Thursday, August 4, 2011

Rokko Mountain

We celebrated my birthday recently, and as usual we went out to eat together. A birthday is a good excuse to try something new, so we tend to pick some place we wouldn't normally go to. Beyond our normal budget, a kind of restaurant or food we wouldn't usually have, or perhaps at an interesting location.

Have A Seat

Mikage station on the Hanshin line. From here you take the bus to the Rokko ropeway base station where you go up the mountain. At the top you can take another bus or you walk to the hotel. Walking is more pleasant, but bring a change of clothes in the summer.


The dinner was late this year; I was still at OCNC in Okinawa on my birthday, and we delayed it another couple of weeks to let me catch up with things once I came back. But a few weeks ago we finally went to Rokko mountain in Kobe, and to the barbecue at Rokko Mountain Hotel.

Mountain Shop

There's no real town along the top ridge, just houses spread out along the road, but it does have this store with daily foods and a large selection of wines, beers and spirits, including a local Rokko beer. There's many summer homes and corporate retreats on the mountain, so I can see the demand.


We last went there for O-bon two years ago. We had the buffet, which was tasty, but of course still buffet-type food. At the time we decided to return some day and have the course menu instead. Expensive, but with higher-quality food. My birthday was a perfect opportunity.

Lobster

The lobster, with scallops and squid gently frying in the background. Overdoing the depth of field thing here, I think.


The course menu was very good indeed. The appetizer was a sampling plate with sashimi, marinated seafood and vegetables. The small lobster cooked in its own shell was succulent, and the main course meats were tender and flavourful, and included various cuts of lamb, chicken, pork and beef as well as sausages and lots of vegetables. My favourite (if not Ritsukos) was the lambchops, but the beefsteak and the thick bacon slices were excellent too. It finished with dessert and coffe. Well worth trying as an experience. The weather was rather hazy, unfortunately, so the view wasn't very photogenic.

Hydrangea

Hydrangea grow wild all over the mountain. They're not native to Japan so they're probably escapees from some garden long ago. At this time the whole mountain top is lit up in light blue flowers.

1 comment:

canthushme said...

Well belated happy birthday to you mate! Seems you had a nice day.

I am not a fan of lobster but I have to say the picture makes real honor to the word succulent!

Oh BTW, the first picture is great...looks like what one can see after a long walk...ONLY the chairs, great picture indeed!