Travel: Foodie & photo feast in Kobe Japan’s Chinatown

I recently spent ten days in Japan, touring the central part of the country, the Kansai region, which is home to the historic city of Kyoto, where you’re most likely to find women dressed in kimonos walking down the street and geishas, Osaka, the second largest city in Japan, and the port city of Kobe, which has a long-standing European flavor.

Kobe is also home to a Chinatown, one of three in the country and the second largest in Japan, and despite having so many Chinatowns here at home, in Los Angeles and San Francisco, I found myself fascinated with the Japan version.

In fact, I kicked off the PhotowalksTV in Japan episodes with my visit to Chinatown–Osaka and Kobe will have to wait.

Why? A simple one-word answer. Those rich, red colors

Japan’s Chinatown in Kobe is awash in rich, red colors. By Jefferson Graham for the PhotowalksTV series

Kobe’s Chinatown attracts tourists of all stripe, mostly excited about the street food. My feast was photographic. The colors of the Kobe Chinatown, especially during and after a rain, are magnificent.

Take a look at these smartphone images from Chinatown and see if they don’t inspire you to check it out on your next visit to Japan.


Photo Tips

Kobe Chinatown in the rain, by Jefferson Graham for the PhotowalksTV series

If you’re lucky enough to be near the Kobe Chinatown (or any, for that matter) during or after a rain, open your camera and pounce. Remember that smartphones are water resistant. You can photograph while it’s raining without any worry about ruining your investment. And if you follow my advice and wait for early evening, when the neon signs are turned on, you’ll likely see splashes of color that will make your photos pop.

This episode was filmed, primarily on an iPhone 13 Pro Max, along with the crazy Insta360 X3 camera. I mentioned that I had brought along a Samsung Galaxy S21 phone so I could be better versed with how they operate and differ from iPhones, and found myself reaching for it more often than I thought I would.

Top of the line Galaxy phones have a longer zoom than iPhones, 5X vs. 3X, which in photography terms is 77mm vs. 200mm equivalent. It sure is a cool thing to have for street photography.

Apple is expected to offer similar tools in the next iPhone. I can’t wait.


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