A Travellerspoint blog

Calming down in K.L.

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After five days which, through flight delays, actually turned into six days in Japan, we flew to Kuala Lumpur with only one purpose in mind - relax. This was to be a swim, eat, drink, read, sleep type holiday, though we did do a tiny bit of sightseeing, but not much.

We began our stay with a night in the Ibis Hotel. Apparently it is the biggest Ibis in the world. We stayed here for one night at Christmas, too. We were given a lovely room near the top of the hotel and, as we arrived late, discovered there was just ten minutes of Happy Hour left in the hotel bar, so we dumped our bags and just made it. We had draft tiger beer and some snacks. We also took a look at the night time view. People were arriving and starting to do karaoke at the bar. They were not very good, so we decided time to leave. Oh dear, that was when we discovered our room was directly under the bar and the karaoke was even louder there. Fortunately it only want on to about twelve o'clock and we slept through a lot of it anyway.

Our Room.

Our Room.

View from the bar.

View from the bar.

View from the bar.

View from the bar.

Infinity pool at night.

Infinity pool at night.

Infinity pool at night.

Infinity pool at night.

In the morning, we had breakfast, swam in the infinity pool, took in the view from there and from our room, then headed to our next hotel where we would stay for four nights.

View from the hotel.

View from the hotel.

View from the hotel.

View from the hotel.

Our pool.

Our pool.

Our pool.

Our pool.

Our pool.

Our pool.

Our next hotel was the Renaissance. We stayed here for one night at Christmas and said how wonderful it would be to stay longer and just spend our days swimming so that was what we came back to do. This time though we had paid a bit extra for a suite and access to the club lounge. We expected the club lounge to do snacks, but they actually provided meals and drinks so we scarcely had to spend a thing all trip.

Our suite was huge and very clean and comfortable with more good views of the twin towers.

Our suite.

Our suite.

Our suite

Our suite

Our suite

Our suite

Our View.

Our View.

The thing that keeps bringing us back to the Renaissance is the pool which is huge. We love it. We made very good use of it.

Our Pool.

Our Pool.

Our Pool.

Our Pool.

At our pool.

At our pool.

Although we were not intending to go out very much, we did that evening as we had friends visiting from Hong Kong, so we all met up in the Canopy Restaurant for snacks and drinks and spent a pleasant evening chatting together.

Drinks with friends.

Drinks with friends.

We spent the next day entirely by the pool or enjoying our suite or lounge. While having dinner in the lounge, we got chatting to an interesting American couple who sold their home in the States, gave up their jobs and took up full time pet-sitting. They were using this as a way to see the world. What a great idea!

Enjoying our lounge.

Enjoying our lounge.

Enjoying our lounge.

Enjoying our lounge.

The day after that we went out to do a little bit of sightseeing. We began by going to Kampung Bahru. Kampung Bahru is a traditional Malaysian village, slap bang in the middle of Kuala Lumpur's urban centre. When the city centre was being developed, the village elders here held out against them thus retaining a little patch of traditional Malaysian calm amidst the rather ugly high rise developments of Kuala Lumpur. Apparently you can get very good food here, too though we did not try any.

Kampung Bahru.

Kampung Bahru.

Kampung Bahru.

Kampung Bahru.

Kampung Bahru.

Kampung Bahru.

Kampung Bahru.

Kampung Bahru.

Kampung Bahru.

Kampung Bahru.

Kampung Bahru.

Kampung Bahru.

Kampung Bahru.

Kampung Bahru.

Kampung Bahru.

Kampung Bahru.

Kampung Bahru.

Kampung Bahru.

Kampung Bahru.

Kampung Bahru.

Kampung Bahru.

Kampung Bahru.

We also returned to the colonial centre of Kuala Lumpur, but this time walked along the river looking at the confluence where the city began and the fountain filled gardens behind the Sultan Abdul Samad Building, as well as Merdeka Square. We were driven home by a huge thunder storm and just escaped getting soaked.

In the colonial centre.

In the colonial centre.

In the colonial centre.

In the colonial centre.

In the colonial centre.

In the colonial centre.

In the colonial centre.

In the colonial centre.

In the colonial centre.

In the colonial centre.

In the colonial centre.

In the colonial centre.

In the colonial centre.

In the colonial centre.

In the colonial centre.

In the colonial centre.

Next day we intended to go sightseeing again but it thundered most of the day so we just had an extremely lazy time enjoying our suite before flying back to Hong Kong the following day

Posted by irenevt 00:50 Archived in Malaysia Comments (2)

And then the fury......

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It was our last day in Kagoshima there was still lots of stuff we wanted to do....... but no time to do it. It was a Saturday. We planned to fly back to Hong Kong and then get ready to fly to Kuala Lumpur on the Monday. We received a notification from our airline, Cathay Dragon, that our plane would be departing one hour late. No problem we thought. When we get to Fukuoka, we will go and visit a shrine I wanted to see - the Sumiyoshi Shrine - not too far from Hakata Train Station. Actually this turned out to be several different shrines next to each other. One of them was an inari fox shrine.

At the Sumiyoshi Shrine there were several wedding parties. This was great for us for photos, though I did not like to take too many in case we were annoying people.

The First of the Shrines.

The First of the Shrines.

Me at the shrine.

Me at the shrine.

The First of the Shrines.

The First of the Shrines.

The First of the Shrines.

The First of the Shrines.

The First of the Shrines.

The First of the Shrines.

The First of the Shrines.

The First of the Shrines.

Peter at the shrine.

Peter at the shrine.

Inari Fox Shrine.

Inari Fox Shrine.

Inari Fox Shrine.

Inari Fox Shrine.

Wedding Party.

Wedding Party.

Beautiful Bride.

Beautiful Bride.

The god of sumo.

The god of sumo.

The god of sumo.

The god of sumo.

Then it was time to head to the airport. We took the subway from Hakata Station. When we got there, we found the flight was delayed by five hours and that we need not have rushed all the way to the airport. The check in girl advised us to go back into Fukuoka for a while, but we decided against it. We spent our time shopping at the airport and having some snacks and drink. When it finally got to boarding time, a new sign went up 'Curfew' flight cancelled. This meant that the plane was so late, the airport was going to close and the air traffic controllers were going home. There was very little information coming to us from the Cathay Dragon staff. Eventually we were all told to line up to find out what would happen to us. We were in the line for two whole hours and when we were finally dealt with, we were told: 'Find your own hotel, get there yourself, pay for it yourself, then try and claim it back off us." What a shambles of an airline. The delay was due to violent thunderstorms in Hong Kong which cannot be helped, but the airline's handling of its stranded passengers was, in my opinion, appalling.

We had befriended an English man in the queue for waiting to be dealt with. He was married to a Japanese lady and had lived in Nagasaki for several years. He helped us. We all went to the same hotel and got there in the same taxi. Then we went out to eat together. It was 1:30am when we finally got to bed and we were all utterly exhausted. Our room was incredibly hot and the air-con would only give out heat, not cool air, so we opened the window. The noise from outside was awful. It was a very unpleasant night. Then we were up at six to eat breakfast and return to the airport for more sitting around.

Finally, after what felt like an eternity, we got on a flight and arrived back in Hong Kong in the early evening. We were both shattered, but we could not rest. We had to pack and get ready to fly to Kuala Lumpur next day. More airports! Joy!

Posted by irenevt 00:42 Archived in Japan Comments (4)

Into the Volcano.

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Next day we started off by buying breakfast from a convenience store and going to Xavier Park to eat it. Xavier Park is called after the Jesuit priest Francis Xavier. He came to Kagoshima as a missionary in 1549 and stayed for more than two years in Japan. Xavier had two Japanese disciples Anjiro and Bernardo. Xavier Park occupies the site of the first stone church in Kagoshima. It was built in the Meiji Period, but was largely destroyed by bombs during World War II. Part of the church still remains and there are statues of Xavier and his Japanese disciples. A modern church, which replaced the bombed out one faces onto the park nowadays. I loved the fact that even the phone box in the park was religious.

Xavier Park.

Xavier Park.

Xavier Park.

Xavier Park.

Xavier Park.

Xavier Park.

Later that day, we decided to visit Sakurajima - the volcano that dominates Kagoshima Bay.

The Aquarium, Kagoshima.

The Aquarium, Kagoshima.

Leaving Kagoshima.

Leaving Kagoshima.

Leaving Kagoshima.

Leaving Kagoshima.

Leaving Kagoshima.

Leaving Kagoshima.

Close up of Sakurajima.

Close up of Sakurajima.

Sakurajima means cherry blossom island, because many cherry trees thrive in the rich fertile soil there. It is still a very active volcano; minor eruptions from it are frequent and every now and then there is a huge eruption. Sakurajima is located in the middle of Kagoshima Bay. It is 1117 meters high and has a circumference of 50 kilometers. At one time Sakurajima was an island, but after a huge eruption in 1914, the resulting lava flow created a land connection to the Osumi Peninsula in the east. During this eruption a huge tori or temple gate on Sakurajima got buried in lava and ash. The top part of it sticks out of the lava flow and has become a tourist attraction in its own right, but, unfortunately, we did not get the chance to see this.

We used our travel pass to take a cruise, called the Yorimichi Cruise, around Kagoshima Bay. This cruise departs from Kagoshima Ferry Terminal once a day at 11am. If you have the travel pass, you must take it to the cruise ticket office and they will issue you with tickets free of charge. The cruise passes close to Sakurajima enabling us to see it from different angles. At the end of the cruise we docked at the ferry terminal on Sakurajima. If you don't want to do the longer scenic cruise there is a frequent ferry service between Kagoshima and Sakurajima and that trip just takes fifteen minutes.

Ferries to the island.

Ferries to the island.

On the ferry.

On the ferry.

We began our explorations of Sakurajima by looking at the Tsukiyomi Shrine near the ferry pier. To get to the shrine you have to climb up some steep steps. Tsukiyomi Shrine was constructed about 1300 years ago, but it was moved from its original position after it was buried by lava during the massive eruption in 1914.

After visiting the shrine, we took the Sakurajima island view bus around the island. This was also covered by our pass. We got off twice. First at Karasujima Observatory which has excellent views towards the cone of the volcano. We then walked from there in around twenty minutes to the next viewpoint - Akamizu Observatory Square. On the way we past a dry river bed with excellent views towards the volcano. There were dried blocks of hardened lava all around.

Karasujima Observatory.

Karasujima Observatory.

Hardened lava.

Hardened lava.

Hardened lava.

Hardened lava.

Lava flow lining the road.

Lava flow lining the road.

The walk between Karasujima Observatory and Akamizu Observatory.

The walk between Karasujima Observatory and Akamizu Observatory.

The walk between Karasujima Observatory and Akamizu Observatory.

The walk between Karasujima Observatory and Akamizu Observatory.

The walk between Karasujima Observatory and Akamizu Observatory.

The walk between Karasujima Observatory and Akamizu Observatory.

The walk between Karasujima Observatory and Akamizu Observatory.

The walk between Karasujima Observatory and Akamizu Observatory.

At Akamizu Observatory Square there is a statue carved out of the lava. It shows a man's head surrounded by guitars and is called ‘Portrait of a scream’ . It is based on an all night rock concert by Tsuyoshi Nagabuchi, a Sakarujima native. The concert took place on 21st August 2004 and attracted 75,000 people from all over Japan.

‘Portrait of a scream’ .

‘Portrait of a scream’ .

‘Portrait of a scream’ .

‘Portrait of a scream’ .

‘Portrait of a scream’ .

‘Portrait of a scream’ .

We also visited Yunohira Observatory, the highest point on Mt. Sakurajima which is open to the public. This has excellent views of the volcano and over the bay.

From Yunohira Observatory.

From Yunohira Observatory.

From Yunohira Observatory.

From Yunohira Observatory.

From Yunohira Observatory.

From Yunohira Observatory.

In addition to the viewpoints I was interested to pass a cemetery where all the graves had little stone roofs to protect them from rocks and ash. We passed but did not have time to visit an area with thermal foot baths. We also passed a market selling fruit and vegetables which thrive in the rich volcanic soil. if we had had more time, I would have liked to explore more of this area on foot.

When we returned to Kagoshima we were in two minds about what to do. On the one hand, I wanted to use my Kagoshima pass to go and see the cave of Saigo Takamori and Ishibashi Memorial Park with its stone bridges and cherry trees. If we had been better organized, we could have seen both on the previous day, but we are seldom organized. On the other hand, I wanted to use our Kyushu Rail Pass to go along the coast to Ibusuki and see their famous sand baths. We got on the city view bus and headed back towards Kagoshima Chuo Station.

Peter said: 'We'll go look and see if there's a train to Ibusuki soon and if there is we'll get it. If not, we'll return to the city sightseeing bus.'

We got to the information board to find a train left for Ibusuki in two minutes. To get it we'd have to go through the ticket barrier, find the platform sign and go down the stairs to the correct platform.

'We'll never make it; we'll go back for the bus,' said Peter.

However, I surprised myself by shouting 'Run!' and heading for the platform at top speed. Peter had no option but to follow and we leapt on the Ibusuki train with seconds to spare. Decision made. The train was mobbed mainly with school children. Peter got a seat but I had to stand for the first half of the journey. The total journey took around an hour and fifteen minutes. At first we were just passing through the suburbs of the city, but later we were heading down the coast and the scenery was much more interesting.

Local Train.

Local Train.

When we arrived at Ibusuki the first thing we did was use the wonderful foot bath just outside the station. It has a statue of a family next to it. Then we walked to the sea front. We passed several restaurants with English menus so this place must get lots of non-Japanese tourists. We were not sure what we wanted to see, but I suggested following signs for the sand baths.

Foot bath by the station.

Foot bath by the station.

Foot bath by the station.

Foot bath by the station.

Walking through the town.

Walking through the town.

Strolling along the sea front was quite pleasant and mellow. After a while we noticed that everyone was wearing matching yukatas - a sort of Japanese dressing gown. They were either heading to or coming from the sand baths. Finally, we reached the sand baths themselves. In the sand baths people are buried in hot volcanic sand with only their head uncovered. They try to stay there for around ten or fifteen minutes. I'm sure it's good for you, but I could feel my claustrophobia kicking in just watching it.

The Seafront.

The Seafront.

The Seafront.

The Seafront.

The Seafront.

The Seafront.

The Seafront.

The Seafront.

The Seafront.

The Seafront.

The Seafront.

The Seafront.

The Seafront.

The Seafront.

The Seafront.

The Seafront.

Wearing Yutakas.

Wearing Yutakas.

Wearing Yutakas.

Wearing Yutakas.

the Sandbaths.

the Sandbaths.

After a while we wandered back to the station for our journey back to Kagoshima. I found a lost bag with money and i.d. and stuff in it and tried to hand it in at the station. I managed eventually but there were language problems. The man in the ticket office thought I was lost, but I kept on trying to tell him: 'It's not me who is lost; it's this bag.'

The train journey back was still heaving with school kids even though it was around seven-thirty in the evening by then. They all had a huge number of incredibly heavy looking bags. I felt sorry for the girls across from us they were so exhausted they fell fast asleep on the train.

Exhausted School Children.

Exhausted School Children.

When we eventually reached Kagoshima, we went for a meal in the station. We had pizza, garlic bread and beer. Peter was not impressed as the beer was more than double the price of the day before, but the food was good.

A tasty meal out.

A tasty meal out.

A tasty meal out.

A tasty meal out.

After eating, we caught the tram home. While we were waiting for it, a party tram filled with dancing people and booming music passed us by. Back in the hotel we followed our usual pattern of onsen, noodles and bed.

Yummy Noodles.

Yummy Noodles.

Posted by irenevt 19:40 Archived in Japan Comments (3)

Gardens and Views.

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Next day we began by heading to the Museum of the Meiji Restoration, not to visit the museum, but to buy a two day travel pass. This covered buses and trams in Kagoshima, plus the ferry to Sakarujima, plus a cruise around part of Sakarujima.

Although we did not visit the museum, I did read up a little bit on the Meiji Restoration, as Kagoshima, then known as Satsuma, played an important role in it. The Meiji Restoration ended the Tokugawa shogunate, a period of military rule which had lasted from 1603 to 1867, and placed the emperor back in power. The Meiji Restoration led to an opening up of Japan to the outside world and a rapid period of economic and industrial development. Saigō Takamori, a native of the Kagoshima area, helped bring about the restoration, though later he led a rebellion against it. Many of Kagoshima's sights are associated with him.

Around the museum there were many beautiful plants, so I took lots of photos before we headed off for the day's sightseeing.

Plum Blossom.

Plum Blossom.

Cherry Blossom.

Cherry Blossom.

Colourful Trees.

Colourful Trees.

The Musem of Meiji restoration

The Musem of Meiji restoration

Cherry trees by the river.

Cherry trees by the river.

View of a bridge.

View of a bridge.

We took the city view sightseeing bus to Shiroyama Park. Shiroyama means "castle mountain" in Japanese and this park used to be the site of a hill-top castle. The hill is 107 metres high. This park has a viewing area known as the Shiroyama Observatory with lovely views over Kagoshima, Kagoshima Bay and Sakurajima. This park was also the site of the final battle of the Satsuma Rebellion in 1877. Saigo Takamori made his last stand at Saigo Cave, within the present day park.

Looking towards the volcano.

Looking towards the volcano.

Looking towards the volcano.

Looking towards the volcano.

Shiroyama Park.

Shiroyama Park.

Shiroyama Park.

Shiroyama Park.

Shiroyama Park.

Shiroyama Park.

We then got back on the city view bus and headed to Sengan-en Gardens. It costs 1000 yen to go in. Senganen dates from 1658 and was created by the wealthy Shimazu Clan. The Shimazu ruled the Kagoshima area for almost 700 years until the end of the feudal age in 1868. Just outside the gardens is Japan's first western style factory and a shrine.

The Iso Residence within Senganen was the main residence of the Shimazu family, It can only be seen on a guided tours, and costs an additional 300 yen. The Shuseikan Industrial Complex was constructed on the Senganen grounds to produce iron for shipbuilding and casting cannons. The industrial development of Japan started here. Another sight near here is Ijinkan. This was a residence for foreign engineers who helped build a textile mill in the area. We did not visit all these sights; we just visited the gardens. The gardens have lovely views over the bay and towards Sakurajima Volcano. We saw the remains of a former industrial furnace, several shrines, the Iso Residence from the outside and an amazingly beautiful pond surrounded by irises. At one point we wanted to take a selfie of both of us with the volcano and discovered we'd lost our selfie stick. I retraced our steps quite a long way and was just about to give up when I saw something glinting from inside a bush and lo and behold it was our selfie stick. Of course we had to take some pictures to celebrate its return.

Remains of the Furnace.

Remains of the Furnace.

The Iso Residence.

The Iso Residence.

The Iso Residence.

The Iso Residence.

Looking towards Sakurajima.

Looking towards Sakurajima.

The Iso Residence.

The Iso Residence.

Irises.

Irises.

Ponds.

Ponds.

Ponds.

Ponds.

Ponds.

Ponds.

Azaleas.

Azaleas.

Azaleas.

Azaleas.

Azaleas.

Azaleas.

Azaleas.

Azaleas.

Sakurajima.

Sakurajima.

Bamboo Grove.

Bamboo Grove.

Trying out his swordsmanship.

Trying out his swordsmanship.

Pleased to have our selfie stick back.

Pleased to have our selfie stick back.

Irises.

Irises.

Me with a volcano.

Me with a volcano.

Japan's First Factory.

Japan's First Factory.

Later we explored the town centre. Kagoshima is a pleasant enough town. There are a lot of monuments which are very important in Japanese history but not so impressive if, like me, you don't know that much about Japanese history. Most of Kagoshima is fairly modern as it was flattened by bombs during World War 11. We saw a statue of Saigo Takamori, and one of Komatsu Tatewaki, a government official, who served the Shimazu family during the Meiji Period and one of Shinran Shonin, a rebel monk who founded a new school of Buddhism. Near the statue of Saigo Takamori is Kagoshima Museum of Art and near the museum is the castle. All that remains of the castle are its walls and moat. There is a modern museum inside the walls, but it was all closed for restoration when we visited and there were cranes and bulldozers everywhere. We noticed there were little statues showing important events from Kagoshima's history all over the city. Peter liked posing with these.

Statue of Saigo Takamori.

Statue of Saigo Takamori.

Statue of Shinran Shonin.

Statue of Shinran Shonin.

Statue of Komatsu Tatewaki.

Statue of Komatsu Tatewaki.

Museum of Art.

Museum of Art.

Castle Walls.

Castle Walls.

Castle Walls.

Castle Walls.

Monument to the loyal retainers.

Monument to the loyal retainers.

Little statues showing events from history.

Little statues showing events from history.

Eventually after exploring the centre, we reached Temonkan an area with lots of shops and restaurants. We ate in a very good and very cheap Japanese restaurant. It was just twenty yen for draft sapporo beer. We had a large plate of gioza and pork ramen, too.

Temonkan.

Temonkan.

An excellent meal out.

An excellent meal out.

An excellent meal out.

An excellent meal out.

An excellent meal out.

An excellent meal out.

An excellent meal out.

An excellent meal out.

Then we returned to our hotel for an onsen and still managed to make room for our free noodles before bed.

Posted by irenevt 19:02 Archived in Japan Comments (2)

Full steam ahead to Kagoshima.

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We have been to Fukuoka many times so were not intending to stay there. Instead we were heading into unknown territory - Kagoshima, a city right down the south of Kyushu. It is nicknamed the Naples of Japan because of the huge active volcano in its bay. The volcano is known as Sakurajima which means cherry tree island, because of the cherry trees that thrive in its fertile soil.

Before heading off to Kagoshima we took the Fukuoka subway to Ohorikoen Station and ate breakfast looking over Fukuoka castle moat. The moat was lined with plum trees which were covered in beautiful lilac blossoms. I strolled up to the castle gatehouse to take pictures. If we had had more time, I would happily have gone off to the rest of the castle ruins, too. This is our favourite part of Fukuoka.

Plum trees by the moat.

Plum trees by the moat.

Plum trees by the moat.

Plum trees by the moat.

Plum trees by the moat.

Plum trees by the moat.

Azaleas.

Azaleas.

Turtles.

Turtles.

The Gatehouse.

The Gatehouse.

The Gatehouse

The Gatehouse

Plum Blossom.

Plum Blossom.

Me by the moat.

Me by the moat.

Peter by the moat.

Peter by the moat.

By the moat.

By the moat.

By the moat.

By the moat.

Next we walked to Ohori Park. This has a large lake and an island in its midst. Many people were hiring swan boats to go for a short cruise. The park flower beds were lined with various brightly coloured tulips. After enjoying the fresh air for a while we headed back to Hakata and took the fast train to Kagoshima.

Ohori Park.

Ohori Park.

Demeter statue, Ohori Park.

Demeter statue, Ohori Park.

Flowers in Ohori Park.

Flowers in Ohori Park.

Flowers in Ohori Park.

Flowers in Ohori Park.

Flowers in Ohori Park.

Flowers in Ohori Park.

Ohori Park.

Ohori Park.

Flowers in Ohori Park.

Flowers in Ohori Park.

Although it is a long way, the train is so fast that it only takes just a little over an hour. The train is comfortable but there is no scenery as it is too fast and there are sound barriers. Kagoshima Chuo Station is next to a big shopping centre, Amu Plaza which has about 19 shops plus restaurants. On its roof there is a 91 metre high Ferris Wheel with 36 gondolas. In front of it there is a statue called the ‘Spirit of Young Satsuma.’ In 1865, at a time when travelling overseas was still forbidden nineteen young men set sail on a secret mission to learn the secrets of industrialisation from the west and then brought them back to Japan and used these to kick start the development of Japan.

Kagoshima Chuo Station.

Kagoshima Chuo Station.

The ‘Spirit of Young Satsuma.’

The ‘Spirit of Young Satsuma.’

Statue and Ferris Wheel.

Statue and Ferris Wheel.

From Kagoshima Station we took tram number two to Takamibaba and the Dormy Inn Hotel. We were unsure what tram to take and the tram driver seeing us confused, came out of his cabin to check where we wanted to go and to tell us we could get there on his tram. All tram fares are the same price, you put money in the box next to the driver as you get off. Check-in was fine. Our room was small like all Japanese hotel rooms, but comfortable and clean. The shower was normal and easy to operate. The hotel had an onsen on the top floor.

Our Room at the Dormy Inn.

Our Room at the Dormy Inn.

In the late afternoon we we went for a walk along the Kotsuki River. This was never on our to do list but we passed it on our tram ride from the station and I noticed it had lots of statues so I wanted a closer look. On the bridge the tram crossed over there was a statue of lots of smiling children and on the other side of the road a statue of an elegant Japanese lady. We also passed a statue of Ōkubo Toshimichi. He was one of three nobles who led the Meiji Restoration. The Meiji Restoration weakened the power of the shoguns and strengthened the emperor's powers. We then walked up the river past the flower market and then down past the Museum of the Meji Restoration. We passed a lion fountain, statues of two children and small statues of birds.

Children playing.

Children playing.

Us by the Kotsuki River.

Us by the Kotsuki River.

Lion Fountain.

Lion Fountain.

Statue of Ōkubo Toshimichi.

Statue of Ōkubo Toshimichi.

By the River.

By the River.

By the River.

By the River.

By the River.

By the River.

Cherry Blossom.

Cherry Blossom.

Bird Statues.

Bird Statues.

Children Statues.

Children Statues.

Children Statues.

Children Statues.

Children Statues.

Children Statues.

Children Statues.

Children Statues.

The sun begins to set.

The sun begins to set.

Statue of Elegant Japanese Lady.

Statue of Elegant Japanese Lady.

Statue of Elegant Japanese Lady.

Statue of Elegant Japanese Lady.

Me by the river.

Me by the river.

Monuments on the river.

Monuments on the river.

The sun begins to set.

The sun begins to set.

Monuments on the river.

Monuments on the river.

Monuments on the river.

Monuments on the river.

That evening I used the onsen. It had a very hot outdoor pool, a quite hot, indoor pool and a cold plunge pool and a sauna. This hotel had stickers and notices on the glass division between the changing room and the onsen so I did not walk into it this time.

Heading for an onsen.

Heading for an onsen.

Our hotel also offered free 'midnight noodles' to their guests. This meant each evening between 9:30 and 11:00, you could go and get a bowl of delicious local noodles plus a hot or cold drink free of charge. We intended to try it once, but the noodles were so good we had them every evening.

Enjoying a bowl of noodles.

Enjoying a bowl of noodles.

Posted by irenevt 20:10 Archived in Japan Comments (3)

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