Nankinmachi, Kobe’s Chinatown, Is Magical

I just asked my wife how Kobe’s Chinatown makes her feel. “Hungry,” she replied. Sure enough, me too. Visions of roast ducks dance in my head, like those chickens in Peter Gabriel’s Sledgehammer music video, except slathered with sugary plum sauce. Then I dream of butaman, pork buns, hopping one by one into a baths… Continue reading Nankinmachi, Kobe’s Chinatown, Is Magical

Our Old Neighborhood in Kobe Was So Weird

Our home in Kobe was in a small, peaceful residential area bordered by love hotels and mountainside. On the surface, it was nothing special, just another cluster of homes with just a sprinkling of tiny shops. Beneath the facade, there was a sense of uneasiness – tension, even – as if something very, very bad happened there long ago. This was a neighborhood characterized by voyeurism and paranoia; I never felt alone there, but I knew I was being watched and kept at a distance.