Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Discover Kobe: Weathercock House (Kazamidori-no-Yakata)


Day 3

December 30, 2012

Weathercock House (Kazamidori-no-Yakata)
3-13-3 Kitano-cho, Chuoh-ku,
Kobe
08-2423223

Operating Hours: 9 am to 6 pm

Close: first Tuesday of February and June

Entrance Fee: JPY 500 450 (PhP 225)*

*Kobe Welcome Coupon - given at the Information Center in Shin-Kobe Station

Aside from Kobe Beef, one of the main tourist attractions of Shin-Kobe is its city district, Kitano-cho. Visiting the area was a part of our itinerary, hmm, the only one that DH and I were able to do. We decided not to do the rest as planned due to the rainy weather ; (

Weathercock House was built in 1909

When we got off the station, we asked the girl at the Information which among the numerous foreign or western style residences known as Ijinkan is worth looking into. She suggested Kazamidori-no-Yakata also known as Weathercock House.

The Former Thomas Residence
Designated a National Important Cultural Asset on January 21, 1978

This residence, known as Kazamidori-no-Yakata (The Weathercock Mansion) was built in 1909 by Mr. Godfried  Thomas, a German trader, as his personal residence.

The house's brick exterior makes it unique amongst the remaining Ijinkan residences in the Kitano-Yamate district. With its vivid brick color and the front porch's stone masonry, the house exudes a stately atmosphere.

The metal rooster does more than indicate the wind direction, it also ward off evil spirits, and promotes Christian doctrine with its advocacy of caution and respect of nature. 

The interior design is an attractive fusion of the traditional German style and Art Nouveau of the late 19th to early 20th century. 

For the rest of the Ijinkan, she told us that taking photos of the facade is allowed and that's what we did ; p Although there are packages available---> visit 9 houses for JPY 3,500 (PhP1,750), we can't go inside all the houses because it's time-consuming. Plus, I don't want to bore you with too much architecture ; p

Curious what's inside the house? Then read after the break....


 Kobe Nunobiki Herb Gardens & Ropeway

If it was not raining, we would have visited Kobe Nunobiki Herb Gardens and Ropeway. The entrance is located just a few minutes away from Shin-Kobe station.

Operating Hours:

10:00 am to 5:00 pm depending on season

Fare (round trip):

Adult JPY 1,400 (PhP 700)
Child JPY 700 (PhP350)

From there, we walked approximately 300m to Kitano-cho.

 line of houses in Kitano-cho

It was a gloomy day ; (

Below are some of the houses we passed by before reaching Kazamidori-no-Yakata.

 one of the ticketing office

We learned that some of the clustered houses are owned by one and the same company. You can visit as many as 9 houses for only JPY 3,500 (PhP 1,750). If you are good in haggling, the price will be lowered to JPY 3,150 (PhP 1,575). Admission/Entrance fee to one of the houses normally costs JPY 500 (PhP 250).

 one of the many colorful pots around the area

 The English House

 Sherlock Holmes Kobe

 Former Panama Consulate

 uphill

In this trip, I learned that when it rains it was very hard to walk uphill (in heels) ; p In between huff and puff, I was able to reach the Weathercock House all the while holding DH's hand.

 a modern house

 another vendo machine

one of the many houses that turned into boutiques, cafes or restaurants

 Denmark House

small garden near the door entrance of Kazamidori-no-Yakata

The following photos were taken inside Kazamidori-no-Yakata.

 living room

George de Lalande (1872-1914)

An eminent German architect who designed the Weathercock House. He came to Japan in 1903 and did well primarily in Yokohama.

 Mr. Godfried Thomas and his family

 one of the many fire places inside the house

grand piano

 table lamp

 photos of Mr. Thomas' daughter, Else Calbo

 a 20 mat dining room

 porcelain table ware

 Weathercock photo

 dining nook

 spot DH in the photo

 doll collection of Mr. Thomas' daughter, Else Calbo

 photo taken from one of the rooms in Kazamidori-no-Yakata on the second floor

what used to be a billiard room

 photo of the billiard room

 Study a 12 mat room

It has a pentagonal bay-window that lets in the sun from every angle. The chair with the dragon carving used in those days was donated by their only daughter, Madam Else Calbo. 

pentagonal bay-window

The art nouveau skill of caricatures was depicted on the handrail. 

I went to the toilet before leaving and look what I found...

 faucet on top of the toilet

I didn't notice the faucet until I flushed the toilet. The water suddenly pours onto the sink then down the toilet tank, ready for the next flush ; )

toilet in Kazamidori-no-Yakata

There are a lot of amazing things in Japan and most of them are found inside the toilet cubicle hahaha Anyway, in my next post, I will share our yummy Kobe Beef experience!

For additional information on Kitano-cho, read here


You can view the 3-part Kyoto adventure here, here and here. To view where we stayed during our 8-day stint in Japan, visit here. Interested where we dine on our first night in Osaka? Then read here. Intrigued about the ultimate camera I bought from Canon? View from this link. My Shinkansen (Japan Bullet Train) experience here. Must visit place,  Weathercock Mansion here. and Marina Pia Hungry in Kobe? Eat at Steak Land for authentic Kobe Beef. Or visit Mitsui Outlet Park in Marine Pia Kobe for some outlet shopping.

Discover a town called Kinosaki and its 7 onsen.

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