Wake up several times in the morning. Fall back asleep. Wake back up. Hmmmm… it’s a loud hostel. Right by the train line. Can hear everyone going up and downstairs. They give you ear plugs, I should’ve used em. Argggg, I didn’t get a good sleep. Bed at a weird angle. Ok, hit the shower. Shit Jesus! Shower nozzle has crazy pressure. Blasting away the grime of yesterday. Drilling. Kinda hurts. Knocking itself out of its holster thingy the pressure is so fierce. I have to hold it. Tiny shower. Maybe I’ll go to Scandinavia next trip. Cranky pants. Need a coffee.
Go downstairs and Bob is there in the lobby again. He recommends going up to Maya mountain and getting a good view back down on the city. Hmmm we may have to bounce soon unfortunately. If we had more time definitely. We ask why it’s called Guest House Maya and Bob says Maya is Buddha’s mom. He gets us some fresh coffee that he’s made. It’s excellent. He says they’re locally roasted beans. This may be the best coffee of the trip. Takes the cranky pants off.
A girl in the lobby starts playing the theme from My Neighbor Totoro on a little speaker. We keep hearing it in shops and public spaces. Miyazaki and Studio Gibli is obviously a big deal in Japan. Wish we could have made it to the museum in Tokyo. Have to do that on some return for our anniversary or something.
We get another cup of coffee from Bob and ask him what he’d recommend for some other places to go. We’ve basically got a week post-Hiroshima to work with. He points out a bunch of places that are more countryside and small town places. I like that idea. He says there’s an island in the Seto Inland Sea called Naoshima that has a ton of amazing art installations and museums. Oh yeah, Queenie had mentioned it before we came. That’s an awesome idea. He also mentions a place called Onomichi that is a quaint town set against a hillside by the water. Sounds good too! He also tells us about Takamatsu, Kagawa and Kurashiki. All seem like killer recommendations. Thanks Bob, we’ll explore! He writes them on a piece of paper for us.
A Korean guy comes in the front door and Bob introduces him as Park. He owns the place. He’d moved here for a while and says that it took some time for Japan to grow on him. But he had a great experience here and he wanted to give back. Now his wife is from Kobe. Where are you from Bob? Osaka. Oh we had a great time there.
Park says his friend is a furniture maker that works under the bridge. He takes us outside and points to a doorway under the bridge. His workshop is there. They got 300 people to come help build the hostel. It’s been a community project. I can tell Park and Bob really love this place. It’s a great story, I thank them for telling us.
It really is a great spot, you can see the love they’ve put into the place. Lots of interesting random objects in the lobby and I really like the Maya they spelled out front in the concrete from items found in the old clinic.
I sit with my coffee and take a gander at some book they have lying around. One of Cat Portrayls in Western Masterpieces catches my eye. Lol it’s great
We’re having a great, no rush morning. We still have a week to work with and aren’t gonna be throwing South Korea in so it feels like there’s time to spare. It’d certainly be nice to slow the pace down and get into a more relaxed cadence.
We take a stroll down a block and check out the place Bob recommended yesterday to see if it’s open. It is! And has a cute owl on the door.
We grab some more coffee and a couple delicious baked goodies with a breakfast sandwich. Another good recommendation from Bob.
We get back to Maya and grab our stuff. Time to check out. We thank Bob for the hospitality, recommendations and a great place to stay. We exchange instagram info and sign their guest book with a Narcopiggy and Tangerino signature.
Thanks Bob! Kobe has been great, see ya next time!
Ahhhh that was a nice and chill morning. Might need more of those.
Next stop: The White Egret Taking Flight – Himeji Castle!