Blogs from Kumamoto, Japan, Asia

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Asia » Japan » Kumamoto » Kumamoto October 14th 2019

Driving around in Japan is reasonably easy as they do at least drive on the same side as us!! Trying to get the sat Nav to work was more of a problem especially when we couldn't get Google maps to work. ... eventually driver and navigator worked in harmony.... Anyway it's given us a few days of doing our own thing and taking a few days to get to Kumamoto our next match with Wales v Uruguay. There was a lot of talk while we were in Oita about the typhoon that they thought was going to hit the island of Kyushu and that Wednesday's game might be cancelled, but luckily for us it missed us all together but it did cause some horrendous damage further North. We arrived in Kumamoto and gave the car back ... read more
Rice terraces
The mountain sides are covered in miscanthus
A true adventurer

Asia » Japan » Kumamoto » Kumamoto October 23rd 2015

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 ... read more
Kumamoto Bear
He is everywhere
The Castle

Asia » Japan » Kumamoto » Amakusa April 21st 2015

Day 6 Amakusa to Kushikino Distance 68 miles. Ave 14.2 Ascent. 1104 m Temp 13-24 deg. Today was a ride south following the coast and involved a ferry ride to the mainland and culminating in a train ride to Kushikono. Due to the distance and the ferry and train timetables we set off at 7am on a cool morning after a 6am breakfast. This was a set menu of Japanese food again, fish, fish and then fish soup to finish. It was really good food and stoked us up for the day ahead. The scenery was stunning all day passing through fishing villages and through farmland with small fields growing a large variety of crops. Rice, onions, soy beans and a varity of vegetables. Once on the mainland after the ferry the soy changed to potatoes. ... read more
Flyover at station
Bike Friday
Waiting for a train

Asia » Japan » Kumamoto » Kumamoto April 20th 2015

Day 5 Dist. 63 miles. Avenue 14 mph Ascent 637m On reflection last nights meal was octopus tentacles and not the pork I had ordered. Oscar got my pork, but could not find any meat in it. The tentacles in my meal were ok once you had got the suction pads off the roof of the mouth, but I suspect the nutritional value was akin to Desperate Dan’s tripe and cow heal pie. The breakfast today was very good in the Dormy Hotel with a buffet with too much choice and the plates were filled sky high. We claimed we were carbo loading for the ride ahead. Whilst it rained quite heavily overnight at 8am it had ceased and was forecast to rain heavily again this afternoon. So of we went at 8 in overcast conditions ... read more
Nice spelling. Good sentiment.
You are being watched.
Bay

Asia » Japan » Kumamoto » Kumamoto April 19th 2015

Day 4. Aso to Kumamoto 39 miles. Ave 13.0 mph. Ascent 560m. As we left the hotel there were just a few drops of rain but within 2 miles it became heavier until we were forced into our wet weather gear, complete with yellow helmet cover. Once in Aso we went to the store and bought lunch, which comprised sandwiches of the mon fish variety, thankfully. We are are almost fished up already. The route from here took us up onto Mount Aso through trees until it was open moorland reminiscent of the North York Moors. Unfortunately due to poor visibility, wind and rain we did not reach the volcano basin but turned back down the other side towards the west. Stopping for a snack at the non-lookout gave the rain time to subside and giving ... read more
Racing up Mount Aso.
Today's route.
Kumamoto castle

Asia » Japan » Kumamoto October 31st 2014

Hallo Freunde! Robert hat euch ja schon von seinem Training in Kumamoto erzählt. Aber die Highlights hat er euch noch verschwiegen. Wir sind am Mi am Morgen gleich mit dem Zug von Kagoshima nach Kumamoto aufgebrochen, sodass wir dort gegen die Mittagszeit angekommen sind. Was uns dort empfing haben wir so überhaupt nicht erwartet. Robert hatte zuvor mit Nogutchi Sensei ausgemacht, dass er uns Tags über, vor dem Training, die Stadt zeigt. Als wir durch die "Zug-Kontroll-Schleuße" gingen, winkten uns schon von weitem 3 Leute ganz heftig zu. Es war Nogutchi Sensei, seine Frau und eine Freundin der beiden. Die beiden Mädels gingen mit uns Mittagessen, weil Nogutchi Sensei noch etwas erledigen musste. Sie waren bemüht uns "Europäisches" aufzutischen ;-) (war voll nett, aber wir hätten ja sowieso alles gegessen ;-) Die zwei waren so lustig ... read more
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Asia » Japan » Kumamoto » Kumamoto June 30th 2014

Back home, the ubiquitous ramen food product conjures up images of either ultra extreme food budgeting or camping fare. Not so in Japan where ramen has been taken to an art form. The last time I willingly ate anything remotely resembling ramen noodles was when I was on Aconcagua in December of 2011. I'm pretty sure that back then 10 packs of noodles did not cost much more than $1 in the USA so imagine my shock and chagrin when my first meal in Japan last week was ramen noodles for ¥800; side dishes of a bowl of rice and 5 fried gyoza (Japanese dumplings) went for a much more reasonable ¥200. The ramen was good, but $8 good? Not so sure... US$ ≈ 101 Japanese yen (¥) Kumamoto Spent 2 nights here to recover from ... read more
Stupa
Looking Back Down the Trail
Slopes of Nakadake

Asia » Japan » Kumamoto » Aso April 7th 2014

Geo: 32.9373, 131.08... read more

Asia » Japan » Kumamoto November 22nd 2013

The Baths in Kurokawaso, Kurakawa After dinner in the Ryokan I went to the baths in the late evening hours. The pool of steamy water was surrounded by rocks on all sides and to one side in the cliffs soared up into the night sky. Maples and Ginkgos grew from between the rocks and branched out overhead. Blood crimson and golden yellow leaves fell from the branches through the steam and floated on the water. The surrounding air was crisp and cold. The steam rose up from the water slowly and was carried off in a dance of random directions by light breezes. I was alone in the pool and the only light was from the windows of the bathhouse behind me and a few lanterns around the water. To one side water from the hot ... read more
Local carpenters at work
Ryokan Kurokawasou
View from the room

Asia » Japan » Kumamoto » Kumamoto October 3rd 2013

I was up early on Thursday morning to catch the train for the long trip to Kumamoto. The downside to it being so early (besides it being so early!) was that it was the middle of peak hour, with lots of people going to work. Luckily I had my seats reserved so there were no issues. I first had to catch a train back to Okayama on Honshu, before changing to a shinkansen that was heading to Kyushu. Unfortunately, it wasn’t quite the train trip I was hoping for because there are quite a lot of tunnels along this part of the journey, so there wasn’t as much to see as I had hoped. Because of this, I had a bit of a snooze along the way. I arrived in Kumamoto before lunchtime and jumped on ... read more
Now That's Defense!
The Original Turret Buildings
At Kumamoto Castle




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