This weekend I had a lovely time in the ever-impressive Kobe. Large happy groups of people dressed in different kinds of traditional performance attire were assembling in different areas of the beautiful open Kobe port area. It seemed like there were at least as many participants as there were spectators in almost every case, and genuinely enjoying their carefully practiced movements in unison. They seemed so into it that I don’t think they could have even noticed those of us watching. The performances were all very impressive, but one that stands out involved performers started out wearing dark attire and moving in serious solemn movements with their heads bowed and faces covered, but just before the climax they took off their cloaks revealing bright white and yellow clothing underneath. At that point the dance changed town into a face-paced, bright, and free celebration. I wish I had taken some video.
After we watched the sun set over the beautiful Kobe bay we headed over to a steak restaurant where we had reservations which served Kobe beef, of course. $40 for 100g. Probably the most expensive food I’ve ever paid for with my own money, but it was really incredibly good, really tender with almost a light sweetness to the flavor. When we left the restaurant the streets of the entire downtown area were lit up with white lights carefully draped over trees and other decorations.
We then took a bus to a mountain which overlooks the Kobe port. To get to the top we took a cable car that went straight up the mountainside. It was actually a really smooth ride as we gently bumped up and down through the darkness. To get to the very top we changed to a tram that hung from cables above and carried us high over the thick black forest of trees. (This is probably the closest I will get to riding a Neko bus.) At the top of the mountain, the view of the city lights seemed far wider and more beautiful than I imagined. It took me back to looking out over little night-time Provo from the mountain vantage points. The picture below is just a tiny sliver of the view. To get an idea of the wide panaroma of lights that surrounded us, you’ll have to take the tram yourself.
Every time I visit Kobe I am always left with the fantastic impression of its beautiful architecture, gorgeous cityscape, and gentle bay. I can understand why so many from our office commute almost an hour to their homes in Kobe. Someday when I have a family maybe I will try to find somewhere in Kobe to live, so they can get be away from the busy and crazy Osaka to enjoy the refreshing peaceful city of Kobe.