Hello Dayre!! Today's our last day in #Kagoshima so we're spending the morning hitting the tourist spots my mom and I both want to go (I'd go everywhere, if possible, but my mom doesn't seem interested in the Meiji Restoration or the Satsuma Rebellion.
Saint Francis Xavier Park
First stop was Saint Francis Xavier park, which is actually really small and can be seen from the bus. But I've had an interest in Japan since my IB days (possibly since ROCs), so I wanted to get off and take a closer look.
Apparently, Saint Francis first landed in Kagoshima, bringing Christianity to Japan for the first time in 1549. 10 months later, he moved to Nagasaki.
This is part of a commemorative church built during the Meiji era and bombed during WWII (not sure if this is a pattern, but ground zero for the atomic bomb in Nagasaki was also a Church). This is what's left. The bust was created to remember Saint Francis. Apparently the Vatican chipped in as well.
Statue of Saigo Takamori
Actually the next place we wanted to go was the Literature and Fairy Tale museum, but we passed the Saigo Takamori statue on the way (you have to get off at this bus stop anyway).
Saigo Takamori did a lot of stuff and was also dubbed "The Last True Samurai" (sorry Tom Cruise). He's also known as the leader of the Satsuma Rebellion, which was Japan's last failed civil war.
And opposite the road, there were people in Meiji-era clothes!! Totally a photo-taking opportunity. Unfortunately, I used the DSLR to take the photo, not the phone.
Modern Literature Museum and Märchen Fairy Tale Museum
I really wanted to go here cause Singapore doesn't have either (sobs) and I wanted to see what a literature museum could be like. Sadly, no photos allowed for the literature section.
Anyway, it was rather... Quiet? My mom and bro didn't understand Japanese, and I read quite slow when it's not English so we just walked around a bit.
There was a cool bed/writing desk combo though. I totally want that.
Quite like that they showcase the writing spaces and excerpts from the work (audio/video/play)
The Märchen Fairy Tale Museum was actually super cute, but geared towards kids. Bring a child along, and you won't raise eyebrows hahaha.
Anyway, the first level is called "Story Town", and got quite a few activities for kids!! Also has some sort of "Blank Picture Book" show (roughly 20min), but we didn't go watch.
They also have this magic mirror, which lets you 'dress up' as various characters. I'm pretty sure that I'm Puss in Boots haha. Then after each one there's a sort of mini-activity, like popping apples for Snow White or something.
Oh, and I tried the Snow White one too, but I'm too tall or something cause it could not make the dress stay on 😂😂
What I thought was interesting would be their definition of fairy tales. Like, the first stories that come to mind would probably be from the Grimm Brothers, but here, they also included Japanese stories, and Chinese stories like 西游记.
By the way, the bigger text in the photo is Chinese - then they have Japanese translations at the side. Anyone can guess which part of 西游记 this is?
From the third floor (top) down is a Story Trail for Alice in Wonderland. It starts with words that you need a mirror to read it...
Alice falling down the rabbit hole...
The trick-art panels are the main attraction, but they also had other stuff, like scents, when Alice was eating the Eat Me cake.
Ending with Alice being chased out.
The last part of the museum we saw was the marionette clock, which is way too cool.
It's way too long to be uploaded to Dayre directly, so when I go home and have wifi again (just boarded the Shinkansen), I'll upload it to YouTube and embed it from there. Then this paragraph will disappear haha
The second last stop was Senganen (仙巌園), which at first seemed overpriced cause it was 1000 yen for an adult and 500 yen for a child with no discounts available (others had discounts if you show the one day pass). So I was like "at least we'll get a free sweet".
But turns out it was worth it! Or I grew to like it haha. Anyway, this is a 150 pound iron canon. And supposedly the most powerful canon at the end of the Edo period
So Senganen was the home to this important family called the Shimadzu (島津) family. It's Japanese in style, but with Chinese influences (apparently).
This pic is from the Jigen-Ryu Martial Arts try out experience. The Jigen-Ryu apparently embodies the Satsuma Samurai spirit. It was pretty fun (tried it myself), but the way they use the sword is different from Kendo, so I had to keep trying not to hit it the way I'm used too haha
Funnily enough, one of the first things I bought here was Blue Seal ice-cream!! I don't know why or how I first heard about it, but I've been wanting to try this for quite a long time.
Mom took strawberry, and mine is sweet potato sherbet (right).
And apparently this used to be the main entrance. But now, it leads to no-where haha.
This gate is a Tin-Roofed Gate, made with Kagoshima Tin! Apparently, during the time the gate was made, only high ranking citizens could have red gates, which shows you how important this family was.
And this is what they call the lion stone lantern. The lion is called a 飞狮子 🦁️ which apparently makes it "lion like" and not actually a lion.
The lantern is huge though. The top is supposed to be 13 meters squared!!
I think this is the Shimadzu residence. Apparently only one third of the original building(s) are still standing. And if you want to go in, you have to pay more for a tour. On the bright side, the tour does come with green tea and wagashi.
We didn't go for the tour.
The thing about Senganen is that they use Sakurajima and the Kinko bay as substitutes ("borrowed scenery") for the mountain and the body of water that are a feature of most Japanese gardens.
And for some reason, there are lots of flowers used. Like this pavilion
There's also a cat shrine, which apparently quite rare in #Japan
People write wishes for their cats here, apparently.
So next to the cat shrine, there was a slope. Since my mom and bro was somewhere else, I decided to go up and see if there was a good view.
Oh, and I also bought this! It's organic mulberry tea, grown in Kagoshima. Actually, I wanted to get Chiran tea, but they didn't have. This is delicious though, so I opted for it!! They also have one that includes matcha, but it was...not that good.
Apparently, it's organic and had a lot of health benefits. I can't remember them, but there's no caffeine!! I love tea, but even tea keeps me awake, so... Hoping for the best with this. And cause it's organically grown, you can add the leaves directly to shoyu or miso soup.
The people were nice and gave us a free "arigatou" packet when they heard my mom's visiting from Singapore 😊
There's actually a lot more of the Senganen that we didn't see, but we were getting hungry and wanted to catch the bus. So we popped in to museum shoko shuseikan, which is a museum about industrialisation and the Shimadzu family. I think. We had less than 10 mins so I didn't get to see much. Apparently there's a glass blowing demonstration though!!
Obviously I have to come back.
Dolphin Port/Farmers Market
Our last stop was Dolphin Port, and the first reaction my mom and I had was "this looks like Australia". I thought it looked like Darwin and mom thought it looked like the Gold Coast.
Do you know there are wild dolphins in Kinko Bay??? Didn't get to see them this time though ><
Just opposite the Dolphin Port was a row of tents. Being kaypoh, we went to take a look. Turns out it was a farmer's market!!
And surprisingly, my bro enjoyed it the most. But it was fun, especially all the food.
We bought something almost immediately. My grandad loves sweet potato, and they were selling four in a bag for 200 yen!! 😍😍😍
They let us have a free sample (so many free samples there 😋😋😋), and it was really sweet!! Hope my grandad likes it!
My bro also bought the potato tornado thingy. It was good (I kept sneaking pieces). They fried it up for us on the spot XD
Apart from that, there was also a maze, where you run to three stations to make a vegetable stamp. Bro found it fun, so yay!
The last thing I remembered taking a photo of was this honey!!! They were letting people try honey from the honeycomb for free. Tasted good - sweet but light.
And that ends my Kagoshima Trip
We arrived back in Fukuoka a few hours ago. We were lazy so we went to this tonkatsu place in Hakata for dinner. It's oyster season now, so we got the oyster (from Hiroshima!!) and tonkatsu set for dinner.
We're now resting at home and it's really good to be back - especially since it seems the bro has fallen sick😖😖 Either that or he ate too much fried chicken. Really praying he feels better by tomorrow.
I think the entire family will be having an early night tonight.
Saturday, 28 Nov 2015
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