Friday, October 29, 2010

Halloween Parade at Huis ten Bosch

The brochure for the Halloween parade at Huis ten Bosch shows ghouls and goblins dancing around these floats as they parade throughout the park. The day we were there, there were only the vehicles.
I took these photos near the wine tasting, so maybe they thought people would have had enough to drink to see ghouls and goblins.
Well, at least they have bubbles.

They'll do this through Halloween.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Waiin Tasting at Huis ten Bosch

I meant to get this posted last week sometime, but I forgot and now the tasting is over. It ended on the 24th. It does seem like they have beer and wine festivals often though so hopefully the information will be similar. This particular one was part of the World Autumn Festival at Huis ten Bosch. They offered a variety of tickets. The one we bought was only good for this St. James tasting. It cost 1000-yen for wine or 500-yen for juice. The photo above is the wine, and below is the juice.
The juice was all fizzy and very sugary. The wine was the standard fare.
We could have bought a more expensive ticket that would have allowed tastings at multiple locations as well as a food voucher.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Aboard the Kanko Maru

The brochure at Huis ten Bosch states that the Kanko Maru will give riders a first hand taste of sailing on an Edo-era ship. It was fun, but I wasn't exactly transported in time.
For 800-yen (500-yen with the annual pass), you get a 35-minute trip out and back from the Free Zone area at Huis ten Bosch. Shortly after leaving the dock, the boat's crew will open up the bow area for guests 4 and up to scale up and and back down. The first picture on this post is a view from the top.
I would advise flat shoes for this. You have to balance on a rope to get to the top.
Don't worry, there's a net to catch you if you fall. The net won't catch your camera though. I had a death grip on mine.
Coming back in. Below deck there are several displays relating to the original Kanko Maru's history. There's also a coin machine where you can engrave your name and the date you visited.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

A couple of parks in Isahaya

This park is called Nozomi Park.
The park is well maintained, but that thing above doesn't work well.
I supposed this park may be more geared toward younger kids though there is a mini golf course and a roller skating are there too. I didn't go to the mini golf because the maintenance workers were burning a lot of brush down there that day.
That's the roller rink. You can rent skates too.
On the way back, we followed the signs for Hidake park. It doesn't have a playground, but it has a beautiful view and trails that weave through flower bushes. If you're going in late summer, bring a large stick to bat away the spider webs!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

A little taste of summer...

Cafe au lait Nescafe and Kit Kats. The back of the package features a picture of coffee mugs side by side. One of the mugs has a slice of cake next to it and a calorie count of 450 calories. The other has several Kit Kats on a plate and a calorie count of just 155. Breakfast anyone?
Mango Oreo bars. They are the reason for the "Taste of Summer" title of this blog. To me, these taste like coconut oil sunscreen if you accidentally get it in your mouth. It's not terrible, but I don't taste the mango.
Apple Oreo Bars. The "apple" taste reminds me of the apple flavoring used in Bubble Yum types of candy, but not real apple.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

A park to entertain ogres.

If you look up in the town of Taku, don't be surprised if you see a couple of giant red ogres looking back at you.
The ogre with the slide is close to a parking lot, but if you want to visit the Oni with a view, you're going to need to hike up to the top of the hill.
The view from the ogre with the tongue slide.
Here is the view from the ogre at the top of the mountain. I didn't know this ogre was here at first. We were getting ready to leave when a groundskeeper stopped me and told me to take a 12 minute (he was very specific) hike up a steep trail. He was right. It was 12 minutes on the dot to get to the top.

I wouldn't say this was a destination park, but if you're in the Taku area it's a great view and it's well maintained by people who really seem to care about the park.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Saga Shirin Park... Part II

As promised, the other side of Shirin Park in Saga. This side features tree-house like cement structures, and two really cook zip lines and roller coaster rail like zip lines. My camera really messed up while here, so I only have pictures of about half of this side of the park.

This side of the park has it's own parking area. My camera messed up, but that was the roller coaster like zip line. You can't go all the way around, but it's fun.
The picture above is of yet another play area. This play area is close to the main parking area and a good size athletic stadium.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Saga Shirin Park... Part I

Shirin Park in Saga is very, very large. I've divided it up into two parts, but there are actually three playgrounds.
This playground was the larger and more interesting, but you could easily spend a full day here and a full day at one of the other playgrounds on the other side.
At the top of a hill at this playground is a complex jungle gym. There are plenty of things to climb on, run across, and slide down.
This obstacle course goes all the way down the back side of the hill.
Climbing wall.
I took this picture on the opposite side of the hill from the first picture. There is a sand box near the bottom of the roller slide.
I've seen this octopus-like concrete slide at other Okinawan parks. The kids seemed to love it!
I don't know what that design is supposed to be above, but it has two concrete slides running down either side.
That mound with holes in it behind the monster is a cave-like hiding area. Plenty of kids were popping in and out of there.

If you're in Saga, just look for the signs for Shirin Park. They're in English and hard to miss.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

A park in Takeo

We love, love, love this park! I'm not sure of the name. I was in Takeo following the road signs for Utagaki Park, but those sign ended and I followed a sign that read Dog Mountain (犬山) in kanji. At the top of the mountain was this park.
The rollerslide at this park is one of the fastest we have been on and it has the added benefit that it swerves in and out of a wooded area. It was really neat! There is also an obstacle course that you can now run through. The first time it was too over-run with weeds.
I forgot to mention the view!!!

The first time we went to this park it seemed abandoned and it was very overgrown. That's the first visit in the four pictures above. This time, it was still desolate, but the grass and weeds were all cut away. Below is the picture I took this week.
That's an overgrown grass slide.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Yummy treats

I'm not an ice cream fan, and I don't like white chocolate at all, but the treats on this post were all very tasty! My friend told me she really liked the Tahitian Vanilla Caramel Haagen-Dazs and she was right.
The Chiboust aux Pommes is really good too. Once you get past that weird apple jelly-like topping. Beneath is ice cream with apples in it and a cookie bottom.

This is the white chocolate I mentioned above. It was an impulse buy at the convenience store. It had actual syrup that oozed out when you take a bite. It also had a cookie in the middle. I loathe maple, but again, it was good!
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