Sunday 28 June 2020

Japan Journeys: Kobe

Disclaimer: There is a currently a travel advisory issued against all non-essential travel due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Government of Canada and the State Department have advised all Canadians and Americans to avoid all non-essential travel due to the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak. In addition, all major cruise lines have suspended operations around the world until September. I am not promoting any travel during this time. Please do not travel. I am just sharing my past travels and continuing to work on my blog while we are all staying at home, practicing social distancing. If you are reading this, stay safe and healthy out there. Take care of yourself and each other. 

In comparison to Osaka and Kyoto, Kobe is a quieter and slower-paced city. We were still tired from the day before, so we decided to take it slow in Kobe. The ship provided a free shuttle from the port to the Chinatown area, so we took advantage of it. Once we were dropped off in Chinatown, we wandered the area. It was still early so most of the area was not opened yet. We grabbed some snacks from FamilyMart and melonpans from a local bakery. We made our way to Motomachidori, a "namesake" shopping street; then Sannomiyacho shopping street.

It was almost lunchtime, and we wanted to beat the lunch rush so we found a nearby Kobe beef restaurant, Steakland. Even though we were early, there was a short line. Kobe beef is Wagyu beef from Japanese Black cattle. It is valued for its flavour, tenderness and marbled texture. I didn't end up ordering Kobe beef but my husband did. The chef cooked our meals in front of us teppanyaki style. The Kobe beef is certainly very tender, but in comparison to my normal steak order, I didn't think it was a huge difference! It was a nice treat though.

While we're on the topic of food, I want to talk about food allergies. I have an anaphylactic allergy to soy and bean sprouts are included. I told our server, and asked for the chef to not serve the bean sprouts, and she fully understood but somehow, the bean sprouts still ended up on my plate. It was not mixed with my meat, so I was able to eat the beef without any issues but I wasn't happy that it was still served. After this incident, I began to notice a pattern. I personally think that food allergies are uncommon in Japan, so it's often forgotten or dismissed. So if you do have a food allergy, you may have to reiterate it several times; and if it's severe, you might have to send the plate back.

After lunch, we continued to walk around the area and stumbled upon Ikuta shrine. This Shinto shrine is believed to be one of the oldest shrines in Japan.

We walked back to Motomachidori to do some shopping, stopped to get katsu for the husband and soft serve for me. There was not much more to do around the area, so we decided to call it a day and hop back on the shuttle to port. By this time, we've fallen in love with the vending machines, and stopped to get a drink before heading back on the ship.

Our last port is coming up! Stay tuned for my milestone birthday in Yokohama...