Tuesday, 28 February 2012
Joel and I love Fukuoka, and Canal City in particular. After buying a new fondue pot (I'm a big fan now!) We settled into the Moomin Cafe. I've never heard of Moomin, but the Japanese love him (her?). Joel assures me it used to be on TV when we were kids, but I'm not so sure.However, the cafe is super cute, with themed things all over the wall, and super cute food.We tried the strawberry special, with ice cream, cake and all sorts. It even came with a Moomin cup which we got to keep! The spoons even have Moomin on them! Outside there were these cute fluffy moomins on the waiting chair - I couldnt resist a picture!
As we were leaving the park, to head for the last train home (which is sadly before the park closes), the fireworks began. Here I havent seen great fireworks, untill I turned around, and these were just SO impressive. I loved them! They were nice and so noisy that you could feel them in your chest. It was such a nice thing to finish off such a lovely day with, it really was the prefect day, full of fun, happiness and lots and lots of cheese. Did I mention the cheese? And we headed back on the train home to Fukuoka (not that I remember much, I fell asleep again!)
It was getting pretty cold, and after our dinner of a very small pizza, I like always, wanted dessert. Joel agreed I could have a waffle, so we went to this cute cafe called the Milky Cafe, which was cow themed! I loved the chairs and proceeded to swivel around in them untill our yummy waffle with strawberries and chocoaltes arrived!
We made it to the palace just in time for a beautiful light show, set to music. It was great, we got to go up on the balcony and watch it under a little heater. Then, we walked through the gardens and around the fountains. It was so beautiful! The hedges are all hollow, and filled with beautiful lights!
The road up to the palace is lined with these big beautiful white light lined trees. They are simply beautiful and they play this lovely classical music. I'm not sure what it was, but it made a great atmosphere! We paid to go inside, where they had even more of the beautiful white trees! I love how they look with the antique (probably not!) benches, and how still everything seemed!I spent a lot of time taking shaky photos, which is a shame with the light, but I quite like messy light photos. This one Joel took of me while I wasn't looking. I quite like it!
Joel and I had a nice time walking all around the park, the harbour was nice, and we got some Sbarro Pizza....which wasn't quite as good as home, but 10 times better than any other pizza in Japan! We saw these cute hearts and stopped for more photo oppourtunities. I think I have decided all Japanese love illuminations. Who wouldnt?
Unknown to us, at night, the Triller Land turns into Zombie land, and the scariest part is that the kids were zombies! Cute innocent kids,smeared with blood and moaning and it's so scary! Joel thought it was hillarious to scare me!I really don't like zombies, or anything Halloween related actually, and I'm pretty sure it was scarier than Universal Studios in October!I really was terrified, much more than I have ever been on Halloween! Still....the light show was really pretty...when I wasn't watching my back for Zombies! The lights were super cool, flashing along in time to some Elvis, some Micheal Jackson, and what I think was some ARASHI...what a strange combo!
My love of illuminations is definitely a Japan thing. I am obsessed, and love lights more than anything. What's quite nice is often there are pre Christmas illuminations and Post Christmas ones which run until March like these. Having seen the poster in Beppu, I am so glad Joel suggested we go.The whole grass was lit up like a Christmas tree, with giant tulips, and crazy shapes and tunnels and all sorts of hanging lights. It even had a carriage made of lights! How perfect could the night be? I kind of walked around with this feeling of awe, I probably looked pretty shell shocked, but it was really just so beautiful!
The posters for Huis Ten Bosch show a whole city lit up and it certainly didn't dissapoint. I wanted to go up the tower as soon as it got dark, and I was so thrilled, because, personally, I think the tower looks a bit like Wills Memorial Building in Bristol. A little bit more of home perhaps?
Nagasaki is a pretty lakey/seaside area, and I hadn't thought about Huis Ten Bosch being on the water, untill we actually got down there. We went to see the One Piece boat, which is an anime that Joel really likes. We think you can go on the boat and have all this fun, but we weren't sure and didnt go in the end. Instead, we looked at all the nice boats and took a stroll along the boardwalk as they started to turn all the lights on in the evening!
Being Dutch, there is even a shop that sells imported beers, and a lot from home actually - they even had Hobgoblin, which I remember from my University days. I'm sure if I was a beer coniseur I would have been very excited, but I was quite happy with the pink beer I found, which probably has a Sakura flavour, which means I wouldn't like it....but it's still pretty!
We went to the trick art museum too...and having not been to one before, it was kind of a surprise. I expected it to be very obvious about where to stand...but I couldn't seem to stay in the right place for the photos to look natural, and the trick to work. Joel, however, obviously had more practice and was a star, posing for photos for me!
A lot of the attractions at Huis Ten Bosch are more along the lines of movies, dramas or shows, like a 3D one or a tour through a haunted house, so we actually had some time on our hands, and proceeded to eat our way around the park, including this very yummy hot chocolate with marshmallows, proper hot chocolate too...it was simply divine!
Being a 'theme' park and all, there are different worlds, which represent different parts of the Netherlands....or so I think. There was one part, which was a Horror/Thriller thing, and also home to Micheal Jackson World...that I'm not sure of...but they certainly had lots of gothic buildings, and good music/creepy horror shows, and this very funny jail cell you could go and have your photo in. I hear even the toilets were themed with Mummies and zombies!
When I origionally thought I was going to Saga Ken, I had planned to have Cheese Fondue, but it turns out that Huis Ten Bosch has some too! They have an entire shop dedicated to cheese. And trust me, here in Japan, decent, real cheese is so hard to find! We had gouda and cheddar, and everything in between, but the best was the fondue, in all it's gooey goodness!
It wouldn't be The Netherlands without windmills! Huis Ten Bosch was so cool, it was like Disney crossed with Amsterdam, full of cool music, people in costumes, and tons of photo oppourtunities, themed food and little rides and movies! I loved it! It was even crazier than it was just like Europe!
There is a teddy bear museum right at the front of Huis Ten Bosch, but we were so starving, that we didn't go to see it. But, we did take some photos of these cute bears outside of the very cute gift shop! I especially like that in Japan, it's perfectly OK to be this dorky when taking a photo!
The entrance to Huis Ten Bosch was pretty cool, all European, but the best was the ORIGINAL LONDON BUS tour bus sitting outside the gate. If anything was going to make me cry, it was that. I'm not sure why there was one in a little Dutch town in the middle of Nagasaki Ken, but I was darn happy to see it. They also had a very cool carriage, gold leaf of course, right from traditional processions!
The great thing about Joel is he will always take me to Starbucks, and we went for breakfast. Sadly, my super cute Sakura cake pop tasted horrid. It was a shame, as the Orange Brulee frap was great! Instead, I headed to Lauduree for 3 little macaroons! It made me feel like home :)
After dinner, we walked along the river, taking in the sights, and attempting to ride the boat cruise. It was advertised as being on at 9pm, but sadly it wasn't, so instead, a little walk along the river, and strangely through the red light district to play some Taiko at an arcade, and then we wandered home again!
Friday night,I met Joel, and being as we were in Fukuoka, we had to have some ramen. And to be honest, I never stray from my usual place, but Ichiran ramen is amazing! You can customise your noodles, the sauce, everything down to the amount of garlic! You can sit in cute little booths too! And after, we finished it off with yummy strawberry and chocolate crepes!
Monday, 20 February 2012
I finally got my camera out, after being allowed out early from school. I ran all my errands, did a trip to the gym, and then headed over to the orange grove that I ride by every day. I keep saying I should stop and take pictures, and finally the weather was nice enough for photos! The sun was so pretty on the oranges! I really loved it, and they are one of those great things I love about Hagi. On the weekend, Liz taught me how to make Mikan Marmadalade, and scones and cream. It was such a Hagi treat, and I was so glad that we made it, as they are a bit too bitter to eat normally!