try, but I preferred it best with just a bit of salt and pepper. The grilled vegetables were delicious as well and I’m not a big garlic person, but these grilled garlic chips were uh-mazing.
As for the price… Like I said, I don’t exactly remember the details of what we ordered, but I’d say around ¥22,000 (~$246.50) at least. I’ll leave the restaurant’s official website link ≪here≫ and they have online menus so give it a look if you are interested.
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Now next time you plan a trip to Kobe and don’t know what to do, give these places I mentioned above a try. Also, check out my Japan vlog if you haven’t already.