31 December 2010
This'll gonna be the last part for the 2010 winter trip. This time it's in Kobe. We set off from Osaka a bit late. The capsule hotel was just so comfy, really. Had a good night sleep and a fresh morning start. Our next destination was my friend's house near the Kobe University. Though Kobe is in south of Japan, it's still snowing there. Uhhh.....
It's Friday and all Muslim have to for the Friday congregation. We were lucky as in Kobe we had a chance to perform our Solat in the first Mosque in Japan, the Kobe Mosque.... Alhamdulillah, really missed the chance of performing the Friday congregation and met with other Muslim from another countries. Tell you what, the mosque itself survived the famous large scale earthquake in Kobe in 1995, known as the Great Hanshin earthquake. During the end of World War 2, the basement of this mosque became the shelter for soldiers and civilians from the Allied forces bombing.
Now, my main point is, wherever you go, be it in a Muslim country or non-Muslim country, if there are mosques or even the small musolla there, go for a visit and if it's not a burden for you, perform the Tahiyyatul-Masjid Solat, a 2-rakaat solat (sunat), performed every time a Muslim enter a Mosque. For me it's a sign of gesture and respect. You hauled your ass to see the temples in Kyoto, yet don't tell me you don't have the feel to visit the Masjid (mosque)....It's like you went to others house and you just went to the toilet without even asking for a permission from the owner. How's that?
Main prayer hall of the Kobe Mosque
After the Friday Congregation, meeting other Muslim from all around the world. Some Japanese police were there.....Coz were Muslim, maybe they thought mass gathering is about planning to........ you fill it in yourself...
After the Jumaah prayer (Friday congregation), we decided to take a walk around the city of Kobe. Nothing much I found except a road full of European-style mansions. The location is Kitano-cho (北野町). The place is a historical district in Kobe, Japan, which contains a number of foreign residences from the late Meiji and early Taishō eras of Japanese history. While the term ijinkan (異人館) can refer to any foreign residence of this period in Japan, it usually refers to those of Kitano given the number and high concentration of those that remain. Ijinkan districts exist in other locales (notably Yokohama and Nagasaki), but due to war and natural disasters, these districts are not as well preserved.
Here, read those words with a rhythm of 'So Hot' song from Wondergirls (around 0:30-0:32 to be precise). This mansion was once used by Albert Einstein during his visit in Kobe (if I'm not mistaken).
Found this in front of the JR station (forgot it's name, sorry). The theme: "Stacked Ass" (Kidding)
The manhole cover of Kobe. Every city in Japan has their own design. It's quite fun to look for them. The design usually refers to anything special or famous in the city.
Next we headed to watch the famous Akashi-Kaikyō Bridge. The bridge links the city of Kobe on the mainland of Honshū to Iwaya on Awaji Island by crossing the busy Akashi Strait. The wind was very strong. That was my first time ever in my life experiencing those 'near flown away' experience. It was very cold. The tip of my finger got numbed and it was really hard to cut through the strong wing. We decided to get on the bridge and take a closer look. Sadly we were late and the bridge was closed already.
Close up on the Akashi-Kaikyō Bridge (you're facing the Kyushu island)
Coming up next, the Kobe Chinatown, locally known as Nanking-machi (南京町). Here, almost everything is "made in China". The food, the people, daily necessities etc. Of course, a lot of pork involved here so for Muslims visiting here, I could say don't buy any meat-ish food. It's new year night so I guessed even the Chinese want to celebrate 'em. Some shops were closed. Not much to see.
Kobe Chinatown main gate
The preserved original site of the Great Earthquake near the old port. There's a memorial nearby, remembering the victims of one of the most disastrous natural disaster in Japan.
Kobe's famous spot, the Kobe Port Tower
........and the port nearby. The night view was so beautiful
Next, we headed to the Fisherman's Market. A heaven for seafood lovers. Also, the place is wallet-friendly, it's an "Eat-All-You Can", plus, with no time limits. How 'bout that? Of course you can fill your belly until the shop closed...... If you come to Kobe yet you don't have a chance to come here, don't you dare to say your trip in Kobe is complete. Mind you!
The place usually gets crowded at night for dinner but since it was a new Year's night, the place was fairly crowded, I could say. The food range are mostly seafood. Arm yourself with a plate and go for the queue. I took a crab fried rice, some sweet sour fish fillet, fried oyster, some salad and other dishes I found delicious. As most of 'em are seafood, it's easier for Muslim to pick the Halal food. If you doubt, go with your friends or just asked the staff. For your information, most of the waiters/waitresses here are Chinese. Listen to their accent. We ordered our drinks in Japanese so, we assumed they understand Japanese.
Fisherman's Market special, steamed crabs.
They have a really wide range of foods. Pizza, gratin, sushi, ice-cream, steamed crabs, sashimi, waffle....you ask for it. The only thing I found lacking in this place is the toilet. Your place offers a no time limit eat-all-you-can while in the same time, you only got 2 toilets....Oh, come on! Well, I think it might be one of the business strategy. If the toilets are good, and they got maybe almost ten toilet units in there, I think no one will even want to step out of the shop, food lovers especially.
Basic Information of the Fisherman's Market:
Opening hours: 11:00 - 23:00 (Last Order 22:00)
Location: Mosaic Kobe Harborland, 2F-20
Reserve service: Available
Banquet Service: Available
Seats: 474 seats
Lowest budget for the meal: from 2000 yen
- Adult: 1782 yen (weekdays), 2097 yen (weekend)
- Kids (～ 12 years old): 1047 yen
- Kids (4 - 6 y/o): 522 yen
- Babies (～3 y/o): Free
- Adult: 2499 yen (weekdays), 2709 yen (weekend)
- Kids (～ 12 years old): 1260 yen
- Kids (4 - 6 y/o): 522 yen
- Babies (～3 y/o): Free
** Cotton Candy only be served on Saturday and Sunday **
More information and pictures of the Fisherman's Market (Japanese), or English (blog).
That officially concludes my winter trip for 2010. Hello 2011!!....
1 January 2011
We took the only flight from Kobe back to Hokkaido. It was a fresh morning start on a dawn of 2011. We taught people will stay at home watching TV or visiting temples with their relatives on the morning of the new year. So, the airport won't be too congested. Turns out it was wrong...........
I guess I'll keep this boarding ticket. The date is unique. It's 11.1.1..... Plus, it was my first time taking a flight from Kobe back to Hokkaido. Usually I took ShinChitose (Hokkaido) - Haneda route. Rare item huh....!
Guess this will be my last winter trip in Japan. Maybe. Maybe not. who knows.
Thanks for following my version winter trip in Japan. Hope this might be a little help for all backpackers out there. I salute you guys!!