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Kyushu Part I

August 17, 2017

I’ve always loved Japan since my first visit to Tokyo when I was 21, like it’s literally one of my favourite countries in the world. But I’ve never travelled extensively across Japan except for that few major/popular cities like Tokyo and Kyoto so stepping foot and exploring Kyushu last month really opened up a fresh new perspective.

Kyushu, Japan’s third largest island, located southwest of the main island Honshu is surrounded by the Pacific Ocean. As an early  centre of Japanese civilisation, Kyushu offers many historic treasures, modern cities and natural beauty. My trip was only 4 full days, and I wish I had more time to fully explore and bask into the nature (think active volcanoes, beaches and natural hot springs) and slow pace life in Kyushu.

Checked into our first ryokan; Yama no hotel Musouen after 1.5 hr drive from Fukuoka airport.

ryokan
rɪˈəʊkan/
noun
  1. a traditional Japanese inn.


After a quick wash up and rest, we took the chance to explore Yufuin area which is…beautiful. It’s one of my favourite parts of the trip with its quaint shops lining the streets and walking around in a yukata! Mouth-watering cheesecake at Yufuin Milch! I’m so excited that they are opening a store in Singapore soon! It’s so fluffy and it just melts in your mouth yumsss~

Sorry for using the word favourite again but this is one of my fav meals in Kyushu. I had the beef mabushi and the beef was cooked to perfection along with the fragrance of the charred rice. And when you’ve enough of it, you can pour some soup over to make it into beef congee which tasted as good or even better!

Appetizers!You gotta try this place if you’re in Yufuin for their famed local cuisine!!

Yufu Mabushi Shin

2F 5-3 Kawakita Yufuincho Yufushi, Oita Prefecture

+81 977-84-5825

The Traditional Japanese Rickshaw was just a few minutes drive away and it’s surrounded by incredible sceneries. For that moment, I felt like a chinese princess being escorted to meet my prince hahah

Just look at the view, will you?

The iconic Japanese vending machines.

A much needed onsen sesh within our ryokan with a view after a long day!Followed by a massive dinner spread in the ryokan restaurant! Life’s good~~~

We woke up really early the next day for a long day of adventure ;

  1. Kokonoe Dream Bridge
    1208, Tano, Oaza, Kokonoe-machi, Kusu-gun, Oita Prefecture
  2. Kuju Flower Park
    Kuju Oaza, Kujucho, Takedashi, Oita Prefecture
  3. Mt Aso Helicopter Tour
    2163 Kurokawa Asoshi, Kumamoto Prefecture

There were so many scenic pitstops along our drive in Kyushu Kokonoe Yume Grand Suspension bridge is 390 meters long, 173 meters high and is the highest suspension for walkway in Japan. It’s nice to enjoy a cone of milk soft-serve while enjoying a full view of 2 waterfalls when you’re standing in the middle of the bridge. 

We stopped by another Hanabishi for another round of local cuisine on the way to Kuju Flower park to try their renowned beef bento set

If you’re big on flowers and you’re in Kyushu then you have to visit Kuju Flower park! The spacious park covers 49 acres of land and has many different flower fields such as lavender, sunflower, poppies, blue berries etc. On a clear day, you can enjoy the gram-worthy view with Mount Kuju as the backdrop!
Note that it’s closed from Dec-Feb tho!

Aside from coastal and mountainous views, I’d recommend you to take in the vast beauty of Kyushu from an aerial view. I’m glad we took the helicopter ride cos we saw so many things we could never see just by driving/taking public transports.

Helicopter tour in Aso was very comprehensive and our guide was very detailed in explaining every landmarks. Another good thing about it is that it’s located in Cuddy Dominion which is an animal park so I got to see ponies, alpacas and other cute furries as well. 

Lo and Behold, this was the most fun part of the trip ; rowing a boat to a waterfall.

Takachiho Gorge is a narrow chasm cut through the rock by the Gokase River and the cliff columns remind me of the scales of a dragon. It was so therapeutic to experience the cascading waterfall, green foliage and majestic surrounding cliffs. There are 2 ways to enjoy the gorge. First is by rowing a rental boat which was what we did, another was to walk on the paved paths along the gorge. 

Just a few mins walk away, there’s a very interesting somen stall which serves somen (very thin wheat noodles, similar to soba) through a bamboo trough and doused with boiling water. I’m sure some of you caught that on my IG story! It’s known as flying as somen so you’ll have to catch as much somen as possible with your chopsticks as it passes you through the bamboo trough. Super fun!!

I forgot to take pictures there so I took this from Google to show you!

Pic creds here.

That’s all I have for you for the first part of my trip! I’ll be back for the second part soon. Meanwhile, you can check out our itinerary at this link here!

(Stay tuned!

XX
Sophia Chong

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