26 September, 2015

Summer vacation 2015 -episode Fukuoka-

Fukuoka is the biggest city in Kyushu. Many of Japanese famous people are from Hakata Kyushu.
Big cities' functionality is basically the same. Then it means I did not expect here so much.

As photos show, shopping, buildings and so on. There is nothing special to see, find some history. If there was someone showing me around, it should be different though.

At night, I have seen a friend of mine back in Japanese uni. I don't remember however it's been a while since he lives and works here. We went to an Izakaya first because he knew some sort of particular cuisine at Hakata, which is of course relatively rare to find in Tokyo. We have eaten some tipical and typical sashimi. Then after that, I've invided him to come to my hotel and started drinking a lot of beer. It was surprising to me to see him drinking more than I. To be honest, I can't recall what we talked about but it should be alright because to meet him is the imporance.

25 September, 2015

Summer vacation 2015 -episode Nagasaki-

The biggest reason that I have decided to visit Kyushu is because I wanted to pray for peace at Nagasaki, where is the second place that nuclear atomic bomb have been dropped off 9th August 1945. I have ever visited in Hiroshima but never been to Nagasaki. This is a one-day trip. In order to visit there, my fright arrived at Fukuoka first and then soon after that I took an express traing to Nagasaki, which was slightly a tough itinerary and was costly to be honest.

When I arrived at Nagasaki station, I was enough hungry because it was a flight early in the morning and I could not eat anything at Fukuoka airport to make a secure transfer to the train. Then on the train I was thinking a lot about my lunch time. As I am a big fan of noodles, I had made up my mind to have a local cuisine called "Sara udon" although I did not take a photo of it. It was similar to Chinese fried noodles and very tasty. My stomach finally became calmed down and off to the main destination, Nagasaki peace park. There are trams running in the city of Nagasaki which resembles Hiroshima. Tram fare is quite cheap and many people getting on.

People were not that many. Probably that was because of timing. It is quite hot this time of year. The park is located on a hill, visitors have to walk from the nearest tram station for a while. Compare to Hiroshima, that of Nagasaki seems smaller. Actually, the area called "Urakami" is not the city centre, rather it's opposite to the Nagasaki city centre. Meanwhile, a neuclear bomb has been dropped at literally city centre in Hiroshima, this should be one of the reasons of this dimension differences. Yet the statue looked quite simbolic and I felt time goes by slowly. I had a walk around the park to go to the memorial museum, the area is called "Heiwa machi" which means literally a peace town.

Originally and historically, Nagasaki is a Christian city, and there are some churches in this particular zone. And back in 1945, a big church was damaged by the bomb, and this was an edifice representing the sad facts.

Although it was not easy to find out an entrance to the museum, I managed to get there. The museum in Hiroshima is free of charge however, that of Nagasaki charges you...

Exhibitions are pretty much the same, but this one is in a way spacious and relaxed. Perhaps it is because of number of itimes, lighting and something that I can't explain well. But I've found two impressive exhibitions. One is above image, these are name lists of victims. And the other is a photograph representing a boy stanging on the ground and looking at far away with his dead younger brother hanged on the back (photographing is not allowed).  Image below is the hypocentre by the way.

After visiting the museum, I still had a spare time to the train back to Fukuoka. In fact, the city of Nagasaki is quite small and you can go sightseeing spots very easily with the trams. I thought I would not able to see a famous bridge (Glasses bridge) at there but it was no problem at all.

The bridge and the city centre locate opposite to the park and museum as I explained earlier. If it was calm on the water it could be seen as glasses however, the result is as it shows. Again, time never flies here.

On an express train back to Fukuoka, the train itself was very stylish both exterior and interior. It was a tough and long and worthy day to spend.

24 September, 2015

Summer vacation 2015 -episode Naogya-

A three days off is supposed to be given by my company as summer vacation. Now that I don't really remember why but I decided to go domestic trip this year. Probably the main reason was there were no RG events around that time of year or it was too expensive to go abroad. (Acutually I had no paid holidays at that point).

The first destination is Nagoya, where I have once visited at the end of the year 2014 to see my friend. I made up my mind to visit there again because I liked Nagoya very much. As it was too short to visit last time, the first two days this time will be exclusive for Nagoya and then no plans follow.

Daytime express buses are really confortable from Tokyo to Nagoya. It doesn't take too long and it costs less than Shinkansen. I have taken excatly the same way as last time. In this case, my arrival time will be at night which is a good timing to hang out with my friend. My friend Hide has brought me out to an Izakaya to have some local food called "Nagoya Meshi". And then Nagoya Meshi is generally really good (no photos to show though).

When you go to Nagoya station, you will definitely find this statue. Her name is Nana Chan, she is a sort of symbol here. She changes her cosutume from time to time in accordance with seasons or seasonal events. At this time, she was like above.

Next day, it was quite cloudy and rainy unfortunately. But I had a plan to visit to Noritake Garden. Noritake is a Bone china manufacture from Nagoya. As I am a big fan of dishes and cups and so on, I wanted to come to this place.

It is a kind of large showroom because Noritake's headquater locates here. Sadly photographing was not allowed inside of facilities, I have taken some images outside but certainly their products are absolutely beautiful. And Noritake Garden as a whole was stunningly calmed down.

The rain was over and then I walked around the centre of Nagoya city.

Nagoya is the 3rd biggest city in Japan and as the image above show, it is beautifully organised. When it comes to Tokyo, it is too condenced and it is a sort of mess but Nagoya instead, its population and  spaces are well balanced.

After spending 2 days in Nagoya, my vacation continues. By the way, it was not easy to book a hotel room on the day 2 because my mobile device worked tremendously slow. To tell the truth, I was thinking of visiting Nara after Nagoya because rice fields in Nara this time of year are famous for seasonal flowers. However as a result from some research, I knew its bloom had already finished about a week ago. Then I have quickly decided to change my next destination to Kyushu because I have never ever been before.
And it was a right decision because there is an international air port in Nagoya. So, the next episode will be my trip to Kyushu.

15 August, 2015

Nikko is super

This might be one of the results from the global warming though, it was really hot and humid in summer 2015 season perhaps more than usual.
Meanwhile, I recieved an email from my friend inviting me to go out during the summer together with our friends in mid August because typically many of Japanese companies and its employees have a shot vacation called OBON this time of year, and we decided to the same. We discussed where to go and set our destination to Nikko. The biggest reason for this is to avoid the temperature and humidity in Saitama and Tokyo areas because Nikko is located in a mountain and that means it's much cooler (10 degrees and more) than where we live.

A massive trafic jam was expected however, it did not happen. As the picture shows, there was a car accident on the motorway but it was not that big and we managed to pass through.

On the way to Nikko, we dropped by a city called Utsunomiya, where is a capital city of Tochigi prefecture. As it was a vacation season, Gyoza (popular food in this city) restaurants were closed and one of my friend found another option. Then we went to a Yakisoba (image above) restaurant instead. Although I did know that, it was a common cuisine in the area. And it was quite nice.


We had a walk around a lake and drove around the city with windows opened.



As titled, Nikko is super. Technically Oku-Nikko is super. It was very cool as expected. And Nikko is also famous for hot springs and we enjoyed it. But one of the best highlits was walking in the forest and also driving. Despite it was in a mid summer, we spent our time quite comforably thanks to the climate. And the air at Nikko was different, it was so good. Obviously there are lots of sightseeing spots as well. If I have a chance to come back here again, I definitely would like to do so because it is not too far from even Tokyo.