Friday, October 30, 2009

Today at Balloon School - the Saga Balloon Festival

We went to the Balloon Festival in Saga today. We went specifically for the parade of characters along the river. It's called Balloon Fantasia and one of the balloon operators told me it is one of the only festival in the world that they participate in where people are allowed up so close.
They cleared us off the field and started pulling the balloons down, so my photos are a little out of order.
We also went for Balloon School. Balloon School consisted of opening the field of balloons up for school children and the rest of us folks to learn a little about how balloons operate. There were teams from all over, so you're bound to find a language you understand.

See the white one above? That's Asimo! Asimo is a robot made by Honda and paraded around at Miraikan.
Those balloons were tethered and going up and down.
Don't forget to have your picture taken in this balloon set up!
If you go.... there are parking lots set up in Saga with free shuttle buses to the event. If you decide to drive yourself to the event, prepare to walk! It's 1,000-yen to park... and it's not all that close.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Osaki Park (大崎公園), or Peacock Park for those in the know.

The playground area isn't anything too special, but this is a very nice park. It's also a free park! If you want to ride the go carts in another area of the park, there is a small fee. I think it's 300-yen to ride them.
The reason for the name (above). I didn't take time to count them, but there seemed to be thousands of peacocks in the above beautiful enclosure.The flamingo area, complete with a waterfall, is beautiful.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Costco and the Animals

We went up to the Costco in Fukuoka yesterday. It's only the second store I have ever been in, so I'm not sure how it compares around the globe. I can say that it seemed to have the same selection as the Kanazawa Seaside one in Yokohama. This one is located in an outlet mall.On the drive back, I pulled onto a road that I thought might lead to a park. It turned out to be a country club, but on the way to find that out, we found a small bio park. Admission is only 300-yen.
The monkeys had their run of the place. The run throughout the park in these wire tubes.

Right outside the gate, there was a gumball machine where, for 100-yen, you could purchase a small plastic container of food to feet a goat right inside the gate. Inside the one we bought was a little plastic tag as well. We won one free admission! There are several food machines throughout the park.... with eager animals who know what they're for.

All of the animals here were more than willing to befriend small children. If the small child comes baring food, all the better.

Hello, where's my food?
Hands on fun.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Kit Kats!!!

I bought both of these today. I tried a bite of each too... in the name of research. The one above is a "Yuzu and Spice", according to the cashier where I bought it. It has a little bite... much like Chili Pepper Kit Kats. Not bad.
These are the Okinawa and Kyushu special edition. This flavor is beni imo, or sweet potato. They are perfect for an area where sweet potatoes abound.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Kit kats and Pepsi

Azuki Pepsi was just released here in Japan. I'm told from an acquaintance who reads Japanese that red beans really are in the ingredient list. I'm told by my family members that it doesn't taste like Azuki.
Yaki Imo flavor side by side with chocolate in the bag above. It doesn't taste as potato-y as the baked potato from Hokkaido earlier this year... just kind of different. I'm not a fan of white chocolate though and that is what it is.
Ohagi Kinako Kit Kat flavor.
Ginger Ale... when I first opened the package, it smelled kind of like the Ramune Kit Kats. It does taste like Ginger Ale, in my opinion. It's white chocolate as well. I like this!
Halloween themed Doritos.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Saikaibashi Koen

This park, located adjacent to the Saikai Bridge, is amazing! One of the things I miss most about Okinawa is the park system, but this makes up for it. That wooden structure above contains climbing nets and a boulder area where kids, and adults, can easily spend hours playing!The picture above is a rollerslide (yellow) and a grass slide. You use a plastic snow slide to slide down the grass slide.
A drop slide! You hold onto that bar, let go and free fall for several feet before catching the slide at the bottom. Very fun!

You can go from level to level through various obstacle courses, like the one above, or by a steep path. This pirate ship area was actually in a different part of the park than the drop slide.
I thought this was the least interesting part of the park, but it was still beautiful! It was also right next to a toddler park. Even the toddler park, below, was cool.

This was a swinging bridge, there are a couple of zip lines ahead and the drop slide is up there on top of the hill.

Saturday, October 17, 2009


I wish holograms were available on Blogger! This area is beautiful! This is not a place for Gephyrophobiacs (those with a fear of bridges). This bridge is quite high and it has a great, and free, walkway underneath.This bridge is right next to the other. They both are on the way to Nagasaki.

These are the Hario radio towers. These towers were the ones used to call in the attack on Pearl Harbor.

On one side of the bridges is an amazing park! More on that later :)

Friday, October 16, 2009

Cruisin' the 99

We took a boat tour of Kujukujima (99-Islands) aboard the Pearl Queen from the Kashimae Pier.

There are several areas that are tricky to navigate on a boat. If you take the tour, they'll tell you this in Japanese and English.
The water is very pretty, but not captured well with my little point and shoot.
Many of the islands are said to look like other things. So, what do you see in the photo above? That's the submarine island.
Oyster farming, big business in this area. The Oyster season begins next month (November).
The tour on the Pearl Queen costs 1200-yen for a 50 minute cruise.
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