Saturday, December 5, 2015

The Life-Changing Kobe Beef Adventure

I have been avoiding eating animals since my week-long detox adventure in Ananda Marga. It can be tough, but it is manageable. However, managing my choices becomes really difficult when I travel to different place. 

Kobe is not a place for vegetarian wannabes like me. 

Wagyu is a type of cattle breed which is predisposed to marbling. Marbling results to this nice fat around the lean meat of the cattle. There are a lot "trying hard" restaurants nowadays that pass off their Wagyu meat as the real deal. I've read menus that claim they bred wagyu in Laguna and in Cagayan de Oro. Technically, that may be right. But in terms of taste...? I shelled out money for trying some of these local Wagyu stuff but the real deal can be found in Kobe. 

We travelled to Kobe to try this authentic real genuine Wagyu stuff. We got the 1-Day Hankyu Tourist Pass which costs JPY 700. This allows the holder unlimited travel on Hankyu lines connecting Osaka, Kyoto and Kobe. If we planned it better, we could have gotten a 2-day pass which included a transfer to Osaka airport.

Hankyu 1-day pass + huge brochure of things to do

The journey from Kyoto to Kobe took 1 hour.

Where is the best place to eat Kobe beef in Kobe? I don't like researching about "best places to eat". Sarah was assigned to research about the Kobe beef options. There was a lot of options in the internet and even more when we arrived in Kobe. We went with Steak Land. It was easy to find. It was right in front of Hankyu Kobe-sannomiya station.

Right there. They have a cordon for the lines.

We arrived around 12nn. I think we got lucky because we were in line right before a big group came. Then another group fell in line, then another, and another. It can get really crowded during lunch time.

Lunch hour line

Friday, December 4, 2015

Japan: 4 Days and 4 Nights: Budget and Itinerary

I got a multiple-entry Japan visa two years ago. After two years, I haven't used it. I thought it would be useful when I planned to go to Taiwan but I flushed my promofare Taipei tickets because I got too fed up with China last year.

My amiga Sarah booked her Japan tickets, to make her teenage dream come true. I couldn't join her for her Tokyo adventure (I took a lot of vacations this year - ergo spent my leaves and moolah on those).  I got excited about Kyoto when she started planning her itinerary. I knew left out some sites in the Kansai area in 2012. When Cebu Pacific had their Piso-fare promo, I snatched roundtrip Manila to Kansai tickets for less than Php 3,000 - without baggage. Sweet.

There are some places which will be fun to revisit with a friend!

I was extremely happy how the costs fell below my planned budget. I already spent a huge amount of cash outflow this year because of my international trips. The budget was even below the amount I spent in Korea or Hong Kong

Budget and itinerary:

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