It takes around an hour to drive from my university to Kobe by bus (and half an hour walk trough the rice fields to the bus station 😅). After having arrived in Kobe we went to Harborland! ハーバーランド！Soon we were in the middle of Anpanmanland.
Anpanman is a famous Japanese comic for children. Every character has its own bread, ballon, stuffanimal, cup, bag, wallet, t-shirt and bento box. 😂. Many parents were playing with there children along the harbour.
We rode the ferris wheel and went to Chinatown in the evening.
On the second day in Kobe we went to IKUTA Shrine and saw a wedding ceremony, which was strangely serious to us. IKUTA is a shrine for relationships and love. I thought I could need some fortune in this matter. At the shrine you can pick a fortune paper out of a wooden box. My Taiwanese friends told me that mine is 70% good. Read it and form your own opinion 😂
On Sunday Jenny (my friend from Mongolia) and me went on a hike. Our destination was mount Mikusayama. It's about an hour and a half walk from university. On the way to the mountain we discovered a temple with this waterfall nearby. It was a really quite and peaceful place. We couldn't make it up the mountain because it was too late when we arrived at the bottom of it. Maybe next weekend!
On Saturday I went with my Japanese friendship family to Himeji. We visited Himeji Castle and the Japanese garden next to it.
Here some information about it: Himeji Castle dates to 1333, when Akamatsu Norimura built a fort on top of Himeyama Hill. It is the largest and most visited castle in Japan, and it was registered in 1993 as one of the first UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the country. (to be correct, paraphrased from Wikipedia 😉)
On Sunday I went with group of exchange students to the Kato city Festival. The autumn and harvest was celebrated. We helped to serve Guatemalan coffee and Vietnamese Takoyaki at the stand of the international organisation of Kato. There were many types of differnt Japanese traditional foods. I ate Okonomiyaki (Japanese omlett) and Dorayaki (A fish shaped waffle, filled with sweet read bean paste). I dressed as a Samurai, watched my friends get dressed into a Kimono and saw Japanese traditional drummers play. And an old men who sold Japanese Bonsais, gave me a plant as a "presento" 🌱.
A professor from University invited me to her home. She lives in a Buddhist temple and her husband as well as her two sons are monks. First we had dinner and then we could attend a Buddhist ceremony. They sang inidan sutra pherses and served us tea and くり(chestnuts). When I left the house the two monks were standing at the entrance, each of them a 猫 (ねこ=neko=cat) in their hands.
On Friday night my Japanese friends showed me how to make Takoyaki. Takoyaki is a famous food from Osaka. Like you can see it is ball shaped and made out ot wheat flour. You can fill it with everything you want. The most tipical filling is octopus which means Tako (たこ) in Japanese. That's where its name comes from!! I know octopus sounds weird but the are delicious believe me!
This Saturday me and Jennifer went to Kobe. We eat a loot of cake in a French bakery. Yes French. The Japanese love to imitate the European culture. Coffees shops, bakeries, cloth stores. This process sometimes ends up in a pupped house version of the original thing 😂. I will try to catch a good example in the next weeks. In the night we went to Harbourland again to see it in the dark. 🌃
Because we found no hotel in Kobe we drove by train to Osaka. Had dinner and wondered around Namba, the nightlife district of Osaka. You can find many Isakaia places. A mix between a restaurant and a bar. You order many small dishes and drink at the same time. I wish we had it in Liechtenstein/Switzerland hah! We got a miniscule teddy bear from one of the "Gachapon: Japanese Capsule toy machines" and went into this crazy huge store with many cute but useless things. So Japanese! Have a look at the KitKat flavour 😂.
In the nightlife district you can also find many advertisements for establishments where women and men pay for eating and flirting with the stuff. A really weird thing if you ask me!
The monday before this monday (too long ago) I hiked to the top of Mikusayama on my own. Compared to Liechtenstein it doesn't really deserve the name mountain. It is only 423.9 meters high. "Mikusayama wa 423. 9 metoru no takasa desu." But from the top you have a pretty good view of the surroundings. On my way back I passed a vending mashine. Arigato Japan that you put them everywhere!!!
PS: the order of pictures is wrong, the website always changes it 😅
Last weekend was the weekend of the university festival. We saw a traditional dance named "I have to check". There are many dancing clubs (Vereine) at the university with many different dancing styles. The girl with the ballon is Mana まな。She teached us the word ballon. ふうせん=fusen 🎈
For lunch we ate Ramen. Because a Japanese man talked to us for a long time the Ramen turned cold before we could eat it. The venders of the store saw it and brought us a fresh, warm one. ありがとう!
I went on this trip to Izushi with my exboyfriend's mother, her sister, and his cousin. His cousin has a one year old baby called Genbu. Even tought going on a trip with yout exboyfriend's mother at first sounds a bit strange, it was a really nice trip. All of them were really kind to me and thought carfully about where to go with me. In Izushi we tasted sake and made traditionell Japanese soba noodles by ourselfs. Oishi!
On Friday I went with Jennifer and Mae to Osaka. We met Mae's Japanese boyfriend. He showed us one of his favourite restaurants and bars. Our hotel was traditionally Japanese. On the picture you can see the traditionel tatami floor made out of straw. To Sleep you just put the futon on the floor and you are ready to go. It is just a tiny bit hard to sleep on it hah.
This is Arashiama in Kyoto. Three years ago I came to Kyoto for the first time and this is the place which I always remembered as the most beautiful. Jennifer and me went to see the red leaves (momiji🍁) there. I start to realize why Japan is so famous for them. 🍂🍃🍁
A bit more then one week ago I went with my tutor to Arima Onsen. One of Japan's oldest bathhouses. The thing that made me a bit nervous... in the onsen you have to be completely naked 😉 something so normal for the Japanese, something so strange for foreigners
Jennifer and me arrived in Kagawa prefecture. Kagawa is famous for Udon. A type of Japanese noodle. Now we know why, there are Udon restaurants eeeverywhere. In the one we went for dinner, it had hairbands, in case you forgot your own 😂
Noashima is also known as the little art island. You can wonder around and you will find pieces of art everywhere. The most famous one is the yellow pumpkin. It is said that the artist Yayoi Kusama struggled with a mental deseas and often had hallucinations. Maybe the pumpkin was one of them.
A trip with my friendship family to Yashiro no Mori ☺️ We made mochi (ricecake) and watched the bamboo burning. Every year Japanese celebrate this day on the second monday of the year. Looks like the Japanese version of Funkasunntig. Nicht die Hexe sondern der Bambus kracht!!
Today our trip to Okinawa started. This island is located in the south of Japan. Here the temperature is really comfortable. Around 20 degrees. The first picture shows the rice field in Kato covered by hoar frost. Today we learned about a japanese traditionional ritual which takes place on the 3rd of February. People eat a thick sushi roll. While eating you have to face in a specific direction.(The direction is indicated on the roll wrapping) You have to eat it in silence and think about a wish that you want to become true during this year. If you manage to eat the whole roll the good luck is yours. 🍀