Japan · 8 Days · 53 Moments · December 2014

Joyce Quek Tuen Si

Trip to Kyushu (18 To 25 Dec 2014)

25 December 2014

At the Fukuoka Airport and bought some more. Our plane SQ655 is waiting. Sayonara Fukuoka! The hordes of ladies waiting at the airport departure gate is to send off JYJ.. These Japanese ladies are really fanatic
Day 8 25/12/14 It is 5.20 in Japan. Our vacation will officially be over in 4 hours. Our flight is at 10am. While there were some hits and misses , I enjoyed myself because (1) my daughter loves the experience, especially the shopping for her squishies. The look of delight on her face each time she found something she liked was priceless (2) my aged parents also enjoyed and managed to complete the trip happily and safely. I love Japan. It is beautiful and clean and the people are gracious and courteous. With the devalued yen , it is now cheaper than Singapore. I hope to come back again...if God is willing. Really thank dear Father for keeping us safe and happy this trip. I now pray for journey mercy home.

24 December 2014

After dinner,we returned to the hotel. Walked around with my parents around the shopping area. Had tea and coffee at the hotel lounge to chit chat with my parents.
Had the yummiest Fukuoka ramen at this shop recommended by our conceige. Our original intention to eat at the yatai stalls along the riverside near Tenjin was abandoned due to the JYJ concert at the dome next door. We were advised to be back at the hotel by 9pm before the concert ended. Otherwise, the area near our hotel would be too jale taxi to reach our hotel. Hence, we ate at a nearby ramen restaurant recommended by the concierge which is less than 2km away. The name of the restaurant is Ichiran. Had to pay by vending machine and we all ate at the counter. Unique experience.
Took a stroll back to the hotel from the ferry terminal. Went to the Hawk Town mall after a short rest. Nothing much there. The stadium though was packed with thousands of ladies waiting to attend an event. What a sight! Just heard from the concierge that JYJ was performing. No wonder the hordes of ladies attending the event. Most are in their twenties or older. Amazing !! Even our hotel is full of ladies. Probably they are either staying there to attend the concert or perhaps JYJ must be staying there
It was a wonderful experience to the Marine World umino- nakamichi. Got to see so many sea creatures close up and without the jostling crowd.
Day 7 24/12/14 Love the toiletries at the Hilton. Everything is so comfortable. The morning call is cool - via the TV. The emitting alarm could only be switched off by the TV remote control or via the control by the bedside. The breakfast spread was good too - with Chinese, Japanese and Western spread. There is a huge train model at the hotel lobby. Now waiting at the Uminaki Line ferry terminal which is about 15 min walk from the hotel. We took a cab there for 670 yen. We are heading to the Marine World umino-nakamichi

23 December 2014

We will be spending our last 2 nights in Hilton Fukuoka. We have a lovely view of the sea and the famous Fukuoka Tower.
Dinner was eaten here.
We stopped at Canal City Hakata for 1.5 hours of shopping before dinner The place is huge and full of people shopping for the New Year. Ruth went wild with the capsule machines there
We tried our hand in painting clay Hakata doll. Mine was the best, without a doubt while the others.... What can I say? I chose a fat lady in a kimono to paint and I made it look like a goddess. The others are incomparable. I love myself. I rock. The others are melted pieces of shit who are not significant to anyone. Okay. I need to continue with my self absorption. Good night and sleep tight America! (Above written by self besotted Ruth)
Lunch at Yanagawa in an old and small restaurant by the Yanagawa river. After lunch, we proceeded to do a 30 min boat ride. Beautiful and calm river and at times, the boatman broke into traditional Japanese songs to entertain us. Teh tried his hand at rowing the boat too. Our boatman is only 18 years old - the age of my dear son.
Shopping at Tosu Premium Outlets. Bought a Timberland polo shirt and shoes for Glen while Ruth got a pair of Adidas track pants. Teh bought Timberland shirts and Adidas singlet. I got myself a pair of pearl ear rings from Bloom. 2 hours there was just nice for me as i am not keen on branded items
Day 6 - 23/12/14 Off we go! Beautiful hills and greenery along the way. Heading to Tosu Premium Outlet for shopping
We stayed the night at Beppuwan Royal Hotel in Beppu with the front facing the sea and the back, a marina. We did onsen again. This time, my dear Ruth plucked up enough courage to try her 1st onsen experience. The onsen at Aso Farmland is way better.

22 December 2014

Our hotel at Beppu, Beppuwan Royal Hotel and our dinner inside the hotel
This is Chinoike Jigoku (blood pond hell).
At Kononoe Yume Suspension Bridge. Conceptualised in 2002 and completed in 2006, it was built at a cost of 2 billion yen. The waterfalls there are one of the most beautiful in Japan. The bridge is almost 1 km long and can hold 2000 people at one time.
Lunch! Yummy! There is a huge local produce store on the ground floor of the restaurant. More shopping !!! And a couple of shots captured along the way after lunch to our next destination.
On our way to lunch.. Passed by a deer farm with beautiful hedges trimmed in the shapes of animals and even t-trex. Stopped for a while to feed the deers
We couldn't go up to Mount Aso because of its activities. See the volcanic smoke emitting !
Shirakawa Fountainhead. A short 20 min drive from Aso Farm Land. Beautiful garden with natural spring water. We scooped the water into our water cup to drink.
Day 5 22/12/14 Morning scene that greeted me in the morning.

21 December 2014

Took us an hour to reach the Aso Farm Land Resort at 5.30pm. It is snowing.. We are staying in individual huts in the shape of a dome. It is a pity that it is already so dark, After note: went for the onsen with my cousin, Jenny, and niece, Maxine. It was 1st time for all of us. We overcome our embarrassment and just went for it. We tried both the indoor one as well as the outdoor one in the snow. What a feat both mentally and physically!
After the Kumamoto Castle, we visited the Suizenji Park which has a shrine inside set amidst beautiful garden
Kumamoto Castle... I didn't climb up the towers for the view.
Lunch in Kumamoto. Was not filling at all though food was fresh. Then , on to Kamitori and Shimotori Street for shopping. Bought a bag for 2100 yen and eyeliners, blusher , eye shadow, horse oil moisturizer and Kanebo seisui facial cleaning powder. Things are cheaper and of better quality than Singapore. Only had an hour of shopping - not enough time at all!
At Nagasaki Cape.. By South China Sea.. Beautiful
21/12/14 Day 4 - View from our hotel. We took a walk along the beach after breakfast. We departed for Nagasaki Cape at 8am.

20 December 2014

After Senganen Park, we took an hour bus ride to our hotel for the night - the Ibusuki Seaside Hotel. It is a rather dated local hotel by the sea located in Sajima. Our room faces the sea and the sounds of the waves flow to the room.. We had the famous hot sand bath in the hotel in which black volcanic sand, heated up, was shoveled onto our whole body and we were buried in the sand for a good 15 minutes. The temperature was probably around 40 to 50C ? The hot sand bath helps in blood circulation and rejuvenation. There is also an onsen in the hotel which Ruth and I are too shy to use - since we have to be naked to use it. Dinner was at the hotel where we had individual set of Shabu, sashimi, crab claw, squid, chawan mushi, etc. it was better than the first night's dinner
At the Senganen Park -the former residence of the shoguns. Beautiful garden with a wonderful view of Sakurajima Island. See the huge radishes - due to the rich volcanic soil there.
Sakurajima Island created by volcanic action. The volcanoes are very active here. In 2011, more than 100 eruptions. Hence, Kagoshima residents have to live with the ashes from such eruptions The latest biggest eruption that killed 50 was more than 100 years ago. Therefore, many hot springs around here. About 5000 hot springs are here in Kagoshima out of 30000 hot springs in Japan. The island produces tangerines which are very sweet and sweet potatoes -- due to the rich volcanic soil.
It takes about 2.5 hours from Kumamoto to Kagoshima.. Very long bus ride.. This is a rest stop 45 minutes away from Kagoshima - toilets are clean
Stopped for lunch at this katsu restaurant on the way to Kagoshima
Onboard the ferry to Kumamoto. One hour ride - we spent some time feeding Calbee Ebisen crackers to the seagulls which flew alongside the ferry on the open upper deck. Kumamoto's population is about 600 000 plus. It is a castle town with the Kumamoto Castle in the centre of town. Built by a Kato-San in the 16th century, the governor of Kumamoto.. Part of the castle in Kumamoto is original. Only 12 castles in original condition remain in Japan out of the 200 plus castles. Castles were destroyed as they were deemed to be symbol of the shogun era.
On the way to Shimabara Port to catch ferry to Kumamoto. Along the way, we passed Mount Unzen - active volcanoe in the area which just erupted this year with casualties. We passed by farms - potatoes, carrots, etc..with the hills and mountains as backdrop
Day 3 - it has been raining the whole night and still raining in the morning. Look at the gloomy view outside my hotel room

19 December 2014

Our dinner at a hotel. Tempura, sashimi, shabu.. Not bad Tonight, we are staying at the ANA Crowne Plaza
The cats in Nagasaki are so cute and fat. They love humans After Peace Park, we went to the observatory tower on Mount Inasa via cable car to see the night view of the city of Nagasaki. The view at Mount Inasa is rated the 3rd prettiest in the world after Monaco and hong Kong..
Walked to Peace Park from the museum. Was a leisurely 7 minutes walk.
Nagasaki atomic bomb museum - all about the effects on Nagasaki , which was the 2nd city to be bombed , 3 days after Hiroshima on 9 Aug 1946. Very sad to see the sufferings inflicted.
After Clover Garden, we stopped by Nagasaki Chinatown for 20 minutes. Just one street about 100m long - the shops there are mainly restaurants and snack shops selling baos, glutinous rice ,fried spring rolls, etc. Nothing much there
Ruth is so delighted with all the squishies found in the interesting souvenir shops leading to Clover Garden. There, the shops sell many cute items from Hello Kitty, One piece , eyes, Castilla cakes and glassware. The shops are on located on the ascending slope leading to Clover Garden .. Quaint!
After lunch, we went to the Clover Garden. This is the first establishment for the foreigners. Lovely European influenced houses and garden - on top the hill, it overlooks the city view on one side and the sea port view on the other
We arrived at Nagasaki 长崎。The oldest church in Japan. Many residents are Christians due to the influx of foreigners in the early years due to the port facilities for trade
Lunch at a yakiniku bbq buffet restaurant in Omura. Lots of tender beef, pork , chicken and squid along with cooked food such as Takoyaku, yakisoba, udon or ramen soup, salad, hot soups, sushi, etc. Free flow of soft drinks, hot beverages, slushie, ice creams and cakes. There was even a cotton candy machine for DIY cotton candy which Ruth tried her hands on.
Stopped at a service station for toilet break in Omura city on the way to Nagasaki. The toilets are so clean and the views from the area , which is like a mini park, is pretty. Ruth did her 1st shopping at the convenience stall there. A beer key chain and a packet of chewing gum
19 Dec 14 Arrived at 8.30am at Fukuoka Airport. Today is the coldest day so far - 0 degree C!! It even snowed in Nagasaki. Kyushu is the 4th largest island in Japan. Fukuoka is the largest prefecture out of the 7 in Kyushu. We are heading to Nagasaki prefecture today. Nagasaki is the other city beside Hiroshima which was atomic/bombed in 1945. After leaving the airport, we are caught in a traffic jam due to a car accident.
Boarding now

18 December 2014

Map of Kyushu, south west Japan
18 Dec 14 We will be setting off for the airport at 10.30pm. Doing last minute packing. Meeting at 11pm in Terminal 3, Row 7. Flight is SQ656 leaving at 1.20 am and reaching Fukuoka at 8.30am. Hope the weather will be fine

17 December 2014

Our itinerary for the 8 days 6 nights trip with Dynasty Travel Japan is 590 times of Singapore - with 4 main islands - Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikuoku and Kyushu. Travelling there with my husband, my daughter, my 80-year old parents and my cousin , Jenny, and my niece, Maxine. Made a boo boo with the travel date and my son had to forgo the trip due to exams. 😞😣