Monday, January 26, 2009
On my way back from Himeji I made a quick stop in Kobe to look around a little bit. Kobe is a port city, below is the Kobe Port Tower.I'm not sure whats going on up their, but it looked kind like a restaurant. I was really excited to visit this city, it has a real art feel to it. The downtown is also centralized, kind of like the loop in Chicago (Tokyo, Nagoya, Kyoto... are all kind of spread out with out a clearly defined central district). This is also kind of geographic, one side of downtown is the pacific ocean and the other side is pushed up against mountains. I did not make an effort to try the famous Kobe beef on this visit, I was kind of in a rush and wanted to save this dining option for sometime in the future. What I did find was a street fair, I noticed this party as I pulled into Kobe station on a JR train. This was fun, when you visit this kind of street fair in Ann Arbor or Fremont you get a good mix of people pushing art, food, music and games where you spin a wheel for a gold fish. In Kobe, 95% of the stands were serving food the the remaining 5% of the booths were being ignored or selling accessories for your cell phone and Wii. I'm not sure what it's called, but the guy below is making bread molded to look like a fish and filled with azuki (red bean). I had about 5 of these.The girl below is making a little bit of everything, all in one serving. By the time I found this booth, I was full with red bean.I was not sure why they were having this street festival, but after walking around a little bit I started to find shrines full of people behind the food stands and I think this had something to do with the new year. Below are people getting ready to enter the shrine.Inside, they had this really elaborate tea ceremony. They girl serving the tea to the family sitting in front of the stage first did a 5 minute dance while people around her were playing drums. It was not cheap to get a cup of tea.