On the first day, we met at Sannomiya station in Kobe. My otaku friend, Ms. Haide lives in Hakata. I’m from Yokohama. Kobe is about at the intermediate point. It was a little after noon, and we went to lunch first.
While eating, we had lively conversation about Jojo.
Kitano: “I like Jotaro very much, but he isn’t good as a father, is he? I wouldn’t want to have such a father.” Haide-san “I entirely agree. I feel so sorry for Jolyne.” (Jotaro is the protagonist of Jojo part 3. Jolyne is Jotaro’s daughter and the protagonist of Jojo part 6.) Kitano: “However, Jolyne is the one of Jojos protagonist. She is tough enough and can stand up to her father. The one whom I feel sorry for is Anasui.” Haide-san: “Of course, he is the most pitiful man in the entire story. Although he looked cool and dangerous at first, he became such crown role at last. (Anasui is a male character in Jojo part 6. He fell in love with Jolyne and cooperated with her in battle. However, Jolyne never knew his real feelings and also Jotaro gave him the cold shoulder when he asked for permission to marry her.) Kitano: “I think that Araki sensei probably intended to make him a cool and dangerous character at first, but he noticed that that character would be more useful as a crown roll. Because if Anasui wanted to marry to Jolyne, he must say `Please give me your daughter!` to..” Haide-san: “…to Jotaro, who is the strongest father in the world. Indeed! ”
We finished lunch like this and left the restaurant. Then we went sightseeing around Kobe.
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.
There is a Sakura-masamune sake shop on the floor under the restaurant.
We sampled some sake while talking with the shop staff.
He said that Sakura-masamune’s sake is a purveyor to the Imperial family. The sake is offered at the Imperial garden party in spring. Also he said that the one for autumn is Kiku-masamune. Sakura(cherry blossoms) is spring flower and Kiku(chrysanthemum) is autumn flower. It’s like a good tale, isn’t it?
We left Sakura-masamune and went to Kiku-masamune commemoration hall.
There is a very good exhibition explaining the process of brewing, but we we looked at it five years ago, so we skipped this time.
We visited only a section for sake-tasting. We could sample unpasteurized sake and ume-shu.
Next was Sawanotsuru museum.
I bought a grass of Daiginjo Mineme-no-ura 大吟醸 敏馬の浦.
The bottle on the right is “shunko” 30000yen. I wished I could by it.
The last place was Kobe-Shushinkan.
This brewery makes sake called Fukuju 福寿.
We sampled many kinds of sake. They were selling sake by measure. I bought a bottle of Dunmai-ginjo (meaning careful distillation of pure rice)
There was a restaurant and a sake bar too. I’d like to try the restaurant the next time.
This is English website of Shushinkan.
Since it was time to go back came and we left for Rokkou-michi station.
We said good bye at the station and the short trip in Kobe ended. The trip was rich with experience was much enriched trip even though it was only two days. Thank you Yuki!
After going back to my patents home, my parents and I drank the sakes which I bought at the breweries with Osechi.
Osechi is traditional Japanese food for the new year celebration. I think that sake is the best alcohol to have with Japanese food. All of them were very good!
The next day was a day to drink. It was because the second day’s plan was to tour Sake cellars in Nada.
Nada is an area along the shore of southeastern Kobe. This area is famous as the largest sake producing region in Japan since the old days. Many sake breweries stand in a row. You can visit Sake breweries and Sake museums which were created by major brewing companies.
I’m a little fastidious about Sake. If it ever has any smell of bran, I don’t want to drink it. I had been convinced that I could not drink sake when I was young because I was able to buy only cheap sake those days. After getting to know nice sake, I started to like it.
When I came to Kobe five years ago, I visited two places, 浜福鶴Hamahukutsuru Brewery and 菊正宗 Kikumasamune Brewery. I especially liked Hamahukutsuru.
However, this time, some breweries had already been closed because of the new year’s holiday and so had Hamahukutsuru. So we visited other place that were still open.
Firstly, we went to Uosaki station by the Hanshin line, and walked around the brewery area. On the way, there was a tofu maker.
I bought some ganmodoki（fried tofu balls mixed with vegetables) as a souvenir for my parents. The lady of the store gave thick deep-fried tofu as a free gift.
Takinokoi kuramoto club and Museum of Hakutsuru sake brewing company were closed.
I only took pictures of them.
Nada’s Sake breweries are divided into five go (郷 villages). The upper right photograph is a sign in which the Uosaki go and Saigo go are shown.
There were many huge tanks on site at the breweries.
“It’s great that the all of those tanks are filled with sake,” said my friend thoughtfully, showing her quiet enthusiasm for drinking.
Then she said, “sake was pumped directly out from some tanks, when there was the great Hanshin (Kobe and Osaka) earthquake.”
At that time, Kobe was extensively damaged. The houses and buildings around this area also collapsed and people’s spirits were very low. Then the staff of the brewing company pumped sake out of the tanks and handed out it to the people around the area. It is a heart warming story.
We arrived at Sakura-Masamune commemoration hall.
This hall has a restaurant called “Sakura-en 桜宴.”
We had lunch there.
We ordered sake with lunch (of course).
The left one is “Shuki 朱稀.”The label says in Japanese, “from distillation by association with the first yeast
The right one is Daiginjo 大吟醸. Daiginjo is a top quality sake brewed at low temperatures from rice grains milled to 50% or less of their original weight.
Both of them are sold only in this restaurant.
Usually, the alcohol content of sake is about 14%, but these sakes have 17% because they are unrefined. The proof of unrefined sake is high.
This is the “Hanakago 花篭, lunch ” 1580yen. Shiraae白和え(salad with tofu), Otsukuri-sanshu-moriお造り三種盛り(3 sorts of sashimi), Ebi-to-Yubano-aemono海老と湯葉の揚げ物（deep-fried Soy Milk Skin and shrimps）, Sanshoku-temari-zushi三色手まり寿司(three pieces of ball shaped sushi) and 抹茶プリン（green tea pudding）.
All of the dishes were delicate tasting and delicious.
(Continued to part five)