Saturday, June 18, 2011

June 18th

Lousy weather today. It was either raining or really humid. We decided to find something to do that was indoors.

Turns out there isn't much to do indoors except shopping. Since we're not shoppers we decided to check out the Hyogo Prefecture Art Museum. Hyogo prefecture is the area in which Kobe is located. Prefectures are like states but major cities are their own prefectures. So, even though Kobe and Osaka are right next to each other, Osaka is not in Hyogo, it is in its own prefecture. Imagine if New York City was its own state and then the rest of New York state was a totally different state.

We visited the museums permanent collection. They also have a visiting Kandinsky exhibit but we didn't want to use up all our rainy day plans on one Saturday. They had a mixture of pastoral landscapes and modern art. There were some works that looked more like my idea of traditional Japanese art, very simple brush strokes on silk or detailed woodblock prints called Ukiyoe, but they were all done in the early 20th century.

The museum is right on the p
ort, so after checking out the art we tried walking along the water. After the earth quake in the 90's the city built a park area with wide walk ways, basket ball courts, areas to barbecue and have picnics, and an amphitheater area along that section of the port. There was hardly anyone out because of the weather so it was the most spacious place we've been to here. Unfortunately, the rain only stopped for about 10min so we didn't last long outside either.

We decided to try one of the ubiquitous Waffle House/Denny's inspired restaurants here. Their models are of sandwiches and pancakes and waffles. It was rather disappointing. I got a Japanese BLT with a fried egg in there too. Craig got a “Chiken Basuketto.” The pancake and waffle selection was so over the top sweet with syrup and whipped cream and ice cream we're guessing they're actually for dessert or, if Japanese people think Americans eat that kind of stuff for a meal, no wonder they name restaurants King and Heavy.

At this point it was about 4pm, raining steadily, and we don't even have a couch at home, yet. So, we decided to go to Sannomiya and see what movies were playing. The movie theater is on the 9th floor of a mall. Seriously, the mall had 7 floors of shops, the 8th was all restaurants, and the 9th was the movie theater and more restaurants. This is one of the stores and I couldn't resist getting a picture of Craig standing under the sign. Luckily, theaters here tend to show films either with subtitles or dubbing, and Craig knew the kanji for 'kanji' so we knew which time to go to get subtitles so we could listen to the original English. We saw X-Men First Class, which I thought was a really great super hero movie. I don't know why it isn't doing better. The only problem was the subtitling is all in Japanese so when characters spoke in German or Russian we didn't get the translation. Craig did the German for me but we just had to guess at the Russian scenes.

After the movie we went to a well recommended Indian restaurant. It was really 'oishi' delicious. We had palak paneer, chickpeas in a curry sauce and naan, glorious naan!

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