Since there is another Tadao Ando's architectural piece, let's go and visit!
Spend the Afternoon @ Awaji Yumebutai
Hyogo, Awaji, Yumebutai 2 [Google map link]
Parking: ¥600 but we got a redemption coupon from the restaurant so it turned out to be free.
This space houses Westin Hotel, restaurants, large outdoor garden, indoor manicured botanic garden, conference hall,
Arrived 2:10pm - Departed 4:45pm
There is so much to do here, but so little time! Awaji Yumebutai was the site where a large amount of earth was excavated from to build reclaimed islands in Osaka Bay. One such island houses Kansai International Airport. Tadao Ando designed the buildings to occupy once an empty plot of land, to give the area life, and flowers a new home.
The En-kai Forum 円形フォーラム is the centre of Awaji Yumebutai. It has just about all the elements that Tadao Ando uses: Concrete, water, light and space.
Speaking of which, we're famished. We do what we do best. Eat!
Lunch @ Happy Hamburger
11am-4pm, 5-9pm. Closed on Wed
After not having beef for a day, we decided to settle for a hamburg-steak joint. I got myself a Hamburg (a patty of ground beef), with cubes of Sirloin steak. I added on a square of melty cheese on my Hamburg. These guys aren't in the same league as the Kobe beef and Olive Wagyu we had earlier, but the meal filled us nicely.
Awaji Island is known for its onions. Our onion was baked whole in the oven. The flesh is sweet, tender, and succulent. So happy that I got a bag to bring home. I think it weighs 2kg. Even when eaten raw, it's sweet with a mild bite.
See Flowers @ Kiseki no Hoshi Botanical Museum
a.k.a The Plant Museum of the Miracle Planet
10am-6pm. Closed on 2nd Thu
Entrance fee: ¥600 (Though fee can vary for special exhibitions)
Kiseki no Hoshi Botanic museum is one of the few indoor gardens, alongside with Itabashi Botanical Garden. As with most things Japanese, the garden changes its theme, depending on the season. Visitors have new things to look forward to with each following visit.
Floor Map @ Courtesy of Kiseki no Hoshi Botanical Museum
The botanical museum has many exhibition halls. Enough for a full day's worth of browsing.
The interaction between flowers and all thing inanimate - the balance, interaction, aesthetically pleasing to the eye.
The hall is air-conditioned, with soft music playing in the background. Only if we weren't in a rush to return the car.
Anyways, its now 4:45pm. It takes us 45min to drive back to Kobe to return the car. From there, we'll be taking a train to Osaka to spend the rest of our Japan stay there. Thank you for following me on our Iya Valley Road-trip. Hope that this helps you with your own road-trip planning.