Oh my god, it's a giant robot!
Tetsujin-28, the fifty foot giant robot, from an anime of the same name, stands in Kobe. He just hangs out there, in true to life size, looking quite amazing, pumping his fists to the sky. And if you come to Japan, you really do need to go and see it. I mean, come one, it's a giant robot! What more could you want? A life sized Godzilla statue? Please – just be happy with the tiny one in Ginza. Every disappointed tourist who seeks out that hidden gem fills me with joy. I don't know why – I just think it's great.
Before we reached the robot we had to find it. A lovely spirit guide met us outside the station, disguised as an old woman. She handed us a map and she was off on her way. Some time later we passed the town building where it was said you could go to the top floor and look out at the city. Still – there was no way to know how to do this, as all was abandoned at this hour.
Who should appear from out of the building, but our guide, ushering us inside and up the elevator. Looking out, we knew that her spirit would carry us from one part of the city the the next, and while she was never to return, we felt her hand guiding us. Or something creepy like that.
I don't know – it was just weird, alright? Move on.
From the robot we set off to walk to the harbour. After far too much walking for what seemed such a short distance on the map, updated GPS' were used to confirm that I had led people in a terrible direction. We were going the right way, but the maps scale was off. Like that tricky on in San Fran – but at least that one told you about the wonky scale.
Abandoning our search for the harbour, we made our way for lunch. Kobe beef lunch. I had already confirmed that I'd pay fifty dollars for this lunch – I mean, why not, right? But when the time came, and the price had jumped to over eighty, I just couldn't do it. I could not justify that expenditure. Somewhere I have a budget, and even though I can't check my funds online at the moment, as I screwed up my password three times, it still exists.
What's thirty dollars more in the grand scheme? A slippery slope!
I used the time exploring a nearby shrine, and it was beautiful and wonderful. Full of blu-somes. I then checked out he local arcade where Pachinko still seems foreign, scary, and too advanced for me. I did check out a guy rocking out on a ridiculously hard piano-hero type game, and saw the second generation of Mario Kart arcade machines.
After that? Yoshinora for a tasty rice bowl treat.
Also – since I had the magic long distance phone for people to call me on when they were finished eating, I may have also called up Katherine for a wee bit. Success for no bills.
I'm told the beef was wonderful, and magical, and everything people had dreamed of. Good. I'm glad. Some day I'll return without needing to save money for the next four months – ugh – and that will be a great time to try it out. I should also develop a love of steak first too. That might be a good idea.
From lunch we headed to a sake brewery to see where the magic happens. I hate sake. I do. It's terrible.
But the brewery? It was pretty good. Apparently they even let drunks take the tour, and then have a free drink when it's over. And then they let said drunks take the tour and repeat. It was a sad and painful thing to see – but, it was interesting.
Also – don't eat the sake cake. I don't care how hungry you are. It will just lead to you rolling it into a small ball, making a pinch pot out of it, and hiding it behind a sign.
After the tour we headed to a museum where I looked at all the information, and displays, and took pictures wearing sake making costumes. Others went to the bar where, by buying on drink, they had six more pushed on them by the bartender who figured – hey – it's closing time. Terrible things would happen to those people, and by terrible I mean wonderful.
More sake was purchased and consumed in McDonald's leading to shouts about how iDogs were wanted now, now, now!
I'm glad I hate sake – and drank no more than the little taste they gave you at the end of the tour.
And while the english guide summed up in ab out one sentence, what the Japanese guide took a minute or so to say, I'm fairly sure I'm now educated enough in the ways of brewing this beverage.
From there we headed to China Town. A collection of shops, restaurants, coloured light (can hypnotize), and alleyways.
I found the little string head guys I bought for about thirty cents in Bangkok on sale here for five dollars, and up. The exact same ones. I guess Bangkok really was a lot cheaper. Good for it. It's a shame I doubt I'll ever be back, and by shame I mean I'm totally cool with it.
I had so forgotten what it was like to love travelling, and not have time to do anything else but just make it through your day so you can start a new adventure on the next. Even if it does mean that you'll have to write dozens of posts at a later time in one constant effort to not go crazy. Nor would there be time to eat during those breaks. Eyes on the prize! Indeed, that's just how it is.
I found a can of Final Fantasy Elixir, and purchased it. It was – well it was pretty terrible. But it had a dude with a Chocobo in his afro on it, and how could I pass that up?
Back at the hostel, I caught up on lost, and copied all my photos on to Mike's hard drive to prevent an accidental wipe of a card screwing me up terribly in the future.
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