7 other Nara JETs, 1 Kyoto Jet, and myself set out on a journey to the land of beef, Kobe. Initially, the plan was to visit the herb garden on Mt. Roko and see the U-kiyoe Paintings exhibit on loan from the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. One of these events did not occur. Let me explain.
I woke up early Thursday morning to catch the trains to Sannomiya station in Kobe. All of my trains (that I had meticulously scheduled), were late. They were really late. I have experienced trains that were late by 5 minutes, but on this morning, they were late by 30 minutes. Did I mention it was a rainy day too? What luck!
Once I FINALLY arrived in Kobe, we all really wanted a pick-me-up. Thanks to the handy iphone, a starbucks was located and my hot chocolate craving was sated.
We walked, trained, and sometimes skipped to the base of Mt. Roko, where the herb garden is located. We paid to take the cable car up the mountain. It was a damn good decision. The view from the cable car was stunning. We could see all of Kobe, regardless of the obscuring mist and rain. We even had a magnificent view of a waterfall on the mountain.
We went in two groups because the cars could only fit 6 people. My group arrived at the top of the mountain safely, but the 2nd group was stalled on the cable, probably 100 meters from the top. Apparently some asshole pressed the emergency button. All was soon resolved and the trip continued.
The herb garden incorporates a large part of Mt. Roko. There were fields of lavender (yes, I frolicked in them), and many other spices. I particularly liked the smell on Mt. Roko. The mountain smells like rosemary, mint, and other pleasant herbs. At the gift shop, we special ordered some Nikuman. Nikuman are meat buns. They were filled with meat and onion.
I also got my mother a magnet from the store (I am trying to get you more Mom, but magnets aren’t a big thing in this country). On a cold, wet day, they were heavenly. We also went into the green houses to check out the tropical plants. We all found an herb we really enjoy and rubbed our hands against the plants to get the smell on our hands. My hands smelled like rosemary. MMMMM…it was nice.
Part 2 is on its way!