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"A Day of Trains & Subways Galore, in Osaka & Hyogo!


Walked 16.08 km, Burnt 822 kcal.

Sight seeing spots:

 Arima Onsen
 Suihouji Koen
 Kobe-Sannomiya Station
 Minoo Park

After much contemplation, i gave up on going to Haibara for a full-day 20km hike cos
muddy track won't be pleasant nor safe. And waking up at 3AM again would be insane.

About 7AM we left for Arima Onsen. It was a countless trains' ride where we managed
to run for the wrong train and went 1 transfer backward! At Arima-guchi, the foliage of
the surrounding mountains in the mist were mesmerizing. With 1 more cable car ride,
we reached the infamous Arima Onsen (one of the best three onsens in Japan!!). We
walked to the local tourist information centre to get a hardcopy walking map, and
double checked about the onsen available for day-trip. At last we settled for the gin-noyu, which is smell-less. My partner was afraid of the oxidised iron smell of kin-no-yu,
apart from its muddy outlook. After onsen, he bought the cold coffee-flavoured milk in
glass can from a vending machine. Drinking cold milk after onsen is part of the
nostalgic onsen experience too. The vending machine is different from the conventional
machine, it is transparent, and we could see the electronic arm clamping the glass can
and then placed it at the dispenser. Suddenly I realised were in the land of machinery
and robot. This is common sight or even decades-old technology for the local. We took
a stroll to explore the neighbourhood.

We walked all the way uphill to Suihouji Koen. According to history, Toyotomi
Hideyoshi liked the momiji here so much that he said he wouldn't get bored regardless

"A Day of Trains & Subways Galore, in Osaka & Hyogo!"

of watching it how many times. The gate (sanmon) of this garden was swifted from
Fushimi Momoyama castle of Kyoto in year 1868, and refurbished by Kobe Municipal in
year 1976.

Then we headed back to Kobe-Sannomiya Station looking for a burger place out off the
station. There was a piece of paper stuck at the closed gate, stating the boss/chef need
to take an emergency break since he broke his back. Ouch!

So i went for second option, a long walk to the secluded "a marche" ()
by celebrity chef Nishikawa TakaAki and wife, which is situated at the end of
a back lane within a housing area of Kitano. Good time to practise katakana reading,
since we cannot pick our own bread, but had to tell the shopkeeper which bread for
them to take for us and placed on a nice tray, then delivered to the cashier. The
officially stated reason of practising this is because they wanted clean and unpicked
bread for every customer. Customers might talk over the bread while they choose, this
would be unhygienic. They even thought about customers picking the bread with the
thong and accidentally drop it. I think otherwise, customers might be fighting for the
bread. My partner really likes their bread, so he's putting up with these hoity-toity bits.

Then we were lost around the gigantic train stations again! There are 6 lines by 5
different companies on this station, namely: trains by Hanshin, Hankyu and JR West, 2
subways by Kobe Municipal, Kobe New Transit (the world's first fully automated train).

After walking around the same exits twice, we finally found the hankyu station, and took
3 transfers on the same line to get to Minoo Park. There are many eateries at the
Minoo Station. We walked pass plenty of stalls sending deep-fried momiji in batter.
There are many gorgeous restaurants within the park which i wish i could afford to dine
in, and dressed up for the occasion as well. Lit up (illumination) nearby a temple with a
red bridge was very impressive. Typical lit-up at temple cost about 600~800 Yen for

"A Day of Trains & Subways Galore, in Osaka & Hyogo!"

entry. Since it is free admission over here, it's a good place to practise lit-up-momiji
shots. There're even live performances of small set-ups in front of the park's insect
viewing building. I decided not to stay as the pretty young violinist was rather pitch-y
during sound check, and this obviously didn't go well with the decrease of outdoor

We took trains back to Nipponbashi and walk to my favourite fusion udon shop,
tsurutontan. There's about 20 seasonal specialties for each season, apart from their
extensive standard menu. There's even udon biscuit and udon ice-cream! I had their inhouse one of a kind hot-pot of tomato, kinoko with beef and gravy. The sizzling sound
and aroma was totally tantalising, and earned an envious look from my partner who
was having the ma-po cheese kinoko soupy udon bowl. There's no repeat of their
seasonal specialty, so 'now is the time' to eat, or you won't have a second chance. This
shop opens from 11 AM and closes on next morning 8 AM. Perfect for my 4AM
breakfast timing before heading to morning photo shooting & hike! Why i didn't come
here in the first place!