• Japan,  Travel

    Hokkaido, Japan (Winter Edition) : The Land of Seafood, Seaweed and Ice Cream

    This first meal marks the start of my 6 day adventure in Hokkaido. It was a long-awaited family trip as my brother wanted to visit Japan so badly and here we are, on a package tour to Hokkaido. I don’t recommend following a tour because the best trips are the ones you conquer a foreign land by yourselves. But my parents were worried the language barrier problem so my mum bought a tour package from Asia Global, a subsidiary of Chan Brothers. We weren’t very satisfied with their services prior to the trip but at least during this trip, no major flops happened. It was suppose to be a 8-days…

  • Japan,  Travel

    Kyushu, Japan : Day 7 – Senganen, Kagoshima Ikeda School and Shinkansen

    On our second last day of the trip, it began to drizzle a little. In fact, this is the rainy season. It rains quite a bit. But it was just a tiny downpour. One first stop was Sengan-en gardens and museum shoko shuseikan. Sengan-en was a villa of the Shimadzu family that was built in 1658. This garden itself was huge and there were several souvenir shops selling cut-glass, local product, wood-made products and many more. There are also a couple of restaurants too. The next stop was Kagoshima Ikeda school, an elementary school in Kagoshima. We received a warm welcome from their principals, teachers and students as we entered…

  • Japan,  Travel

    Kyushu, Japan: Day 6 – Sakurajima

    One of the highlights of this tour is to visit the active volcano, Sakurajima which is still rumbling where we were there! We took a ferry (including our bus) to Sakurajima-Kinkowan Geo Park. It’s a short 15 minutes ferry ride from Kagoshima port to Sakurajima. Sakurajima is currently still rather active!  It is originally an island. We visited the Arimura observatory and Sakurajima Visitor centre. Today, there are approximately 5,000 people living at the volcano site. But I really how they are able to withstand the volcanic ash particles which pollutes the air. The ash dust settles quickly on plants, cars and maybe on us humans too. I could feel…

  • Japan,  Travel

    Kyushu, Japan : Day 5 – Minamata Disease Museum and Shiroyama Observatory

    Minamata Disease Museum Our day began on a solemn note as we entered Minamata Disease Museum which triggered a memory from my secondary school days where I studied about how the fishes at Minamata bay poisoned its people through bio-accumulation of toxins. The Minamata Disease museum was built with the aim to educate the world about this pollution-caused illness and the importance of keeping our environment clean. Admission to the museum is free-of-charge. We are honored to have Rimiko Yoshinaga, whose Dad was affected by Minamata Disease, to share with us about what her family went through and how it all began. There are also storytelling sessions recounted by victims…

  • Japan,  Travel

    Kyushu, Japan : Day 4 – Kumamoto Castle, Grapes Picking and Kumamoto Kita High School

    The visit to Kumamoto castle took us through the history of Japan where the samurai warriors fought their way through victory. There was a bunch of historic information shared by our tour guide, Fumiko, but it was information overloaded. Yes, there’s only so much information you can retain while at the same time, soaking into the new atmosphere. This castle is one of the top three castles in Japan and is located right at the city centre. However, some parts of the castle now is under restoration.  In the afternoon, we went for grapes picking at Kichijien. We can pluck as many grapes as we want but we need to…

  • Japan,  Travel

    Kyushu, Japan : Day 3 – Aso Milk Farm

    It was a rainy morning as it drizzled continuously. Whether it is rain or shine, our tour continues. At one point in time, it was actually pouring quite heavily. Aso Milk Farm is like themepark with delicious milk softserve, natural beauty products, cute cuddly animals and even a KAWAII resort for families. Welcome to Aso Farm Land Each dome-shaped houses a room and it doesn’t just look pretty on the outside but inside too! Lunch at New Kusasenri We headed off to another farm where there are more animals to see and touch! These cows were housed in a clean stables with classic music played for them to listen. However,…

  • Japan,  Travel

    Kyushu, Japan : Day 2 – Umi Jigoku, Honda Sun Co., Ltd and Oita Maizuru High School

    Umi Jigoku It’s a place of hell because the hot springs here are REALLY boiling hot. It is literally translated as ‘sea hell’. Their Jigoku pudding and onsen eggs are their special delicacies available there. Honda Sun Co., Ltd Visiting Honda Sun was one of the highlights of this trip as it was a rare opportunity for as tourists to visit a car manufacturing plant. Honda Sun, which operates as a subsidiary of Honda Motor Co. Ltd, employs the disabled which made up 50.7% of their total employee rate at Honda Sun Co., Ltd. Out of the 96 disabled employees, 57 are severely disabled while the rest suffered from mild…