Hey! This is Russian from Kyoto!
Since spring sunny days finally came to Kansai, me and my friend headed to Kobe to enjoy the sea, walk around downtown and Chinatown and try Kobe beef.
Unexpectedly, the most impressive thing about Kobe turned out to be Kobe Earthquake Memorial Museum. In January 1995 Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake happened in Kansai, which almost destroyed the whole city Kobe. The museum is spread over 5 floors and features several dioramas of how the Kobe streets looked immediately after the quake and how the city recovered from that day. Several video displays across the museum also help to highlight earthquake awareness. Explanations in English and headsets in different languages were a very nice surprise for us!
English speaking volunteers were eager to tell us many facts about Kobe and answer our questions.
It took 10 years to completely rebuild the whole city. One of volunteers to whom we were talking about Tohoku and Kobe earthquakes, said that because people in Kansai are much more optimistic than people in Tohoku, they could overcome all the grief and make Kobe stunning beautiful place in such a short time!
Kobe Earthquake Memorial Museum is may not be a place where you can have fun, but it shows all the disastrous power of nature and helps to understand Japanese mentality. MUST SEE!