Kyushu, Japan free and easy 4: Kumamoto Castle and Ginza

A lone fishing boat sets off into the sunrise
Boats serene and still as the sun rises
Terrace houses and boxy passenger vans
Terrace houses and boxy passenger vans
Cold crisp air with marina behind
Cold crisp air with marina behind

By the marina

A short walk from the hotel and my wife and I were at a marina. All the houses in front of the pier were terraced homes and most had small boxy passenger vans and boating and fishing gear in their front porch. It was a pleasant walk down the 500 metres stretch of the marina before we walked back in time for our breakfast and check out from the hotel. We headed for the pier from which we took a ferry to the Kumamoto.

Large ferry at the terminal.
Large ferry at the terminal. (Credits:Wee Khoon)
A trail in the sea.
A trail in the sea.
Wee Khoon, Jacob, Daniel, and Peter. Credits: Wee Khoon
Wee Khoon, Jacob, Daniel, and Peter. Credits: Wee Khoon
Seagulls in flight. Credits: Wee Khoon
Seagulls in flight. Credits: Wee Khoon
Seagulls pursuing the ferry.
Seagulls pursuing the ferry.
Feeding the seagulls prawn crackers.
Feeding the seagulls prawn crackers.
Bicycle culture is established in most Japanese cities. (Credits: Wee Khoon)
Bicycle culture is established in most Japanese cities. (Credits: Wee Khoon)
Extol Inn
Extol Inn. (Credits: Wee Khoon)

On the ferry to Kumamoto

It was a pleasant trip of an hour or so. We had seagulls following us and they went into a feeding frenzy as we threw bread crumbs and crackers into the air. I must say these Japanese birds were not as skilful as the Israeli ones we fed at the Lake of Galilee. At the landing point we took a bus to the Kumamoto terminal and walked a good 10 to 15 minutes to a well situated hotel near the shopping area called Ginza and the Kumamoto Castle. The hotel is Extol Inn and the two nights stay came with breakfast.

Kumamoto Castle  and Ginza

We sort of fumbled our way before we finally found the castle and there was a big crowd at the castle because it was a Saturday. We had to queue and slowly walk up the hundreds of steps and a few floors of exhibits before we reached the highest floor to get a panoramic view of the city. Japan is so rich in history with all its colourful feudal past, with its shoguns and samurais, and sword and rifles, geishas and peasants. We spent about two hours taking lots of photos. Then we made our way back to survey the shopping area and search for dinner.

Majestic Kumamoto Castle - one of a few major heritage castles of Japan.
Majestic Kumamoto Castle - one of a few major heritage castles of Japan.
A view of the city from the highest floor of the castle.
A view of the city from the highest floor of the castle.
Caught sight of a modern day ninja.(Credits: Wee Khoon)
Caught sight of a modern day ninja.(Credits: Wee Khoon)
Beautiful spacious grounds and gardens surround the main castle.
Beautiful spacious grounds and gardens surround the main castle.
The colours of autumn provide accents to the browns and grey and black.
The colours of autumn provide accents to the browns and grey and black.
Group photo in the garden.(Credits: Wee Khoon)
Group photo in the garden.(Credits: Wee Khoon)
Kumamoto's version of Ginza. (Credits: Wee Khoon)
Kumamoto's version of Ginza. (Credits: Wee Khoon)
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