Feel Kobe, Feel Japan - for my last time

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May 24th 2013
Published: July 20th 2013
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Friday, 24th May 2013

My final day in Japan took me to the port city of Kobe. Devastated by the 1995 Great Hanshin Earthquake, it made sense to pay a visit to the Earthquake Memorial located just south-east of the city centre (Full name: The Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake Memorial Disaster Reduction & Human Revolution Institution). I was 16 and reading Geography in school when the earthquake struck in Japan. In those days, I even had difficulties pronouncing "Kobe" properly. As expected, I was probably the only foreign visitor this morning as it was crowded with school groups some coming from as far as Fukuoka.

In the afternoon, I paid a visit to the Mitsui Outlet Mall. The Kobe branch was better stocked with popular brand names. Since this was likely to be my final visit to Japan, I decided to make a final splurge on my purchases. Four trips filled with wonderful memories of the country, I have decided to throw in the towel for now as I look forward to new destinations for my future travel plans.

Against the backdrop of Akashi Kaikyo Bridge and Suma Beach, it was time to say goodbye to Kobe as I made my way back to Singapore the following morning.

I travelled alone during my last two trips in Japan within a span of four months. Admittedly, this must be one of my most memorable experiences. Sayonara Japan and thank you for the great travel memories.

My Travel Budget

• Jetstar Air-Tickets (SIN-KIX-TPE-SIN) : $440 (layover in Taipei during my return leg)
• 8 nights accommodation in Nagasaki, Hiroshima & Osaka: $317 (3 nights free in Hiroshima)
• 7-Day Japan Railway Pass: $384 (28,300 Yen - purchased before entering Japan)
• 2-Day Kansai Area Pass: $50 (4,000 Yen)
• Shopping Expenses: $838 (about $100 a day)

Total: $2,020

All prices quoted in SGD. 1 SGD = 79 JPY

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