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Kobe

From the Diary of Hazel Bucklin 1923 - 1924

Sunday, September 16, 1923 Kobe.
Docked at 1:30pm. Mr. Yamamoto lunched on ship, then we all went to town in rickshaws. We walked down the Motomachi (Main Street), the shopping district. It seemed more like a midway; everyone (the shopkeepers) spoke some English, and the prices seemed to me high. We bought a string of pearls (Mr. Y. said he thought I had a peculiarity for pearls.) We paid 2 yen, 40 sen - quite a lot. The colors were vivid, and the Japanese costumes gay. Above all you could hear the clop-clopping of the wooden shoes which all but the rickshaw boys and a few others wore. Some of the women were perched up on very high ones - like this. I suppose they were the most stylish. We went to the Kobe office of the Osaka Mainichi; the editor. Mr. Otsuka, is a friend of Mr. Y’s, and he joined us.

Then we walked to the Shinto shrine (name?) most famous in Japan, and visited by tourists. It is 600 years old - a large palace with the usual gateway, a flagged, or paved, walk leading to the shrine itself where hangs a huge old bell with a long, heavy rope. During prayers, as a worshipper stands before the shrine, he pulls the rope (it has a carved wooden handle ) and the bell jangles. In front of the shrine is a huge box where the worshippers drop money. There are many other buildings--all pagoda style roofs, tiled, and gardens, statues, a fountain, and many stands where souvenirs and toys of all sorts are sold. Near the shrine is a place for worshippers to wash their hands before they go to the shrine.