Spring Breaking in Japan: Kansai

My friends from America came to visit me while graduation was going down.  They have visited me before in the past, so I knew I was in for a fun time.  They arrived at an awkward time for me though, as I was feeling really down from graduation still.

Our first day together took place the day after graduation.  While I thought I was fine after the ceremony, I would get random, severe bouts of sadness while we were out.  I was on the verge of crying at least a couple of times the first day.  However, they managed to distract me enough that I would laugh at whatever they were doing and I would forget about my sad thoughts.  We didn’t do anything too exciting the first day, we just wandered around Den Den Town.  I bought myself a Yotsuba tote bag because it was super cheap:

I’m a sucker for anything Yotsuba related

I’m a sucker for anything Yotsuba-related.

The second day involved going to Fushimi Inari.  I had already been there before, but I was happy to go again.  Unfortunately my friends gotten up late so we didn’t get there until the afternoon.  We were there only briefly but it was still fun:

Andrew being…Andrew.

Andrew being…Andrew.

One of my friends got sick halfway through so we had to send him off.  We decided to head back into the city and just do some shopping.  Honestly we didn’t do as much as I would have like to do but it was their trip, not mine.  I guess it just reminded me that a group trip is a lot different from a solo trip.  I hadn’t done group trips in forever so I forgot that you had to adjust to everyone’s speed.  I suppose I do things a lot faster than most people so I had to definitely slow down for them.  While we didn’t get as much done, it was definitely more fun than being on your own.

The third day in Kansai involved going to Kobe and finally trying out Kobe beef.  I have been here for almost three years and had never gotten the chance to eat one.  Steak is my favorite food and I have heard countless of stories of how Kobe beef was a magical meat due to the ways Kobe cows are raised compared to other countries.  We headed to a place called Steakland which was somewhat fancy.  We were too late for the lunch special but we didn’t care and ordered anyways.  We got a dinner course which involved soup, octopus, veggies, garlic chips and finally, Kobe steak.

The fun part of the meal was that you got to see the chef prepare everything in front of you.  His way of cooking was very professional and it was very fascinating to see how he prepared everything.  His English was pretty good too.  We tried our best not to fill our stomachs too much until the steak was finally cooked.  Finally, it was the moment of truth:

Kobe steak.  The god of steaks

Kobe steak.  The god of steaks.

Holy crap was it delicious.  I cannot describe how great it was; as soon as I bit down on my first piece, I felt a sensation of pleasure and euphoria.  My friend described it as getting some sort of high while you were eating it.  I agreed, I felt sort of drunk just by eating a few pieces.   I became more aware of my surroundings and just felt so at ease while I ate it.  It was by far the best steak I have ever had in my life.  Completely worth the money I paid for it.  If you’re ever in Kobe and love beef, you need to try Kobe beef.  You will not be disappointed.

The Kobe steak ruined meals for the rest of the day.  The next meals were good, but I still yearned for that delicious steak.  We wandered around Kobe for a little while and checked out the Kobe Tower, a place I’m familiar with. One pit stop we made before heading home was the Tetsujin 28 statue.  Tetsujin, also known as Gigantor in the U.S., is a pretty famous manga/anime back in the day.  They decided to construct a statue of it that I never managed to get to, despite it being so close by to me.  Today was finally the opportunity to do it.  Luckily not many people were around so we took a few pictures of it:

IMG_3523

IMG_3520

This last picture of me was originally a photobomb by yours truly.  It accidentally turned out to be an awesome picture.

This last picture of me was originally a photobomb by yours truly.  It accidentally turned out to be an awesome picture.

After that brief, yet great visit, we headed back home.  We decided to take it easy in our final day in Kansai as we were planning on going to Tokyo the day after that.  I would  be following them for a few days, I hadn’t visited Tokyo in quite some time, so I wanted to enjoy it with my friends from back home.  Overall, while we could’ve done more during their stay in Kansai, we still had a lot of fun.  I had a feeling Tokyo was going to be just as amusing….

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