Kyushu {#3 Kumamoto } ~ The Lovely Castle and Emperial Ground ~

As the 3rd biggest city in Kyushu, Kumamoto has a structured and contemporary city planning with skyscrappers and modern streets. The famous Kumamoto Castle is also listed as the best 3 castle in Japan as well.


Kumamoto Castle

The green green moat ♡

The greatest castle of all ~~
People seem so small against it ☆
This is definitely the biggest one i ever seen.

The castle is relatively tall and requires quite of a climb.

You can see the main building off whereever you are climbing lol

A hundred year-old Gingko Tree
It will become extraordinarily beautiful in the Yellow Fall

The superb gigantic and complex structure model☆

Sadly enough the main building is just a concrete built one.
Inside is simply exhibition of weapons and paintings.

The city model shows a well blend with the old Edo town. 

It is quite interesting to see the castle and surroundings are well-preserved in green where a distinctive green boundary could be observed against the skyscrappers.


What's special about Kumamoto Castle is not the main building where most of the castles in Japan remained and preserved, but the original Empire Residence.

The great ceiling of the reception hall.
Engraved with sophisticated gold details

A detail introduction of carpenter work.
The very importance of Japanese old architecture is the building techniques of not using nails but just wood itself.

Former Hosokawa Residence

I didn't know this spot until it comes into package with the castle combo ticket.
Walking to the Former Hosokawa Residence from the castle takes about 15 minutes.

Introducing you to the place is the miniature of the grand avenue (?!) , natural and contemporary, but too much mosquitos in some sense... 

I love this simple but contemporary  japanese garden♡

This building complex is unexpectedly huge. 
If i were to design my own house, this little deck must be in it. 

And the big kitchen on the dirt.


Time arrangement
Around 1 day

Kumamoto City Tram
The one day pass is cheap at the cost at ¥500~

Related Stations
Kumamoto Castle 熊本城 @ Kumamoto Castle Station (熊本城・市役所前)
Former Hosokawa Residence 舊細川刑部邸 @ Sugidomo Station (杉塘)


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#4 Nagasaki - 長崎
The Westernized City of Atomic Bomb

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Kyushu {#4 Nagasaki} ~The Westernized City of Atomic Bomb~

Nagasaki is one of the most important logistic ports in West Japan. It is   famous for its ship building industry as well. During the close-port period, Nagasaki is the only port that allows international trading. Due to the intensive trading activity with Holland, the streetscape around Nagasaki is relatively westernized. To me it looks like Kobe  in Kansai region. The city is surrounded with 3 side of mountains, hence creating the unusual environment of slopes and steps around the city.

Talking about Nagasaki, no one will forget this beautiful city as the last city in the world suffered from the Atomic Bomb during the World War II. Hence, around the city there are traces of the incident.


I took a one day tour from Fukuoka to Nagasaki.
It's not a long trip but still I have to utilize my time with my breakfast in hand☆
By the way, this speed train looks like Gundam to me LOL

And inside is super nice and comfy♡


One day pass around the city of Nagasaki♡

The most impressive landscape in Nagasaki is this green tram track♡
It's great to see the efforts to utilize the tracks with green in reducing surface runoff and heat during summer.


Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum
Get off after the Parks at Matsuyamamachi (松山町or Hamaguchimachi (濱口町) Station.
The time freeze at the time of the bomb...

The museum is filled with silence and darkness.
A walkthrough of the painful memory with reference and descriptive panels and pictures.

Unlike the Auschwitz Concentration Camp in Poland showing you the remains of the victims with a tour walking around, I actually found this museum more successful in bringing people into individual deep thoughts and more informative in knowing the incident.

The remains of the bombs and thoughts from the victims.

Atomic Bomb Hypocentre Park
(10 minutes from the museum)
A centric landscape design representing the Atomic Bomb waves.
At the centre is the memorial of the victims.

Although most buildings are destroyed during the explosion, 
remain of a church is still intact next to the hypocentre.

Nagasaki Peace Park
(Right next to the Hypocentre Park as well)
This is the Entrance to the Park with a very natural British Garden design.

Remains of a Prison

The major thing in the park - The Statue of Peace

Before heading to the famous Dejima island,
Mr. and Mrs. Pig are too hungry and hence stopped by the 
Morning Market Cafeteria (出島朝市食堂)
(Get off at Dejima station 出島 )
The ship dock

Although the seafood is not necessarily cheap, but they are super fresh and juicy ww 
In the middle is the famous sashimi of whale, but I don't really like them LOL

And this is the famous scene that I broke my slippers and walk with my bare foot....
It is too unforgettable that Mr. Pig has been laughing about this for years and years...

Yeah, I was on my way walking to the shopping mall miles ahead for my new shoes...
I am so glad that the Japanese street is always so clean that after that walk my foot is just grey not black...

The Waterside Forestry Park
I was so lucky to hit onto the warship exhibition, with the mother depot ship and tanks.

From movies that i saw, the interior of tanks are usually pitch black. That's why I was quite overwhelmed that the inside is actually white

The depot ship is extraordinarily enormous!
To me, it's a bit like a realization of anime scenery

And dozens and thousands of badgets along the corridors...

Climbing up and down it is totally just a maze for kids (like me) to wander around.

Dejima 出島
Finally to the major spot~
Across the bridge is the dejima area.
 In the Meji era, this is actually the only place where trading is allowed between Japan and the outside world, especially to Holland.

This is a specialized region reclaimed off the sea, to 120% ensure the foreigner is not contacting with the public Japanese. Traders, businessmen and even officials are only allowed to stay in this area. Although these are houses for foreigners, houses are built with the essence of Japanese architecture style.

The original buildings on Dejima are totally destroyed during the Atomic Bomb tragedy.
What you see now are rebuilt from the original blue prints (architecture plans).

In contrast of the Japanese style housing near to the Entrance, to the end are houses in European style.

This is what you call 
japanese exterior x western interior.

The dining room and drawing rooms are extravagantly vanished as well. 

In the club house is a historical pool table ww

At the end of the park, there is a to-scale model of the dejima. This scale is relatively bigger than the usual illutrative models, but gives me a vwry different feel.

Oura Church
(Get off at Oura Church Shita 大浦天主堂下 station)
Walk up the slope from the station and you will see loads of souvenir shops..

Then get to the end of the slope is the church. Please note that the church closes at 5pm so i didnt managed to get in ww

Various shops with fruits and snacks.


The holland slope (オランダ坂)
When the trading policy gets less strict, this is the area where the Hollander and other European lived. 

The Holland Slope is built along the original topography, therefore the steps are terraced  zig-zag with the houses. In the past, this area is not visited by the Japanese very  often, but now the houses are rebuilt and only seven houses are left in the old European style.

Houses with western garden

Not only the building style in Nagasaki is westernized, but also the plany species along thr roadside. 
This is an exotic species from Europe named Viola tricolor.

Nagasaki Chinatown
(Get off at Tsukimachi 築町 station)
Since the Edo period, this area is packed with Chinese traders, and hence the China Town is developed.

This one at Nagasaki is one of the big three China Towns in Japan, including the other two in Kobe and Yokohama.

Though ib ny opinion, this is th 
E smallest one among the three.
But it is nice enough to have some Chinese buns. 

Mount Inasa
(Nagasaki station > Bus #5 to  Mount Inasa >  Mount Inasa Bus Station(稲佐山バス停) > Cable Car > Mountain Top
You gotta walk a bit along this starry road  
on the way to the cable car station.

Nagasaki is one of the best 3 nightscape in the world.
It is also the best nightscape in Japan, followed by Hokodate and Kobe.


Time Arrangement
At least a day and a half

JR Nagasaki Station

Within the city you could take the tram with a day pass at the price of ¥500


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#3 Kumamoto - 熊本 
The Old City Castle

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#5 Beppu - 別府
The Amazing Hot Springs