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Archive for the ‘Saga 県’ Category

Once Again, No Dig

Posted by Heliocentrism on October 30, 2011

August 12 – 15, 2011

All Pictures

No photos inside the consulate

That’s Never Happened Before!

Mark and I had to head west to Fukuoka to get some paper work done to get married. That part of the trip was not very interesting, though there was some confusion with our transaction. They kept asking Mark and me where we were from.

Mark – “I was born in Korea, but I’m American.”

Embassy Guy – “Okay, so where is Josephine from?”

Me – “I was born in the U.S. Virgin Islands.”

Embassy Guy – “The United States Virgin Islands?”

Me – “Yes.”

Embassy Guy – “Wait, you’re both Americans?”

Mark and Me – “Yes.”

Embassy Guy – “Wow. That’s never happened before. I have to go look this up. I’ve never seen two Americans coming in here to get married. I don’t even know what papers you would fill out…”

Mark did his research before hand, so we already had the correct American-American marriage forms in both English and Japanese. We got our paper work notarized and went on our way.

I loved that, even though there are only 2 people in this walking tour, Mr. Guide still feels the need for a bullhorn.

Try Again*

Since we were in the area anyway, we decided to go back to Yoshinogari Historical Park. I didn’t get to see the active dig last time since we got there at 16:00 in the afternoon. I thought that this would be my second opportunity.

We were going to spend the night at a campsite in Fukuoka and then go to the historic park the next day. When we got to the campgrounds we were told that the cost of camping with our own tent would be 4,500YEN per person per night. That would be about 100USD for the both of us. A hundred bucks to use our own tent!? It would be cheaper to get a hotel! We did not stay.

Instead we opted for an internet cafe near the dig site in a town called Tosu. It cost less than half the price of the Fukuoka campsite and we didn’t have to set up our tent. It came with internet and free all you can drink soda, juice, coffee, and watery soup. There was even a 24-hour restaurant in the cafe that had inexpensive bland food. It was great!

We made sure to get the to historical park early this time, but alas, the area of the dig was closed for two weeks starting the day we got there. If I had arrived the day before I could have seen it. I have now officially given up hope of ever seeing this thing.

We did get to see much more of the park than we did last time. Mark even signed up for fire making lessons. It only took him about 45 minutes to make fire.

secret hanger

Sweet Dreams and Flying Machines in Pieces on the Ground

After spending half a disappointing day at the park we went back to our prefecture. I found a website that talked about hidden airplane hangers that were used during WWII. There were some in Usa a few towns over from Oita. So, we stopped by to see them on our way home.

But, by the time we got to Usa, it was too dark to see anything. We drove to our favorite Oita prefecture campsite, which is not too far from Usa, and set up the tent for the night.

The next day we drove around for hours looking for the hangers which were about a half an hour drive from where we spent the night. It was not on our map of the prefecture. Even though our map has detailed picture representation of mountain elevations, it doesn’t mention anything about possible tourist attractions.

We had to stop by a temple and look for the big map of interesting things in the area that usually accompanies temples, waterfalls, and the like. The map at these things are usually cartoonishly drawn with many icons and not-to-scale roads. We compared it with our map and figured that we would have to pass a broken down train station, and sorry looking river, and then turn at a stop light that may or may not exist.

We found the hangers, eventually.

* I apologize for the horrible Japanese song. I hear it in every store I go and I didn’t want to suffer alone.

All Pictures


 

Japan
(日本)
(Nippon)

How to get there:

You can enter Japan by plane or boat. Though, the number of boats going to Japan from other countries has gone down significantly.

Americans get 90-day visas to Japan at the port of entry. Check with your nearest Japanese embassy or consulate for visa information.

Phone:

Website:

Downloads:

Videos:

Books:

Notes:

  • Be careful what over the counter drugs you bring into Japan.  Actifed, Sudafed, Vicks inhalers, and Codeine are prohibited.
  • InternationalATMs are really hard to find; more so if you aren’t in a big city. Many places in Japan do not use credit cards.TakecashandcallyourbanktoaskwhatATMs or banks in Japan will work with your cash card.
    • ATMs have opening hours. Usually 9:00-18:00 (They have better work hours than most business men and women here.)
  • You can get a Japan Railway, pass which saves you a lot of money on the trains, but you can only buy it before you get to Japan and you cannot be a resident of Japan. (I don’t have more information about it because I’ve only ever lived in Japan. I’ve never been a tourist.)

The U.S Consulate in Fukuoka
(アメリカ領事館)
(Amerika Ryōjikan)

How to get there:

  • 33°35’17.3″N 130°22’22.7″E

By car –

The Consulate is seven minutes from the Nishikoen exit of the Fukuoka Urban Expressway. There is no parking at the consulate, but there are parking lots nearby. The Ohori Park lot is the largest.

Directions from the Kyushu Expressway are found here.

Address:

U.S. Consulate Fukuoka
2-5-26, O-hori Chuo-ku
Fukuoka, Japan 810-0052

Phone: 

  • 092-751-9331
  • 03-3224-5000 After hours emergency number for US citizens

Website:

Hours:

Notes:

  • There is no free parking near the embassy.
  • You are not allowed to bring any electronic devices into the embassy. So bring a good old fashion paper book to read for your wait.
  • They have a little library of books that you can read there. Hopefully you will not be there long enough to finish any of them.

Planet Media Cafe
(プラネットネットメディアカフェ)

How to get there:

  • 33°21’51.8″N 130°30’11.6″E

It’s off route 34 when heading east from the historical dig site. When you near the town of Tosu, look out for route 17. Head south on route 17. You will see a big shopping area on your right. Park there.

Address:

佐賀県鳥栖市轟木町1173 ゆめタウン鳥栖別館

Phone: 

  • 0942-87-3750 Japanese only

Website:

Cost

  • Once you get a membership card for 300YEN you can choose from a list of options
  • For 9 hours Mark and I paid about 2000YEN each for our own rooms in the “reclining” section.
  • Deals come and go.

Hours:

Always Open.

Notes:

  • No Showers at this particular one.
  • Comes with all you can drink, soft drink machines.
  • You can order food at any time, you pay when you check out.
  • Free toothbrush and tooth paste
  • pretty quite

Yoshinogari Historical Park
(吉野ヶ里 遺跡)
(Yoshinogari iseki)

How to get there:

  • 33°19’25.0″N 130°23’26.3″E

From Fukuoka –

  • Get on route 3 heading north
  • Take a left (west) on route 209
  • Stay straight on route 264 which will turn into road 22
  • Turn left (southwest) on route 34
  • At the 6th light, turn right (north) on route 385
  • The park will be on your left

Phone:

  • 0952-55-9351

Website:

e-mail: himika@yoshinogari.jp

Cost:

  • Parking 300YEN flat rate
  • Adult 400YEN
  • For 100YEN they will teach you how to make fire, sort of…

Hours:

  • 9:00 – 17:00
  • The dig site closes at 16:30

Nagasakihana Resort campsite
(長崎鼻リゾートキャンプ場)
(Nagasakibana Rizōto Kyanpu-ba)

How to get there:

  • 33°40’55.9″N 131°31’29.3″E

From Matama Beach –

  • Get on Route 213 heading east.
  • You will pass 4 tunnels.
  • After the 4th tunnel you will be in a little town. You will need to make a left onto a little road that is opposite to a pedestrian tunnel. The first time you go, it will be a little tricky, because you can’t really see the pedestrian tunnel when making the left. But if you reach a 5th tunnel, that is kind of long, turn around and you will be able to clearly see the pedestrian tunnel.
  • Take the road across the little one lane bridge and take the biggest road up the hill.
  • You will pass a rape field and a sunflower field.

Address:

4060 Mime, Bungotakada, Oita Prefecture 872-1207

Phone:

  • 0978-54-2237

Websites:

Cost:

  • 1,000YEN per tent   &
  • 300YEN per person
  • The second night they only charged us for the tent. I don’t know if they always do this, or they just liked us.

Hours:

  • Open year round
  • Reception hours are 9:00 to 17:00

Notes:

  • They also have cabins, some with AC.
  • There is a beach at the campsite.
  • There are free electric bikes you can borrow.
    • 1 person – 1 hour max
    • 2 people – 2 hours max

Special Attack Monument &
Underground Hanger
(城井一号掩体壕)
(Shiroi 1-gō Entaigō)

How to get there:

  • 33°32’56.0″N 131°20’23.5″E

Well, it’s kind of hard to get to mainly because Oita Prefecture has so many damn route 10’s.

Basically go to route 629 off of one of the route 10’s in Usa. Then at one of the stop lights near a river you will head south on an interesting looking road.

I know; these are really bad directions. But, it the best I can do with roads that either have no name or have the same name as other roads close by.

Websites:

Cost:

Free. It’s really just something in the middle of rice fields.

Hours:

Always available

Map:

Posted in Fukuoka 県, Fukuoka 市, Japan, Kanzaki 市, Kyūshū, Oita 県, Saga 県, Tosu 市, Usa 市 | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

She’s a Tall Drink of Water

Posted by Heliocentrism on July 5, 2011

May 2, 2011

All Pictures

Afro-Samurai

Nice Castle

We saw Kumamoto castle, because that’s just want you do when you’re in this part of Kyushu. If this had been the first castle I had ever seen in Asia, I might have been more in awe. But I’ve seen hundreds of these things, and like temples, they stop being spectacular after a while.

Jibo Kannon Statue

What is with me and Hell?

What we really enjoyed this day was the giant Jibo statue. The statue is of a loving mother holding her child. I guess that people, especially women, come here when they want to get pregnant.

We walked up the many flights of stairs to get to the head of the tall lady. It was hot, but we were promised a grand view of the city. It was a good thing I brought some water with me, because climbing in that heat made me very thirsty.

The view was not grand. The city is not big, but even if it were, we would not have been able to see it. The windows in the lady’s head were so small. We had to take turns looking out of them. But that was ok, we didn’t really care about the view anyway. We came for what was in the basement.

We ran down to the basement. We knew that Hell awaited us.

He got what he deserved.

I have visited many hells in many cities. I went to Buddhist Hell in Thailand, along with many mini hells at various temples. There was one hell placed in the foot of a huge Buddha. I’ve also visited a small town in China that was made up to look like the Taoist Hell. It was fan-tas-TIC.

I see you’re making a stew.

The hell we visited on this day was underground. We were a lot cooler in hell than we were in the statue. There were animatronic beasts and demons torturing souls. I have no idea what they said, since it was all in Japanese, but the lighting or lack thereof, made it nice a spooky. This is definitely not a place for kids.

stepping back in time

Look what I dug up!

Our next stop was at the Yoshinogari Historical Park. If I ever go to Saga again, I will go back to this park, because we showed up very late in the day. The thing I really wanted to see, the active dig area, was closed by the time we arrived.

We rushed around for half an hour trying to see what we could, but there just wasn’t enough time. If we had known that we would not have been able to find our campsite, which was a few towns over from the park, we would have just found a cheap hotel nearby and gone again the next day.

But we didn’t. We searched for our campsite, then for any campsite, then when I was too tired to drive, we checked into a creepy love motel on the side of the road.

next time

Save the Bones

I already know what you’re thinking…

“She wasn’t impressed with Kumamoto Castle, but old bones and pottery, she likes?”

Well, I see castles everyday. There’s one downtown in Oita city. I’ve seen many castles in England, Korea, China, and Thailand. Well, in Thailand they are actually palaces, but really what’s the difference besides some glitter?

But I’ve haven’t seen many historical dig sites. In fact this one brought the number of dig sites I’ve seen to a whopping… 2. The other one was the Terracotta Army in Xi’an, China.  This one had actual archaeologists working at the site looking for stuff. So yes, this was more interesting than the castle.

All Pictures


 

Japan
(日本)
(Nippon)

How to get there:

You can enter Japan by plane or boat. Though, the number of boats going to Japan from other countries has gone down significantly.

Americans get 90-day visas to Japan at the port of entry. Check with your nearest Japanese embassy or consulate for visa information.

Phone:

Website:

Downloads:

Videos:

Books:

Notes:

  • Be careful what over the counter drugs you bring into Japan.  Actifed, Sudafed, Vicks inhalers, and Codeine are prohibited.
  • InternationalATMs are really hard to find; more so if you aren’t in a big city. Many places in Japan do not use credit cards. Take cash and call yourbanktoaskwhatATMs or banks in Japan will work with your cash card.
    • ATMs have opening hours. Usually 9:00-18:00 (They have better work hours than most business men and women here.)
  • You can get a Japan Railway, pass which saves you a lot of money on the trains, but you can only buy it before you get to Japan and you cannot be a resident of Japan. (I don’t have more information about it because I’ve only ever lived in Japan. I’ve never been a tourist.)

Kumamoto Castle
(熊本城)
(Kumamoto-jō)

How to get there:

  • 32°48’22.5″N 130°42’20.8″E

From Oyano –

  • Get back on route 266.
  • Turn left (east) on route 57.
  • Turn left (north) on route 3.
  • Follow the signs to the Kumamoto Castle parking lot.

Phone:

  • (096) 352-5900

Website:

e-mail: Kumamotojou@City.kumamoto.lg.jp

Cost:

  • Parking is 100YEN/hour
  • Adults 500YEN
  • Kids 200YEN
  • Parts of the castle cost more to see

Hours:

  • 8:30 – 18:00 most of the year
  • 8:30 – 17:00 from November to March
  • Closed December 29 – 31

Notes:


Jibo Kannon Statue
at Naritasan Temple
(久留米成田山)
(Kurume Naritayama)

How to get there:

  • 33°17’05.8″N 130°32’06.6″E

From Kumamoto Castle –

  • Get back on route 3 heading north.
  • Once you get to the town of Makitsumachi look out for road#86. Take a right (east) at the next light after road #86.
  • Follow the map below.

Address:

1386-22 Kamitsu-machi,
Kurume-shi, 830-0052 Fukuoka

Phone:

  • 0942-21-7500

Website:

Cost:

  • Free Parking
  • Adults – 500 Yen;
  • Junior High and High School students – 300 Yen;
  • Elementary School students and younger – 100 Yen

Hours:

  • 9:00 – 17:00

Notes:

  • Make sure to go to the Hell section. You get there by going through the feet of the statue.

Yoshinogari Historical Park
(吉野ヶ里 遺跡)
(Yoshinogari iseki)

How to get there:

From the Jibo Statue –

  • Get back on route 3 heading north
  • Take a left (west) on route 209
  • Stay strain on route 264 which will turn into road 22
  • Turn left (southwest) on route 34
  • At the 6th light, turn right (north) on route 385
  • The park will be on your left

Phone:

  • 0952-55-9351

Website:

e-mail: himika@yoshinogari.jp

Cost:

  • Parking 300YEN flat rate
  • Adult 400YEN

Hours:

  • 9:00 – 17:00
  • The dig site closes at 16:30

Map:

Posted in Fukuoka 県, Japan, Kanzaki 市, Kumamoto 県, Kurume 市, Kyūshū, Saga 県 | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

 
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