Japan travel


Ever thought about seeing what is hard to see, like flying chicken. Why do things happen when you expect them? Strolling around the serene Monet’s Garden in Kitagawa Village, Kochi Japan, every visitor is expecting to see beautiful water lilies, flowers, ponds, trees and nice landscape. The Monet’s Garden in Kitagawa Village was the only other place on earth to obtain a permission to replicate the Monet’s Garden in Giverny, France. The one in Kitagawa Village consists of three gardens: Flower Garden, Water Garden and Light Garden and it is a vast natural environment. It was pleasant to see the unusual flying chicken, and it’s not even in a farm! What a nice surprise. That’s one of the great things about travelling. Seeing is believing.

The Anpanman Children’s Museum in Fukuoka city, Kyushu Japan is a themed playground occupying 2 floors in a mall which is ideal for the parents who want the benefits of an indoor and conveniently located place for their children to have some fun. Anpanman is a hero cartoon character illustrated by a Japanese illustrator and writer, Takashi Yanase. It started as children’s book and became a big hit among children after it became an animated TV series in 1988. Many friends of Anpanman are introduced to keep the animate fresh and appealing to young children. Today, the characters are made into a wide variety of merchandise goods, including clothes, accessories, stationeries and snacks. There are a few Anpanman Children’s Museums in Japan. The one in Fukuoka is the only one that locates in a shopping mall. Yet it offers a good variety of activities, shops and restaurants. The Anpanman performance is a highlight that draws everyone’s attention.

Spring is one of the best seasons to visit Japan because it is simply beautiful every where. While many people would go for the park or castles where most of the cherry trees were, children may find it boring to just walk around parks or castles.

The Goryokaku in Hakodate, Hokkaido Japan is one of the popular tourist destinations year round. In spring, the 1,600 cherry trees surrounding a unique star-shaped western fortress makes it a desirable spring holiday destination for those who love flowers. In the winter, the whole park, fortress and the frozen moat is covered with snow, creating a beautiful pure white environment. The adjacent 170-meter tall Goryokau Tower is the best place to take a bird-eye view of the star-shape fortress and the Hakodate city. The day is very short in the winter, do arrive early if you want to take photos from the best spot because it gets very crowded particularly on a good day. Address: 43-9 Goryokakucho, Hakodate, Hokkaido 040-0001, Japan Tel: +81-138-51-4785 Addmission: ¥900 for adult Business hours: Late Spring till Autumn (April 21 to October 20) 08:00-19:00 Winter (October 21 to April 20) 09:00-18:00

For those who loves cars, don’t miss the Retro Motor Museum which is a private collection of 70 cars, 30 motor cycles, 5 Harley Davidson and a small plane. Many of the cars on display are the well known international sports cars and sedans in the 60s and 70s. There is a also a collection of Japanese models in the old days. Visiting museum is a good way to learn about history and culture. In this Yufuin Retro Motor Museum, you will learn that Ford and General Motors were dominating brands in Japan before World War II, tricycles were popular vehicles after the war, and Japan’s car manufacturing took off in the 60s and 70s, becoming one of the major car manufacturing countries in the world. It is an interesting place where you would not have thought how big a collection is from the outside. There are two floors. The ground level is the biggest exhibition area where most of the valuable classic cars are displayed. A retired bus was parked in the yard where you may get on to…

The Owl’s Forest is another must-see animal experience spots in Yufuin, Oita Prefecture in Kyushu, Japan. Located within the English little old town themed tourist spot, Yufuin Floral Village, the Owl’s Forest ties in well with the famous fantasy story Harry Potter. Remember Harry Potter’s pet snowy owl Hedwig? Sure enough, there is a Snowy Owl right by the entrance of the Owl’s Forest! While there are a few Owl’s Forests in different locations in Japan, the one in Yufuin Floral Village is unique in a way that it is an open air little forest. So you do feel like walking through a small forest. There are quite a few species of owls in the forest: Great grey owl, Barn/Grass Owls, Ashy-faced owls, Grass Owls, spectacled owl, great horned owl and more. For an entrance fee of ¥680, you can spend a much time you want to observe, take photos and even touch them. Well, I think that most many would spend about 20 to 30 minutes. Besides, there is a special photo spot where you can pay a small…

Locating near the edge of the shopping area in Yufuin, the Yufuin Floral Village is an interesting shopping area model after an English little town – Cotswolds. Floral Village features yellow limestone small houses, petting zone, a pond with ducks, a fountain, and decorated with flowers and an antique English car. You may find all kinds of souvenirs and gift items from fantasy animates and children’s stories such as Kiki’s Bakery, Alice in the wonderland, Peter Rabbit, and Harry Potter in the village. It’s a lovely place to spend some time walking around and take photos. One of the must-visit places in Yufuin Floral Village is Cheshire Cat’s Forest which obviously was named after the Cheshire Cat in “Alice in the wonderland”. Grinning Cheshire cats are no where in sight yet you won’t be disappointed because there are more than 10 curious Bengal cats wandering around a nicely decorated temperature controlled cafe. For ¥780, you can get one drink and spend half an hour in the cafe to play with the cats. They are curious animals and very good at…

Blessed with a beautiful twin-peaked Mount Yufu backdrop, a nice lake and farm houses converted into cafes and souvenir shops, Yufuin is a charming onsen town in Oita Prefecture, Kyushu Japan. Locating about 2 hours drive from Hakata, it is a great outskirt getaway for tourists. Lake Kinrin-ko is the main scenic spot about half an hour away on foot from Oita Station. “Kinrin” means golden fish-scale. The name was an exclamation made by a poet who visited the lake and praised its natural stunning environment and the glitter on the water. Sure enough, you will see some wild golden color koi fish in the video. There is a little shrine by the lake and a torii (a gate in Japanese shrines) in the lake. Truly lovely! Between the lake and Oita Station is a long strip of road lined with cafes, souvenir shops and galleries, offering a relaxing walking area where you can shop and munch all the way. Ryokan, Onsen and hotels are spread out. This charming quaint onsen town is now packed with tourists at the weekends…

Thank you for coming to the sharing section of Kyushu Travel for Families held in Joint Publishing Hong Kong on 17th December 2017. The following slides are the tourist attractions of each prefectures in Kyushu Japan mentioned in the presentation. Local cuisines and highlights of theme parks, museums and aquariums in Kyushu will be covered in the other articles.

The first ever Travel Guide to Kyushu for Family is now available at all bookstores of Joint Publishing, Commercial Press and Chung Hwa Books in Hong Kong. One of the key features is the small book that comes with the Travel Guide. It is designed for children to read and choose the places they want to go, and plan the Kyushu trip together with the parents. The travel guide is a practical guide book that covers the most desirable theme parks, museums, aquariums, zoological parks and gardens in all 7 prefectures in Kyushu Japan, including Fukuoka, Saga, Nagasaki, Kumamoto, Kagoshima, Miyazaki and Oita. In addition, there are shopping and dining recommendations for each prefecture. The retail price is HK$98.

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