Sunday, February 6, 2011

Chinese New Year: Kobe

{Vivian and Eve, Kobe Chinatown}

Chinese New Year, also called Lunar New Year, took place a few days ago and it's a big celebration on this side of the world. In Japan, Setsubun (bean throwing festival) welcomes the arrival of the Lunar New Year, and each Asian country celebrates in their own way.

Nearby Kobe has a Chinatown area and a significant Chinese population, so it seemed interesting to head over there to see the festival and celebrations. Every time I go to Kobe, I'm reminded of how beautiful it is, and how many fond memories I've created there over the past year. Kobe is so special for me in so many ways I cannot begin to explain. Not only is it so clean and sophisticated and beautiful, but it has a strong European flair and loads of bakeries, caf├ęs and sweets shops.

Last Thursday, Eve and I took the short 20-minute train ride to Kobe to meet my lovely Japanese friend Aki there, and we walked around the beautifully lit Chinatown, with its stone-paved streets and red lanterns. Most celebrations were over as it was a bit late, but we sat down for some tasty dishes: dumplings, spring rolls, and an amazing soup with a spicy broth (with cinnamon undertones) and very thick noodles. I wish I knew the name of this soup, but according to Eve it may have been Taiwanese. It was a short visit, as I had to hop back on the train to Osaka (not without a soy chocolate milk in hand).

Just like every Kobe trip, this one was also very special, and even though I did not see any upright dead birds, "new kind" zucchinis, fell into a big pile of stuffed animals, got accidentally drunk or soaked in the rain, I had the loveliest of evenings. I love how close I live to this wonderful little city.


{Vivian and Aki-chan}


magdalena viktoria said...

really nice photos! I like reading about your experiences.

Isabel said...

what a beautiful post - made me feel warm and cosy inside :)

Samurai Shonan said...

Pictures are great. I was in Yokohama Chinatown yesterday and ate TanTanmein. Spicy and hot. I love that stuff. Chinatown was crazy crowded yesterday, but I got some good video, and will post it this week.

Ro said...

I haven't had a chance to do much travelling, but I feel like I live vicariously through you whenever I visit your blog. Plus I can tell how much you love it there through your writing!

Trudi said...

That sounds really wonderful.

Liri said...

I'm in Taiwan at the moment and read your description of the soup to my friends here...they have no idea what that could be and don't think it's from here. Taiwanese food doesn't have cinnamon in it.