My flight landed in Kansai airport in the early morning. Didn't expect so many people especially foreigners to go through custom at such early time of the day. Maybe that's all attribute to the attractiveness of Japan. After custom, I went to exchange my railway pass. Again I have to queue for a while. Haven't seen so many people queuing in the early morning for a while. In Australia, they're properly still sleeping, not much offices open that early. Caught a rapid train from airport to ShinImamiya station, lucky this time I chosed the right exit and easily spot my hotel/hostel cross the road. There're quite a few affordable hotels in that area. A nice bloke from the reception came to greet me in Japanese. After seen me have not much reaction he switched to English.
I was thinking about should I try to reply him with my not-so-confident broken Japanese or should I just speak English. I found my reservation paperwork and handed over to him. I had checked in before the regular check-in time, which is good. I dropped my luggage, grabbed some necessity staff and rushed to the railway station heading to Kobe. I heard people saying there're more people and shops around Sannomiya and Motomachi station than actual Kobe
and Shin Kobe station. So I got off at Sannomiya station, and started to wonder around. I went inside of a little Japanse fastfood restaurant, pointed out at a picture of lunch set to order food. But the counter assistant still ask me more questions in Japanese which I didn't get it.
In front of Motomachi station
So I told her I don't quite understand Japanese. She then asked me if I speak Chinese. Oh that's lucky I thought and later on I learned she was asking me if I wanted the Udon to be served as cold or hot dishes. In such a freezing day, without hesistation I said hot. I saw she had her Chinese surname badge pinned on her uniform. I didn't notice that at the beginning. After lunch, I walked through some shopping street saw Daimaru building. I remember there's Daimaru department store in the city of Melbourne quite a few years ago, later on they finished off their business here. Walking along the shopping mall street, I reached Motomachi station. There're some colourful buildings on the opposite side of the road. I heard there's a big Chinatown in Kobe near Motomachi station, so I looked at my map and finally found it.
It's much bigger than the one in Melbourne, kind of similar to the size of Chinatown in Sydney but feel differently. Lots of food outlets and people queuing to be served. I reckon that's probably the most crowded area in Kobe, considering it's a quiet city, way much quieter compare to Osaka
. Later, I went to the Kobe bay area, there're some plaza and shopping malls overthere, but not much people. A couple of people sitting there enjoy the coffee and cake, more shop assistants than shoppers. Some stores still under renovation. A few kids playing at Mosaic Garden. It's quite windy on that day, I didn't stay long. It's a shame I went all the way to see the Kobe tower, but it's under maintenance, only top part was visible. After taking some photos in Merikan Park, I went back to Osaka.