The excitement from the previous night wasn’t any low in the morning. As Divya said, I am indeed bitten by the travel bug. At this point, I just want to get into any train, go somewhere and do something different. Kobe is exactly all that I want in a trip. We hardly knew anything about what to expect, though we did have an itinerary. Going into the tourist information at Sannomiya, we were left with new places to visit and more confusion. Time was chasing us, as it is as almost noon.
We headed to Akashi Kaikyo Bridge, from Sannomiya. Reaching Maiko in about fifteen minutes was a trip worth remembering. Travelling by the coast in a train was again part of my perfect journey. The very sight of the bridge made the trip worth it. Walking by the glass panes and feeling like walking over water was priceless. We didn’t want to leave, but the day was long and promising. Back to Sannomiya, we walked to the ropeway and the spice garden at Mt. Rokko. Kitanocho was only a bypass in our plan, but we spent quite some time walking by the houses-turned-shows – the Sherlock Holmes House, Trick Art Museum and many more. Nothing got our fancy as much as the ropeway, and we kept walking. I am not sure if I have been on a ropeway as a child, but this felt like a never before experience. Suspended from a thin rope, floating in air, it was an amazing experience – the waterfalls, the dam, other travellers cars in the rope way, and the safety net below you. Spending some time at the curio stall and food place, clicking a couple of pictures, we were good to go down the rope way. The spice garden was conveniently ignored, as we floated down the rope way, to foot of the mountain.
Shortly after getting into a bus, we reached Mt. Maya. The cable car was waiting for us, but we were preoccupied with Pepper, the robot. Seeing him talk, dance and pose for photos with us, we spent a while at the foot of the mountain, waiting for the next trip. Hopping on to the car, sitting next to the ‘locopilot’ and watching him take us uphill through the tracks, we couldn’t wait for the ropeway that awaited us at the end of the cable car. It was getting darker, but the ropeway was still beautiful. We were at the top of the mountain for the sunset. It was a cloudy evening, unfortunately. Not any lesser, Mt. Maya is famous for its lit-up view of Kobe and Osaka. Immersed in the view, we spent a while there, until we realised we were getting late for China Town and Harbor Land.It was barely ten when we reached China Town, famous for its street food, but the place was almost completely sleeping. The shops were all closed, much to Divya’s and Saikat’s dismay. Online reviews were not completely to be trusted after all. Grabbing some makeshift dinner, we headed to Harbor Land, to make the most of the rest of the trip. As anticipated, it was a beautiful place by the backwaters, with a majestic Ferris wheel. I wished I could be more scared of the Wheel, but it was all the more exciting to see the lights from the restaurants, and the Kobe tower, from the height. It was worth spending more time there, but the last train was not much away. Running late, almost all the shops were closed and we had no dinner, and was exhausted after the long day. Reaching Minami Kusatsu after midnight, we had to walk all the way back to hostel. One of the very rare instances, when I was still up and energetic for an hour long walk, I realised how deep the travel bug had bitten me. All the more, the night stays lovely as a cherished memory.