KOBE FASHION MUSEUM
If you like fashion, you may want to come here. I say "may" because I came here to see a 60s-70s Japan exhibit & was disappointed. It was small (2 rooms) & expensive (800yen/adult). The museum looks large from the outside but as I`ve found out, most of the free-standing museums in Japan are large but the exhibit space small.
But fashion & textiles are interesting for alot of people. Check their website for current & upcoming exhibits. Just don`t be surprised if you have to pay alot for it. Also, there are no English translations available.
Address: 9, 2-chome, Koyocho-naka, Higashinada-hu, Kobe 658. Take the Rokko Liner to Island Center Station from JR Sumiyoshi or Hanshin Uozaki stations. The museum is right outside the station.
Chinese New Year
Kobe is home to one of Japan's three most famous Chinatowns (Yokohama and Nagasaki being the other two), so when the Chinese New Year arrives (setsubun), the Chinatowns are great places to visit, and Kobe is no exception!
Although the Chinatown in Kobe is relatively small, during the Chinese New Year, the performances and festivities are plentiful and occur from morning on through the evening. The actual day of the Lunar New Year is the best time to go, because they offer the most activities, some of which are only performed on that day however, the performances and celebrations last the entire week, and the final days also have more festivities! The performances are well-put together and the crowds are honestly not that bad. If you can't visit during the New Years, the Chinatown is still a nice place to go for good food and shopping!
(Because this holiday is based on the Lunar Calendar, the date changes every year, so check the day of the Chinese New Year for the year that you will be here. It always occurs around late January or early February.)
The Luminarie in Kobe gets more and more popular every year. This year the crowds were astounding. It took us well over and hour of walking with the choking crowd before we finally got to see the lovely lights.
or is it a palace for a princess...?
Poor tired police officer...
The police kept a vigilant eye on the masses: directing the surging crowd at every corner. I think only in Japan can such astonishing order be maintained. There was next to no pushing and when the crowd was forced to a halt, nobody moved an inch. Amazing. This picture was taken from outside the line-up area.
There is no age limit. Young and old love this event.
The lights were created by an Italian after the great Kobe earthquake, in order to chear the grieving citizens up. It has grown into a major event now. Walking though the lit archways, the space is filled with lights, the wizz and buzz of people taking each others photos and piped gregorian chants.
(yes, it is tacky! But we all need a little tacky sometimes!!)
A cathedral of lights awaits you...