12 Hours in Kobe

On a roll of appreciating nature in the Autumn season, the day’s blessing was the beloved’s surprise of an impromptu day trip to Kobe with a new stop.

Nunobiki Herb Garden

From Osaka, the Shinkansen Train to Kobe takes only 13 minutes plus a good walk to the entrance of the Herb Gardens on Mount Rokkō via Ropeway (Transport info HERE)

img_1315-1The 40-acre Herb Garden contains some two hundred varieties of herbs, fruits, flowers; it has a Fragrance Museum, Herb Dining, Garden Terrace, Glass House, and many a gift shop.

From the 10-minute ride up to the top of the Herb Garden via Ropeway car, you can see the Nunobiki no Taki Waterfall and Nunobiki Gohonmatsu Dam just to the left side…

…and a grand, panoramic view of the Kobe skyline, Seto Inland Sea on the far side and a preview of garden scenes below.

At the Herb Gardens Top Station, there are many charming garden vignettes with sculptures, sitting areas, carts, flower beds…

…and my favorite Autumn Leaves wall:

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The indoor museum displays the many uses of herbs around the house.

At the store are herb products for cooking, home fragrance, essential oils, seeds, herb-themed everyday utility items.

A nice treat to see an independent Japanese lady enjoying her herbal tea.

From the Top Station heading down towards the glass house, there are more varieties of herbs and plants in charming garden settings. Imagine this garden in the height of spring bloom!

Genesis 1: 11 Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” And it was so.  29 Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food.

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ISHIDA KOBE BEEF LUNCH

Walking up the road from the Sannomiya Kobe Station, we came across Ishida Restaurant and decided to try it.  It offered a very straightforward Set Lunch with all the essentials for a good Kobe Beef meal. Even the vinaigrette salad dressing was flawlessly light to go with the fresh, seasonal greens. The appetizers were hefty.  The 130 gram A5 beef cooked by the Teppanyaki chef was well-marbled, tender, well seasoned, and perfect at medium wellness. The beef edges went with the bean sprouts. I appreciated that unlike the fancier Kobe Beef restaurants we had in the past, the aromatic white rice was served at the same time as the beef main course. The green tea and Yuzu ice cream cut into the traces of heaviness from the beef.

STREETS OF KOBE

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After lunch, it was a cool day out to stroll around the streets, check out Japanese wares at Tokyu Hands, Motomachi, and just explore the diffferent bakeries and coffee shops around.

The area around Daimaru (Free Wifi Alert!) veers away from the traditional Japanese architecture. Instead, it has a European feel. We stopped by at Caferia Coffee Shop where the al fresco tables are all facing outward to the street  as fancy cars made turns repeatedly until they could park in front of Gucci.  The cafe has a stack of British wool blankets to lend diners as we enjoyed our coffee and cake. Palate education for us.

The trees light up at night.

Even in Autumn, the train station steps are filled with pots of fresh flowers.

img_1325Experiencing sweet miracles here is most appreciated. Thank You, Lord.

 

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