This beautiful day trip kicked off from the scenic train ride. Check this view from the train… (20min ride from Hakodate)
Onuma Quasi national Park, Nanae – 大沼公園, 七飯町 I loved this park. It was HUGE and plenty of paths to get lost in the woods. The lake was the central feature, even a wanderer like me couldn’t get completely lost.
Walking around in Kumamoto City without any map… (lost) I had a bit of a ‘tottoro’ discovery moment. Wandering around aimlessly had much merit. In the middle of a concrete jungle, I came across this ‘tunnel’…
The enigmatic Kumamoto Castle. Some walls were damaged by the earthquake, the castle itself was largely okay.
How to start this one? I was craving for some ramen… WHAT on EARTH were they doing?!?!?!?!
First of all, the original Hakata concept was simplicity and rustic feeling. So WHY on earth did they glam up and botox the London branch? That’s right, I felt that they’ve BOTOX the place.
One of Kumamoto’s famous dish is Sakura meat. This dish is particularly close to home for Aso. This will fall under Kyoudo Ryouri 郷土料理; regional / local dish . Some may find this hard to stomach, but this is actually
Easy to over look this little patch of delightful things. French – Japanese fusion artisan bread store in a middle of no where. Lucky for me, I found it LOL. Honestly did not expect to find bread in a clearly rice dominate farm area. It was a good break to non-stop rice dishes. This store only used local Kumamoto flour 😀 support local farms.
Konokayu 木の香湯, also known as Kugino Onsen 久木野温泉 was located in the southern Aso village. Quick 5min walk from where I stayed Little Asia guesthouse (previous post). It was such a great stop for the evening after hikes or a long day of walking around.
This was not a mixed bath (men & women bath naked together; konyu 混湯 Konyoyu). There will be a separate post on the infamous mix bath Sukayu 酸ヶ湯, ‘1000 people’ bath; which I went via hitch hiking. Another story another time.
As some of you already know, I often don’t spend much money on accommodation. I enjoy the pricier establishments of course, but many of my fondest memories were produced in much humbler places. Little Asia guest house, Minami-Aso, was one of those.
The guesthouse was run by this super mom and her dad (no English at all) + 2 kids lol. They’re so friendly and willing to help / chat. Homely Japanese hospitality.
Hubby and I stayed there for 3 nights. It was amazingly simple and homely. So relaxed with the wooden all over look. Tatami on a bunk bed?
It arrived!!! I love it that they send out emails to tell subscribers when they’ve been dispatched. Now now, let’s unbox and snack!