Japan Day 1: Kumamoto

IMG_4719Hi all,

As I ease myself into blogging about my travels, I decided to start out kind of ‘easy’ and write about my most recent trip: Kumamoto and Fukuoka, Japan. I spent about four full days here with a friend, looking forward to a nice trip away before the work weeks gets extremely busy (read here).

Summer is generally extremely hot in Asia. Since Fukuoka is further south from Seoul, this meant hotter temperatures. So so hot. Sunburn. Sweat. Everywhere. Like all day, every day, literally. I don’t think I ever really quite adjusted to the heat, so I just dealt with it. πŸ˜€

IMG_4698This was our first trip together outside of Korea. We had no knowledge of the Japanese language except a few words and phrases here and there. Reading? Nope. Writing? Nope. So communication would be pretty limiting for us. I immediately got a SIM card for my phone to help us get by. After flying from Seoul to Fukuoka, we immediately took a 2-hour bus to Kumamoto. Once we arrived, we wanted to see the castle there, but seriously had no idea where were going. Like, here is us trying our hardest to read a Japanese map and failing miserably! πŸ˜€ It was still fun and getting lost is just part of the adventure!

IMG_4741IMG_4785We finally made our way to the castle by following signs (thank goodness many signs have English on them). Kumamoto Castle is actually quite big with many castle parts. Unfortunately, there was an earthquake in 2016 and it was obvious of the damages made to the castles (did not post the damages, only showing remains). It was still worth visiting and a beauty to see. The castle grounds were nice to stroll around, despite the hot weather. Although we couldn’t get close to the castle, we were still able to manage to get some nice shots. We were pleased with it anyway!

IMG_4779Hungry, we wandered around a shopping area and wanted to get some traditional Japanese food.Β We found a shop that seemed to have several options (because ya know, our Japanese reading LOL) and ordered a littleΒ bit of everything and shared. The shops has a lot of tables facing a wall or barrier so what I would assume for single parties. This was pretty common throughout our trip in Japan. We actually got told we couldn’t sit there LOL. Oops. We ordered some edamame, soba noodles, donkatsu, and gyoza. According to my intensive google search, Kumamoto is known for their fantastic donkatsu. Let’s just say it was absolutely fantastic! Probably the best donkatsu either of us ever had.

IMG_4781

Happy with filled tummies, we looked for our accommodation for the night, excited to wash off and cool down.

IMG_4788We found our accommodation easily and were starting to understand how buses worked: Get into the back doors, exit the front. So bizarre, I have never been in a bus that worked that way, even when I visited Osaka, Kyoto, Nagoya, and Tokyo. Then again, we never really took the bus during those times. Anyways, we finally found Kumamoto Station near our accommodation and decided to buy some Japanese ice cream which couldn’t be found easily in other places (or so we think). They were all refreshing and just what we needed after an extremely long day of travel and sweat. We rated each one a 10/10 so if you’re every in Japan and see these ice creams, know that they are good and GET ‘EM.

It was indeed a great first day of our trip. πŸ™‚

Cheers,

Jess

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