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Dolphin Watch at Minami Shimabara (Kazusa)

26 Aug

朝雨で心配したけど、無事に南島原イルカウォッチング行って来ました。
イルカいっぱいいました。チケットちょっと高かったけど、イルカいっぱい見れて嬉しかったかな。。可愛かった。。海に入りたくなるんだ😃😃😃
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Went to Shimabara For seeing dolphins 🐬 today. It was raining in the morning but weather got better in the afternoon. Tickets were not cheap, but we did see lots of 🐬 dolphins. God’s beautiful creatures indeed ❤️

We used Kazusa Dolphin watch boat today. The area, Minami Shimabara, had 3 boat companies if I were not wrong. All offered same tickets price mostly, Adults 2500 yen/pax, Children 1500 yen/primary school student, and 1000 yen for 4 years old and above. The possibility of seeing the dolphins was written as 98%. So everyone was quite certainly be able to see them 😃

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Naoshima, Summer 2017

29 Jul

この夏休みに直島に行って来ました。最初は小豆島か直島、どちに行くか悩んでましたが、二つにも行って来ました。

直島はアートの島で生活はゆっくりペースで、行けて本当に良かったです。

時間あまり無くて、ChiChuミュージアムとづづじビーチ、BenneseミュージアムとLeeUfanミュージアム行って来ました。最後にヒラメ揚げ食べて来ました。楽しかったです〜Benneseキャフェでイカスミカレー食べて面白くて、美味しかったです。

子供達聞いたらどこが一番良かった?ChiChuミュージアム一番良かったと答えました。子供達にとってアートはつまらないと思ったけど、以外に見てたとき楽しく見てくれたから嬉しいな〜

Our trip to Naoshima was part of our trip in Shikoku island. We visited Naruto, Shodoshima and Naoshima. The route was a bit messy as the two islands Shodoshima and Naoshima are not connected with direct ferry, but we decided to still do that because both islands have their own charm. Shodoshima was a bigger island that produced good Soumen, Soy sauce and Olive oil. And Naoshima was an Art island.

Saying that, there is few art museums in Naoshima, and one that we liked best was Chichu museum because the beautiful architecture of the museum, and it also kept 5 Claude Monet paintings. And the island has two Yayoi Kusuma pumpkin spot, the red and the yellow pumpkin.

Tsutsuji beach was beautiful and people were able to swim there.

The atmosphere of the island was very laid back that make people love the place.

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Strawberry and Cherry picking, June 2017

14 Jun

Brought kiddos for cherries picking up at Mount Aso last weekend. And coincidentally they had strawberries farm beside the cherries farm (Early June is actually not the season for strawberries as weather is getting warmer. But somehow the farm still managed to keep the fruits)

The farm produced less cherries than usual the farmer said. Perhaps the land had not recovered fully from the quake.

We were very thankful that we had the chance to experience strawberry and cherry picking in Mount Aso. We were told to pick the fruits gently so we would not harm the plants. And kids listened carefully the instructions. Both cherries and strawberries were fresh and sweet.

Fruits, flowers, vegetables season vary every months. And that is exciting.

Happy cherry picking this month 😊🍒🍒

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Getting Bamboo Shoots, Kumamoto, April 2017

18 Apr

We let the kids explore lots of new things in Japan. We hope they do remember the experience as they grow.
Beginning of April is when the bamboo shoots (タケノコ) starts to grow and people will dig them to enjoy the shoots in many kind of dishes. I saw one of my friend did the digging last year and looked into the internet to find information about it.

We found a place near Mount Kinpo, called Yuuhouen Fruit Land.

The place was not difficult to find, and apparently they also have fishing activity and cafe for the visitors.
We had to climb up to the top to get to the bamboo forest. The weather was warm on that day and my littlest one complained during the walk 😆 so I Guess this kind of activity suits better for primary’s school age onwards.

Digging the shoots was not easy, because we must make sure we don’t destroy parts that are delicious to eat.
The fruit farm charged about 1000 yen / kg of the shoots, which is double the price of buying the shoots directly from the market.

The place provided the tools (Rental was 100yen/person) and free guide. They provided a guide that will help you taking out the shoots out of the ground (this part is not easy, so to be honest, I am not sure if we could do the whole thing by ourselves. The Uncle did the tough finishing part)

Some muscle works during the experience, good one for families to try. After that, the next part is how to process those fresh bamboo shoots 😅 and it would be my job 😅

Some say that you can cut and grill the fresh shoots directly after you take out from the ground. But once you want to bring them home, you need to boil them, few minutes with boiling water, and then 2 hours with Low fire, then leave them soaked overnight.

This is the info from internet I found why you need to do the boiling and the soaking.

There is a grain of truth to the rumor: the shoots of some species of bamboo do contain cyanide.  Or rather it contains taxiphyllin, a chemical that causes cyanide to form.

I did some cooking with the shoots and everyone enjoyed them 😊

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Kokopeli Cafe, Kumamoto, March 21, 2107

21 Mar

Lunch at Kokopeli Cafe, Kumamoto. Somewhere further from the city center, I think it was about 30-40minutes drive from Kumamoto city center, heading toward Mount Kinpo. The road was long but we managed to reach the cafe. It was an old house remade as a small restaurant. It only opens for lunch. They cooked food from organic ingredients. My Friend had Cajun chicken while I had seafood cooked in olive oil. Her food seemed better 😆

Lunch sets ranges from 1500-1800 yen per set. It comes with soup, small dessert and coffee.

What were good about this place was the playroom for kids and some children rides at the garden. Overall it was an interesting place and quite popular among young couples and families.

Aso Nishihara Kumamoto, March 2017

20 Mar

We had a drive again to Mount Aso today. We planned to visit Aso Milk farm where kids could interact with the farm animals. Weather was cold and windy today, it drizzled as well. Though we managed driving to the top (the farm is at tophill), we decided to miss the visit and come again when weather is warmer.

Had no ideas where to go next, we found a small cafe that sells ice cream and fresh milk. It was called Yamada Milk Farm. The milk there was fresh, the soft ice cream was nice too. The cafe was a bit old, and might still recovering from last year earthquake. Kids could see some fury animals there, the goat and the black pigs.

Not far from there we had lunch at small restaurant that gave RV rental. The specialities were handmade beef pizza and Japanese burger with rice. The restaurant name was Aso Maron “something” 😅

I managed to get the area’s map. This area is Aso Nishihara, with some interesting small shops to explore. We defined wish to go back and check more places.

 

Neko Cafe Kumamoto, March 2017

10 Mar

We found this Cat Cafe, in Hotakubo. I am not a big fan of cats, but my son is. He loves animals, and has always asked for getting a dog for family’s pet.

When my husband and him saw advertisement of Cat Cafe in the TV, they really want to go there. I had no idea what actually a cat cafe offered their customers.

So… we eventually went there. The cafe was quite clean and had nice smell. Kids below primary school age are not allowed to go in. They have specific time for small kids, and if I am not mistaken, it is 11-12pm (one hour) only (not sure if it is for all days or only weekends).

The cafe has 30 cats, and they release 15 cats to hang around in the cafe to play with customers each time. While 15 cats are hanging around, the remaining cats stay upstairs to rest.

Some cats don’t bother having people around them and just sleep while some were active and asked for attention. They were all beautiful cats. You can touch and caresse them, but you can’t carry the cats. You can get they toys provided and play with the cats. They gives you lucky dips and if you win, you may carry one of the cat.

For the fee, basically you have to pay minimum fee of 400 yen for 30 minutes playing, and you must order one drink that cost 300-400 yen a glass. So the basic fee for 30minutes hanging out in the cafe is about 700-800 yen. They have other packages for longer play time that comes with drinks and even food.

There three of us during the visit, so I got the basic package. 700yen per pax.

Overall, it was a nice visit. Though my girl was scared and could not move from her seat. My boy was having great time. I had good time too actually. This might be an interesting place to visit and the location should be easy to find.