Whilst in Osaka we decided to have a change of scenery and take a trip to Kobe for the day unfortunately it decided to rain that day and was one only rainy days we had during our whole stay in Japan but we didn't let it put us off too much although the plan to visit Mount Rokko had to be cancelled as that was probably more suited for a nicer day.
Ikuta Shrine was the first stop on out Kobe trip and just a short walk away from Kobe Sannomiya Station. Ikuta Shrine is like a peaceful sanctuary hidden behind a city of hi-rise buildings and despite the rain there were quite a few visitors that day giving thanks and praying.
As New Years Day was just over a week away then the shire was making preparations for new years and had a big painting of a monkey outside, in fact there were cute monkey decorations all over Japan. It was very beautiful there and I enjoyed the pond in the back and the little garden where you could write down your wishes and hang them on a tree.
After gaining a sense of peacefulness we walked over in the drizzle and through arcades of shops selling various foods, clothings and goods to Chinatown for some snacks. For some strange reason Chinatown felt a little like home to me, maybe it was seeing all the delicious Chinese buns or the smells which reminded me of my Mum's cooking but I liked it there and of course there were lot's of Panda themed things there to for me to squeal over.
Kobe is known for its beef but I no longer eat meat so I wasn't interested in that aspect but you'll be happy to know that there are vegan options there and they are delicious, we visited a place near Chinatown called The Pink Weed which had such a cool vibe and was possibly one of the best meals I had whilst in Japan, they also get bonus points for playing The Beatles in the background and all the cool posters they had on the walls, so if you're in Kobe I'd definitely recommend it!
To end the day we took a train over to Kobe's Harbourland which had some beautiful views at night and the rain seemed to make it even prettier, also there was an amazing Kiddyland store there but I managed to resist the cuteness. Despite the rain we actually had a nice day in Kobe and saw most of what was recommended, I would like to go again though and finally conquer Mount Rokko and possibly buy everything in Kiddyland.... Kawaii stuff is just so hard to resist!
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Love & Lights