Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Images of Kobe - Ijinkan

Kobe is one of Japan's most attractive cities. Local tourists go there and enjoy the feeling of foreign travel without actually a need to leave the japanese soil.
Kobe was one of the first cities to open for trade with the West, as of 1868. Ijinkan (ijin means foreign people and kan means house) are the 19th-century residences of Kobe's foreign traders, clustered in the Kitano area. One can get first hand impression how foreigners in Japan used to live.
Approximately 30 of these Western-style homes still remain. Many of these houses became National Treasure and are now open for the public to visit. Only very few remain on private hands and less is available for rent.
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Of so many visits to Kitano, I have only seen the insides of two - The Uroko-no-Ie and The Original Holland House of Ailion. The Uroko-no-Ie has a castle-like exterior and is nicknamed the Fish-scale House because of its slate walls.
The colorful wooden clogs in The Original Holland House of Ailion.
From clogs to windmill to blogs. Nice picture, nice pose and beautiful Vicky.
One can enjoy wearing Dutch national costumes (free of charge) or other dresses (1000 yen).
The Weathercock House is constructed as the house of German trader G. Thomas in 1909, and famous for the weathercock on the steeple.
There are quite a few of nice souvenir shops.
Other picture : The statue of a naked woman.
The famous buta man (pork steam bun) in Nankinmachi Chinatown Kobe. Most of the time, a very long queue into the shop - The Ryoshoki Buta Manju. Very famous shop, it seems.


Sidney said...

Are you sure this is Japan !? :-)
Un-expected !

Cloud Strife said...

Great article about Japan. I live near this city (Okayama) but I have not be ablet to go Kobe. Maybe it will be my next stop.

zbjernak said...

kobe...isnt tht city being destructed by huge earth quake during the 1990's??

in a country who are so proud of their own culture..it is great to see other culture being protected there too...

Patrick Leong said...

sidney : although kobe has been westernized to a large extent, i trust that it still retains many of its cultures and traditions.

cesar : i have never actually visited okayama (famous for peach ?!?) and the tottori area. i heard it is a nice place to visit. thanks for comment. you are a ryugakusei here in japan ?

zbjernak : yes. the great hanshin earthquake (hanshin-daishinsai) measured at 7.2 on the richter scale, occurred on january 17th, 1995 at 5.46 am killing 6,433 people, mainly in Kobe.

Elisa said...

q vestidos más lindos!! y el colorido de esos zuecos es realmente inspirador... preciosas tus fotos (como siempre jejej)

Ed said...

I really had no idea Japan had buildings like these. I'm always learning something new from blogs.

Patrick Leong said...

elisa : thanks again. kobe is always nice to visit. i enjoyed the western-style homes. it was my first time going into the holland house.

ed : to many, their first impression of japan - shrines and temples which can be found everywhere. there are always a few surprises that await you !