Kobe Tourist: Nankinmachi (China Town!)

I got my hair done yesterday.  Not that that has anything to do with today's post, only that it took the better part of the morning.  I found myself wandering around Umeda around 2:00, texting B.  I knew I wanted to take pictures, but with the sun setting earlier and earlier everyday I knew I didn't have time to go too far.  B suggested China Town in Kobe.  It sounded like a good idea, but part of me couldn't be bothered, so I told him I would just go home. (I mean, I spent 20 minutes wandering around H&M and couldn't find anything to buy...I can always find something I need in H&M! It was a sign that I should go home and chill.)  So I started walking towards Hankyu station to catch a train home.  And kept walking to JR, and before I knew it I was on a Kobe bound train :) (What's life without a random decision every now and again?!)

The quickest way to get to Nankinmachi is to take a train (JR or Hanshin) to Motomachi Station.  I chose to save a couple hundred Yen and walked from Sannomiya Station.  It only takes about 10 minutes if you aren't stopping to take pictures like me!

Find the Daimaru department store, and look across the street. 

You'll see the entrance to the Motomachi shopping arcade.  You can enter China Town through the shopping arcade (just turn left down any little path) or do what I did, and walk a few more Yards and you'll see the gate at the top of the post. 

Welcome to China Town!

Some details from the main gate...

It isn't huge by any means, but it is packed with restaurants, shops and food stands selling steamed buns, dumplings, spring rolls and loads of other Chinese goodies.  Most of the stands have the same offerings, so just pick the ones that look yummiest.  (A big plus: None of the vendors seemed to mind me taking photos of their food!)

Very cute steamed buns!

I started with Peking Duck.  It was my first time, and I was not let down!  I'm not a skin person, but even the crispy duck skin was pretty yummy.  After licking my sticky fingers, I looked down to discover the sauce had dripped all down my shirt!!  Remember when I said I have been carrying a scarf around with me?  Well it definitely came in handy!!

Always greet your food if possible... :-/

Oh, take tissues or even wet wipes.  Since it's street food there aren't any available.  It also doesn't hurt to have a small shopping bag to stash your trash in.  Being Japan there are NO garbage cans anywhere, so you're stuck carrying it around.

I followed up the messy Peking Duck with a spring roll (eh, ok) and some age (pronounced ah-gay...it means fried) mochi.  Unfortunately I didn't have any luck getting pictures of them, but the age mochi was SO GOOD!  Definitely my favorite food of the day!  For dessert I got a sesame dango.  It's a ball of sweet bean filled mochi rolled in sesame seeds.  I've had really nice ones, but this one was a bit dry.

There was live music in the little square half-way down the street.  B found a live webcam and had me waving and scratching my head so that he could find me!

Before leaving I picked up some omiyage for the road - Chinese tea! Jasmine, oolong and some flowering jasmine tea (just for fun!).

No, not that stuff...I'm a tea bag kinda girl.

Nankinmachi is one of Japan's 3 designated China Towns (the others are in Yokohama and Nagasaki). It is definitely worth a visit should you find yourself hungry in Kobe. 

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