Sake Classification

Sake Masterclass – An Introduction

Santica

Seize the Day

The great burger! A place to ponder about life! An area where couples can hang out! The great burger! (Photo: pema yangchen) 2018 just blew me away!!That’s what one of my friends said when we proceeded to the Bridge. There was a powerful Ocean Breeze near the coastline of the southern part of Awaji-shima on […]

Shopping For Local Awaji Flavors

Onion pies Famously sweet Awaji ‘fruit’ onions Onion flavored snacks Sable cookies decorated with Hyogo Prefecture motifs These wide, flat noodles are Pera-pera (flimsy) Udon Delicious milk mochi Tiny dried shrimp Mixed rice crackers Sake flavored manju cakes Gigantic grapefruit-like citrus I’m not sure if these are rice crackers or dried eel Octopus rice crackers […]

Sumoto’s Himitsukichi Akari Cafe

Although only in Japanese, the menu does have some photos. There is ample parking in front of the building. Once inside, go through this door to enter the cafe. Enter and 'time-slip' into a 50's American diner Stop by from 9am-11am, Monday through Friday, for ¥ 200 fresh-brewed coffee. Although mainly serving tasty hamburgers, steaks, […]

Super Jumbo Ferry

Seats with a view The Super Jumbo Ferry The ferry’s splendid retro-fittings Comfortable seats for the journey Evening sun lighting up the cabins A sumo wrestling promotion on board Vending machines The amusement centre The tatami resting area View of Kobe‘s Akashi Kaikyo Bridge The ferry also transports container trucks Ferry travel is one of […]

The Akashi Sake Brewery

Rice steaming in progress (Photo: Ophelia Cai) Welcome to the Akashi Sake Brewery! (Photo: Ophelia Cai) Only available in Akashi: Rose Liqueur (Photo: Ophelia Cai) Rice soaking (Photo: Ophelia Cai) Akashi Daiginjo Sake (Photo: Akashi Sake Brewery) Akashi Yuzushu Liqueur (Photo: Akashi Sake Brewery) Akashi Sparkling Sake (Photo: Akashi Sake Brewery) Only available in Akashi, […]

The Different Styles of Sake

Two types of koshu aged for different lengths of time Akashi Tai sparkling sake Cloudy nigorizake 5 Styles of Specialty Sake: While you may think of sake as a clear, colorless beverage with a water-like appearance, this is far from the case! Sake comes in many forms, from fresh to aged, still to sparkling, clear […]

Totoro Restaurant in Himeji

Preparing the delicious sushi Not a fancy place, but people wait to get in Three meal sets. Different quality of fish in each. Inside Totoro Standing sushi restaurant Best sushi I’ve ever had It is well known that most of the best places to eat while traveling are those where locals eat. However, when the […]

Vegan Cafe Thallo

Quiche set Tofu brownie with soy ice cream Vegan ice cream Vegan ramen Tomato quiche Vegan kasaneni curry Quiche set (Photo: Vegan Cafe Thallo) Hyogo Prefecture's capital of Kobe is a bustling port city, packed with plenty to see, do, and eat. You may think that this part of Japan would be devoid of any […]

Japan’s Finest Beef at Kobe Wakkoqu

Marbled to perfection Glorious garlic Condiment options A master at work It's not (quite) all about the meat Beef and red wine, the perfect pair Marbled to perfection Whether in Kobe for hours, days or years you simply cannot leave without sampling the city’s most famed product. I am, of course, talking about Kobe beef. […]

Watami Japanese Restaurant

Beef Tataki Watami serves the kind of salads that someone from Manhattan would drool over The best wagyu Watami Salad Private dining booths Sophisticated dining in Himeji I was waiting for her at 8 pm to go to the airport. For a moment I thought she wouldn't arrive. Maybe she was whisked away, disappearing under […]

Yoi Mise in Toyooka

My cold soba noodles and tofu (Photo: Olga Kaneda) This chopstick wrapper is definitely an eye-catcher (Photo: Olga Kaneda) Inside the shop (Photo: Olga Kaneda) Enjoy the rice paddy view as you slurp your noodles (Photo: Olga Kaneda) This wasn’t a dessert! How disappointing… (Photo: Olga Kaneda) This is a kettle with water in which […]

Kobe’s Botanical Garden

Blue Ajisai Down the road Bench Kinnshibai Bridge Hasu: water lillys Blue Ajisai (Photo: Erika Clark ) A little stretch from the city is a place where nature grows. The Kobe Municipal Arboretum is filled with flowers, trees, and relaxing spaces. There are three trails you can take depending on what you like: a walk […]

Akashi Castle Park in Full Bloom

A beautiful panorama (Photo: Ophelia Cai) Shiadarezakura – weeping sakura (Photo: Ophelia Cai) Rent a pedalo at the lake (Photo: Ophelia Cai) A perfect quiet spot for some afternoon reading (Photo: Ophelia Cai) Hanami fubuki leaving a litter of petals on the water surface (Photo: Ophelia Cai) The ephemeral nature of sakura is part of […]

American Architecture in Ashiya

Frank Lloyd Wright’s Yodoko Guest House Lloyd’s house was designed to complement the surrounding natural scenery The house is adorned with many of Wright’s signature details The interior includes some of Wright’s custom furniture The top floor dining room opens to a large balcony Enjoy the views of Ashiya and Kobe from the rooftop balcony […]

Autumn colors in Nunobiki, Kobe

Autumn colors along the Nunobiki Reservoir The hiking trail starts at the back of Shin-Kobe station. Start early on an autumn morning and optimize the items you carry, as the one-hour hike is quite steep at some places. You will notice warnings not to leave any plastic bags with leftovers on the trail. Please respect […]

Bridge World at Akashi Kaikyo

Top of the Akashi Kaikyo Bridge observation deck Akashi Kaikyo from Bridge World Office Ships passing by beneath the Akashi Kaikyo Bridge A walk towards the base of the bridge A zoom in view of the expressway from the top of the bridge Nigh-time light-up Top of the Akashi Kaikyo Bridge observation deck Akashi Kaikyo […]

Christmas Flower Show on Awajishima

Visitors can sometimes enjoy Christmas musicals performed by talented Japanese children. The museum's entrance The entire museum is beautifully decorated with a variety of plants and flowers. This ten-meter-tall tree is the centerpiece of the Christmas Flower Show. A 'minature garden' Christmas display A café, decorated for Christmas, offers tasty cakes and seasonal teas. Mid Nov […]

Discounts for Tourists in Kobe

Get discounted fares on the Ropeway Kobe welcomes you! Get a discount at Taiko no Yu onsen What is the Kobe “Welcome Coupon”? Where can I obtain my coupons? Top 5 Discounts: The sixth largest city in Japan celebrates the 150th anniversary of the opening of its port this year. As one of the first […]

Discovering Awaji Island

Such a perfect day Bus ride Looking up at the bridge from Maiko Station Ocean view Resting view Boat in harbor Living in Himeji taking the JR Special Rapid train to Kobe, Osaka, or Kyoto for a weekend visit is almost second nature. The long ride allows the passenger to take in the sites, from […]

Fantasy World of Tajima

Ritsuun Gorge is a popular travel destination. You have to climb it during the night but it’s quite crowded on the eve of holidays (Photo: Masayoshi Hirose) I gave up climbing Ritsuun Gorge and climbed Fujiwa mountain pass instead, which is another vantage point and can be reached in 5 minutes from my car (Photo: […]

Hakutsuru Sake Brewery Museum

Finals stages of the brewing Life-like models are used to depict the process of Senmai (Rice Washing) Upon entering you are greeted by an impressive depiction of workers hoisting up a barrel thru the second floor A scene of sake brewers tasting their sake These are real tools used in traditional sake brewing An audio […]

Hanasajiki in Spring

Colorful panorama from the observatory Fields of golden mustard seed flowers At rest Rolling hills of gold, as far as they eye can see. A comfortable silence that is only broken by the chatter of skylarks. Fields of golden mustard seed flowers (Photo: Ophelia Cai) Hanasajiki, or ‘flower gallery’, is a relatively little-known spot to […]

Hello Kitty Smile Summer Festival

View of Hello Kitty Smile Hello Kitty photo wall in gallery Sneak peak of gallery Sneak peak of projection-mapping theatre Summer Festival carnival games Summer Festival carnival games Jul 20th Aug 31st View of Hello Kitty Smile Venue: Hello Kitty Smile When: Jul 20th – Aug 31st 2019 Hello Kitty Smile is the perfect destination […]

Hiking Kobe’s Mount Maya

The reservoir partway up the mountain The approach to Shin-Kobe station, with Mount Maya behind The first waterfall, a nice spot for lunch in warm weather The walk attracts a variety of local characters It's easy to forget you're close to the bullet train station in one of Japan's largest cities. Another falls, further up […]

Ieshima Islands: Welcome Home

View on the Island of Boze Landscape of the Island of Ie Dongamessan Fireflies Sunset on the Island of Ie Benten Island (The Island of Boze) “Ieshima” means “Home Island.” After waiting out a storm in the safety of Ieshima’s harbors around 600 BCE, Japan’s legendary first Emperor Jimmu described the islands as being, “So […]

Infiorata Kobe [Cancelled]

Kobe Infiorata Streets decked with flower paintings Sketch of the Infiorata at Kitanozaka Koi Nobori and Infiorata decorations at Kitanozaka Infiorata decorations Ijinkan and Infiorata Early May Kobe Infiorata Venue: Kobe City When: Early May 2022 Cancelled event 2021 event has been cancelled in accordance with the state of emergency. Last updated: May 10, 2021 […]

Japanese Traditional Incense at Kunjudo

Logo at the Entrance Incense making experience Displaying various essential oils used in Incense making Packing area Showroom/Souvenir shop Display of eco-friendly incenses The Kunjudo incense factory is in northwestern part of Awaji Island. Last week, I had chance to visit Kunjudo with my friends and it was once in a lifetime experience. The tour […]

Kawasaki Good Times World

Visitors can board a Series 0 Shinkansen,the first train that ran between Tokyo and Osaka Entrance of the Maritime Museum and Kawasaki World Heaven for motorcycles lovers! Sitting here, you really feel like the train is going to move SWIMO, a low-floor battery-powered light rail vehicle  SWIMO has a very modern interior Visitors can board […]

Kemmin Sun Beach on Awaji Island

Yellow sand and calm blue sea Distant view of Kemmin Sun Beach A paved promenade gives way to a sandy beach A line of palm trees add a tropical flavor Kemmin Sun Beach Resort is about 400 meters long A rather dilapidated replica of London Bridge I didn’t expect to see David here, but he […]

Kinosaki Marine World

One of the many colorful marine life exhibits The first exhibit upon entering Kinosaki Marine World Plant life hanging over the water in one of the exhibits Descending along a massive fish tank Large crabs hanging out in their tank A view over the seal, sea lion, and penguin exhibits Tucked along the Japan Sea […]

Kiyozumi Cosmos Festival

Venue: Kiyozumi Cosmos Field, Hyogo When: Oct 11th – Oct 24th 2021 Each year from around late September through until late October, approximately 5 million cosmos flowers bloom in a space of 7 hectares at the Kiyozumi Cosmos Field in Hyogo. The flowers have been cultivated in this area since 1990, and the site became […]

Kobe Airport Observation Deck

Skymark Airlines at one of the gates Observation deck Kobe Airport Night-time runway light-up of Kobe Airport Sannomiya lights as seen from Kobe Airport A Skymark Airlines plane being prepared for its next flight Kobe Airport Station Away from the high volume traffic of Kansai and Narita airports, Kobe Airport is relatively quiet and has […]

Kobe Animal Kingdom

Hajime mashite! Flower area Water-lilly pond A Beauty Water lilly Feeding penguins Kobe Animal Kingdom, formerly known as Kobe Kachoen, is a flower and animal park located in Port Island of Kobe city. You can enjoy it during any season and all types of weather, as it is an indoor park with different flowers, rare […]

Kobe City Hall Observation Lobby

Rokko mountain view from Kobe City Hall Observation Lobby Evening view of the port area Illumination snaps in the gallery Night view from the cafe on top of Kobe City Hall observation lobby Port area view Night-time Sannomiya lights Rokko mountain view from Kobe City Hall Observation Lobby (Photo: Manish) It was a hot summer […]

Kobe City Hall Observatory

In front of City Hall there’s a statue with a clock that stopped when it was damaged in the Great Hanshin Earthquake Looking northwest Looking northeast The busy central Sannomiya district Looking west Looking east There’s a pleasant, leafy park to the south of the tower And the park offers a nice view of the […]

Kobe Earthquake Memorial Museum

There are many detailed diorama on display. The building looks very modern. This diorama depicts the scene where people were taking shelter in schools. The exhibit hall houses countless photos and video interviews. Many had English labels and explanations. Whole row of diorama This one shows the destruction and how people were helping each other […]

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