Like most people, I always assumed that Kobe is just the name of that black basketballing man, but it turns out it’s also a city in Japan. After spending the night on a ferry fighting off the advances of a derange cuddle buddy, I was glad to reach dry land, and set out into the breaking dawn to explore Kobe. Like most Japanese cities it’s big and busy and impressive, but this place sets itself apart by being wedged between steep, forested mountains and the effulgent ocean. Effulgent, great word!
My first port of call (pardon the hilarious pun!) was the Kobe Port Tower. At 108m, it’s even taller than the basketballman of the same name, and would surely be the first thing knocked over by Godzilla, Mothra or Gamera should they ever turn up. I wanted to go to the top and have a look out at the waking city, but it was unfortunately being used to shoot scenes for the popular Japanese soap opera That’s So Yamamoto!, so I just had to stand at the bottom, gazing up in wonder, listening to a little bloke explain how wonderful the view is.
There’s a maritime museum right next to the tower and, while I didn’t go inside, there are some cool exhibits out the front. There are a couple of fancy boat prototypes that look like they’d be better suited to visiting Uranus (Oi! Up the back! Stop giggling!), and the view along the harbour is pleasant enough. I mean, it didn’t blow my mind, but it’s not like I saw dead bodies floating in the river or anything.
I’ve been staying in shared accommodation for the past week or so, and the lack of ‘me time’ has obviously lead to me feeling a bit frustrated in the penis region. The situation wasn’t helped by the number of naked – and stunningly attractive – statues scattered around Kobe. I didn’t even attempt to stop myself from feeling them up. I mean, if they’re going to stand there with their tits out, they’re asking for it, as far as I’m concerned.
With the harbour marked off my checklist of things to see, it was time to head for the hills. The Nunobiki Falls aren’t far from downtown and are considered national treasures, and the 20 minute bushwalk from Shinkobe Station is a good way to escape the city. For the more adventurous, the trek continues to the top of the mountain and gets pretty bloody steep, and it was made more difficult because I had my entire worldly possessions in my backpack. For fat cunts – or those smart enough not to trudge up a mountain on a hot day – there’s a cable car.
Bizarrely, there’s a traditional German house and a lovely beer garden at the top, looking out over the city. Thursty from my hike, I smacked my lips, trotted up to the girl at the counter, and ordered the biggest and coldest jug of beer they had. Imagine my heartbreak when she told me they didn’t have any beer, but she could pour me a cup of peach tea if I really wanted it. I shook my head sadly and wandered back down the hill with tears in my eyes and pain in my soul. I mean, I bought a beer from a convenience store when I got to the bottom and drank it in a park, but it just wasn’t the same.