Blogs from Yamaguchi, Japan, Asia


Asia » Japan » Yamaguchi » Shimonoseki June 26th 2019

Wednesday, 26th June 2019 Dark clouds greeted me this morning as I woke up on my 40th birthday in Japan. Not a great start for me as I had planned to commemorate this special day with a cross-island expedition between Honshu (Shimonoseki) and Kyushu (Mojiko) via the 780m Kanmon Pedestrian Tunnel. After responding to the well-wishes from my friends over whatsapp, I was soon on my way to Shimonoseki. It didn't help that I had forgotten to bring along my jacket to counter the strong, icy winds along the coast. Thankfully, the rain that was almost guaranteed did not materialise eventually. After walking for a good 20 minutes, I soon reached the entrance of the undersea tunnel which would bring me across to Kyushu (Mojiko). This was easy to navigate even though emerging from the Mojiko ... read more
Mojiko Retro Town
Next stop, Shimonoseki
Overlooking Kyushu Island (Mojiko)

Asia » Japan » Yamaguchi » Iwakuni June 24th 2019

Monday, 24th June 2019 I started my morning routine at Doutor for my usual 390-yen egg sandwich and coffee fix at JR Kokura Station before embarking on my journey to Iwakuni, some 172km away. The itinerary for this morning included a visit to the iconic Kintai Bridge, first built in 1673 across the Nishiki River. While the wooden bridge today is a replica, it was nevertheless a joy to visit as I made my way slowly across the bridge towards the Iwakuni Castle. From the top of the castle, the views over the city and Hiroshima Bay were unrivaled. From Iwakuni, I took another 23 minutes train ride to Miyajimaguchi where the World Heritage Site, the Itsukushima Shinto Shrine was accessible after about 10 minutes ferry ride from the train station. Having visited the shrine for ... read more
ChaCha Town, Kokura
Kintai Bridge, Iwakuni
View from Iwakuni Castle overlooking Hiroshima Bay

Asia » Japan » Yamaguchi » Hagi June 9th 2019

Hagi Domain Meirinkan School As we left the Hagi Grand Hotel Tenku, we walked down on Yoshida-cho Dori. We popped in the pottery shop and walked past historic buildings. It took approximately 25 minutes on foot from our hotel to Meirinkan School. We entered the ground from Kantoku Gate and started looking round Yūbikan Building. A volunteer guide was there and showed and explained to me that this wooden building was used for military training and tournaments with spears and swords and historic buildings e.g. South Gate, Suiren Pool and Meirin Gakusha on the site. Historic wooden building of Former Hagi Domain School looked beautiful from any angle. I was told that No.1 and No.2 buildings are designated as Tangible Cultural Property and these buildings were used as school fairly recently and have recently become the ... read more
Yamaguchi Sake
Shoin Jinja
Shokason Juku

Asia » Japan » Yamaguchi » Hagi June 9th 2019

It was rainy and windy at night of 24th April. The weather forecasts on the TV said that the weather would be changed and the temperature would plummet all over in Japan from 25th April: like Britain, the weather is changeable in spring in Japan. Looking at the weather in Hagi, it would remain cloudy but the temperature would drop to 17 degree. On 25th April – we planned visiting west and south part of Hagi; we were to catch the westbound bus called ‘Shinsaku-kun’ from outside of our hotel. There was a Western-looking couple at the bus stop. They got on the same bus and seemed to be struggling to find out the ways to get by (there wasn’t very much English information on the bus). One of them had noticed that I was speaking ... read more
Arched Bridge, Shizuki Park
Tea House
East garden

Asia » Japan » Yamaguchi » Shimonoseki May 25th 2019

Kaikyo Yume Tower We decided to go to Kaikyo Yume Tower, which is one of the landmark towers in Shimonoseki. We went to the reception to buy the tickets. The receptionist heard that I was telling Mark that the ticket was ¥600. She told me that the foreign national is half price; Mark was asked to pay ¥300. I told her that I’ve got British passport. She said, ‘Wow!’ And she asked me if I could show my passport. She asked me how I got British citizenship. I told her that I’d married to British husband and have been living in Britain for nearly 20 years, and became a British citizen in 2006. She asked me if I took the test. I told her that I managed to avoid the citizenship exam, which was introduced a ... read more
View from the tower
City of Shimonoseki
Otoshi Shrine

Asia » Japan » Yamaguchi » Shimonoseki May 25th 2019

On 22 April we decided to have breakfast at the hotel at 8 o’clock. We were offered a wide range of Japanese and Western style meals including fugu (blowfish)’s tempura, porridge and mixed rice with fugu’s fish flakes. Mark hesitated to try these meals for hearing a lot of its dark story of accidental death. I tried the mixed rice with fugu flakes next day. We planned visiting sightseeing places in Karato, Mojiko and the walk under the tunnel between Mojiko and Shimonoseki and going up to Hinoyama Park. Having visited the tourist information centre, we both decided to buy the one-day free Kanmon Circular Passport which would allow unlimited bus journey on Sundan (Shimonoseki’s side) and Nishitetsu (Mojiko’s side) and twice use of the ferry service between Shimonoseki and Mojiko. We bought this circular passport ... read more
Fugu Sculpture in the market
Fish in the market

Asia » Japan » Yamaguchi » Iwakuni April 27th 2017

My brother told me about a photo booth in Iwakuni where teenaged girls cosplayed as different characters come frequent. Knowing that there are no shortage of photo booths in Japan, this peaked my curiosity. And for good reason! It is a standing photo booth, big enough for a group of 4 or 5 people! There is a big circular beauty lamp in front of you, to give you flattering lighting (almost like a professional photo shoot). Then, using my crude Japanese translator, we saw that for 300 yen, you get to take 6 photos. Before you start, you choose a couple options. First, you pick your eye enlarging option. We didn't know what that was at first, so we picked one at random. We ended up with big anime eyes as the final product! You then ... read more
Print Station
Option to send to mobile

Asia » Japan » Yamaguchi » Iwakuni April 21st 2017

If anyone knows me personally, they know I love to just people watch and observe my surroundings. With that being said, I decided to start my Kayko Travel Talley. It will just incorporate something I have observed that has turned into a pattern. Enough for me to start a tally. After day 1, here is my running tally: 1. Times toddler screamed NO on 3 hr flight to LA - 31 (before I stopped counting) 2. Accidental eye contact with a stranger - 9 3. People who have spoken Spanish to me and were disappointed - 4. LA tourists wearing douchey newspaper boy hats or trilbys - 18 5. Girls traveling in heels that can't walk in them - 11 6. Times I've checked for my passport - 1000+ 7. Jokes about United flights - TOO. ... read more

Asia » Japan » Yamaguchi » Iwakuni April 21st 2017

Ohayou Gozaimasu! Yesterday was my first full day in Japan. And it was a fantastic day! Due to some work constraints my brother is unable to travel really past the Yamaguchi prefecture. So I will not be hitting up the main tourist spots around Tokyo, Okinawa, etc etc. Am I disappointed? Hell no! There is so much to do here! And so much to absorb. I love wandering into obscure, less traveled areas. You can really get a feel for true culture – not watered down for tourists. That is not to say I do not enjoy some of the American comforts of staying on an American military base. It is quite nice actually. Feels like a little slice of home, even though I am so far away. Vacation is not an excuse to turn into ... read more
Hiking the Kikkawa Trail
Kintai Park
Iwakuni Castle

Asia » Japan » Yamaguchi » Iwakuni April 20th 2017

(I wrote this on the plane ride from Tokyo to Hiroshima) Disclaimer: It has been a long trip but I am currently in the air and on the way to hiroshima. I also am writing on my tablet because my laptop died. So forgive any typos! My handwriting is not great so it is hard for the tablet to recognize what I am saying. And it begins! I left Dallas at 0800 central time, and continued to time travel from there! Flight to LA was smooth as silk. Good. I get anxious on turbulent flughts. I envy those who find turbelence soothing. Got to LAX in time for lunch. Lucky for me, LA is not short on vegetariarian and vegan options. We boarded for tokyo about 50 min before takeoff. I got there just in time ... read more
Made it!
Glad to be here!!!!
Plane to Hiroshima

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