Dagojiru 

This is Dagojiru which is a local dish in Kumamoto.

Though I posted about it before, I ate it again at another restaurant, so I will post again.

Dago means dango (dumpling) in Kumamoto dialect.

Inside this soup are flat dumplings, made of flour, and many kinds of vegetables.

The dish in the square box is chicken rice.

Both were very good.

I really like Dagojiru.

Kurokawa onsen

There are many onsen in Japan.

Onsens are hot springs.

Recently I went Kurokawa onsen in Kumamoto.

Kurokawa onsen has 24 different bath houses.

Those are ryokan, so you can stay there or you can just take a bath.

I went to two different baths.

One of them was a cave bath which the owner made by himself.

Onsens feel good.

The streets of Kurokawa onsen have a good atmosphere, not only nice baths.

Kumamon

  

This black bear is Kumamon.

In Japan there are many cute characters to represent local areas. 

Kumamon is from Kumamoto.

Everybody knows this character because he has no copyright, so it is used for many products. 

I painted Kumamon in front of Mt. Aso. 

The area around Mt.Aso was hit hard.

Don’t give up Kumamoto!

Ganbare Kumamon!
 ©2010 kumamoto pref. kumamon

Water wheel

  

Nameshi dam is located in the middle of Kunisaki peninsula, in Oita.

There is an area nearby called Green land. 

This is a photo of a water wheel there.

This place is also called Kotton- kura because of the sound of the water falling down.

You can rest there and walk on the promenade.

I heard it has Sakura in spring and autumn colors in fall.

People can enjoy nature.

Oita had an earthquake yesterday, and Kumamoto had two serious earthquakes and after shocks are continuing.

I hope things calm down.

Yaezakura 

  

These are double cherry blossoms (Yaezakura.)

Yesterday I took this picture.

These bloom a little bit later than typical sakura (Someiyoshino).

The day before yesterday Kumamoto prefecture had a big earthquake.

Here in Fukuoka we felt it, too.

Japan is an earthquake country.

Kumamoto castle was damaged. 

Sakura don’t bloom for long–and nothing last forever.

I hope the people in Kumamoto get peace soon.

Japanese Castles

  

There are many ruins of castles in Japan.

This is Kumamoto castle.

It was built in around 1607, and rebuilt in 1960.

You can see Kumamoto city from the keep.

It is a nice castle to visit.
  

This is Hiroshima castle.

  

This is Ogura castle in North Kyusyu.

  

And this is Himeji castle in Hyogo prefecture.

This photo is from the time I visited when Himeji castle was under restoration.

After about 5 years of restoration, the keep was opened from March of 2015.  

I think it is also a nice castle.

Suizenji-jyojyuen

  

This is a Japanese garden, Suizenji-jyojyuen in Kumamoto city.

It is called Suizenji park.

Its area is about 73000 square meters.

The pond in the center is filled by spring water from Mt. Aso.

It is a strolling garden of the Momoyama era style. 

The picturesque scenery of fifty-three stages on the Tokaido is made of artificial hills, loose rocks, lawn and plants like pine trees. 

It is a beautiful garden.