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.

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…

Locating near the seaside in the outskirt of Beppu City, Oita Prefecture in Kyushu Japan, Umitamago (Oita Marine Palace Aquarium) “うみたまご” is a really nice aquarium for families. Visiting the first time, I was impressed with the performances and the set up. My favorite was the walrus show! I have never seen a walrus that can act and do sit-ups in real life. Truly entertaining and amazing! Like! Like! Like! The dolphin show was also fun! While many people want to sit closer to the dolphin pools, you would want to stand further away… simply because you will get wet from the splash when the dolphins jump and spin. That’s the fun part of the watching the show as well. Very exciting! Other performances such as the seals show, feeding sardine, sharks, eels are entertaining as well. The key is to follow the show program schedule so that you can see them all one after another. If you are travelling young children, the marine-themed indoor kids area will the place where they won’t want to leave the slides and claw…

Locating in the southwest of Japan, Kyushu is the second largest island consisting of 7 prefectures and their outlying islands. In addition to fresh seafood from the surrounded waters, each prefecture has its own authentic local cuisine that are must-eat while you are there.

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.

The series of earthquakes with the mainshock of magnitude 7.0 and a foreshock of magnitude 6.2 in April 2016 had caused severe damage in Kumamoto and Oita Prefectures. Numerous structures collapsed. Thousands of people injured and more than 44,000 people being evacuated from their homes. One of the major damages is the Kumamoto Castle, one of the most famous castles in Japan. The whole castle, and some sightseeing spots in the area, including the Former Residence of Hosokawa Gyobu, Kumamoto City Museum and Kumamoto Prefectural Art Museum branch are still closed as of May 2017. Restoration work is in progress. You may only see the castle from the outside.

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