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Newer Page 575 of 968 Older Full Trip Report
Japan Kobe Hiking Garden Takaoyama

16 March 2014

More mountains, Kobe

In a rather familiar order of events, this morning I took a train some place and climbed a mountain, because I am just so predictable.
Today the destination was Kobe, which isnt too far from Osaka, and I have been before, and I have written before about how it was destroyed in an earthquake not that long ago.
I was thinking about this whilst wandering about, there really hasnt been a big earthquake in California for ages. I dont know what that has to do with Japan, except Japan keeps having theres but California gets none. So much stored energy.

Last time I was here, I went up a tram thing pulled up a mountain quite a distance from the city proper. It was cold, there was snow in spots, and a golf course and not much else except a great view and a vending machine.
This time I stuck to the centre of the city and went up the most popular of mountains to a herb garden. Yes! a herb garden.
As you will see, there is a cable car thing, which I ended up taking down the mountain so I could make it back to my hotel in time to watch the grand prix (a familiar challenge for me whilst on holidays, as I speak justin.tv is working great for stealing streams once I logged in as nobody89876878 password 12345!).
The walk I was going to do was to a waterfall, which I read was a good half day activity, not overly strenuous if you take plenty of breaks....
Well after 6 minutes of taking stairs 2 at a time, shoving weak senior citizens in my path, I was at the waterfall. Plenty of other people were doubled over looking longingly at the automatic electric defibrilators installed here.
This was not a mountain to have all to yourself, the photos below show that, and as is often the case, theres too many photos, none are funny, and many are similar.
I did manage to get lost and find paths that I dont think were meant to be paths, those I had to myself.

Japan-Kobe-Hiking-Garden-Takaoyama - Important to start the day with a healthy balanced breakfast. Balanced on my hand as I take the photo.

Important to start the day with a healthy balanced breakfast. Balanced on my hand as I take the photo.


Japan-Kobe-Hiking-Garden-Takaoyama - Flower street in Kobe, near the Sannomiya station. I stopped to smell the flowers. I also walked up the street to the foot of the mountains even thoug

Flower street in Kobe, near the Sannomiya station.
I stopped to smell the flowers. I also walked up the street to the foot of the mountains even though theres a number of subway options under where I am standing here.


Japan-Kobe-Hiking-Garden-Takaoyama - Looking back towards the bay area, which is massive, and polluted as the sky will show in later photos today. Japan is full of giant LED screens givin

Looking back towards the bay area, which is massive, and polluted as the sky will show in later photos today. Japan is full of giant LED screens giving live PM2.5 readouts so that people will buy more gas masks that do nothing at all.


Japan-Kobe-Hiking-Garden-Takaoyama - Finding where I want to be proved very difficult. All roads funnel you to the cable car, which I consider to be for old aged pensioners and cripples.

Finding where I want to be proved very difficult. All roads funnel you to the cable car, which I consider to be for old aged pensioners and cripples.


Japan-Kobe-Hiking-Garden-Takaoyama - Not even joking, the way to access this mountain on foot requires you to go through the Shin Kobe station car park under the station and out the back.

Not even joking, the way to access this mountain on foot requires you to go through the Shin Kobe station car park under the station and out the back.


Japan-Kobe-Hiking-Garden-Takaoyama - After a few minutes you are at the waterfall. Its nothing special. Lots of people thought it was magnificent. This is number #17 scenic waterfall in a

After a few minutes you are at the waterfall. Its nothing special. Lots of people thought it was magnificent.
This is number #17 scenic waterfall in all Kansai region Japan.


Japan-Kobe-Hiking-Garden-Takaoyama - Lots of people. It was much warmer today, my jacket was certainly over kill. That doesnt stop your average Japanese person from making the arduous 6 m

Lots of people.
It was much warmer today, my jacket was certainly over kill. That doesnt stop your average Japanese person from making the arduous 6 minute hike with enough gear to survive a trip to the magnetic south pole.


Japan-Kobe-Hiking-Garden-Takaoyama - About half way on my journey, a good spot to stop and use one of the many public toilets and take a progress shot. China levels of smog unfortunately,

About half way on my journey, a good spot to stop and use one of the many public toilets and take a progress shot. China levels of smog unfortunately, on what appeared a clear day from ground level.


Japan-Kobe-Hiking-Garden-Takaoyama - Some kind of an ancient dam.

Some kind of an ancient dam.


Japan-Kobe-Hiking-Garden-Takaoyama - Turns out it wasnt so ancient, theres a whole hydro / sewerage / drinking water plant up here and quite a few dams, damn it.

Turns out it wasnt so ancient, theres a whole hydro / sewerage / drinking water plant up here and quite a few dams, damn it.


Japan-Kobe-Hiking-Garden-Takaoyama - Getting nearer the top now and I find myself at a herb garden.

Getting nearer the top now and I find myself at a herb garden.


Japan-Kobe-Hiking-Garden-Takaoyama - The idea of the herb garden is to take the cable car to the top then walk down to another cable car station. Its probably not the best time to visit,

The idea of the herb garden is to take the cable car to the top then walk down to another cable car station.
Its probably not the best time to visit, as most stuff is dead or being re planted.
One advantage of entering from the bottom is theres no gate to actually pay anyone.
The garden itself is on a steep slope, steeper than much of the rest of the climb. I can imagine old folks tumbling down the hill.
Potentially I have entered the paid area of the herb garden via an access path to check on water salinity or the structural integrity of the cable car pole or some such thing.


Japan-Kobe-Hiking-Garden-Takaoyama - The hazey view from the top.

The hazey view from the top.


Japan-Kobe-Hiking-Garden-Takaoyama - Its me! In my commando pants. These are my favourite pants by far. Every time I wear them is to be celebrated, I have a special dance I do each time I

Its me! In my commando pants. These are my favourite pants by far.
Every time I wear them is to be celebrated, I have a special dance I do each time I put them on which shall remain private.


Japan-Kobe-Hiking-Garden-Takaoyama - Theres a nice chalet thing at the top if thats what you want to see. You can buy herbs and hot dogs. Hot dogs seem to be the only food option availabl

Theres a nice chalet thing at the top if thats what you want to see. You can buy herbs and hot dogs.
Hot dogs seem to be the only food option available. I did not have a hot dog, the sauce and mustard dog had lettuce on it, and enough sauce to last a millennia.


Japan-Kobe-Hiking-Garden-Takaoyama - Guilt at not paying got the better of me, so I went and asked at the information desk. They were confused as to how I got in. It seems the admission f

Guilt at not paying got the better of me, so I went and asked at the information desk.
They were confused as to how I got in.
It seems the admission fee is the cable car ride. So I guess I better ride it back down.
I think she issued me a ticket for using a procedure for people who lost their ticket, but I did pay.


Japan-Kobe-Hiking-Garden-Takaoyama - More view. City still standing, no sign of Godzilla.

More view. City still standing, no sign of Godzilla.


Japan-Kobe-Hiking-Garden-Takaoyama - Left view.

Left view.


Japan-Kobe-Hiking-Garden-Takaoyama - Once back around the station area, where there are about 4 stations belonging to different railway companies, and theres thousands of places to eat an

Once back around the station area, where there are about 4 stations belonging to different railway companies, and theres thousands of places to eat and shops and a labyrinth of above and below ground corridors.
I tried to find the place I ate last time I was here, a counter in an alleyway called pyramid curry. I couldnt find it.
Perhaps the guy that runs it who I recall chasing me bowing in a super excited fashion accidentally knocked himself out doing that at some point and the store got replaced by a seven eleven.


Japan-Kobe-Hiking-Garden-Takaoyama - Instead I had ramen. Pretty average! But cheap. Now to race home in time for the grand prix. How boring. Also I think this marks the half way point of

Instead I had ramen. Pretty average! But cheap. Now to race home in time for the grand prix. How boring.
Also I think this marks the half way point of my holiday. For most non existent viewers of this nonsense, the second half will be less interesting than the first, cause no one besides me ever seems to go to Taiwan.


NewerPage 575 of 968OlderFull Trip Report