Day 6: Kumamoto Stopover (Oct 2015)

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October 23rd 2015
Published: January 20th 2016
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Friday, 23rd October 2015

Today is the final day where I could travel for free on my 5-Day Kyushu Pass. And without deviating too much from my itinerary, I decided to make a quick stopover at the city of Kumamoto before continuing my journey to Hakata on the Shinkansen. My main reason for stopping by at the city was to visit the famed castle as well as having a slurp at the original Ajisen Ramen Store located at the heart of the city.

After parking my luggage at the JR station, I boarded the city tram and alighted at the Castle Station some 8 stops later. Following Wikitravel's recommendation, I took a lift up the City Hall Building to enjoy a free bird's eye view of the castle buildings before venturing into the compounds later. Like most of my castle visits thus far, I was contented just to snap a picture outside the structure for a "been-here-done-that" pose.

Instead, I preferred to spend more time at the Sakuranobaba Johsaien though, savouring the mouth-watering red bean mochi desserts to reward myself from the long hike.

Just a short walk from where I am was the original Ajisen Ramen Store where I took my early lunch. Established since 1968 at the very same spot, this was a very small set-up that barely seat more than 15 at the maximum. I was lucky enough to be able to grab a seat before the lunch crowds arrived. Very soon, my ramen noodles was prepared and I went on to finish every bit of it within moments. This was just too yummy to be missed.

After my hearty lunch, I boarded the tram back to the JR Station where I took more pictures of the charming city trams as well as the white-wash train building before saying bye bye to beautiful Kumamoto. This was a satisfying side trip that was rather impromptu as I made my way back to Hakata for my final 2 nights in Japan.

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