Thursday, March 28, 2024

Northern Kyushu Trip 2023 - Day 4 - Day Trip to Kumamoto - Shimotori Shopping Arcade

After visiting Kumamoto Castle, we walked around the city.  We walked from the castle to Shimotori Shopping Arcade.

Interesting to see how the locals shop.

After spending sometime in this shopping arcade, we took the tram back to Kumamoto Train Station for lunch and more shopping.

Tuesday, March 26, 2024

Northern Kyushu Trip 2023 - Day 4 - Day Trip to Kumamoto - Kumamoto Castle

Once we reached Kumamoto Station, just follow the sign for the tram or bus. We decided to take the tram. We did not get the one day tram pass, we just pay when we reached Kumamoto Castle.  Always enter at the rear door and pay at the front door where the driver is.

It is easy to take the tram, just follow the map. Maps are available inside the tram too.

Kumamoto Castle experienced a bad earthquake few years back,damaged a lot of the castle buildings. 
Lots of restoration going on still when we visited the castle.

Kumamoto Castle was listed as one of the 100 fine castles of Japan.
Saw a cute Japanese girl taking photo at the castle.


Friday, March 01, 2024

Northern Kyushu Trip 2023 - Day 4 - Morning Breakfast at Hotel and Day Trip to Kumamoto by Shinkansen Part 1

Our first morning breakfast in Fukuoka ,was the breakfast included in our hotel stay at Prince Smart Inn, Fukuoka, Japan. There is a small restaurant on Level 1 of the hotel (hotel reception is on Level 2).
There's few selection of burgers for us to choose that comes free with our hotel stay. We can top up for other selection with a fee. We can dine in the restaurnat or takeaway.

The breakfast really was good just the right portion for me. I had the ham and egg cheese burger.

After breakfast, we headed to Hakata Station to take the Shinkansen for our day trip to Kumamoto. As we had bought the 3 day pass on Day 2 in Nagasaki, we just need to reserve our return trip as we had only reserve for the going trip but not the return trip in Nagasaki when we first purchased the pass. It is very easy to make the reservation for our seats for the Shinkansen. Just need to fill in the form with the time that we taking the train and the dates and present out main JR Kyushu pass.  As it was morning, there's not a long queue at the Rail Pass Counter.

There's also locker to store luggages at Hakata Station.

This our Shinkansen seat ticket to Kumamoto 

Before entering the Shinkansen Station , we looked at the information board. Our train is on Track 15. So it is really very easy to take the Shinkansen, as all information are in English too.

There's information on where to queue. Even if you queue wrong, can always walked inside the train to your seats.

The train is very clean and comfortable.

Depending on the train, the journey could take from 30 mins to 1 hour to reach from Hakata Station to Kumamoto Station. My train journey was around 30 mins.

Finally, we reached Kumamoto Station.  Kumamon is a mascot created by the government of Kumamoto Prefecture Japan. It was created to attract tourists to the region after the Kyushu Shinkansen line opened.