For our last full day in Fukuoka, and since I didn't feel like Nate had the full Japanese baseball experience, we headed over to the Yahuoku! Dome to see if we could score last minute tickets to the Softbank Hawks.
Another day trip from Fukuoka, we went to go check out Takachiho Gorge (高千穂峡, Takachiho-kyō). I had seen pictures of this place and it looked beautiful. Only a short 3 hour drive away from Fukuoka! The drive up in the mountains reminded me of Northern California. It was a little rainy but so green and luscious.
On a very rainy day we drove from Fukuoka out to Nagasaki. Although we knew the day would be emotional visiting the atomic bomb museum, we knew it was important for us to see the devastation caused by America during WWII.
Nagasaki began in 1571 as a shipping port. In it's 374 history before the bomb was dropped, this town surrounded by mountains on 3 sides, and drew a wealth of knowledge from Western civilization.
For one of our last trips in Japan, Nate and I decided to head down to South Japan - the area of Fukuoka. One of the top sights I wanted to see was the Kawachi Wisteria Garden, and has been listed as one of Japan's most beautiful places (#nolie) These flowers only bloom for 2-3 weeks during the year, end of April to mid May. You also have to purchase tickets before you're allowed in due to its popularity (see more details in our "Follow in our Footsteps" section.)
In April, a few months before we were scheduled to leave our beautiful island home, Nate's Aunt, Uncle, and cousins came out to visit for their spring break! We love visitors and were excited to show them around the island!
After visiting To-ji, we had a quick train ride over to Osaka. We put our bags in a coin locker at the train station near our hotel and headed off to go explore this culinary, modern Japanese city.
Not gonna lie, it was a bit of a rough morning after our big karaoke night #worthit But we got some toast and coffee in us and head out. On our walk to the metro station, we had to do a double take... is that Coy?!? We recognized Coy in the advertisements ALL over this suit store - we couldn't believe it! #quitethefamousmodel #weknowhim Naturally, we freaked out a bit :)
On our 2nd full day in Kyoto, it was Monday, February 6, which meant it was Superbowl 51 time! So I set my alarm and got up early so I could head down to go watch the game at Man in the Moon at Kyoto Station. I ended up seeing this great couple Paige and I had met Saturday night, who recently moved to Japan, and got to enjoy watching the game with them. I enjoyed a nice breakfast of fish n chips, a Guinness, Irish coffee, and a hangover shot to wash it all down (yes, Japan sells hangover shots - this have been put to good use by Nate and I). Paige was finally able to drag her butt out of bed and join me once the game was in overtime :)
While enjoying the game, I met another group of travelers who were also heading to Nara for the day, so we decided to team up and go exploring together! #lovenewfriendsmetinbars
Paige and I decided to head to Kyoto early and made our first stop in the city at Man in the Moon pub at Kyoto station to visit my friend Kei. Nate and I met Kei last time we were in Kyoto (Nov 2015) when we went to Man in the Moon and another bar he worked at, Jelly Bean Rocket - we've kept in touch on Facebook since. #gottalovetechnology
Since it was Saturday night, the bar was pretty packed, but this led to a fun, festive atmosphere. After catching up with Kei, and meeting his new girlfriend :), we were asked if we didn't mind if some people shared our table due to the crowd. #noproblem #themorethemerrier This led to Paige and I sharing some drinks and laughs with some locals - which is always more fun! We got to try some yummy sparkling sake with one couple, and after they left, another was sat at our table. The guy had pretty prayer bracelets and I commented on them. He said he made them and then gave me one! #what?! #peopleherearesonice! I was surprised and happy, and of course, wore my nice, handmade prayer bracelet the rest of the trip. Finally, around 12, we had to catch the last metro to our hostel and settle in for the night.
Paige and I took a quick day trip over to Miyajima, formally known as Itsukushima, literally translates to "shrine island" in Japanese. It is primarily known for it's floating torii gate, ranked one of the 3 best views in Japan. After a quick 45 minute trolley ride and a 10 minute ferry ride, we were greeted by deer walking freely all over the island. Right away, one came up to Paige and tried rummaging for food in her purse. #nosydeer #butstillcute The deer on the island are though of as sacred in the native Shinto religion because they're considered messengers of the gods.
Megan Bond - AUTHOR
Just a girl raised in California and loved exploring Southeast Asia with my husband! We're back in the States but still exploring the world as much as we can!