We left Hiroshima for Osaka fairly early in the morning. Somewhere along the line, the Missus said, "Kobe is on the way, right? Why don't we stop in Kobe......." I took little convincing (you know why, right?). Admittedly, we had done no research (on sights) in Kobe, so we just winged it. Japan is one of the most convenient countries we've visited. We got off at Shin-Kobe Station, found the information booth, were recommended a couple of sites, got directions to storage lockers and were off.
Now, it was explained that we should catch the subway to Sannomiya, where Kobe's city center. But if you've read enough travel posts, you know the Missus....."it doesn't look too far on the map, we can walk there." And it really wasn't. We wandered about, taking some time to check out the Kobe location of Tokyu Hands...no it's not what you think. Tokyu Hands is a chain of Department Stores. You haven't lived until you visit a couple of department stores in Japan, it's quite an experience....and if you're a guy, shopping in one of those packed by the square inch places will make you wish you were dead...like Matsumoto Kiyoshi in Shinsaibashi, but that's for later.
A short way up the street from Tokyu Hands was this shrine, Ikuta Jinja.
Here's the sign with the history and story.
Soon enough we started getting hungry. Because of the rather impromptu nature of this stop, I had to dig through by ever fading memory and come up with something. Along the way, I saw a sign, and I knew we were covered.
We'd lucked out, this, along with Wakkoqu were the only two places I could remember.
This location of Mouriya had just opened for lunch and we were the first customers of the day. The place is obviously aimed at tourists, but I was fairly certain we'd be able to get what I wanted here.....
There was a brief discussion....well not so much a discussion, as I explained to the Missus that it was "A-5, or we might just as well leave." After all, when would we be back in Kobe? Here's more information on Kobe/Wagyu Beef than I could ever hope to include in a post.
I thought a 150 grams, about 5 ounces or so per person would be more than enough....it's rich stuff, not "all you can eat prime rib."
While the chef prepped the teppan, we had a Kabocha Bisque...
And a green salad, which the Missus, missing green salads inhaled.
And then it was the star of the show.
We selected one sirloin(the Missus) and one rib (Me).
Good lord, look at all that marbling. When asked about doneness we queried the chef. He said for A5 medium is preferred, except for certain parts of the sirloin....too rare would be like eating "all fat". So we left it up to him.
Each piece is divided up by section, leaner pieces get trated a certain way, the fat another, the mega-marbled yet another.
Watching $100 pieces of meat being cooked in front of you is quite mesmerizing......
Sauces were provided, but I can't tell you what they were since I never used them. The Missus and I swapped as we saw fit; the very rare pieces of the sirloin came to me.....just buttery, beefy, and almost sweet. The Missus also gave me the seared fat cap, telling me, "you can't say I don't love you now, can you?" Oh my.....oh my.....the term melts in your mouth is over used in my opinion, except in this case. That wonderful flavor of beef fat as it melted on my tongue is unforgettable.
As we left, the place started filling up......mostly tourists as far as I could tell. I hope they appreciated the treat that was in store.
I couldn't help but think that this is why the Missus and I work so hard.....for these 3-5 weeks of the year, when we get to explore and enjoy what the rest of the world has to offer.
Mouriya 2-1-17 Shimoyamatedori Chuo-ku, Kobe, Japan
As we left the restaurant, the Missus told me, "okay fat boy, let's burn off some of those calories....."
I'd seen "Nankin-machi" on the map.....Chinatown. I have fascination with Chinatown's across the world, so of course we had to go and check it out.
We found people in Japan to be ever so polite if not especially warm. Folks in Hiroshima and Osaka were even more so to us. Twice when we stopped to look at our map, folks came up to us to point us in the right direction. One of the people who stopped to help us, smiled, pointed, and said, "Daimaru.....Daimaru". And yes, it right across the street from Daimaru.
It was quite fascinating......that Baozi place above was doing some major business. There were street hawkers inviting you into their restaurants.
It was also a heck of a lot cleaner than just anout any Chinatown we've visited.
The Missus enjoyed checking out the various menus......though I don't think we'd want to partake.
The most interesting business we saw was this one.
Love the section under system:
- You can touch owls and take pictures in our cafe
Ok, so this might be really cool for you....for me....not so much.
Well, I think this was a sign that we needed to head back.
So we walked back to Shin-Kobe.
I was surprised to see a Honolulu Coffee location in Kobe!
We had a fun time in Kobe, but it was time to head to Osaka....and take a nap!