June 8, 2018 – Day 97

Himeji to Hyogo (Kobe) – 59 km (bike)

A “breakfast set” which is frequently available in cafes includes one or two eggs, usually boiled, but occasionally poached, a thick slice of toasted white bread, a small salad and coffee (or, this morning, good espresso and latte.)

The first section of the route recommended by the Japan Cycling website, was primarily a sidewalk/ bike trail beneath the Sanyo Shinkansen tracks. Running near industrial sites along the shore, it was useful but not particularly pretty! Later, the route joined a much more scenic path along the seaside into Akashi. Light rain continued for much of the ride (the thunderstorm came later in the evening) and it was warm. After Akashi, we rode on sidewalks alongside National Route #2 into Hyogo, a suburb of Kobe.

Dinner was excellent! We found a French restaurant with a young Japanese chef/owner trained in Orleans. He spoke little English, but some French, and so we managed well together. He was really accommodating and designed a meatless menu for us – marinaded salmon, green salad, potato soup, pan fried bream and café gourmand, with very good decaf espresso.  As seems to be the custom, the owner waved goodbye to us from the doorway when we left.

In 1995, Hyogo, the prefecture of Kobe, suffered a 6.9 earthquake which caused 6400 deaths and a great deal of structural damage. High rise buildings constructed after new codes were introduced in the 1980’s survived intact, but older traditional wooden houses with heavy tiled roofs, built to withstand typhoons, collapsed. The UN Hyogo Framework for Action, which came out of a meeting in 2005, is designed to build resilience of nations and communities to disasters.


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