SC writes: We are using Fukuoka as a base to explore Kyushu in the west of Japan. Yesterday we headed off eastwards to Beppu, billed as a resort sort of town on the coast and famous for a string of hot springs, too hot to be Onsen. We’re talking boiling mud, great clouds of steam and water at 99 degrees C. Collectively there are 7 sites, known as “Hells”, each with its own unique attraction. These range from boiling mud that creates gloopy circles of toned grey - see photos - to steamping pools of various colours, to crocodiles. Yes that’s not a typo!
All very interesting and we had to make our way to them by bus. From there things took a turn for the worse. Beppu the town was disappointing despite more good weather. Think a poor cross between Southend and Blackpool! (but warmer).
From there things took another turn for the worse. Our train back to Fukuoka should have taken just under 2 hours. It actually took 4 hours. A two hour delay, unheard of on Japan Rail. After about an hour the train guard / conductors, who had made copious announcements in Japanese sought us
out and explained, with the help of a translator app. (see previous ref by Cathy) that : “this train has been delayed by an incident involving injury and death”. With that knowledge you can’t complain. So late back that we missed dinner but we had a free bowl of Ramen which our hotel provides for guests every evening.
Today we travelled by another comfortable regular train, not a Shinkansen, westwards this time to Nagasaki...in the rain. Everyone has heard of Nagasaki and we managed to find our way by tram (excellent) to the Atomic Bomb Museum which was, as you might expect, very sombre. Having visited Hiroshima previously we knew what to expect, but the bomb on Nagasaki was over twice the power of Hiroshima and the devastation - although massive - was constrained to some extent by the geography (the city is surrounded by hills).
Out into the pouring rain we went and inspired by our ever faithful, if not always reliable, Lonely Planet. we found Dejima, a reconstructed Dutch trading post from 200 years ago. The Dutch were the only nation allowed to trade with Japan back then, and then only via one small island off
Nagasaki: Dejima.This was a bit of industrial archeology and very well done. We kept dry and spent a decent couple hours there. Finally the sun came out and we managed a quick tour of Chinatown before heading back.
Tonight we ate locally in the nearby mall which features a “Ramen Stadium”, a collection of about a dozen discrete Ramen restaurants. You have to make your selections outside using a ticket machine! We spotted a chap actually making the pig bone broth previously referred too. Very interesting and tasty With beer and gyoza on the side...mmmm!
That’s it for Fukuoka. Tomorrow we head further South to Kagoshima.
Tot: 0.042s; Tpl: 0.02s; cc: 9; qc: 34; dbt: 0.0083s; 1; m:saturn w:www (18.104.22.168); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.3mb