Okay, so here we go with the weekend report of fun traveling stuff.
I met baine
at the bus station on Friday, late--SO glad the buses ran later than websites and other info said, we got back to my house pretty late. Still ended up talking a bit and tried to plan out what we were going to do the next day. Also had Taiyaki (the fish shaped bakery thing, usually filled with red bean paste, but we got a chocolate one)
Our first trip was to Mt. Aso, which was a ways away, but after several bus rides, train rides and more bus rides, we made our way up the ropeway to some beautiful scenery. There were tons of little stands up the way, and as we were browsing a sulfur stand (o.O) there was this "gajin, gajin!" We had to muffle our laughter and headed further up the slope. It was just amazing to see! Behind the cut are the pictures from Aso. Beware, there are a lot of them. ^^;( mtaso )
We went to Kumamoto City afterward and just bummed around town and tried to figure out what we were going to do when we came back. We traveled through several Arcades and got some dinner before heading back.
The next day was a three hour bus ride to Miyazaki City and to the infamous SeaGaia, an indoor beach. It's actually really cool--there are three water slides, different swimming pools and the 'ocean' beach area, with real waves that wash over you. There is even more major waves where people can surf on. Yes, I have pictures of that as well, and even a video of the surfing. It's not the best video (taken with my camera from a distance) but it shows the waves and stuff. ( more pictures )
The third day (and final day, *sniff*) we went to Kumamoto City, to see the Kumamoto Castle, various shrines and famous homes of feudal lords, plus--shopping. =D Today involved a lot of walking, a few wrong turns and some awesome priests at one of the shrines. (They gave us a lift to the place we walked RIGHT BY earlier, go us and Laz's bad sense of direction and some confusing signs). The castle was pretty neat, I tell ya. It was mostly destroyed during Japan's last civil war, but restored beautifully. There were several buildings along the way to walk in (some of which had the original flooring, so no shoes and some creepy, creaky floors and narrow stairs...XD)
It was cool to imagine people living there and just existing. Some of the exhibits inside were cool--muskets and swords and clothing, boxes and daily living stuff--didn't take pictures of the stuff inside (I don't think it was allowed) but by the time we got to the top, we took pictures of the surrounding area. It was just gorgeous.
We walked around until we finally found the Gyotobei mansion, and it was just cool to walk around this place and I got a ton of pictures for it.
Afterward, we went to the Kamitori Arcarde, wandered a bit, hit Tsuraya (huge department store, we didnt even see it all) and had some yummy tempura lunch in one of the basement areas. We checked a few places to come back to buy more stuff, then we headed to the Shimatori Arcade where we had the Taiyaki we had the other day. (SO yummy, I want more of it. XDD) baine
had to head back at 5, so we bought some shoes for our jobs and headed back to the bus station. It was a total blast, if exhausting and I can't wait to visit her in Sasebo in a couple of weeks. It's so quiet without her here! XD But I really did have fun and I have a day to recover before I go back to the school, where it's Sports Festival week and I get to cheer on the students. Whoot. ( pictures of Kumamoto Castle area )