“All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware.”-
Mitsui Park, Osaka is the first place I stopped over in Japan. This is the shopping mall where I got a pair of sexy wedges as my hubby was too eager and fervent to buy something for me, I don’t know why but perhaps he upheld the intention to redeem a few months of separation, he’s like forcing me though I refused to grab any at first because it’s expensive thus I didn’t want to waste his money for nothing. Ah-ha, trust me, sometimes; women just couldn’t resist the temptation of nice clothes, nice shoes, anything nice! I took one then. Right at that very moment, I took off the old mine by shoving it into the new-shoes box, and put on the new one. It’s not easy to put on this shoe hence I needed my hubby’s fingers to hook the sandal string on my ankle. pOp! It felt like a pretty Cinderella walking down the street and losing one of the wedges on the steps of the escalator unexpectedly, then waiting for the prince to come and put the lost one on my feet, and then married me! (day-dream) Whoa! It’s true what Monolo Blahnik, who’s a founder of the self-named, high-end shoe brand had ever once said “Yes, only a shoe, but if I provide escape for the woman who wears it, if for only a few minutes, it brings a bit of happiness to someone, well, then, perhaps, it is something more than a shoe”. Agree? I always believe that good selection of sandal always looks pretty on every girl’s feet.
Hey there! "The foot is an erotic organ and the shoe is its sexual covering," wrote William A. Rossi, a podiatrist, in The Sex Life of the Foot and Shoe.
I shove off Mitsui Park Osaka for the next destination, Tarumi Outlet Park, Kobe. I tell you, this is another heaven for shopaholics! If you are a real shopaholic, you must come here if you happen to visit Japan! High bridge called Akashi Kaikyo Bridge welcomes the coming of every visitor. Marine Pia Kobe Porto Bazaar (another name for Tarumi Outlet Park, Kobe) is a major outlet mall that most people assume it resembles a port town in Southern Europe. Everyone can enjoy shopping until he/she drops! Oh God, I bought another pair of shoes, but this one was Crocs and also an Adidas pink sweater! I almost buy one more thing, a Levis jeans. It saddened me for not buying my most wanted jeans! I tried to comfort myself maybe I can have it next time I come to Japan.
Marine Pia Kobe Porto Bazaar.
At the "Factory Outlets", there are approximately 70 stores selling posh branded garments and other brand items produced by well-known companies both Japan and overseas. What made me excited, trendy products can be purchased at discount prices. Outside the Factory outlets, we could see "Seaport Restaurants" for visitors to spend an amusing time dining at any of the 12 restaurants serving various cuisines such as Chinese, Indian, and Sushi which I refused to splurge limited money. Moreover, we planned to dine at the next place which was also in Kobe. Let me tell you one of the great things about this mall, it offers an exquisite view of Akashi Kaikyo Bridge nearby. The Akashi Kaikyo Bridge looks glowing in the dark because of glimmering lights upon it, creating a magical view that is quite different from how it appears during the day.
Akashi Kaikyo Bridge in the night, does it look nice?
The most fascinated place we headed further was Kobe Muslim Mosque, it is located in the Kitano-cho foreign district of Kobe. One of my favorite places! Our main aim was actually to perform Solat Jama’ ta’khir Zuhur and Asar. God willing, it’s a credit for us for discovering the history of Kobe Muslim Mosque. It was found in October, 1935 in Kobe and also the first mosque in Japan. Its construction was funded by donations collected by the Islamic Committee of Kobe from 1928 until its opening in 1935. The mosque was confiscated by the Imperial Japanese Navy in 1943. Nevertheless, it continues to function as mosque today. Owing to its basement and structure with strong architecture, it was able to endure the Great Hanshin earthquake. The mosque was built in traditional Turkish style by the Czech architect Jan Josef Švagr (1885–1969),a famous architect of a number of Western religious buildings throughout Japan.
Kobe Muslim Mosque.
In front of the main entrance of Kobe Muslim mosque.
My husband told me that one of his friends did his ‘akad nikah’ here and the imam was an Arabian. My memory flashed back the moment I was declared as a wife in Masjid Kanchong darat in a small town of Banting, it’s bigger and lots of muslims stream down the arch. Unlike Kobe Muslim Mosque, not so many people inside. Every time my eyes met a few comers, they greeted me with “Assalammualaykum”, something we should have practiced in Malaysia. At the entrance of the mosque, there was a picture, black and white, beautifully framed, yet not so eye-catching. However, it defined the history of the mosque in a very unambiguous image. It showed the picture of mosque which obviously remained strong and well-built, surrounded with ashes of collapsed buildings after been attacked by bombs during World War II. The building survived in fact most of the nearby buildings turned into ashes. I was completely impressed. MasyaAllah! I left the mosque with an introspective kind of feeling deep down inside; I don’t know how to describe it, tongue-tied.
At night, we had our dinner at Mosaic Kobe Harborland, a well-known restaurant in the town. I ate as much as I wanted, it’s a buffet so you can gobble up all of foods served. I took so many crabs’ legs, banana with chocolates, octopus, prawn, more than three glasses of different sorts of juices and many else I couldn't remember. I can only remember the feeling of being there! There was a lot of seafood as well as juicy drinks that I enjoyed consuming to the last bits. Before we said good-bye to the restaurant, we spent a few minutes looking at Kobe tower outside the restaurant. Colorful lights illuminated our first night in Japan. It was Awesome!
Full already! (Oh my flawless skin, no more :( )
Kobe tower stands behind.
Alhamdulliah, countless praises be upon HIM, the Almighty One for allowing us to delight in the bounties from God.