A Hike to Mt. Arechi(荒地山)

Late September of 2014, the heat was finally easing up a bit that HIK decided to have another hike to Mt. Arechi in Hyogo Prefecture. The rating was easy 3 star so I drag T with me to have some outdoor exercise and some socializing. The hike was both challenging and lots of fun. A few bruises here and there from climbing on the rocks but it was definitely worth it.

Some students training under the waterfall.

Let the fun begin.

Yes!! I climbed it :).

Kobe and it’s port.

Next route.

A small pond on top of the mountain.

Met a wild boar.

Unfortunately though, because of time constraint we did not make it to Mt. Arechi but still it was a great day.


Manhole : Another Kobe

This is another Manhole Cover I found near Hankyu Okamoto Station . It basically shows or highlights the different tourist destination around Kobe Area like the Kobe Tower , the Weather House located in Kitano Area, the Cable Car that goes to Mount Maya and Mount Rokko, the sheep in the Cheese Factory up in Mount Rokko, The Fireworks that happens every summer around the port area and more.

It was interesting to see that it fits into this small manhole cover.

If you are ever in Kobe Area, try to see which of this location you have visited.

For more manhole cover in Kobe area, check this one and this one.

Hyogo Prefecture Japan


Classy Dining at Kobe Kitano Hotel

A very talented photographer and new found friend Kumiko won a free dinner for two at Kobe Kitano Hotel recently. When she posted in her FB page that she was looking for someone to go with her, I immediately jump at the opportunity.  I am not a very lucky girl when it comes to winning something, but I have a talent of finding free things. Anyways fast forward, I met K at Sannomiya station around 5;30ish in the afternoon we walked together to the hotel.

Personally I am not a fan of fine dining. I always prefer comfy and homier style of eating but hey it’s free so I should just enjoy it.

20131009-115329.jpgDrinks was not included so we have to get one for each. I ordered a drink called  Vert or something.  That small glass is around $8.

20131009-115344.jpgOur opening dish. Fish and small salad. They had a name for this too but it was in French and I don’t speak French. It was really good. 🙂

20131009-115400.jpgA very interesting soup.  The waitress did explain what it was. All I can remember is that everything were veggies. Very good too.


The fish. Cooked with lots of mushroom and lemon, it was oh so good.


Our main dish. Steak. They did not asked us how it should be cooked so we both got a medium rare steak. I prefer well done but this one was cooked almost perfectly. On top was sweet onion locally grown around Hyogo Prefecture. The sauce was lovely. Don’t asked me about the sauce, I don’t remember it anymore :p



Then our dessert came. This one was fruits with a sort of cotton candy on top.

20131009-115424.jpgMy fave; Creme Brulee  with Strawberry Sauce. I could have eaten more than one serving but it was pricey and I did not have money in me 😀

20131009-115454.jpgHome made ice cream. I think it was made of peach.


It was a very nice experience. K and I have a very lively conversation which made the meal more delicious. Thank you very much Miss Kumiko, I had a lovely time 🙂







Kobe Manhole and more

Found some more Manhole cover around Sannomiya/Kobe last weekend

20130926-123012.jpgIt shows Kobe Tower and Akashi Bridge

20130926-123030.jpgSee the face of a lady? I think these are Mt. Maya or Mt. Rokko with all the residential house on top of it.

20130926-123122.jpgI think this is not a manhole but a street plaque? I don’t know if Kobe is known for Jazz though, still have to listen to one .

20130926-123044.jpgThis one is a design on the street guard post? Mostly it’s usually round but in Kitano area it’s round and flat and I think this is one the old foreign houses around the area.

If your ever in Kobe or Sannomiya, try to check out this street art and maybe you can find more 🙂

稲刈(Inekari) : Rice Reaping

Although rice fields are very common in the Philippines, I have never joined any harvest event. The work are done by the pro, the rice farmers.

Peace & Nature had the event last weekend and since T was able to reschedule work, we decided to join. I find it weird though, we helped them harvest the rice and yet we are the ones that are paying for it. Since T and I are non-members, we have to pay $10, and there was no free food or even drinks included.

Peace and Nature was kind enough to explain why we needed to pay for joining the even.

Since we are introducing our rice planting and harvest event as an old Japanese culture, we rent the farm and ask local farmers to cooperate with us.

The Japanese farmers, they don’t really put nor reap INE by hands anymore since they use special machine for it. 

BUT we ask them to do it in an old Japanese way so that WE(our members and non-members) can experience work. We consider this procedure as workshop for people to learn.

We also cover insurance for each people plus for the whole event, we need to ask people to cover their own insurance fee plus for the experience we provide.”


The location was very remote that you really need to have a car to get there. T and T do not own a car, so we have to share with some of the participants who have one. I guess that was worth more than $10 ( Please see new explanation above).

Anyways it was still a fun experience. There were more or less 70 participants including kids. The kids were just having the time of their life. Running around chasing little critters that pops up when rice stalks are reap. We met some of locals, had a really nice chat with nice old lady who has been doing it for 60 years and yet she was still as healthy as an ox. She was amazing.

The weather gods gave us a really good one that day, we were able to finish all the work by 3 pm.

20130925-094746.jpgAll golden, ready for harvesting.

20130925-094811.jpgThis rice is called Yamanishiki and is used for making Nihonshu; Japanese Sake. One more month and these rice grains will be harvested and turn into Daiginjo , the highest level of Sake.

20130925-094847.jpgEverybody finishing up. Collecting all the rice stalks and tying them up to dry.

20130925-094831.jpgAfter lunch most of the participants went home, but T and I decide to join the remaining ones to help in hanging the rice for drying.

20130925-094906.jpgWe are finally done for the day.

It was a great day and it is good to know that there are people out there who are more concerned of creating/growing healthy chemical free food and sharing it to everybody.

Finding a good organic store in Japan is not easy but if you are in Kansai Area specifically Kobe, try Peace and Nature produce. The store is about 10 minutes walk from JR /Hankyu Sannomiya Station.