Yesterday I went to Kobe to visit some friends of mine – fellow Austrians. We did not do anything exciting, just strolling along the harbour a bit, dropping in to an exhibition of photographs taken by sailors all over the world (there was a stunning picture of a crescent sun rising over the ocean – we guessed it was taken during a solar eclipse, but we were not sure), and we looked at the city from the viewing platform of Kobe city hall, which is located on 24th floor.

View over Kobe at nightI did not find the city very exciting, it’s rather typical modern Japanese. Kobe is a very old city, and its biggest attraction are some very old houses built in Western style, that form a small neighborhood close to the mountains. My friends said, however, that it would be interesting only for Japanese – apparently the whole city has a somewhat “Western” feeling to it, and the Japanese come here when they want to feel a bit exotic. As I said, to me it seems like an average Japanese city though…

We had dinner together – chili con carne – and we drank and talked and enjoyed the view from their 10th floor apartment… it was nice to speak in Austrian again. I left with the train shortly after 11 (one of the last ones) and when I arrived in Kyoto more than an hour later, I found out to my horror that the last buses in my direction also leave shortly after 11… By that time, the drizzle to which I had left Kyoto had stopped, so I walked home. I arrived around 1:30 – and consequently spent half of today in bed.