Kobe: the city I now call home

Ross Hall

April 30, 2021
(Updated on June 17, 2021)

The Japanese city of Kobe seen from a high aspect

I took this photo from a temple about 1.5km from where I live as the crow flies. This is Kobe, the place I now call home, a city crammed into a strip of land barely 8km wide between sea and mountains.

What you see down there is a few tens of metres above sea level. Where I was stood was more than 300 metres.

The past few months have been hectic as we’ve bought a house, turned it into a home, found a routine (of sorts) and settled into Japanese life. My language skills are still appalling. People still stare at us. The local school kids still think I’m American.

The trickle of one-off bits of content have been welcome. Now we’re settled it’s time to start turning on the taps properly. Fingers crossed and wind in the right direction, it’ll be full steam ahead by the end of the month. A last couple of things to sort out.

Big lessons:

I really needed to destress. A few weeks of being in “not taking this seriously” mode has helped.

Moving to another country and starting from scratch with zero support is hard. Kudos to all my fellow immigrants (wherever you are).

The grass can be greener on the other side, just expect bare patches, weeds and the odd thorn or five.

I'm Ross Hall, a writer and researcher based in Kobe, Japan. You can talk to me about B2B, sustainability and strategic management.

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