Monday, September 26, 2011

Kobe: Our New Favorite City.

After a rough typhoon and seven straight days of rain (I WISH I was kidding!), the skies cleared and another glorious 3-day weekend was upon us!


 Matt and I drove to Kobe last Friday. The mountain landscapes in Hyogo are just as breathtaking, if not moreso than Kyoto's! Driving on Japanese highways is a little confusing at first. You take a ticket when you get on the highway, and each exit has a little machine where you pay money according to the distance traveled. The expressways are a bit of a nightmare, though, and leave no room for mistakes! We had to take a long loop around the Kobe metro area since we missed a turn, and paid for it dearly in tolls.  Parking is also an adventure in itself. I won't even go there.

Taking the train to cities within 3-4 hours of us (Okayama, Kobe, Osaka, Kyoto) is costly, and with driving you have to account for tolls, gas, and parking. The best solution is to drive to the suburbs and train in. Next time we won't be buying mass amounts of furniture, and will just do this instead.

One of the main shopping areas in Sannomiya.

Tokyu Hands! Alas, no decoden cabochon supplies were found here.

Ahhh, the cityscape. How I miss it already.

Kobe itself is amazing, and often compared to San Francisco, one of our dream cities to live in. Matt and I were definitely in awe at how massive it was compared to Kyoto-shi, and slightly envious of the JETs that get to live there! It's a very couple-friendly city, too. This wasn't exactly a sightseeing/shopping trip aside from IKEA, but my friend Misty took us to some of her favorite spots around Sannomiya, the main area of Kobe.

I did find adorable Japanese fabrics! Next time, I plan to purchase some~

LOFT = Rilakkuma heaven. I want everything.

I got my Starbucks fix.

The next day we met up with our lovely friends Jess and Brian! They took the shinkansen in from Okayama and we conquered IKEA as a group. We also stayed in the city for a few more hours to spend time together. ♥ Our next big trip will hopefully be to Okayama to visit them. The boys can watch football and have endless Auburn/Alabama debates. Jess and I can go shopping, take purikura, and sing karaoke.

Here's a peak at our living room!
Hanging photos & original illustrations, from my friend J.
I finally have my own little desk area, in the bedroom.

Our apartment is slowly starting to come together! It's like a dream to finally have some decent furniture. There are still some personal touches we would like to buy, and basic items as well, like matching curtains for the bedroom and some nice bath mats. I should feel comfortable making a little video tour in a month or two, though!

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