A walk around Sorakuen Gardens, the old foreign settlement and Sannomiya
Japan’s Golden Week has arrived again. Over the course of 10 days there are 4 public holidays, one lengthening a weekend, three more sitting mid-week. It’s a time of year when the Japanese rush off to enjoy holidays – and traffic jams can easily exceed twenty kilometres.
For my part, I decided to start the holiday week with something a little closer to home.
Located a short walk from Kencho-Mae, this small park is a beautiful escape from the bustle of Kobe. A traditional Japanese Garden with walkways to explore and secrets to uncover, there’s barely a vista that isn’t photogenic. As is the way with traditional gardens, it changes as the year progresses. I missed the Sakura (cherry blossom), but caught the azalea. A return for the autumn Kyo looks to be in order.
This is nothing more exciting than a long, wide road. However, it’s also an opportunity to enjoy some of the architectural signatures Kobe has to offer.
Kobe has a multi-cultural heritage (insofar as Japan can manage), and has borrowed a few bits of culture here and there. One example is the annual Infiorata, where pictures are formed on the street by flower petals. The high-point of the mini-festival is considered to be when it moves to the old foreigner settlement, and it’s possible to see all the displays at once.
Between Sannomiya and Harborland is a series of covered shopping streets which stretch for about two kilometres.