Sunday, June 17, 2012


We had been back in Japan for less than 24 hours when my husband called and said he had to make a trip to Kumamoto for work.  Since we haven't traveled much within Japan, he wanted me to accompany him.  So Friday morning, at 0530, we took off for Kumamoto.

He took care of his business then we set off to see a few of the sights.

before we checked into our hotel, which had an awesome view of the Kumamoto Castle

We were still pretty jet lagged and had been up since 0430 so we decided to take a nap...that lasted 3+ hours!  After we finally drug ourselves out of bed, we went off in search of an izakaya.  We were pretty tired and neither one of us was in the mood to translate a menu or think too hard about what we were ordering so we went with a set course menu.  BAD IDEA!
 We had 9 dishes.  My husband tried every one of them but only liked about two thirds of them.  I only tried about 5 or 6 {the rest I could tell by my husband's reaction that I wouldn't like} and really only enjoyed a couple of them.  Oh well, it was a fun experience!

Saturday we had a few hours to kill before our flight left so we went out in the pouring rain to see the castle.

The weather was down right miserable but luckily I married an amazing man and we had a lot of fun in spite of the awful weather! 

The view from the top of one of the turrets was incredible!

I even got to have my photo taken with a "samurai"

after exploring the castle for a few hours we set off in search of something to do that was out of the rain.  
The town had these great covered outdoor streets with tons of shops and restaurants.

including this interesting dining option

It was very quick & wet trip but a great experience none the less.

We returned to a bit of a shock though.  We had parked our car near our local train station thinking  we'd only be gone 48 hours.  Most parking lots have a 24 hour cap, for example, 100yen per hour up to 1000 yen for a 24 hour period.  Well, we picked the parking lot that didn't have that cap so our parking fee came to a whopping 9300 yen...that's about $125 US!
We definitely learned a valuable lesson...if you can't read the signs, park somewhere else!

Now I'm off to the airport {I'm starting to feel like I live there} to pick up my friend, Rebecca!  Hopefully I'll have time to blog a time or two while she's here but I'm not making any promises.