Japan, Travel

Kyushu, Japan : Day 1 – Kitakyushu Environmental Museum

Kyushu, Japan : Day 1 – Kitakyushu Environmental Museum
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It’s my first time setting foot on Japan on 16 June 2015 and my whole body was tingling with excitement as I hop right out of our SIA plant to Fukuoka. I was so busy before this trip that I didn’t had much time to do my research on the itinerary.

We covered basically the main attractions of Kyushu island. These are the places we’d covered:
Kitakyushu city
Fukuoka city
Beppu City
Oita City
Hiji Junction
Kumamoto City
Aso area
Mount Aso
Kikuchi City
Minamata City
Kagoshima City
Mount Sakurajima

This isn’t a typical travel group tour because it’s partially work-related by nature. It’s organized by Japan Tourism Board (JTB) and I tell you, this was one of the best group tours ever!

It’s a 8-Day work-cum-leisure trip and I have a tonne of photos to show you guys!

Kitakyushu Environment Museum



Address
2-2-6 Higashida, Yahata higashi-ku
Kitakyushu City 805-0071
Tel: +81-93-663-6751
Fax: +81-93-663-6753

Website
http://eco-museum.com/

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Opening Hours: 

9 am – 5 pm (exhibition area )
No admittance after 4.30 pm

9 am – 7 pm (Information Library, Reuse corner and other areas)

* Closes at 5 pm on Saturdays, Sundays and National Holidays.
* Closed on Mondays and New Year Holiday

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This museum gives us great insights to how Kitakyushu has prospered as an industrial city which economy was mainly driven by the manufacturing industry back then. It used to be so heavily industrialized that the health of their environment began to deteriorate and worsen over the years. Before its people started to discover the detrimental impact on their own health and environment brought about by industrial pollution, it was a little too late. Fortunately, they managed to take numerous measures to tackle the environmental problems to overcome the severe pollution problems. It is now a sustainable city, thanks to the efforts of their own people in cooperating with one another to protect the environment. In 2008, Kitakyushu was designated by the Federal government as an Eco-Model City. And currently, Kitakyushu is striving to uphold its name as a World Capital of Sustainable Development.
Kitakyushu Environmental Museum has 3 main centres: Environmental Learning Centre, Environmental Information Centre and Environmental Activity Centre.

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Our English-speaking museum guide was superb in explaining the history of Kitakyushu and how they managed to revive their own city from the dungeons. I remembered him reiterating how Kitakyushu has learnt from their mistake and they never wanted others or themselves to repeat this grave mistake.

The photographs, short documentaries and posters recount the setback of this city. And what is worth mentioning is that Kitakyushu isn’t embarrassed about disclosing the ugly truths about their industrialization. Instead, they share with the world about their setbacks in hope to educate others about the importance of environment. They’ve gone through periods where their waters at Dokai Bay turned brown due to water pollution. In fact, they are now working with government bodies and corporation from other parts of the world to prevent pollution.

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Welcome to interactive stations where kids are going to have a blast of their time! There are hands-on attractions where visitors can learn about environmental problems that directly affect humans through educational games.
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Japanese Cuisine


You can make your own ‘bento’ to find out what are the distances each ingredients has travelled or the food miles based on the distanced travelled. The ingredients which accumulates lesser food miles are rice and vegetables. For instance, the most economical and eco-friendly bento set is one that consists of local produces like vegetables and rice because they are locally found here while exported food like sausages are less economical due to the cost of transportation. Interesting concept, isn’t it? That is a reason why we should support our own local farmers.

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There are several displays on the 3R concept and the process of how recycled materials are reborn as new products and upcycling.

Do you know that this museum is powered by wind? They also reused rainwater as flushing water in toilets.

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There is an interactive education booths where you can learn to make simple handicraft using sweet wrappers and other recyclable materials. These workshops are conducted by volunteers who were mainly the retirees.

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This is the most-talked about toy in Singapore – Kendama. ‘Ken’ means handle while ‘Tama’ means ball.  Instead of spending money buying the real Kendama, try making your own using a couple of Yakult bottles and ice-cream cups. Genius, right?

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Even the elderly can play a part in contributing back to society. It would to be nice if museum workshops are run by the retirees. 
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It’s amazing how one can turn trash into an art piece.

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This is the cut-out template to make the beautiful butterfly make from sweet wrapper.

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It’s very pretty, don’t you think? This makes really nice room decorations.

Kitakyushu Eco-House

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This museums also features an eco-house which is located within the museum compound.  It is a model house that is equipped with a solar power system, solar heating and cool tubes.

It’s minimal, simple and eco-friendly.

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They even had this automated wheelchair to held ferry those with walking difficulties up the stairs.

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Lunch at Sanzokunabe ( Tempura Set)

This is our first meal in Japan and it was DELICIOUS! I had non-vegetarians meals during this trip but I kept to seafood only.

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Keiai Junior High School

This is our first school visit and all the students there looked really studious.

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This is their school’s tea ceremony room.

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It was already 5pm when we reached there and the pupils were mass cleaning the school. There is an allocated time slot for pupils and teachers to clean up their school before school ends. This really instill ownership and responsibility in pupils to keep their school environment clean and tidy.

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These common Japanese school uniform looks no different from the ones I saw in comic books and Japanese anime.

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We had a short conference with the teachers in

Beppu Hotel Seifu 

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This hotel has their own onsens.  Their buffet breakfast spread was really good too!

Read my next post on Day 2 of my trip!

Watch my travel vlog in Kyushu, Japan here!

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