Starting our Spring trip to Okinawa and Kyushu!
ANA flight was comfortable, great service and great choices of movies and it’s free!
Naha Airport was nicely decorated with orchid flowers, after short ride to our hotel in the city, we all just crushed after long flight from Honolulu.
Sightseeing start with big “CHURAUMI AQUARIUM”. Also we enjoyed dolphin show although it was very crowded.
Lunch was “AGU SHABU SHABU” Okinawan brand pork shabu shabu was very filling and tasty, followed by Okashi Goten shopping and sampling was amazing. We also visit “AWAMORI DISTILLERY”, aroma of strong spirits smell amazing, somehow felt drunk already even just smelling it.
We alos managed visit Kouri jima island, connected with long bridge over the water, white sand, water is so clear.
Southern part of Island tour – visited Okinawan World, largest limestone cave, hands on experience Bingata dye, we made a coaster with Shiisa- or Hibiscus. Lunch was full Okinawan local specialties – Taco Rice, champuru-, bitter melon (go-ya-) etc. Highilight was Okinawan lively dance and drum show. This is A must see!
First we enjoyed Tuna cutting show and sample them ; )
Then to biggest shopping mall in Okinawa – Rycom AEON mall and Shuri Castle. After the tour we visited public market by the Kokusai doori street. Tropical fish and pig ear ring, whole pig face skin were sold at the market we all enjoyed different produce from Okinawa – by eating and just looking.
To Fukuoka – Hotel is right by Hakata Station and half of group member went to have “FUGU” dinner at Michelin Star restaurant and the half visited Canal City and famous YATAI by the river. We ended up having “Ichiran Ramen” which is known for individual counter space separated by the wall, and you can’t see worker over the counter. All you see is hands passing out ramen bowl which is different and after walking in cold whether, hot soup was very satisfactory.
Visit Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine for good luck rubbing bulls belly and enjoy “Umegae mochi” while we walked on shopping street leads to the shrine.
Unfortunately this year spring has not come yet, but we saw lots of Plum tree blossoms were its peak. Yanagawa river cruise had little rain but 80+years old captain of the boat entertained us by singing and making jokes, he was such a charming person. Our traveler was chosen to take his place for a while. ” Go faster!!!” Lunch is local specialty “Unagi eel” – style is grilled first, then steamed. Different from Tokyo style. Off to Nagasaki, our hotel was so nice and spacious. Then we had great night view from Inasayama and great dinner.
Staying two nights at the same hotel especially when its large comfortable room is nice. Visit Oura Cathedral Church and Glover Garden. Highlight of the day was wear kimono at Dejima.
Say good-bye to our heavy suitcases and just light over night bag with us to Kumamamoto. Unzen hell smelled full of sulfa and started to rain so everybody stayed in shop near by to do little more shopping. Before we caught a ferry to Kumamoto we had little foot bath at the pier.
JR train ride from Kumamoto in Kyushu to Yamaguchi in mainland Japan. 1 hour 25 minute train ride was very comfortable and before you know it we were already under the water tunnel from Kyushu to Mainland Japan, soon after we visited Suo-Oshima “Museum of Japan Emigrations to Hawaii. One of our member found his grand father and his fathers record at the museum along with their picture, which is very emotional and such a great day to share with all of our member was priceless. No other tours from mainland US or other places will include this museum. It is such a small island’s small privately own museum but yet it so close to our hart for us from Hawaii.
Our long trip to Okinwa and Kyushu comes to the end. Enjoyed onsen at the hotel, walked around Miyajima Island, saw beautiful traditional Japanese wedding at Itsukushima Shrine, unfortunately rain started to fall and got little cold. After the visit to Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park & Museum we left Japan. Lots of goodies, great foods, wonderful memories and meeting new friends. I had to say we had such great “omotenashi” in Kumamoto – people are very welcoming, nice and friendly. Even at the station, all employees had great smile on their face. I felt their togetherness working towards to rebuilt Kumamoto after the earthquake damaged the area. We love Kumamoto and We love Japan!
Posted by Linda
Please inquire detail for 2017 escorted tours at:
JTB USA Honolulu Office
1450 Ala Moana Blvd., Suite 1370
Honolulu HI 96814
www.jtbusa.com >> Branch Special >> Honolulu
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