The Other Typhoon Day in Kobe

I sort of forgot about my blog posts from summer break.
But this typhoon passing through Japan yet again (the wind is howling outside at the moment) reminded me that I still had photos from my trip to Kobe this summer, which was also during a typhoon! A couple of typhoons ago, to be exact.
One thing I love about large railway stations is that they are connected to various buildings and have underground passages that make it easy to get around and enjoy your day without getting drenched. Especially when there is a typhoon passing through. No umbrella can stand against those crazy typhoon winds so I don’t even try.
In Tokyo we have places like Shinjuku station, Tokyo station, and Shibuya station. The city of Kobe has Sannomiya Station. My best friend from high school (who I went to Yakushima with in May!) was in Kobe with her family so we decided to meet up at Sannomiya station that day. 
I checked out of my hotel and made my way to the station earlier in the morning because I knew that the typhoon was going to hit around noon. I got to look out the window as the rain and winds got stronger while waiting for my friend, who also got to the station early just in case the trains stopped.
We found a nice cafe and spent the morning chatting away and catching up with each other. Once we start talking, it’s hard to stop us girls! We barely noticed the craziness outside and before we knew it, the rain had stopped. So we took advantage of it and ventured outside to see a little more of Kobe, before I had to head to the airport.
Kobe is such a beautiful city. I love it. And although I was only there for two full days, I got to see my dearest friends and had an amazing time! I am already looking forward to the next time, preferably without a typhoon though! 😀
Here are some photos:
We found a cafe in one of the retail facilities. The risotto lunch set was delicious!
The streets of Kobe after the typhoon.
The flowers survived, as did the lovely flower planter.
Every time we are in Kobe together, we end up just sitting on this couch and talking!
A Jizo for retail prosperity sitting in the corner of a shopping street. Look at that smile!
Too soon it was time to head to the airport. So convenient that we can use Pasmo in Kobe now.
Headed to Itami Airport in Osaka on the Hankyu Kobe Line. So retro, I love it!
Mint Kobe 8F, 7-1-1 Kumoi-dori Chuo-ku, Kobe-shi, Hyogo
兵庫県神戸市中央区雲井通7-1-1 ミント神戸8F
TEL: 078 200 4730
OPEN: 11:00am-11:00pm

The Tunisian Restaurant Cafe Chameau in Kobe

Did you know you can find a tiny piece of Tunisia in Kobe?
One of the things I love about conversation with my friends in Kobe is that our topics are far and wide. It goes from toddlers to Irish law…and in this case, couscous! I happened to mention that I’ve only had it once and didn’t know how to prepare couscous. Apparently V’s sister makes an amazing couscous dish and one thing led to another and we ended up having lunch at Cafe Chameau.
How much do you know about Tunisia?
I personally didn’t know very much about Tunisia, except that they have a soccer team that Japan has played in a past World Cup. So I did a little research (i.e. google) and learned that Tunisia is a North African country that sits snug between Algeria and Libya. Previously part of the French colony, they became independent in 1956. And despite political turmoil at times, their gorgeous beach resorts seem to remain a favorite destination among many Europeans (I can see why!). Obviously, this is like saying Japan is an island and Tokyo is the capital city…but we all have to start somewhere, right?
The friendly Tunisian owner of Cafe Chameau welcomed us into the restaurant. Because my friends are French, that is what they spoke. Later he switched over to English for me and showed me pictures of his daughter who also already speaks Arabic and Japanese. So many languages…I love it.
For lunch, I of course chose the couscous set, which was full of delicious spice and vegetables. So good! Also, perfect dish for a vegetarian (especially if you have a friend like V, who ate the meat for me!). Oh and can I tell you how much I loved the sweet mint tea? Mmm! I’m definitely coming here again next time I’m back in Kobe.
Have you ever tried a Tunisian dish before? What do you think? x
Look for the Tunisia flag and this restaurant sign!
Loved this little corner filled with various Tunisian goods, some of which you can buy.
This is the lentil soup and pita bread with a bit of mechouia, part of the couscous lunch set.
The flavorful couscous dish! It was super filling, too!
Not only is the food delicious, the dish itself is gorgeous as well.
My first time trying the sweet mint tea…I’m still craving it right now!
There are two table seats as well as counter seats…so stop by when you’re in Kobe!

Yale Yamate Bldg 104, 2-13-9 Naka-yamate-dori, Chuo-ku Kobe-shi, Hyogo JAPAN
兵庫県神戸市中央区中山手通2-13-9  エール山手ビル104号
TEL: 078-242-0807
OPEN: 11:30am-10:00pm
CLOSED: Mondays (unless holiday)

The Fun Rainy Day in Kobe

Well, that didn’t happen. Not that I’m complaining though, I love a good typhoon. And there will always be another high school baseball Koshien tournament. Maybe even my own high school will make it there someday! (You’d think with me attending two high schools, the chances for this would multiply…)

Best of all, the typhoon gave me a chance to just relax indoors with my amazing friends who braved the weather and came out to see me! Nothing beats that!

As often as I get on and off airplanes, it’s rare that someone is waiting for me at the airport. I usually quickly get on a bus or train after I’ve gone through baggage claim. But this time, I got off the flight at Kobe Airport and my lovely friends were there waiting for me! Isn’t that the best surprise?

We’ve mostly gotten together when they’ve been in Tokyo (here, here, and here) so it was fun getting a chance to get together in their beautiful city of Kobe this time. Well, we mostly just talked a lot while walking around or eating. But in all honesty, that’s all I really need when I’m in good company!

Here are some photos:

I can’t get enough of this handsome little man, he’s grown so much!
Starting off the day right with Kobe coffee and waffles at UCC Cafe Plaza…YUM! 
We walked through Ikuta Shrine, exploring a bit of the city once the rain stopped.
Ikuta Shrine is one of the oldest shrines in the country, founded in the 3rd century.
Isn’t this building so quirky? Shows us how to fold…the building? 😀
For lunch I had this delicious couscous dish! Loved this Tunisian restaurant!
My lovely friends…best hosts ever! x
Once it started raining again, we headed to a shopping center. Specifically this gelato shop!
Here I’d just asked little A if he was ready to eat gelato…I think that smile says he was!
It took forever to choose but we adults settled on this!
How do I say delicious in French? It was so good!
A pretty sunset outside of our dinner restaurant.
The Hawaiian flavored coffee was delicious, especially this latte!
Had an amazing time because I got to spend the day with my favorite family in Kobe! x

Kobe Kotsu Center 2F, 1-10-1 Sannomiya Chuo-ku, Kobe-shi, Hyogo JAPAN
兵庫県神戸市中央区三宮町1-10-1 神戸交通センタービル2F
TEL: 078-391-4057
OPEN: 8:00am-9:00pm
1-2-1 Shimo-yamate-dori Chuo-ku, Kobe-shi, Hyogo JAPAN
Hankyu Nishinomiy Gardens, 14-2 Takamatsu-cho, Nishinomiya-shi, Hyogo JAPAN
兵庫県西宮市 高松町14−2 阪急西宮ガーデンズ
OPEN: 10:00am-9:00pm

Hankyu Nishinomiy Gardens, 14-2 Takamatsu-cho, Nishinomiya-shi, Hyogo JAPAN
兵庫県西宮市 高松町14−2 阪急西宮ガーデンズ
OPEN: 11:00am-11:00pm

The Old Photos: Kobe 2009

Guess where I’m headed tonight?

I’m off to Kobe for the weekend to see my lovely friends before heading down to Imabari to spend Obon with family! I do love this city so. It’s a beautiful blend of Japanese and foreign culture, due to it being one of Japan’s early port cities. These pictures are from when I was there in December 2009.

There’s a typhoon headed our way but I’m hoping we miraculously have great weather because I really want to go to Koshien stadium to see the high school baseball tournament that starts this weekend! I was on the baseball team in high school (as a “manager,” not a player) and it’s every team’s dream to make it to koshien one day. I’ve actually never been to Koshien stadium before so this is huge. I mean, HUGE. Early morning practice, weekly practice games, handmade omamori. All of it was for that summer koshien dream, and although my high school never made it past the prefectural tournament, even to this day we still bond over those memories. (Although there have been questions lately regarding this culture.) So even though the forecast says 80% chance of rain, I’m hoping it clears up just a little for me!

We’ll have to see how the typhoon feels. But whatever happens, I’m excited to be heading to Kobe! Wishing you all a wonderful weekend as well! x