Hi, everyone! This is the last post about the Kansai region! Have you been enjoying them?
I am going to talk about Kobe’s other aspects. I think many people already know this, but there was a big earthquake in Kobe and Awaji in the past. The earthquake took the lives of many people. There is an earthquake memorial museum called “Hito to mirai no Bousai center” in Kobe. The museum exhibit has many pictures and videos of the victims and a life-sized model of a street after the disaster. They look so real that some school teachers, who were victims, cried when they visited the museum.
The exhibits also introduce some helpful ways to prepare, escape, and protect yourself if you are caught in an earthquake. Currently, we are not able to forecast when and where an earthquake will happen, so I think the museum is really helpful.
On the other hand, Kobe is home to one of the three major Chinatowns in Japan. The name of the town is “Nankinmachi”(南京町). This town is not that big, but you can feel like you are in China there. In addition, there is a Family Mart convenience store in front of the gate, but it is decorated in a Chinese style and most store clerks are Chinese too:)
Now, I want to recommend some restaurants in Chinatown. The first is “Roushouki”(老祥記), a shoronpo (steamed bun) restaurant. It is located in the center of the town, and it often has long lines in front, so you can’t miss it. The shoronpos are not too big, so they are easy to eat, and they are juicy and very good.
Across from Roushouki, there is a roasted pork specialty shop called Ekiseigou(益生號). They only sell roasted pork, but it is very tasty. There is also “Frantz” sweets shop on the south side of the town. The red exterior looks like a fancy western shop, and they sell delicious “caramel custard jar puddings”. Another sweet that I recommend is the cheesecake from Kannonya. Unfortunately, it is not sold in Nankinmachi. This cheese cake is kind of unique. You can take it home and have it right away or heat it up in your oven to melt the cheese and enjoy a warm treat.
The final city in the Kansai region I want to talk about is Osaka, one of the most famous cities in Japan. There are many sightseeing places in Osaka, but my favorite is the tourist area “Doutonbori”. There are many cheap restaurants. This place is also famous for takoyaki. Another famous sightseeing place in Osaka is Osaka Castle. The castle was Hideyoshi Toyotomi’s passion project. It is a spectacular and beautiful building, but there is a problem in my opinion: it has become a museum. For this reason, the inside of the building has been updated to include elevators, TVs, videos introducing history, and exhibitions behind glass panels. It has become too famous. However, it is still well preserved, and the Golden tea room is a beautiful spot that I highly recommend.
Another nice spot in Osaka is Kaiyuukan, one of the biggest aquariums in Japan; there is even a whale shark! It is located across the bridge from Universal Studios Japan (USJ). Recently, USJ has been holding many unique events and received high evaluations from kids to adults! Especially, the Jurassic Park area is known to have the most fun rides. Here, I’d like to give advice about the Fast pass. Unlike Disneyland, we can buy the fast pass in advance and it is definitely worth it, so I recommend that you buy them for the days when it’s expected to be crowded.
The last recommended sightseeing spot is Tsuutenkaku, also known as Osaka Tower. A famous statue of Biriken, the god of happiness, is enshrined inside Tsuutenkaku. They say, if you rub the statue’s feet, you will get lucky. Give it a try! Shinsekai, at the foot of Tsuutenkaku, is a famous place for Kushikatsu restaurants. I recommend that you try some and find your favorite Kushikatsu restaurants! Kushikatsu is a well-known dish from Osaka, it is fried vegetables and meat skewers that you dip in a special sauce and enjoy with a beer.
That’s all for now. I hope you enjoyed reading it. I really want to write more, but I already wrote a lot. If you’re interested, we can talk more in person at the cafe! I will talk about other topics next time! See you.