So like one of the reasons I chose Osaka to stay for a month or so was it’s excellent proximity to other places for sightseeing and general touristy stuff, e.g. Kyoto (京都), Nara (奈良), and Kobe (神戸). Having been woefully distracted with other things, I really haven’t made the best of this, fortunately I’ve decided to spend a little longer in this region, so I will have a little more time to take advantage of the proximity.
Anyway, time for a day-trip to the 6th largest (by population) city in Japan – Kobe! (As an aside, feel free to check out https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_cities_in_Japan – I found it good fun comparing various cities that I’ve been to by density etc.)
(pre-warning: super image-heavy post – to the extent that I killed my phone’s battery by like 5pm on the day because I took so many photos…well that and i got lost a fair bit!)
A couple of subway trains, and a couple of overground trains, and ~1hr later, and I’m in Maiko (舞子) – an area known for it’s view out onto the Seto Inland Sea, and the Akashi-Kaikyo bridge (明石海峡大橋) – the world’s longest suspension bridge.
Oh, and you can totally take an elevator up to (under) the bridge and sit in an observation area.
And take lovely photos whilst enjoying a coffee.
But, infinitely more interestingly, both before and after the observation area, you can walk around under the bridge on a catwalk of sorts.
It’s so frickin’ cool right?! Though at times a little unnerving with cars a few 10s of metres above.
Oh, and the folks with hardhats on were part of a tour, where they got to walk further along the bridge (I think to about the halfway-point, so about 2km) along a maintenance route. Unfortunately those tours seem to get booked up pretty fast, I asked at the reception and they said they had no openings for the next couple of weeks.
Maiko doesn’t just have a really long bridge though, the whole surrounding area – referred to as Maiko Marine Promenade is absolutely beautiful. So much so that I of all people wanted to take loads of photos – also why this post ended up being pt 1of 2.
And a little away from the promenade there’s a mini pine forest
Phew. On the way back to the train station I noticed a museum, well I guess technically a science museum (科学館 instead of 博物館), about (what else but) the bridge, so thought I’d pop in for a bit.
Let me tell you what, I didn’t think I cared about Rapid Flow Concrete before…and I guess I don’t really care about it now, but the museum was really good at explaining so many of the design considerations when they set about building the bridge. Didn’t take many photos
Oh, and for those with a good memory that’s now 2 (out of a total of 3) bridges between Shikoku & Honshu that I’ve been across/been on…although I guess I wasn’t actually ‘on’ this bridge. Oh well!
Anyway, after a morning of lots of wandering around, it was time for lunch – I headed into the chinatown area near Sannomiya station (三ノ宮駅), and found the area swarming with school (I guess high school? maybe middle school?) kids on a field trip. So I promptly found somewhere a little less crowded.
And of course what do you eat when in Kobe? Beef!
For those concerned about my health, most of the bowl was rice, don’t worry.
So after consuming that (and killing some time in the shade) it was time to head to the other big attraction for the day – the Kobe Nunobiki Ropeway (which I guess will be pt2).
See you next time! またね～