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Thursday, October 31, 2013

Cycling Kobe

Kobe No Bikes Sign自転車で神戸へ

Kobe is an elegant port city in western Japan, not far from either Osaka or Kyoto.

The city is widely considered to be one of Japan's most cosmopolitan and its residents very stylish.

On a recent visit, both of those boxes were indeed checked. Thanks no doubt to its long history of contact with the West and its large expat population, foreigners are very much a part of the fabric of the city. And, yes, Kobe women and men were very well turned out.

Cycling though appears to be less popular - or less done - than in Kyoto or Osaka.

That may be geography: one side of the city is the Pacific Ocean and the various port facilities, the other a ring of mountains.

Thus, outside the main center of Sannomiya, the the city is not as flat as either Osaka or Kyoto.

Also, much of the city is veined with long shopping arcades in which cycling is banned (see photos).

Kobe No Bikes SignStill, being Japan, cyclists were about, and bikes parked on every sidewalk.


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