Visiting Kobe Sannomiya? Look up!
Sannomiya’s Central Street is worth a visit. It’s the main shopping mall in Kobe, and the start of an almost continuous 2km long undercover walkway.
However, it isn’t a purpose-built mall. Instead it has the feel of a regular street with a canopy installed. That gives it a lot of irregular buildings on either side. Some of these are just a couple of floors, others have five or more. Then there’s the basement level.
Most of the time they’re self-contained. So if you’re in the top-floor bookshop on one side of the street and want to go to the model shops on the other, you must go down to ground level, walk across, and back up.
Which is a pain.
Except in a couple of places, there are bridges tying the two sides together. Look up and you might spot them. They look like suspended catwalks, as chaotic as the canopy above. Until a while ago they were plain and boring, functional passageways rarely used.
Recently, someone decided to give them a little character. Wooden furniture and detail added to the space to create places to sit and relax with a coffee. Or a laptop.
I might be tempted to pop along with a takeaway coffee and watch the world go by.