The majority of last week was spent in a car driving from Tokyo to Kobe & Osaka for a quick work trip.
We set off on Tuesday night post midnight to drive to Kobe – a 520km journey to cover overnight.
We reached Kobe around 9am and headed straight to the exhibition venue. As this was a work trip, most of our time in Kobe was occupied in an exhibition center or working from our hotel. Kobe, known as a cosmopolitan port city isn’t particularly a tourist destination. Fun fact, Kobe is the sixth-largest city in Japan, located on the souther main island of Honshu.
We stayed at the Sheraton Hotel for 3 days, 2 nights – it was a really comfortable stay with plenty of Japanese / Western influences. I thoroughly enjoyed a nice warm onsen bath after a long day on Wednesday (the day we reached to Kobe). The breakfast buffet was amazing – and of course I stuffed myself Thursday/Friday morning before leaving the hotel.
With the weather being in our favor, we experienced beautiful sunny, warm days and stunning sunsets that became the highlight of our stay.
Thursday evening, we drove to the outskirts of Osaka’s Cosmo Tower where we got to see a breathtaking 360-degree panoramic view of the city. 55 floors above ground, you are able to see all the way out to the Kansai International Airport, Awaji Island and Rokko Mountains! We arrived just a few minutes after sunset and managed to have a glimpse of the sun setting right in front of us – such a stunning night view with the city illuminated and flashing lights of floating ships offshore.
On our way back to Tokyo on Friday, we stopped by Osaka (just an hour away from Kobe) and did a bit of sightseeing. This being my second time in Osaka, I was most excited of visiting Dōtonbori again – one of the prime tourist destinations in Osaka.
Dōtonbori runs along the Dōtonbori canal and is known for its nightlife and entertainment it has to offer. Although, I didn’t get to see it lit with illuminated signboards like it is at night, I was glad to see the Glico man again! We walked around Shinsaibashi shopping street before driving to see the Osaka Castle.
Osaka Castle is another prominent landmark in Japan that signifies the unification during the sixteenth century. Being heavily crowded by large tour groups, we strolled around the Castle Park instead of going inside.
And that was it. By 4pm we strapped ourself back in the car and headed back to Tokyo. As we hit major traffic whilst leaving Osaka, it took us nearly 7 and a half hours to get to Tokyo.
I write this post as I am sitting on my couch, sipping on green tea and back to being a city girl.
Defnitely gained a new perspective to Japan after this road trip to Kobe and Osaka compared to my first trip to the two cities ten years ago.
Cheers to more Japan travels!