Kitano Meister Garden, which is a commercial facility made utilizing the building of Kitano Elementary School, which has been closed down, including the furnishings used in the school. You can reach it in about 15 minutes on foot from “Kobe Sannomiya” station. Here, you can make handmade goods from leather, beads, and the like by yourself.
The building is a three-story building, made of reinforced concrete, which has a remnant of the old elementary school house.
This is the front entrance.
Entering the entrance, we found a guide plate of the facility. The entrance, hallways, and stairways had atmospheres of the elementary school.
First, we went to the second floor. There are some workshops where we can have handmade experiences.
Works of art, which may be made by old elementary school students, are hung at the stair landings.
At that time, we experienced the making of Japanese candles in this store, “Matsumoto Shoten.”
Japanese candles are made from “wax tree, Toxicodendron succedaneum” (Round things in a box in the upper part of the following photograph are nuts of the wax tree, from which wax is made). The core of the candle is made from Japanese paper and the pith of rush, the pith of rush being wrapped with Japanese paper to obtain the core. (The cores are sticks in the box in the upper part of the photograph). The wax, obtained from the wax tree, is once formed into a big round stone (the lower part of the following photograph).
We performed “topping” and “painting” of the candle.
First, the “topping” of the candle was performed. The wax, obtained from the wax tree, was heated to a high temperature to dissolve it (which is in a pan on the right side of the following photograph). The dissolved wax was cooled to about 40 degrees Celsius (which is in a tub on the left side). Pre-candles with a stick, which are seen on the center of the photograph, look like a cattail, were coated with the wax obtained above, whereby the “topping” of the candle was completed.
We put a rubber glove on our left hand, put the dissolved wax on the left hand, and rubbed the wax around the candle, while we rotated the candles.
The video shows the “topping” of the candle.
The wax was immediately dried, and so we started the “painting” just after the “topping.” It was difficult to draw flowers or animals on the candle with a brush, but we fully enjoyed it.
There were various workshops other than this shop, for example shops making boxes of matches, incense sticks, leather crafts, and bead crafts.
We went down to the first floor. A gorgeous chandelier, which was one of the school fixtures, was hung from the ceiling of the stairway.
Coffeehouses, tearooms, and souvenir shops open on the first floor.
There is a trend in which old buildings are not demolished but are reused. I think this is an excellent idea.
We walked for a few minutes on foot from the Kobe Meister Garden to reach “Kobe Muslim Mosque.” They kindly gave us permission to see the interior of the building.
From the mosque, we reached Kobe Kitano Hotel in about 5 minutes on foot. The hotel is famous for delicious food, and is one of many very popular hotels in Kobe.
Kobe Kitano Hotel as seen from the back side.
This is the front facade. The hotel is cozy.
The hotel lobby is shown below.
There is a patio where wedding receptions are often held beyond the door.
We intended to have lunch in this hotel, but we couldn’t, because there were no available seats on that day.