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Welcome to my blog!

If you are in for an adventure paired with lengthy, quirky, brutal honest thoughts then you are in the right place.

My name is Arisa and was a cosplayer for 12 years in Malaysia before settling down in Kyoto, Japan. Exploring Japan full time has been a long time dream of mine, so let's explore it together!
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Hyōgo | Kobe City Tour (with Halal Food!)

This blogpost will be splitted into 2 (or more) blogposts as there are so many beautiful photos of Kobe to share that i'm worried it might crash the minute you guys try to load my post lol. Often when we go around asking people, "hey, have you visited Kobe before?, What to do or eat there? etc.." truth be told is the only answer i get is people is "Go eat Kobe beef" and nothing else, not very helpful information for new tourists lol.

And when i posted an entry about making a day trip to Kobe & Himeji last year without eating any beef, everyone went "WHYYYYY HOW COULD YOU?" 

So this time i'm back for the 2nd time with better knowledge about Kobe and a dedicated entry for halal travelers (especially for the food section)! Just because it's meant for Halal eaters, doesn't mean that non-Muslims can't enjoy the food too, it's technically the same thing except one takes one extra step for preparation :)
Pay attention to the locations i've visited and listed below, probably these might catch your interest as they are sightseeing spots and some activities to make your trip a memorable one!

Hakutsuru Sake Brewery Museum

Since we arrived ahead of schedule with some time to kill before lunch, our guide decided to bring us to a sake brewery museum in Kobe, and Hakutsuru is no ordinary brewery as they are considered to be one of the oldest and leading sake production throughout Japan! Founded in Nada district which has the most high quality spring water and coldest winters making it an ideal environment to brew sake.
It's a FREE ADMISSION museum, operates from 9.30am- 4pm daily (except for certain public holidays).

Hakutsuru's trademark packaging

This moss ball works as a calender for the brewery, when it's completely dry means the sake is mature enough.

I can't believe all the knowledge i've gained in this museum about brewing sake is FREE!
It's a mini tour worth going through to learn about this history of how sake was first brewed manually, seeing all the artifacts reenacting the ways of the brewers puts you in a place of appreciation for modern machinery. How tedious it is to brew a perfect blend of sake with very limited resources and tons of man power needed for each section of the brewery. Not every man's dream job too (unlike our modern beer companies because we have jobs like "samplers" who gets to drink on the job lol) as the working environment is harsh and hours are long, often people do accidentally die on the job by falling into the sake barrels. Lol don't worry as these accidents don't happen in modern day brewery as everything is machine operated now.

No preserved bodies in your sake barrels. 😏

Used to be this size! It's huge!

 How the grain is kept moist in a controlled air circulated room

Serving sake the old fashion way

So the next time you take a sip of your sake, you'll look at it and savor every single drop more than ever knowing that sake has come a long way and it deserves our utmost respect (like gold water lol)

At the end of the museum tour before you exit, there is a souvenir shop for you to purchase one of the best sakes around and you can even sample some too!

 JICA Kansai Cafeteria (lunchtime)
If you are looking for a place for simple Japanese style halal meals, JICA Kansai Cafeteria serves them and the staff speaks very good English too, that's because most of the people who dine here works in the offices upstairs and they are not Japanese nationalities. Pretty much an international building, but if you come by 11am it's rather peaceful, usually lunch isn't till 12pm.

Very affordable Halal meal set!

We had lunch at JICA Kansai Cafeteria, which serves both halal and non halal menu!
This was obviously not halal as i was interested in the meatballs lol.

Quill's eggs coated with meat outside, can try making this at home with beef!

Kobe Mosque

One of the oldest standing mosques in Japan can be found in Kobe, it has miraculously survived world war 2 bombings in 1945, numerous earthquakes and has provided shelter and comfort to people of Japan regardless their religion.

Often people do misunderstand religion, but we have one thing in common is that every religion teaches us to be respectful of others and always do good.

One funny coincidence was i bumped into a Malaysian family who lives near my area in PJ in this very mosque in Kobe Japan, what are the odds?  And who knows we might cross paths again in the future.
Muslim visitors can come here for either a visit or to do their prayers, rooms are separated for men (ground floor) and women (upper floor).

Managed to pass by Chinatown!

Kitano Meister Garden

Only a short 5 minutes walk around the corner from Kobe mosque, this building used to be a school before it was converted into an artisan like market for tourists. You can still find memories of the school through paintings, arts and crafts on display made by the school children. Is it just me or what because i somehow can imagine a horror school movie scene in here if i was left here alone after dark lol (overly active imagination liao).

Old classrooms have been converted to stores, selling all sorts of items ranging from handmade to specialty products and the candle shop upstairs do conduct hands on candle making activity for visitors! It's a fun and interactive session for all ages, and at the end of it you can get to bring home your very own handmade candle!

Aren't they adorable!

Thank you Warosoku

Check out my proud "masterpiece", actually not so good la but let me syiok sendiri abit can ok? Lol. It was painted rather hurriedly and the last time i actually painted something was back in high school so i'm kinda rusty lol.

Heard the chocolates by Frantz is very good! It's also pretty famous so you can find it in most souvenir shops

Kobe Port Earthquake Memorial Park

And the best place to watch the sunset is by Kobe Port earthquake memorial park, whilst the gentle sea winds blows against your face while enjoying the serenity.
It's very peaceful here with only a handful of visitors strolling and cycling, you can get some beautiful shots taken here.
If you have heard or read about the Great Hanshin Earthquake (also known as the Kobe Earthquake) that struck the city back in 1995, there are still remnants of the earthquake here to remind people of the disaster.

within walking distance you can also visit Kobe Port Tower Observatory deck which offers a great panoramic view of the beautiful city, and sunsets by the sea are usually more beautiful (in my opinion) than other parts. I really love this part of Kobe!

Pretty cool rock cut out to make it look as if it is a movie screen.

Kobe Port Tower Observatory nearby

 Don't miss a chance to take a photo with this sign!

 Kobe Port Tower Observatory is shaped like a warosoku candle lol, this is its signature design so people can distinguish it from other towers in Japan.

 You can see the ferris wheel and Mosiac mall from the Kobe Port Tower Observatory deck!

Mount Rokko from a distance spotted!

Streamer Coffee Company

We had a short coffee break to warm ourselves up, though it rarely snows in Kobe city (because by the sea) it's actually pretty cold and extra windy during evenings.
And have to say that they serve really good coffee here! Coming from a person who tries very hard not to take too much coffee, i couldn't resist trying this especially when our guide told us that this place is pretty famous.

Kobe Harborland umie Mosaic

After all the sightseeing we've done for today, trips are never complete with a short shopping visit at the nearby mall Kobe Harborland umie Mosaic. Housing tons of local and international brand this place is pretty much a shopping heaven for those who love shopping.

I tried very hard to resist the temptation and can proudly say i almost succeeded until i walked into a gift shop named "Asoko" it reminds me abit of Daiso as they carry a variety of items ranging from fashion, household to weird souvenirs and priced pretty cheap too!

Ferris Wheel Night View

And outside the mall just down the street there is a huge Ferris wheel you can ride too, and it looks amazing especially at night because you can see the whole of Kobe city illuminated, like a thousand stars in the galaxy. There are actually a few recommended spots to enjoy Kobe's night view

  1. Kikuseidai Platform: One of the top 3 night views in Japan
  2. Rokko Cable Car Tenrandai Platform
  3. Hachimaki Platform
  4. Rokko Garden Terrace (will share about this in my next post!) 💗
  5. Kobe Nunobiki Herb Gardens and Ropeway 
  6. Venus Bridge
  7. Shiosai Koen Park at Portland
  8. Kobe Harborland  (where i was!)  💗
  9. Kita Koen Park at Port Island 
  10. Kobe Port Tower 💗
  11. Akashi Kaikyo Bridge (Pearl Bridge)
  12. Kobe Airport Marine Air

💗 - Recommended spots by me!

When you walk along Kobe Harborland 

Halal Kobe Beef Dinner at Tsuki Usagi

This is the moment we all have been waiting for people, Kobe beef and it's my very first time eating it too, so i can now officially say i've tasted a slice of heaven!
I also know why people who have tasted it would wish they could eat it again, and i have to be very honest with you guys that this isn't the most healthiest meat around because it's fat content ration and the actual meat infused together is probably a 50:50 ratio making it super tender and it melts upon touching your tongue.

Really heavenly, and here is an interesting fact!

Most people who live or grew up in Kobe (or generally any part of Japan) probably haven't tasted Kobe beef themselves too, so if you are worried about missing out on it, think of the people who probably live next door to one lol.
It's considered a luxury meat, so to locals it's not something they would purposely eat unless there's a special occasion.

Their certification 

Muslim visitors who dined here

Example of their Menu

Tsuki Usagi proudly carries a certificate issued out by the Islamic Center of Japan stating their Kobe beef meat comes from a certified slaughterhouse - Sanda Meat Corp and they are the Only Halal slaughterhouse in Japan that sells Halal Kobe Beef so if you do come across any other shops selling Halal Kobe beef, a high likely chance their meat is supplied by from Sanda Meat Corp.
Sauces used in their cooking are also certified halal like their Miso soup paste, Soy sauce, Ponzu and even the Vinegar!

This is great news for all Muslim travelers because you can enjoy delicious Kobe beef at ease now, and after having an amazing dinner experience at Tsuki Usagi, i would highly recommend to my readers to dine here too. The food is more than just delicious, every dish is selected and prepared carefully by the chef to ensure that your taste buds are in for a good time. Literal #Foodgasm here.


Fresh sashimi slices

Most interesting discovery, you gotta grate your own fresh wasabi and it tastes a billion times better than those tube ones, worth the effort struggling to grate it lol

Miso soup with fresh clam

It's so huge!

Some tempura served with halal soy sauce

Here comes the dish everyone has been waiting for! 
Heavenly Kobe beef , this dish prepared is called Hoba Miso (朴葉味噌)

And of course the night won't be complete without steak, the rawness depends on individuals, if you are not a fan of it you can always request for it to be medium well done or well done.

Thank you for the amazing dinner and company!
We enjoyed ourselves very much and everyone is happy they finally tried Kobe beef lol.

The shop might be abit small so if you are planning to come in a group, best to call for reservation.

Each bite almost made me shed tears of joy and the only time you'll feel like stopping when everything is finished (no leftovers, i assure you that!), if you are a small eater like me a word of advise probably you might want to go easy on lunch to full savor your dinner without loosening your belt lol. Best experience ever for this trip, definitely the weighing scale went up a few kilos but it's worth it!

Look at that, cooked to perfection and i usually request my meats well done as i'm not a fan of the blood taste but this is just nice!

Butter rice is also delicious and wished i could eat more after having all those beef lol

Japan course meals are never complete without dessert, which are usually seasonal fruits

Facebook  | www.facebook.com/HalalKobeBeef/
Hours | 5pm- 12am
Contact | +81 78-325-3327

Getting To Kobe (routes)

There are a few ways to get to Kobe and i'll share with you guys some routes, short cuts and modes of transports depending on your travel preferences. Going to Kobe doesn't necessarily mean you have to take the Shinkasen through Osaka first, actually using this method it would take you probably more than an hour + from Kansai airport to Osaka to Kobe. 

Route 1:  Limousine Bus

Taking the Kansai-Airport Limousine Bus リムジンバス
Travel Duration : 1 hour 15 mins (depending on traffic)
Cost: JP¥1,950 (one way)

Route 2: Normal Train

This route is suitable for those planning to stop in Osaka first for a couple of days before heading to Kobe.
Stations: Kansai Airport → Osaka → Sannomiya (Kobe's central station)
Cost: Varies depending which line you take or transport passes used

Route 3: Car Rental (driving)

Travel Duration : 1 hour 15 mins (depending on traffic)
Cost: Depends on your car rental package

Route 4: Bay Shuttle (ferry) - Best Direct Route!

You'll be surprised to know that Kobe has it's own airport too (only for domestic flights) lol, and they have an existing ferry shuttle going back and forth between KIX and UKB 
Travel Duration: 30-40 mins
Cost: JP¥1,850 (one way) -but there's an ongoing promotion for tourists, it's only JP¥1,000 till 31st March 2018

Till my next blog update on Kobe, make sure to subscribe so you won't miss out on the latest postings :) Alternately you can also follow me on instagram: @Arisa_Chow



  1. Wow!! Your blog post quite long but anyway, I read all :) I wish to go Japan one day! <3


  2. Thank you for such a comprehensive post on Kobe. Although I have no plans to visit yet, I sure do have friends who will be there later this year. Will share this information with them!

  3. I'm really enjoy reading your blog. Love your travel photos & love your place to visit.


  4. Thanks for the details babe! Will bookmark this for my next visit to Kobe =)

  5. Hey thanks for sharing insightful info about Kobe <3

  6. nice writeup. looked like you had fun. the Quill's eggs coated with meat outside look yum

  7. Omg. So many interesting places in Japan.i hope i can visit japan one day.

  8. You are right! When people asking me about Kobe ? I also know about Kobe Beef. haha XDD now is easy for Muslim people to search for Halal food.


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