Saturday, July 14, 2018

[kyushu holiday] Cute Kumamon at Kumamoto

My write-up on Kyushu continues!
This post will be a short post, as we spent most of our time shopping in the City of Kumamoto, as the place was unfortunately recovering from the powerful earthquake that struck it back in 2016. Most of the major iconic places of interest such as Kumamoto Castle are still closed to the public, due to the repairs being done due to the serious damage by the earthquake.

Kumamoto is super accessible from Fukuoka, as it tookless than 45 minutes of travelling on the Shinkansen train from Hakata station! We made use of our prepaid Japan Rail 'Kyushu Pass' to enjoy this ride! 
We were welcomed by the sight of a giant 'Kumamon' head! Kumamon is the mascot of Kumamoto prefecture, and is a very cute black bear! It was created to boost tourism to the region, and has been so popular that it's even known internationally!
Being the official mascot of Kumamoto, one can expect to encounter tons of Kumamoto themed souvenirs and foodstuffs!
We were also greeted by excellent weather too! In Kumamoto, one of the main modes of public transportation is the City Tram, which his fixed at a price of 170yen for adults, and 90yen for children.
We took the city tram to Sakuranobaba Josaien which is pretty near to Kumamoto Castle. We were shocked to see the damage caused by the earthquakes. The main gate was not accessible, and therefore, we needed to walk around the castle wall to the side entrance. The Kumamoto castle was a grand castle, and it was a shame that we couldn't get closer to it. Yet there were still many people who came to visit the massive castle for an external view! 

We did quite a bit of souvenir shopping at the Sakurano Baba Josaien and also took many random photos of the surroundings as well as various OOTDs of myself!

If you are wondering if you should visit Kumamoto castle, even though it is closed and under repair, I would say give it a shot! The view of the courtyard and the castle itself is still quite beautiful. Do note that I recall reading some notices that the repairs will take a few years to fully restore and repair the damage. In my personal opinion, it is still worth a visit even a short one! 

I headed for my lunch fix before commencing on a shopping spree! I had Kuro Ramen, while baby had Miso ramen instead. There were options for side dishes, which consisted of either Gyoza or Fried Rice to accompany the Ramen!

Horse meat is the specialty in Kumamoto, and we picked up some horse meat cracker snacks to conclude our Kumamoto trip! We had our dinner at Coco Ichibanya before heading back to Hakata! 

Next stop.... Kagoshima, stay tuned! 

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