Monday, 18 July 2011

Kobe / Rokkosan

This week Monday was a national holiday so we decided to make the most of the extra day and take a trip to Kobe and Rokko to the north of Osaka, just around the bay.

Our first stop was in Rokko where we were staying in a hotel at the top of the mountain, Rokkosan. After a short train journey, we arrived at our destination and caught the hotel's bus up to the top of the mountain. The journey took around twenty minutes up a road that winds its way around the mountain, by the end I was glad I don't suffer from travel sickness! We were staying at Rokkosan Hotel, an old hotel that dates back to 1929, it was an interesting place to stay although some of the amenities were showing their age. The place reminded me a lot of the film 'The Shining' although luckily I didn't spot any creepy twins roaming the corridors!

On after we arrived we headed out iton the blazing sunshine to take a walk to an area called the 'Garden Terrace which I had read had great views. We had intended to stick to the road but on the way we stopped off at a tourist information spot where two old men were falling over themselves to give us advice on the best route to take. They showed us a route which headed off the main road and through the cool forest, it was nice just to get out of the heat. Along the way we a lot of interesting wildlife, and some which could only be heard, the cicadas were out in force and making an almost deafening racket.
The road heads off into the forest

A cafe, off the beaten track.

A discarded cicada skin.

A sign seen by a golf course. Boars are well known to enjoy a sneaky game of golf.

We eventually arrived at the top where there were some stunning views and a number of shops and restaurants, for some bizarre reason there is an English theme in this area, it seemed strange to travel across the world and 1000 meters up a mountain only to find a place with roast dinners and London Pride on the menu!
Enjoying lunch with a view.

The view from the 'Garden Terrace'

The views from the hotel were also stunning, especially by night where the lights of Kobe can be seen glowing far below.

The view from the top of the hotel by night.

The same view by day.

A panoramic view from the hotel.

The following day we headed into Kobe for a much more urban experience where we spent the day browsing small shops and drinking numerous cups of coffee. In the evening we visited a bar called Abuku which serves fantastic mediterranean dishes, we had been to this place during our last visit to Kobe and were eager to eat there again.

Our stay in Rokkosan and Kobe was very enjoyable, the weather was amazing apart from on the Monday when it decided to pour down with rain, luckily this was the day we were traveling home so didn't bother us so much. Now I can't wait for the next long weekend!

Tuesday, 12 July 2011


I just happened to look out my window a moment ago and saw an amazing double rainbow! You could see both sides of it but unfortunately I couldn't get a full shot of it. The cloud formations were pretty impressive as well. There was also another wonderful sunset the other side of the building.