Well, today was explore Kobe day! It was also the warmest day of the trip, so far. Ridiculous! We took a short walk around the island, followed by a long walk to lunch -- which was a pretty lovely cafe. The design and food was kind of Euro-styled (with some Japanese highlights) and the dishes and service were clearly Japanese. What I mean by this is that the building was quaint with bright colors, it had a very rustic feel. The food was like croissant sandwhiches, waffles, etc. But the glasses had like, cute lions and bunnies on them. I got a waffle with a Kabochya (green squash, much like a less smooth textured pumpkin). It wasr pretty tasty.
As for exploring, basically we just found shopping street after shopping street, it was kind of crazy. We did stop around the center of the city and listened to some live performers, called Canvas, for a while, but nothing too exciting happened. The most noteworthy thing we saw was a cowboy shop. It was ridiculously flamboyant, much more so than we would expect from American shops -- though we later discovered they were all imported from America, making everything rather expensive and significantly more sad and frightening. I would have bought a pink cowboy hat and some new boots if it was a little cheaper, though...
Around the evening we stopped in China town for literally 10 minutes, then went to city hall and the park nearby to see the city at night -- as was suggested by Gen. It was rather gorgeous, and we got to hear some musicians practice, which was kind of cool. Afterwards we got some Yakinikku for dinner -- at a place called Ton Ton (I assume Pig Pig). It was really good, and the staff was so friendly! We had Ribeye, Spicy Rib, Miso-Beef Tongue, Assorted Vegetables, a side of Cucumber Kimchi (my favorite type, they did a decent job with it!), and Mango/Vanilla mixed ice cream for desert. I also got a Yuzu Soda (Yuzu is the Citron of Citron Honey Tea, or Yujuchya for those that have read my Korean adventures). It was really nice and fun, the atmosphere was just really friendly and active. I think I prefer Korean Barbeque more, but mainly because it is cheaper and it comes with more sides (we could have ordered those sorts of sides, but it would have added at least 600Y or so for just the lettuce and rice).
We didn't really do much else in Kobe, but it was still a pretty good day. Tomorrow morning we'll either go to a cafe for breakfast, or I might try the hotel's viking breakfast, and by midday we should be in Osaka - by the evening in Nagoya. It's all moving so quickly, it's hard for me to believe we've done so much in such a short time! Oh well, it is good and necessary fun before the next semester begins.