Explore Kobe - my most recommended half-day tour! - Waku Waku

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Explore Kobe - my most recommended half-day tour!

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Explore Kobe - my most recommended half-day tour!

"Kobe" is not just about BEEF! This Japanese 6th biggest city has the must-visit "stunned" statue, the unique "cousin of Takoyaki" dish, and more! I will introduce you to my most recommended Kobe trip guide.

Vy Nguyen

Vy Nguyen

Published on 31 Mar, 12:00

Being the 6th largest city in Japan and the critical trading port from long ago, Kobe has been met with various cultures from China to Western countries. Therefore, you'll get to experience multiple cultural diversities when traveling here. It's like getting to travel around the world in just one city!

Explore Kobe - my most recommended half-day tour!

An attraction I found interesting was Kobe Tetsujun Sangokushi Museum. To be honest, it was entirely up to a compatriot friend of mine, who was an international student in Kobe at the time, to plan the trip, so I couldn't get a general idea of what the trip would be like.

But I was astounded when I saw the giant iron figure from afar, signaling that we had arrived. Upon getting closer, I was indeed "stunned" by its size.

My neck got hurt looking up to this
My neck got hurt looking up to this

Although I'm not an anime fan, I've seen this Tetsujin-28 go iron man character in many Japanese works, proving the popularity of this character in Japan. Tetsujin-28 go is one of the most memorable mangas of the artist Yokoyama Mitsuteru whose hometown is Kobe. Therefore, I think this museum is also a way to commemorate him.

This Tetsujin-28 figure statue is made of steel with a height of up to 20m!
Let's try out many poses with Tetsujin. Fighting!
Let's try out many poses with Tetsujin. Fighting!

After checking in to our satisfaction with the giant iron man, we moved on to the next destination.

Sangokushi Museum - Three Kingdoms

The works there were diverse, from classical statues and paintings to modern ones.

Even though I found the decoration eye-catching and sophisticated, I was not truly appealed as I hadn't read Records of the Three Kingdoms yet. Nevertheless, this could be an engaging spot for the guys. Due to the museum's rules, I could only take a few photos outside with Records of the Three Kingdoms as a theme.

Entrance to the museum
Entrance to the museum
The masks are drawn subtly. Those who know about Records of the Three Kingdoms would have fun looking for each character on display here.
The masks are drawn subtly. Those who know about Records of the Three Kingdoms would have fun looking for each character on display here.
Even the vending machines have to follow the style.
Even the vending machines have to follow the style.

This is a Records of the Three Kingdom-ish restroom!
This is a Records of the Three Kingdom-ish restroom!

After strolling around, my favorite moment had finally come: trying out Akashiyaki!

As a gourmand, I was really excited when my friend introduced this dish as the "cousin" of the highly popular Takoyaki.

And when I took the first bite, I indeed had to admit that Akashiyaki was "familiar, yet strange, and at the same time, strange, yet familiar", with the look and taste similar to those of Takoyaki, but had its own characteristics to become a must-try dish upon traveling here.

A 10-piece course of Akayashi was around 500 Yen, with the sauce contained in a lovely little kettle
A 10-piece course of Akayashi was around 500 Yen, with the sauce contained in a lovely little kettle

As for the ingredients, compared to Takoyaki, Akashiyaki is also made from flour, chicken eggs, and octopus but does not include red ginger, spring onion..., so the Akashiyaki dumpling is much softer. The piece of Akashiyaki is not as round and solid as that of Takoyaki. Still, it is a bit flatter instead, as the amount of flour is less than that in Takoyaki, and the primary ingredient is chicken eggs.

In addition, if Akashiyaki is served with sauce and mayonnaise, it tastes like Vietnamese "bánh căn", because it is also covered in a bit of sauce, then dipped in Japanese sauce with spring onions. This sauce also helps emphasize the flavor and cool down the dumpling, thus preventing the gluttonous from "burning the mouth"!

On zooming in, they look like lovely little cream puffs
On zooming in, they look like lovely little cream puffs

Akayashiki would be more favorable than the hot and rich Takoyaki for those who like the soft and gentle flavor.

You can enjoy this Akayashiki at Akashiyaki Takoyaki Chie, one of the restaurants near Kobe Tetsujun Sangokushi and famous for this dish.

It takes half a day to visit Kobe Tetsujun Sangokushi and enjoy Akashiyaki. Because the tourist area is indoors, you can go in the morning or midday to stay away from the sun, enjoy Akayashiki, and come back to central Kobe at a less sunny time to visit the beautiful Western district of Kobe Kitano Ijinkan-gai here.

A corner of a house from the hill. There are many houses built on a country-based theme like English House, Denmark House, French House... here
A corner of a house from the hill. There are many houses built on a country-based theme like English House, Denmark House, French House... here
There are even residential areas with beautiful classical Western-style like this inside the city.
There are even residential areas with beautiful classical Western-style like this inside the city.

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