Friday, 25 March 2011

Traveling entry: 小倉 - Kokura city, Japan

[Just to recall a journey]
From 15th to 17th of January 2011, I took a 3 days and 2 nights trip to 小倉(Kokura), which is located in 北九州、九州、Japan.
It took me about more than 2 hours by train from Beppu city where I'm living to 小倉 city. I got on train at 別府駅 at 8:59 in the morning, transited at 中津 (Nakatsu - I forgot the name and had to google it lol), and arrived 小倉駅 at 11:22. Train system of Japan was really good, I had almost no problem with it (at least on the way to Kokura). As the journey to Hiroshima, it was raining continuously until I got off the train.
The ticket cost 2420 yen.
It was raining on the way to Kokura, just like when I went to Hiroshima
Arrived the Kokura station
It is beautiful and about 10 times bigger than Beppu station ><. Kokura city's streets and transportation are large, clean and nice, as almost everywhere in Japan. I highly recommend it if you want to travel as a explorer ^^. Although I didn't visit every tourist sights in Kokura, but I personally think that it's worth staying.
clean and large.
Afternoon Tea shop >o<. There is one in Kokura station's department store. I took a look around it and some other shops while waiting for my 'friend'. On the next day, I also visited it again and bought some cute stuff :").
I met my F.r.i.e.n.d there then we walked down to the 本通・商店街 (shoutengai - kind of shopping streets) which are located near the stations of every city in Japan. We entered a Japanese restaurant after dropping the options of Indo food as well as viewing some other restaurant. ^0^. It wasn't easy for us to find a delicious and reasonable restaurants there. So we were just walking around and around. Finally we decided to have tempura:
lunch with rice, tempura, overcooked-beef. They were sooo good.もう一度食べたいな。
While looking around the shops I found this:
can you believe it? 3000 yen for a dish. That's why I immediately ran away from this restaurant. *_* すぐ逃げた。
After having lunch, we walked to 小倉城 - Kokura castle which wasn't far from the station. It started snowing heavily and became windy as we left the restaurant.
This area is kind of Kokura city's center. There are station, shopping malls, department stores, buildings and even tourist spot - Kokura castle here. It's very convenient for tourists and visitors to walk here and there.
小倉城 - Kokura castle
They displayed here many antique things from eras of Japan. There was a model of an inhabitant area in Edo period (as I remember), many interesting antique things like these
お弁当 - lunch box and binoculars of travelers and foreign traders.
You can see the central area from the highest floor of the castle. It was quite a nice view from here. Also department stores and shopping centers could be seen from here. These building's architecture was special and good, I thought.
It was chilly at that time when we visited Kokura castle. It was snowing lightly and really windy. After exploring all the castle, we passed by the souvenir shop. They sold this kind of key-chain/mobile-chain there. They were made following the shape of Japanese wooden clog - 下駄 (げた,Geta)
cute, aren't they?
Next we visited a Japanese style's garden and house near the castle. Actually the castle and this garden are in the same tourist place, so we could visit them just by walking. More information about Kokura castle's tourist attractions here
It was freezing to be in this house. There were nothing when we entered it, so we just saw around the house, then went to a small traditional art exhibition which was currently holding there. There were Japanese art masterpieces displaying there, for example Nisee style. The arts were displayed by the flow of time from the era when foreigners entered Japan, to the nearer years. The arts' colors were mostly vivid and colorful, but still very impressed. Camera was prohibited inside the display room, but I tried to take some photos as the reference.
There was another tourist attraction near by the castle, Matsumoto Seicho museum - a museum for the memory of Matsumoto Seicho, Japanese famous mystery writer. We were late for skating at that time so we decided not to visit it.
Kokura city's ice-skating rink.
Skating was sooo painful too me ;__;. I fell 3 times and the last time was terrible ><. Too difficult but interesting, so not so bad for my first time to skate on ice ^^. After about 2 hours skating, we went to the hotel and checked in, or had dinner before hand...I don't remember anyway ;D. The second day we just went shopping (window-shopping though). Still there are many places in Kokura that are worth visiting, but because of the chilly weather we quit. ^^. I went back to Beppu the 3rd day in the morning, had some problems with train transiting, but anyhow arrived home safe and sound. Few~

Food's corner:

you see the cup?It's Japanese wine 日本酒・お酒、and 焼酎, my favorite drink. I started drinking it from the trip to Hiroshima. Love love love 日本酒 <3<3<3
They were all soooo good, tasty, delicious. I love Japanese food! Unfortunately I forgot how they were called ;p
My drink for the second day's dinner: cocktail with ice-cream and strawberry flavor. Really delicious!
And finally, back to Beppu. Said goodbye and thanks to my dear friend. I'd love to travel with you だよ。
Kokura city is a good place to travel. A great experience! (*´∇`*)

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