Kyushu 2014.

Oct/Nov 2014

Although backdated for some time, I really need to start writing about Kyushu and stop procrastinating already.

We took a package tour and went on a red eye flight from SG to Fukuoka and so spent our first night on the plane. Flight was pretty comfortable because it is Singapore Airlines and i managed to catch a few movies on the flight. Hehehe!

We started off from Yanagawa where we took the traditional wooden boat from one end to the other admiring the spring-autumn foliage by the riverside. And then, we had a really awesome eel meat rice bento for lunch for the very first time as I will never try eel meat in Singapore because I never trust that the fishy smell of it will be masked off completely. yanagawariver

#0 Yanagawa river

Then we were off to Nagasaki’s Atomic Bomb Museum and the nearby Peace Park for sight seeing. Some of the atomic bomb survivors lived to pen down testimonials and it did indeed send chills down my spine when they describe how the impact of the atomic bomb affected them both mentally and physically. Some of the stories were really heart-wrenching!

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#1 Peace Park Statue

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#2 Nagasaki Peace Park

Very soon it was time for dinner and we were chaffeured off to somewhere for some good ‘mochi’ rice cake set meal. IKR, japanese meals can be that interesting! And yes, i did not remember to take a photo with the lid opened so had to googled for it. This is exactly the set meal we had at the same restaurant as I’d recognised the restaurant name imprinted on the disposable chopsticks holder. After the dinner, we were directed by the tour guide to take a city tram in the city of Nagasaki to our first check in at the Crowne Plaza GloverHill Nagasaki Hotel.

Guzouni (Picture courtesy of Google Images)

Day 2 started off with us getting on board a cruise boat for some dolphin watch! Excited excited excited.. although I am never happy with humans disturbing marine animals like the harmless dolphins and whales. I was so much more well informed after catching the documentary “The Cove” and if you guys are interested, go google about it. Next off, we were send to take a car ferry across Ariake Sea to Kumamoto pier. What’s a car ferry?? It’s a damn huge ferry that takes vehicles across the big ocean! Again, this is my first time… and i could not believe my eyes when i saw how our whole tour bus went into the ferry. I was dumbfounded and in awe of it… hahaha

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#3 Wild dolphins

SO.. we landed on Kumamoto soil. We were headed off to Kumamoto Castle. As you know, castles are almost everywhere in Japan because of their rich castle history in the past. It was almost dark and so we postpone the last activity on the itinerary to the next morning because it is very near to the Kirishima Royal Hotel that we stayed in on the 2nd night. It was also the first night where we started our onsen addiction going on…

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#4 Kirishima castle?

Day 3 morning as planned, we went to Kirishima Shrine and yes.. it is just a temple where all the devotees will walk up the slope of steps to reach the shrine. Camho a bit there as we had nothing much to do besides waiting…

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#5 that’s me lah.. posing with one of the shrine’s lamp post. SG where got such design leh..

Credit: Courtesy of Google Images

#6 Kirishima Shrine

After the shrine visit, we reached this observation platform that requires us to walk a bit distance uphill to the deck itself and then it was overlooking the Nagasaki city scape and the magnificent Sakurajima Volcano.

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#7 Shiroyama Observation Platform overlooking the Nagasaki cityscape

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#8 Volcano Sakurajima captured in the background which is still very active and can be seen from the observation deck.

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#9 Sekino-o waterfall, this is further into the forest where the streams lead to the waterfall

Quickly after the shopping & lunch at Tenmonkan area in the city of Kagoshima and the sightseeing, we were headed off to Miyazaki before the sun sets. It was a pretty long bus journey and I just keep dozing off and waking up to check the time. Our third night was spent at Miyazaki Kanko Hotel which overlooks a very nice lake view.

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#10 Teruha Suspension Bridge

Day 4 was to this Teruha Suspension Bridge at a height of 142m above a valley where this Aya Minami river flows.

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#11 Pretty enjoyed taking shots like that.. hehe

After all the walking, another 2 hours of bus journey to Mt. Aso which is also an even more active volcano. Unfortunately when we were there, the volcano was already erupting and we weren’t allowed up to the observation deck. Sad…

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#12 Mt aso erupting and the emergency alert was everywhere nearby..

That pretty much ends for the day and we were sent to our next 1 night stay hotel at Aso Farm Village. This resort style hotel was much interesting because of the dome shaped rooms we stayed in. And the weather that got much cooler at night became even cooler that night because we were at a pretty higher land in that area hence the temperatures can get lower as you ascend higher.

Day 5 –  After the buffet breakfast at Aso Farm Village, we headed to this old town village in Yufuin. If i’m not wrong, it’s usually called Yufuin Town or Yufuin Floral Village. I just simply adore countries like Japan because of the vast landscapes and natural places like that. Look at the lush aww-mazing landscape that I have captured!

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#13 Yufuin

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#14 Reflection of the morning sun at Yufuin’s lake 😀

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#15 The other side of Yufuin

We left the old town with perfect memories captured of the lake and the amazing landscape, and were told that we will also be going to this safari zoo park. It did not sound as interesting as it should be when the tour guide explained to us. But it was a pretty good experience since we can have such a close encounter with this animals!

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# Feeding the animal KING his food

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# this beast blocking our roads is the …!

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# Giraffe walked towards our safari vehicle and started licking the side mirrors!

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# Never had I seen so many cheetahs this near, even SG Mandai Zoo only had 1 or 2 at one single time and they were not as wild as these four musketeers!

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#16 After the zoo visit, I was almost quite tired already probably due to the sun shining brightly less the cold. We then headed off to the Beppu Death Valley which I remembered is the area where the highest concentration of the onsen spring is found!

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#17 Crystal blue waters at boiling temperatures. I guessed thats why its called a death valley. So before the skies turn dark, we quickly hopped on the tour bus and left for our dinner and the next 1 night stay at Beppu Wan Royal Hotel. After all the unpacking and packing of luggages every night, I must say that joining tours are indeed quite tiring so to speak and I am really not the kind who loves doing that. This is also why this blog is still existent because documenting these journeys down will helped me to recall the times we had and the places we had visited.

So the last day has finally arrived and we were heading back to the city. I can’t wait to try hakata ramen!! The only regret of this trip was not having a taste of the original Ippudo ramen that originated from hakata a.k.a fukuoka. 😥

We were so in a rush back to the last check in at Canal City Washington Hotel probably due to the long road distances. Kudos, new-found respect for the bus driver who kept us safe and sound throughout this journey. Not forgetting also, thank God for the blessings and protection we have received during this trip.

Hotels that we have stayed during the trip:

crowne plaza gloverhill nagasaki

kirishima royal hotel

miyazaki kanko hotel

aso farm village

beppu wan royal hotel

canal city washington hotel

cheers,

thedarktraveler