Auf den ersten folgt der zweite Streich, damit bin ich fast up to date! Zumindest was die Reiseberichte angeht, folgen noch ein paar Sachen für das japanische Essen. Hier können dann Beiträge und Bilder für den Mt. Aso und Kumamoto-City eingesehen werden =). Viel spass beim lesen und bis bald!
On March 28th a friend from Fukuoka and I departed for Mt. Aso! He told me before, that the cherry blossoms are already much further than in Fukuoka and that we could enjoy the better ther. The reason is warmer air coming from the south, as I wrote in the previous blogentry.
So we took an express train from the Yakuin Station in Fukuoka to Oomuta at the borders of Fukuoka Prefecture. From there on did Hiro (the japanese friend) rent a car in which we drove for about 1,5 hours, with some minor stops to Mt. Aso. The weather was great, and the closer we got to the mountains the nicer were the Sakura. Even wild ones on forest edges made a nice impression of the forthcoming spring. With a light but very distinct and beautiful pinkish/whitisch color did they stand out against the darker, but lively green of the cedar trees and the scattered bamboo patches. Simply beautiful =). Getting even closer to the volcano, the air conditions worsened, so that a lot of smog (probably emmiting from the Aso) did block the far sight and hindered us for a better view of the surroundings. Nevertheless was the first impression from the edges of the caldera magnificient! It’s bloddy huge and counts amongst the biggest calderas in the world. In the middle of it are Mt. Aso and 4 other peaks located. Mt. Aso is currently active, and emmits smoke. 2 years ago a smaller eruption occured, but without severe happenings. Funny fact. Inside the calderea is a city located. The rest of the open space inside, is filled with rice fields, which exploit the fertile soils of the volcano area.
As we got closer to the active part of the volcano I was just stunned and would have liked to get up to the crate, which, unfortunately, was forbidden, for it was dangerous^^. No risk no fun I would say, but it would have only made problems^^. So after the photo-shoot we went off and made our way to Kumamoto, where I would couchsurf for the first time in Japan. An older couple took me in, and despite some communication errors (there english wasn’t that good, but in return, my japanese neither), I had a very great time with them! Japanese People take a bath every night, and so did I. For the meals, rice is always served, together with something else, like Miso-soup, egg, Fish or whatever one likes. I came to really like the japanese kitchen, and there is almost nothing I despise =).
The city itself, has a old castle, within a huge area, which funtions as the major attraction in Kumamoto. Especially now with the cherry blossoms in full bloom, heaps of people are walking around and enjoy the sceneries. The Sakura-trees were just awesome, and Hiro didn’t promise to much! When you click on tzhe links at the German Version, you’ll get some impressions =). I spent 2 days in Kumamoto, most of the time at the castle area, where I couldn’t see everything, but the most of it. The highlight was of course, the central part of the castle (entry fee: 400 well spent Yen). From the top of the tower, one had a perfect view around the city to all sites, unfortunately with cloudy and smoggy weather conditions. But nevertheless, did I enjoy my time up there =).
Furthermore is one of the longest shopping arcades located in Kumamoto (kamitori) which is worth to been seen at least once, even though there is not much to do for me in there^^.
Another big part of my time, I spent in a Go-Salon, where I actively played again, after some years of inaction. The entry fee was with 800 Yen quite expensive, but therefore did I have a lot of fun, and the old people there were very surprised of me. Might it be that I was young, a foreigner, or both^^. I played some of them, won 2 stunning games, but lost a couple of others. To be honest, all of the were dan players, while I considered myself still be a mere 3k (last KGS rank), but as it came out I was classified as a japanese 2 dan =). The same as I was classified back in 2013 where I played at Kawaguchiko, one of the 5 Fuji lakes. So I’m proud to have gotten across the magical dan border, even if it’s just japanese level^^. From now on I will try to play as much as possible =).
After Kumamoto I secured myself a wwoofing position about 25 km north of Mt. Aso where I help out at a Onsen Spa. But therefore I will write a seperate entry next time =). Until then!.