Kobe Jojo tour Part1

I traveled to Kobe at the end of last November. I have been to Kobe several times because my home is in Mie prefecture near by. Also my friend lives in Kobe so I often visit her there.   This time was little bit different. I traveled with my otaku friend who lives in Kyushu. We had two goals on our trip. One was to visit a Jojo themed bar in Kobe. The other was to attend a Jojo fan event in Osaka. My otaku friend is also a Jojo fan and we had promised that we would visit Kobe someday. Also I heard that a Jojo event would be held in Osaka during our Kobe trip, so we took decisive action and planned our trip accordingly.  (It was a very short trip. We had only two days because we drew up the schedule according to the event date. At first I planned to take a trip another day when we could take three consecutive holidays. When I heard about the event, I asked her what kind of itenerary she prefers. This was the first time for her to travel to Kobe. I wondered if she would want to have more time for sight seeing than for fan event. She answered; “Hey! Both you and I are otaku. So you must already know the answer. What would an otaku choose between a fan event and a sight seeing?  It’s a silly question!) This was a trip of Jojo otaku, by Jojo otaku, for Jojo otaku. We titled our trip “Two days in Kobe and Osaka; We reject our humanity Jojo!” tour. (This phrase is from “JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure.” They are the words of Dio, the last enemy. He cried this out and became a vampire.)

At this point, I have an announcement to make. During this trip all of our conversations could only be understood by Jojo fans. Lots of these Jojo fan phrases will appear in this diary. I will annotate as best I can but you still probably won’t understand.

(This picture and translation is from this website    http://www.mangareader.net/ A lot of manga translated in English are uploaded on this website.) By the way, I wonder if it’s also OK to translate this phrase of Dio to “I quite being a human.”  I don’t have enough skill in English translation to criticize someone else’s translation, but as a Jojo fan, I felt that the above translation is too perfect and too correct. One of the attractive points of Jojo is the characteristic phrases. This phrase of Dio is such a phrase. In this scene, he says these words just like “I quit this job(or something).” Of course, it’s an unordinary way to use this phrase even in Japanese, but this “extraordinariness” is exactly characteristic of “Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure” and I prefer to keep the bizarreness of his wording even in the English translation. If this translation is OK, the title of our trip should be “Two days in Kobe and Osaka; We quit being human Jojo!” tour.


The Kobe trip during my new year holiday (part three)

It was growing dark and we went around Sannomiya station.
The lights of Daimaru Department Store were beautiful.
She said that Kobe people like Daimaru very much and Daimaru is always crowded in spite of the latest depression.
 We went to China town.
This is smaller than the China town in Yokohama.
According to what she said, Chinatowns were usually made in order for Chinese people to protect themselves from their surroundings in the foreign countries, but this Chinatown has had good relations with residents of Kobe since the old times.
So in this china town, Chinese stores and Japanese stores are mixed.

I bought a Japanese radish rice cake and a cup of Rokkou beer. (400 yen). I had wanted to drink Rokkou beer since I came to Kobe and drank it five years ago.
She said that there was an interesting bookstore in the Sannomiya shopping arcade.
It is a bookstore called “海文堂 Kaibundou.” The character “海” means “sea” and a “文” means text. There is a special section for marine biology, oceanography, shipping, navigation, sailing vessels and such.
These books were so specialized for professionals, that they were rather funny for nonprofessional outsiders like us. “A tide table in Heisei 22,” “How to easily understand the whale problem” “Science of sashimi” “an Echizen-jellyfish and a water-jellyfish” were just some of the titles.

Then our reservation time came and we went to a restaurant for dinner.
A French (or Italian?) restaurant called “Di-Shiner,” it was small and stylish.
After consulting with the waiter, we selected this wine.

Relish and hors d’oeuvre: olive, terrine, marinade, etc.
All dishes were set up in order for two people to share easily. It worked well.

The wine fit well with these dishes.

Since we overate before dinner, it was difficult to eat pasta. We ordered some slices of cheese and bread. The main dish was roast venison. The venison was tender and went surprisingly well with sliced kumquats. The mashed sweet potatoes on the side were also good.
After dinner, I went to her home and stayed there.
The first day in Kobe had ended. All I did that day was eat.

(Continued to part four)

The Kobe trip during my new year holiday (part two)

Leaving the building, we strolled around the town again.
(A Muslim mosque)
(a long-established Chinese restaurant)

(an old post)

We had tea at a cafe in the Kitano hotel.

The cake set 1300yen
chestnut cake 

chocolate and framboise cake
These cakes were very good. The chestnut cake was crisp and light.The chocolate cake had a very strong flavor. That’s the Kitano hotel.
Next, we visited Choueke House
The garden and the first floor are usually open to the public. The fee is 300 yen. The resident lives on the second floor.
There was a lot of beautiful furniture.

(An antique game board)

 There were beautiful handicrafts, pictures and block prints. But photography was forbidden.
 Then, we walked around some more and looked at some pretty shops. There was a shop with Russian goods.

(Continued to part three)

The Kobe trip during my new year holiday (part one)

During this New Year holiday, I went back to my parents’ home.
My parents’ home is in Tsu-city, Mie prefecture. Although Tsu-City is the capital of Mie Prefecture, it’s the country side. There are also no famous tourist resorts. I think that if you want to relax, it’s very good place.

I went to my parents’ home on December 26, and the next day, traveled to Kobe. My friend lives there. She is a translater and my old friend from my university days. When I have trouble with English study, I question her and ask for advice.
Moreover, she is a gourmet and likes alcohol, so she gets along well with me.

From Tsu-City to Kobe, it takes about two and a half hours by theKintetsu and JR Lines. We arranged to meet at Motomachi station in Kobe.

(↑The police box in front of Motomachi station)
(There was a South-American-type music performer in front of the station.↑)

Firstly, we went to the Kitano town. Kitano town is a tourist spot in Kobe, which has many beautiful foreign style buildings.

We looked for a place to have lunch, while walking around a street with smart looking, stylish cafes and boutiques.
We entered a Chinese restaurant that she recommended and ordered the following.

五目やきそば Chinese noodles with various vegetables, seafood and meat
魚のお粥 Chinese rice porridge with fish.

These were very delicious. The seafood was tender and chewy, the porridge had a mild flavor of some kind of Chinese spices. .
We strolled around the sightseeing spot in Kitano after lunch.
“北野工房のまち Kitano Meister Garden”
Various beautiful stores are in this retro design building. A long time ago, this building was an elementary school.

(A Japanese candle shop)You can make an original candle in this shop.

(A match shop)

The pictures on the matchboxes were very beautiful. I heard that 90% of the matches in Japan are made in Kobe.

A pastry shop called”Goncharov” and a Chinese Ten-shin food shop called “Kouran”
I tried ganache chocolate at Goncharov and a steamed bun at Kouran. Both things weren’t bad. However, in the end< I didn’t buy anything. It is troublesome to walk around with meat buns in my hand and I can make ganache chocolate by myself.

(Continued to part two)