Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Kobe, Japan - Nava K Did It!

Kobe! Yes Kobe! Akin a mini heaven popped up, right in front of me during this winter travelling-porn (Kyoto Arashiyama). Believe me! For the longest time, for as long as I can remember, I have been harbouring the thought of exploring Kobe deep in my day dreams and night dreams. The word Kobe by itself is a magical tune to my ears. Don't ask me why. I just feel it. Or maybe, come to think of it, each time I read or Kobe beef, a variety of Japanese “Wagju”, regarded as one of the highest quality meats world around, is featured on tv, I sincerely can’t curb my enthusiasm for Kobe. Imagine? Imagine wagju/Japanese cows drinking beer, additionally, being rice wine massaged and listening to classical music. Ohlalala! Intriguing fantastica luxurious cows world, isn’t it? I know. 

Honestly, I wish I can have the same pampering, though sadly for the cows, for all the tender loving care they are given, in the end, they end being slaughtered for human eating pleasure. What can I say? What should I say anyway? I better shut my bit fat mouth. I say none. I shouldn’t say anything because I am a carnivore, opps no, slip of the tongue is not the fault of my mind. It should actually be omnivore. Moreover, I am not even an Indian cow, so, please stop thinking you can milk me, and admittedly, beef is taboo for me. Beef and my Hindu faith, values and beliefs, no matter what, can’t be James Bond bonded together. Unless of course, it’s a matter of do or die food situation. Unless and until I have to feed on beef for staying alive. Seemingly though, there are Hindus who eat beef. In fact, some of Hindu friends just so love beef. No comments from me please. I suppose to each his or her own. I really don’t want to make a big deal on what other Hindus do or don’t. My point is basically, trying to get you to understand why I have been fascinated with Kobe. 

Aside to Kobe beef or even Kobe men, my taste by the way have never been Kobe men, I rather stick to the older dark looking and balding Indian men, no two ways about it, pocket full of money of course is part of the requirement, Kobe, the capital of Hyogo Prefecture and one of Japan’s (Chitose & Sapporo/Hokkaido) ten largest cities, located between the sea and the Rokko mountain range, by itself is worth exploring. Especially if you have come as far as Kyoto and Osaka? Why not? After all, Kobe is only an hour plus from Kyoto and less than an hour from Osaka. For those of you who have already visit Kobe, you may agree or disagree that Kobe is worth exploring, whereas for those who of you who are yet to conquer Kobe, maybe, who knows, after staying sincerely through, through thin and thick in this Kobe pitching of mine, you certainly can decide. My here I come Kobe and you better be good to me Kobe, started on the same note. The standard start when you are group tour travelling. Basically hotel buffet breakfast, and off I landed in Kobe Earthquake Museum (Kyoto Day 2). God! What a start for the day.

For stirring me up in my body, mind and soul. Earthquake and coming with it mental and physical suffering and pain I beckon is really not a nice thing. Merciless earthquakes can wreck you by taking away your loved ones permanently forever, lets not even speak about building back our lives thereafter. Kobe Earthquake Museum, trust me, you must wholeheartedly, indeed knocked aplenty sense into me. Not to take anything for granted because natural disasters can take it all and leave none behind. Having said that, the Japanese have since come a long way. They, primarily the great Japanese brains, not all Japanese, mind you. are the cream of the crop, stop arguing with me, I have met some who are living under their own nut shells as well, so, stop debating that only Malaysians are pathetic cases, I guess Japanese people on the whole have been constantly learning and improvising their resilience on earthquakes. Well, experience is the best wisdom I suppose. 
From Kobe Earthquake Museum, almost the whole morning, including time for us to walk around within the area it is situated, next was the moment I have been faithfully waiting for almost 30 over years. The moment to my live real deal Kobe beef. Seeing it all for myself, no doubt I have seen Kobe beef in our high end supermarkets, oh-please, I am not leaving on trees as how people used to perceive us Malaysians, I definitely was curious to find out if Kobe beef from its ground is as sensational as been said. Here in Steak Land Restaurant. Kobe beef, seasoned with salt and pepper, and sizzled on the flat big hot plate, I thought the chefs were overdoing it with their technical expertise for impressing us or that's how they generally do it, Kobe beef, according to the beef eaters is every bit worthy. 

We, on the other hand, we the none beef eaters, including some of our Chinese tour buddies who don’t eat beef due to their own beliefs, we tucked into seafood. Cooked in the same Teppanyaki style. Right in front of us, hailing in smoke and what not, we pretty much enjoyed the varieties of seafood. Either by itself for the mouth pop crunching munching, and/or eaten alongside rice and the rest of the other dishes.
Into the coach after tummy tucking, we then stepped into Hakutsuru Sake Brewery. Sake and Kobe?  Or Kobe and sake? Either way, Sake in Kobe is famous due to its geographical location. Close to the production area of high quality “Yamada Nishiki” brewery rice and subsoil “Miyamizu” water from Rokki Mountain, and cold winter wind from “Rokko Mountain”, for your information, does also enhance the flavour of Sake.  So, tell me then. How can this every now and then alcoholic resist tasting some sake at the end of this knowledge thirsting visit?  

Initally, to tell you the truth, I hesitated. You know me and alcohol? Enough is not enough once I start. In the end, I gave in to my alcoholism lust. Sparingly. Just a few gulps and amongst those tiny portions in tiny plastic cups, I loved the tadbit of sweet fruity sake. No, I didn't get tipsy, I did on the other hand or both my hands get happy. Thank god I didn't get tipsy. Otherwise, I may have freaked out the Japanese, or either they would have loved me, thereafter I would have had a ball of a time in joining the men in Geisha pubs.  

From Kobe Sake Brewery, we journeyed to Kobe China Town. Anything special, unique or outstanding in Kobe China Town? Maybe me. Just kidding. Hahahaha!! The same scene as our Malaysian China Towns. Frankly speaking, I wasn't like blown out in proportion. Basically, its food and shopping which literally bored me till almost death. All I did, after walking from one end to the other, I sipped into the coffee while waiting for the rest. Of course, some Malaysians will get over-excited for no apparent reason. Some of our tour buddies I think did shop and once our time in Kobe China Town ended, rain which has been trending closely in front and at the back of us from Steak Land was still adamant in leaving us alone, we made our way into Sanda Premium Outlet. Another shopping haul. 

What else can be new in premium outlets? As I have already said, shopping bizarreness, madness and craziness. Shop till you drop. Shop till you empty your husband's, boyfriend's, lover's or sugar daddy's wallet. Go ahead. Charge his credit card too at your whims and fancy. We shall speak about relationships later, no qualms, we can also speak about gold diggers, why not. For me. a round around the shops, back to coffee time again. Honestly, travelling and shopping no longer is synonyms for me (Venice, Bangkok & Myanmar). I have already had more than my share of shopping (Bergen Norway, Pretoria South Africa & Colombo Sri Lanka). Shopping I suppose is a hype for those who travel once a while or for those who have just started travelling or for those who must flaunt their branded stuffs. I admit. If I see anything really worthy, according to my budget, I won’t mind buying.  

Pull-stop to Sanda Premium Outlet, by 7.30pm, we were already seated in Masse Dining. Alright. Alight. I'm not gonna go on and on like a parrot, again and again. I shall refrain from commenting about Japanese buffets except its pigging out time. I filled my tummy with a bowl of noodles, some sides and a tiny bit of dessert. Nothing more to say.  

Back to the hotel, the same hotel, on the bed I went after showering. Osaka here we come will be our next 2 and a half days itinerary. 


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