Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Japan: Kyushu 32: Scenic Tour Day 2 and Back to Hiroshima

On the 2nd day of our stay, we were offered 3 different tours to choose from. I chose Tour A:

A course: Trip to Satsuma Peninsula (southern most point); Nagasaki no Hana (park on the ocean; nice views of volcanic peaks/islands); trip to the well-preserved Samurai Street (Samurai houses and gardens), a fishing port/village and a karukan factory (karukan is a famous dessert/sweet made in Kyushu).

Samurai village
The Samurai village is a small community of houses that used to house Samurai, but is now a tourist stop. The homes each have a garden area. The guide spoke in Japanese so I couldn't understand a word except that we were supposed to admire the garden. My friend did translate that the roof tiles were from the 17th century, the rocks were brought from the ocean, and the hedges are not cut straight across, but rather like the mountains so that they blend in with the background. Also the roads in a Samurai village are not built straight, they all curve so that enemies in the village cannot find them easily.

Seaside Lunch and Scenic stops
Stop at the park and views.

Lunch was more seafood at a place near the water.

Rest stop with yellow flowers everywhere.

On the way back the 3rd day we stopped for lunch at a well known fishing port, Shimonoseki. It is also one of the few places whale meat can be bought. About 30 yrs. ago whale meat was abundant, however it is now a rare delicacy. My friend bought a piece about the size of a bar of soap for $100. We also visited an amazing aquarium, Shimonoseki Marine Science Museum: