Japan Day 4, Kobe, City of Wagyu

Kobe,  is a city part of Kansai area same as Kyoto, Osaka and Nara. It’s famous for the wagyu beef, which is extremely expensive for the slice of the beef meat. It’s also favourite town for stay by expatriates in Japan.

How To Get There ?
There is airport serving domestic route in Kobe, Kobe airport which was built on Reclaimed land. For international route, the airport is Kansai airport same as Kyoto, Osaka and Nara. You can take the airport bus going to Sannomiya, downtown of Kobe for about 65-75 minutes with cost about  ¥2000. Or perhaps, you might want to choose JR Rapid service especially if you hold Japan rail pass, connecting at Osaka about 90 minutes, and cost for  ¥2410 if you do not have Japan rail pass.

For my travel, I went to Sannomiya from Umeda station, a downtown station in Osaka. From here, you can take private train either Hankyu or Hanshin to Kobe which takes about half hour using express services for cost of  ¥310 to reach Sannomiya. You can take JR line as well for JR pass holder. The hankyu train that we take is comfortable, and the design of the train is classic which I admire. 

After reaching Sannomiya, we went around the city. The first destination we targeted was China town (Nankinmachi), one of the famous place is Kobe. Before we reach China town, we pass by shopping street which full of people. As our time was limited, we did not stroll around the shopping street.

When you arrived in the China town, it’s completely different atmosphere, many buildings are painted with red and you can easily find chinese snacks and food there. My friend who stayed long time in Osaka suggest me to try the pork pao (bun), which named as Buta-manju in Japanese. It taste nice. You can also find souvenirs to bring homes for your family and friends there, either snacks or keychains, Tshirts, etc.

From there, we went forward to harbour area, where you can have nice sea view of Kobe, which also famous for its harbour. From there, you can see Meriken park Oriental Hotel. Meriken part is memorial place for commerating Hashin earthquake in Kobe.  Some of nice building there are Hotel La suite kobe, one of luxury hotel there, Kobe tower which near Kobe Maritime museum.  Suggest you to go there in the afternoon hence you can have day and night view of harbour. 

We then went inside Mosaic  mall, which have a lot of restaurants which you can choose from Japanese up to western food like Italian food as well. My friend previously had their wagyu beef in this place as well. 

After wandering around Mosaic, we went back to harbour area to have the night view of Kobe tower and Maritime Museum.

It’s night already, and we had not had our dinner. Our dinner target for Kobe was Wagyu beef. It’s expensive meal, but nice experience to try on especially you are in Kobe, where Wagyu coming from. Our target place is Wakkoqu, located in Kobe Oriental ave shopping mall. For this dinner, it’s really experiences for us as we tried to find the place and asking many people to look around. Finally we found that the place is up hill, which is far from our place. Then we decide to cancel it and look for another restaurant which serve wagyu as well. During our searching, I find one food stall selling Okonomiyaki selling in the road side which quite different compared to the one I tried in Indonesia before. 

Afterward We walk along up to near the JR train station but not yet find the wagyu place and keep walking and find one restaurant, which unfortunately at the time we went there already full.  From that restaurant, we ask for other restaurant which also serving wagyu as well. Initially it’s a bit regret for me as I did not just have the dinner at Mosaic which also serve wagyu as well. It’s nearly 8 PM and on hungry condition looking for the place. Finally we managed to find A1 restaurant serving wagyu.

For the dinner, we order set of 150 gr wagyu beef steak which include Japanese salad, one soup which contains some pieces of wagyu beef  For the rice we have to order seperately which we order one japanese rice and one garlic rice. 

Wagyu beef have different texture of the meat. It’s meat soft and tender and taste differently. For our meal, I paid ¥7000 (around USD 86 or SGD 108) which become the most expensive dinner I ever had. If you ask me whether it’s worthed to try wagyu, I will say for your life time experience,  I think you should try it especially when you are in Kobe. Of course, for the redoing the same meal, I have to consider many times again. For me, I still prefer the sushi in Tsukiji Market compared to wagyu beef. You can find this restaurant nearby Ikuta road, where many crowds surround there.

It’s late night already, we need to go back as our total journey will takes us around one hour to go to my friend apartment near Ikeda. 

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