I woke up in a different part of Japan this morning: Kobe.
I would come here often when I was younger to make friends with the children from international schools, but after I started working it was difficult to get out a lot. Kobe is a beautiful town, especially when you go up towards the mountains. To me it looks like a Japanese version of what Paris would look like. Cafés left and right with cute antique shops all along the road and wedding chapels that look like they we’re built one hundred years ago. As I was walking with my family, I also had the treat of finding a one-man tightrope circus in this hidden square up in the mountain area of Sannomiya. The area was made of brick and elderly gentleman were selling their art under the vines that grew on the wall. It is a picturesque area. The city has a reputation of having more rich families and restaurants being a bit on the pricier side, but the people are very nice. Sannomiya is also the only place in Kansai where they have a Synagogue, Mosque, Catoholic Church, and Christian Churches all in the same area. It is beautiful that everyone seems to get along though the religions are different.
I ended the afternoon talking to a new friend of mine that I met at the Synagogue. He was a Jewish man full of energy and dressed like Zorro and the pirate from The Princess Bride.
Born in the States but currently living in Japan with a Chinese wife, he was the most interesting person I have had the pleasure to meet in a while. Harry bounced from topic and topic, and never ran out of words. During our conversation he mentioned how he loved to talk to those who seemed like the Black Sheep of the group. He described himself as “The Friend of the Friendless” because he didn’t want anyone feeling left out. Though we only chatted a short while in the afternoon, I felt that my sisters and I had become instant friends with him. He made everyone feel right at home with his cowboy vest and Johnny Depp goatee.