There was some festival on the day we went to Kobe. It was some music thing with flamingo dances and stuff, but it meant that half the roads in Sannomiya were blocked off and no buses could run.
It was ridiculously hot as usual, and the pedestrian malls were all open air and unairconditioned. It was almost hotter than being outside! The people didn’t seem to mind so much, I really couldn’t believe it. There were huge blocks of ice placed at intervals along one of these street malls, and people were packing around to melt them.
We walked to the dock area, and went up the Kobe Tower, which was free for some reason, and very crowded. We had some Akashi-yaki, which was like takoyaki sized mini omelettes with some dipping sauce/soup. It is a specialty of the area and originated in Akashi, 5min down the train line.
At night we went up Mt Maya to see the famous Kobe night view. The way up was via a cable car and then a ropeway. There was a thunderstorm that night though, and we had to wait almost an hour while they tried to decide whether it was ‘safe’ to go up. The storm finally let up and they gave the cable car a ‘test run’ (to see if it doesn’t slip back down, crash, and kill everybody inside I guess). We finally made it up, and had about 30min up top before they announced the storm was coming back and we all had to go immediately or be left there for the night!