Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Oldies but Goodies

Plain, strawberry, and blueberry flavored Kit Kats. I found this bag in a Combini store waaaay out in the middle of nowhere. It's been a long time since I last saw blueberry!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Kotohira Sky Park in Omura. Number 9 number 9 number 9

Kotohira Sky Park in Omura is a really nice park 320 meters above sea level affording you a panoramic view of Omura and the Nagasaki airport. The number 9 reference above is for the rollerslide. That rollerslide is the top of a 99.9 meter long slide. It's one of the better slides we've tried out. There is also a 9 hole mini golf course at the park and 999 steps to get up to the park... don't worry, you can drive up there too.
A rope pull tire slide down below the rollerslide.
This is more of the park below the rollerslide. There is enough stuff to keep kids occupied for an hour or so.
You can rent sleds for 200 yen to slide down the grass slide. It was really hot the day we were there. We had the whole park to ourselves.
This is what it must look like on a cool day.
The view from the "Sky" park.
This park is a welcome change from Nodake Recreation area just a few minutes to the north.

Sunday, June 13, 2010


There is a fun little hike down in Higashisonogi in the Nagasaki Prefecture where you are rewarded with four or five waterfalls along the way.
One of the neat things about these waterfalls is how deep the pools are below them. I believe the one above was 15 meters.
The waterfall above is the main attraction and that pool beneath is 23 meters. 23 very cold meters! No swimming is allowed and the reason given is the water temperature.
The trail is beautiful and a very easy hike. It takes maybe half an hour from the parking lot to the last waterfall.

View from the parking lot.
To get to the trail head, just head south through Kawatana town and on to Higashisonogi. Look for the signs to Ryotosen. It's a 3.5 kilometer drive up a narrow mountain road to he destination. Take a small car!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

A nice walk in Omura.

I never saw a sign at this park that told me the name, but it's right off the Omura Expressway exit in the Nagasaki Prefecture.
Bird watching. As if on cue, a white crane is right there on the water's edge... and on the sign.
Hydrangeas in bloom on the walking path. I asked a woman walking how big the loop path was. She said it was about one kilometer.
Is this a Native American themed playground?
A sure sign of summer... just behind those swings was a sign warning of snakes! I've seen two already, just not at this park.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Takenokoba Park in Omura

Takenokoba park is a really nice, if overgrown, park in Omura.

There were trails here, they were working on the trails, but they were still quite overgrown.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Omura Iris Festival

Though I visited this festival the last week in May, the Iris viewing should continue through this next week. This particular festival is in Omura Park in Kyushu.
This garden is 9,500 square meters and has 171 varieties of Irises.
According to a sign posted, the Iris garden was developed in 1598 at the ancient sites of Nagahori and Minamibori.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Bitter Almond Kit Kats

I like these new Bitter Almond Kit Kats! It is 44% cocoa content and there are little bits of almond in the chocolate coating.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Takashima Mongolian Village

More than 700 years ago, there was a Mongolian invasion here in Japan. The Japanese won. Now there is a park commemorating their arrival in Takashima, Japan. Welcome to the Takashima Mongolian Village.
I wonder how the Mongols liked the playground. It's not a very exciting playground, but if you're staying in one of the "Gers", it would be a fun way to wear down the kids.
One recommendation I have is to not bother with the car on the track here. It costs 300-yen per person (including kids) round trip to go out to the point and back. It isn't a far walk.I took this photo from where the rail car track starts. That's an agility course for dogs down there.
There weren't many visitors while we were there, so we had our very own guide. He pointed out that island out there. It's called Lion Island. Another island just beyond the Lion is an island that looks like someone laying on their back sleeping.
You can stay in these Gers (Yurts). They house up to four people. It was extremely windy the day we were there and these didn't seem to suffer at all.
Inside one of the Yurts. They give you the bedding for those wooden beds.
They have costumes you can try on at the front entrance. I think you have to pay to try them on.
Entrance fee for the village is 200-yen for adults.

Monday, June 7, 2010

What do you do when you run out of hamburger buns?

If you're in Japan, you make them out of rice. At least that's the way they do it at Mos Burger. That venerable fast food joint you'll find all over Japan and several other countries.

I once had a vegetarian pattie in Australia that was sooo good that I've been searching high and low for something similar. I think the Australian ones are sold in grocery store frozen sections.

I ordered the above sandwich from a picture on the menu thinking, perhaps, that the "buns" were made out of the same thing the Australian patties were made from. Umm, no. That one above has deep fried veggies and some kink of seafood. I gave it away.

If you're interested... click here for the Mos Burger Menu.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Kawazubana Park

Kawazubana Park has potential... potential that I think they are working on. The playground is a small part of this "Fruit and Flower" park, but the grass and weeds have recently been cut there. According to their web site, they are open all year.
This rollercoaster/zip line ball looked like it would be fun, but it had not been oiled in a while when we visited.
The view from the park is gorgeous! The rollerslide moves pretty fast despite the weeds growing through the bottom. I weeded them with my inaugural slide.
There are many flowers here, but it's not groomed... yet. There were people at work there, so maybe in the next week or so it will be beautiful.
I should warn you that the park is straight up behind those shops, past an apple tree grove and some other fields. 80,492 steps... I counted.

The park is on Fukushima. To get there, take the bridge across to the island and follow the signs to Kawazubana (蛙鼻公園).

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Hutsuzuki Beach

We went to Hutsuzuki Beach on Fukishima this week. It's a really pretty beach with a large parking lot. Despite the warm weather, there were a bunch of fishermen and women there, but no beach goers.
At the far end of the beach is a staircase that leads to a really nice trail. If you follow that trail you will be rewarded with sweeping views of the island and the near crystal water.
That light house is about 50 meters off the shore, but that didn't stop one man from fishing from there.
This is the trail entrance.
400 meters into the hike you will come across this little gazebo. There is a pretty view from here as well. Apparently I forgot to take a photo of that view.
Jellyfish stand guard on the beach. There seemed to be hundreds of them!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Park hunting on Fukushima

This park is down near a fishing boat marina on the grounds of a public building. One man there asked if I was there for a fishing boat.
The park isn't much, but it was good for about 45 minutes of playtime today.
Hutsuzuki Park with the overlook is just down the road from that park in the first two pictures. There is not much there... other than this overlook and a few trails.
These two photos are the view from said overlook.
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