On Day 2, I head off to Kumamoto.
Woke up at around 5 plus to get ready and set off around 6, as I had to catch the train at 6.45a.m, so I can reach Kumamoto by 7.24a.m., and catch the train to Aso Station.
As it was super early, I went there without breakfast, coz I thought there would be convenience shops inside the station selling bento, but I WAS SO WRONG!!!! None were opened, and I had to bear until I reach Kumamoto.
JR Hakata Station!!
Sadly, that was not the train I’m taking. That train is heading to Kanto area.
And, stupid me, went to the wrong track to wait for the train, and I was thinking why did this bunch of girls behind me are queueing for the train when the train is supposed to come on the track where I’m waiting at. But I WAS SO WRONG!!! The train was at the track behind me. Felt so embarrassed when the train came. Thankfully, there were no trains coming to the track where I waited at.
After boarding the train, I started to do some camwhoring to kill time!
Inside the train!
It’s only 6.30 a.m. in Japan (SGT 5.30a.m.), and it is so BRIGHT!!!!
And I reached Kumamoto within an hour or so!!
YAY!!! Kumamoto!!!The last time I came here was like in 2007, which is about 6 years!!! Time really flies right?! Am so happy to be back here! Took the super cute tram (sorry, no pics coz I had a hard time carrying my luggage) to where my hotel is located at, then took a super long time to find my hotel, coz it is in one of the alleys. This time I stayed in Green Hotel Kumamoto, coz I realised that Green Hotel group seems to be pretty okay, and affordable (to me at least), and it was in the city area. But, this hotel was abit hard to find, so I relied on my phone to search for the hotel.
Luckily, I found it within 15 mins, and quickly put my stuff with the hotel staff, and then head back off to Kumamoto Station as I need to rush off to Mount Aso. And apparently, the frequency of trains to Aso Station are very little, so if you miss the train, you’ll probably have to wait an hour or even more for the next train to come.
Bought my train tickets (which was a big mistake. Will explain in a while), and the train conductor told me to get those tickets, and then he told me that my train is about to leave so I need to hurry. Then I saw a train that looks similar, and rushed in. After that, I found those unreserved seats, and rested with my food bought from Mister Donuts.
Donuts from Mister Donuts~~
Curry bread from Mister Donuts!
My train tickets for the day.
My mentaiko mayo onigiri.
Then after resting for a while (the train didn’t stop, coz it was an express limited train), the train conductor came to check tickets. When he checked my tickets, he told me I was on the wrong train, and I freaked out. Coz this has never happened to me. And he told me to drop off at the next stop, and take the next train back to Kumamoto Station, and wait for the next train to Aso Station. I was so dumbfounded, but no choice, I had to get off at the next station. After getting off, the wait for the next train to Kumamoto Station was about 45 mins, and I was so bored….. Then, I took out my phone to watch youtube videos of Wah! Banana. They are my source of entertainment during my trip in Kyushu.
Reached back Kumamoto Station, and went to ask the train conductor for help. And then she told me that I would have to purchase another ticket, but would only need to pay abit more. Then I realised I had my JR Kyushu pass, so I showed her my KR Kyushu pass, and I got a refund for my previous ticket. This is because JR Kyushu actually covers most of your train rides in Kyushu (except subway and certain buses). I had some spare time to kill before my next train, so I went to take a early lunch at a nearby Yoshinoya, and then off to the bookstore above the station. Plus, the weather was really hote, I had to find a place to hide.
My train came around 12 plus, and I was off to Aso Station!!!! YAY!!!!!!!!! Like finally!!! Because of this, I had to skip out other places that I wanted to visit.
One of the pretty sceneries along the way to Mount Aso.
Aso Boy! Train that you can take to Aso Station. Heard that inside was really pretty, but for this train, you will need to make a booking.
After about 1.5 hours of ride, I finally reached Aso Station. But before heading off to Mount Aso, you will need to take a bus up to Mount Aso.
Map of Aso area.
One of the pretty views outside Aso Station.
Once out from the station, there is a bus station on the right, and you can ask on the ways to go to Mount Aso. A single trip to Mount Aso is 540yen.
But if you’re heading to somewhere else, you can consult with the bus conductor at the bus station and ask him for advice.
While on the bus, I saw loads of cows!! YES!!! COWS!!! And it was really pretty!!!
Now, I shall spam you all with pictures of COWS!! Hahaha!!!
Super cute cows!!!
Reaching Mount Aso!!!!!
Then after reaching the last stop, you will need a ticket to take the ropeway to see Mount Aso.
Up to Mount Aso~~
Yes, I have reached the crater of Mount Aso!!! And there were loads of people exiting because due to the heavy sulphur, most places except the nearest zone were closed, so I didn’t see much.
The only crater that I saw for that day.
And a closeup view….
Only had a 18-55mm lens with me, so I couldn’t zoom any further.
No other people as those areas were blocked off due to the heavy sulphur…. >.<
After that, I went back down to the bus area.
Kumamon, the official mascot of Kumamoto!! Cute right?!
And before heading off, I went to get an ice-cream, coz it was such a hot day, an ice cream is a must. Remember the ropeway ticket bought earlier on? There is actually a 50 yen off on the ice cream you buy there. And it is definitely a must try!! Super yummy! (Since when are Japanese food not yummy??!!)
My super yummy ice-cream.
While eating my ice-cream, I went to buy more souvenirs!!! Hahaha!!
After that, took the bus back to Aso Station, coz I didn’t have time to explore other places.
Too much sulphur….
One of the rest areas where you can enjoy horse riding!!!
A pretty view of Komezuka!
Komezuka is a 954 m hill. It was a volcanic hill and the summit sags downwards. There is a legend that says that God piled up rice to make a hill and distributed pieces of rice on the summit to poor villagers, which is how the bend on the top was made. The hill is covered with grass in early summer and well worth seeing. However, entry is not permitted because it is a working farm.
(excerpt from http://www.att-japan.net/en/spot/ES000377)
And more cows!!! xD
And after that, I took the train back to Kumamoto Station, and went to walk around the shopping area.
Sadly, there weren’t much things.
After that I head back to the hotel to pack mt stuff, and then out for dinner!!
For that day’s dinner, I HAD SOMETHING EXTRAVAGANT!!!! It’s the most expensive meal that I ever had in Japan!!!!
These are what I ordered:
(Raw Tako and Uni (Sea Urchin))
(Horse Fatty Meat, Horse Liver and Normal Horse Meat)
Karashi Renkon (A specialty dish from Kumamoto. It’s lotus root that’s been boiled and filled with a mustard and miso paste and then fried.)
It was really expensive!!! But worth it. I didn’t like the Karashi Renkon, coz the mustard was like wasabi, and I downed like 2 glasses of coke. The horse fatty meat was really chewy, and there is a special sauce that you can go with the horse meat and horse liver too!!
There’s a few sauces given. From the top left is the soy sauce for sashimi, then beside it is the soy sauce for horse sashimi, then on the right bottom is fried garlic. All of them are super yummy!! Especially the soy sauce for horse meat. It has a bit of oily taste to it.
My dinner for that night costed me about 5000yen, but it was worth it.
After dinner, I was very full, and I walked around before heading to the hotel to call it a night, as I had to take the morning train to Kagoshima!!
Hope you guys love this entry too!!
Will blog on day 3 soon!!