By Noro Randria
I am a fan of the new addition to the Tokyo skyline, the Tokyo Skytree, but I have always felt that architecturally the structure could have been much more appealing; let's say for example like the hyperbolic beauty of the Kobe Port Tower. That tower is set in a beautiful scenic location on the port side of the city near Meriken Park and the MOSAIC shopping mall.
The red colored tower structure has an observation deck on the top floor, where a rotating café is the main attraction. In the evening, a 'Million Dollar Night View' can be enjoyed at this unique café. I recommend to take your time up there, have a coffee and some cake and take a look at the souvenir shop, too.
My first visit to this cafe was in the afternoon when there were very few people actually. Most of the people visit right before or after sunset, when the lights of the city of Kobe are very beautiful.
The view from Kobe Port Tower is really unique in the sense that there are very few towers in Japan from where you can get views of the waterfront areas and the mountain range at the same time (the Chiba Port Tower is actually another one). From the Kobe Port Tower observatory, the complete Mount Maya range from the Kobe side down to Ashiya can be viewed at a single glance. With the rotating café you can literally just sit in one place and let the 360 degree view unfold in front of you in slow rotation. It takes about 20 minutes to complete one full circle.
The City of Kobe has posted a beautiful time-lapse video on YouTube:
You should choose a clear day, or night, to visit the tower. At night, when visibility is good, you can enjoy the lights that seem to reach out over to the city of Osaka. The night view is also called the 'Ten Million Dollar night view'. Kindly see the contrast expressed in the photographs posted below, depending on the time of the day. What is your preferred time?
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Travelling to various places and locations in Japan for over 14 years now, I want to share my experiences and also hear about destinations that I still have not been to in the land of the rising sun. Am a photography enthusiast and love to do slow shutter blue hour photography in Tokyo.