A Taste of Kobe (Day 2)

Today our travels started on the Kaigan line. Kaigan means sea shore, and this line just so happens to run along. Take a guess.

When we arrived at Yakusen-Ji sweat was rolling down our backs and faces. It was so hot. Typical summer in Japan.
On our way, we passed students in uniform, going to school to study during their summer break.
This is a picture of the Castle monument we looked at, representing the like the emperor lost in battle with the commoners in the Heian period

Do you see that oblong dark spot on the sidewalk? That is a locust. When we got to this part, it was on its back, struggling. We flipped it over on to its feet three times.. It just kept going back onto its back and staying there.

This is the monument recognizing those who died during WWII from the American airstrike the area.

Fukuhara used to be the center of Kobe, before Sannomiya, which is why you will find that this area has a richer history.

In case you didn’t believe me when I said that Kaigen line is right by the water, Here is my proof. Behind the grandma is the shoreline. Can you see it? This was taken on our way to the next Buddhist temple on our list, the famous Sumadera

So there is a whole story to how we got to the shop street leading up to Sumadera.

The first train stop we got off at, turned out to be way too far from the temple. When we asked one of the train station assistants they told us there was no bus from that location and advised us to get back onto the train go one stop further out where we could catch the bus there.

That being said, we took the train, and as it turned out, the bus wasn’t due for another hour. We decided it was best if we just walk, in this sweltering heat, to the temple, kakigoori and chilled beverages in hand.

Here is a snap of the shop street. It is pretty rare to see these kinds of streets in modern Kobe. Now streets are usually lined with large department stores instead of a collection of tiny ma-and-pa shops.
How charming.

We passed a Buddhist monument dedicated to knowledge. This monument displays the most important thing about obtaining knowledge. You must be humble. In order to see the image of the Buddhist god you must kneel and bow your head, two forms of physically displaying humbleness.

We finally arrived at Sumadera!
You’ll find that a lot of Buddhist temples here in Japan are more colorful and ornate compared to the traditional Shinto Shrines.

This is one of the statues in front of the entrance of the main area. The god of wind is said to be the protector of Buddhist temples and typically has at least one statue at the entrance of Japanese Buddhist temples.

This is a depiction of Cannon, God with a thousand arms and a thousand eyes. Cannon is said to be able to see every single struggling person with her thousand eyes and send aid to them with her thousand hands. She was surrounded by a pond with stone and live turtles.

This is a depiction of the Gempei war, marking the area where a duel took place between Taira no Atsumori and Kumagai Naozane.

On the left, is the main entrance to the main area of the temple. On the right is a photo of the main temple, with a pot of incense burning.

We actually got to see a monk chanting and a few people praying behind him.

More incense burning as the chant goes on. You can see a golden statue Buddha in the center. As I said earlier, you will come to find that Japanese Buddhist temples are much more ornate than their Shinto counterparts. This is due to the influence of the 6 dynasties influence when Buddhism was brought to Japan through China.

They also have a Koi pond. These ones must be little babies still; they are so tiny.

The Tower. It is a pretty popular tourist spot, right across from the area of the temple holding family tombs. One of the tombs we passed actually had a glass of sake sitting in front of it as an offering to their Ancestors.

Here is a picture of some of the Buddhas. They have a Ringing bowl beside them and tiny donation boxes below them. In Japanese culture it is pretty common to toss a 5 coin into the donation box of shrines or temples.

These are the Gozarus.
Most temples only have 3, but this one has 5. The sign behind them explains why there are 5.
They are listed as see no evil, speak no evil, hear no evil, do no evil, for god is always watching.

By the Gempei war memorial, there is also a shady waiting area where we sat and ate our lunch before making our way to Suma Sui or, Suma Aquarium.

This is the outside of Suma Sui. I took a picture of here as opposed to the actual building because it was interesting. They looked like pearls made of stone lined up on the path to the Aquarium.

Can you see the fish? Pt.1

They had these yummy guys, too! (Uni, Sea Urchin)

And we had a surprise celebrity visit from Flotsam and Jetsam. They brought along a friend.

Oh, Nemo was there too.

And Dori was in a different tank still in search for something,
probably Nemo.

They also have the most adorable bread ever. Turtles and fish.

To combat the cuteness, here is a creepy picture of a fish, face illuminated in red, with the most terrifying crab ever climbing up in the background. In Japanese they’re called Nagaashi kani, which means crab with long legs.

Can you see the fish? Pt. 2
Sequels are never as good as the originals.

This guy was at the party, too. It looked like he was sticking his tongue out at us so I took a picture. In case you couldn’t tell, I went a little crazy at the aquarium. I love looking at fish.

This Fugu was so cute, I couldn’t resist taking a picture of it.
He even came and posed for me

I don’t even know what these are, but they were extremely awesome looking.

And here is my favorite.. the Jellyfish. This one is a moon Jelly. It is absolutely beautiful. They Jelly fish were kept in their own area, dimly lit and windows glossing with condensation.
I tried to take a picture of the Spotted Jellies, but they were way too fast for my Sony phone’s camera.

Of course I caught a beautiful picture of a Lion fish. It looks almost like I am right beside him.
He was in the tank with a porcupine fish.

And then we did the most summery thing you can do in Japan. We went to see the dolphin show and eat shaved ice. They dolphins are actually very brilliant here. They are very well trained and skilled at what they do.

Also, you can take purikura with the different areas of the aquarium in the background. I thought about doing this and then changed my mind.

And of course, there was the Amazon tank. They had some pretty interesting fish here, brought straight from the amazon.

I loved the tunnel, too. You could get a full view of the fish from there. Too bad it was so crowded that we had to rush through.

We also went to building number 5, an exhibition building. We had actually been trying to find that building the whole time and somehow ended up getting lost and going to the Otter building. When we finally made it to building five, we didn’t even realize that it was building five. Right now they have a horror inspired exhibit going on where you can take a glimpse at some of the creatures in real life (actually not real yokai, but hey, I’m not complaining)

This is an X-ray of the mummified mermaid they have on display there. The sign said that it was bought from a natural history museum in London.

We finally decided to seek refuge in one of the cafes on the second floor of building five, and had a nice chilled drink before heading back home.

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