tomocchi

Kujukushima Aquarium – Umi Kirara

30Jul 2012 tomocchi

This is the Kujukushima Aquarium Umi Kirara in Saikai National Park.

 

 

It’s absolutely stunning!

 

 

So, on today’s Go! Go! Tomocchi, please enjoy a virtual tour of the aquarium!

 

 

Umi Kirara Highlight 1 ★

This is the Kujukushima Bay Large Aquarium.

 

 

It’s like they just took a slice right out of the beautiful seas of Kujukushima.

On display here are 13,000 animals of around 120 different types which live in the Kujukushima area.

In this circular tunnel, you feel as if you’re actually in the ocean, like you’ve dived into the sea to experience the beauty first hand. 

 

 

 

 

However, the tank’s biggest draw is that it has no cover!

As there’s no “roof,” so to speak, the tank is drenched in natural sunlight. 

 

 

 

The sunlight sparkles through the water, making it look even more beautiful.

 
I recommend you visit during the morning on sunny days, as that’s when it’s most beautiful.

 

 

 

Umi Kirara Highlight 2 ★
This is the Kujukushima Dolphin Pool.

 

 

Two bottle-nosed dolphins and one Risso’s dolphin come out to meet us.

In the pictures below you can see what they do when they come close to people…

 

 

These dolphins really like people and will come right up close! 

 

 

Everyone was totally enthralled by the dolphins and couldn’t move away!

Let’s take a look at them from above.

 

 

Here you can watch a dolphin programme three times a day.

They’re so cute when they play with the football! 

 

 

The dolphins practice about 20 different things daily, like hoola-hoop, waving goodbye and jumping. I’m looking forward to seeing the dolphins develop, too!

 

 

 

【Saikai National Park Kujukushima Aquarium Umi Kirara
Address: 1008 Kashimae-cho, Sasebo city
TEL: 0956-28-4187
Opening Hours: 9:00~18:00(March – October)

9:00~17:00(November – February)

Closed: Open all year round
Entry Fee: Adults (senior high school and above)  1400 yen
                 Children (4 years and older),Elementary & junior high school  700 yen
             Children (3 years and under)  Free

 

 

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Nigari (Salt) Ice-cream

05Jul 2012 tomocchi

Before we get to the sweets, first have a look at these beautiful beaches!

 

This is Takahama Beach.

 

 

Takahama has been selected as one of Japan’s best swimming beaches – it seems to win at all the beach contests!

 

 
And this is Koujushi Beach.

 

 

 

Unlike Takahama, this one hasn’t been chosen as one of Japan’s best beaches, but the water here is incredibly clear.

 

 

Do you know where we are yet?
These beaches are on Goto!

 

 

As the scenery changes so does the colour of the sea, from light to dark blue…and then, a blue so transparent you can clearly see the colours of the sand through it. It’s so beautiful that you exclaim excitedly every time you see it! 

 

 

Here on Goto, I also came across this: nigari (a kind of salt, mostly made of magnesium chloride) soft-serve ice-cream at 200 yen. 

 

 

“With this combination of shining sun, sparkling blue sea and white ice-cream – it definitely has to be delicious!” I thought, even as I retreated to eat in the shade!

 

 

When you eat it, it doesn’t taste like salt. It tastes just like normal vanilla ice-cream, but with a clean, light aftertaste.

 
It’s so refreshing that afterwards your thirst is quenched and you feel like you don’t even need a drink anymore. It’s cool and not too sweet, so you end up devouring it! 

 

 

This ice-cream was sold at Goto Tsubaki shop at Koujushi. The nigari is made in a salt-pan next to the shop, and then that’s used in the ice-cream!  

 

 

If you haven’t already made plans for the summer, how about a trip to Nagasaki’s islands? 

 

 

 

Takahama Beach
Address: 1054-1 Kaizu, Miiraku-cho, Goto city

 

Koujushi Beach
Address: Hama-cho, Goto city
Nigari ice-cream – 200 yen

 


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Adventure Park

20Jun 2012 tomocchi

This is Adventure Park, which opened in March at Huis Ten Bosch.

It’s Japan’s biggest “Tenku no Shiro” (“castle in the sky”) leisure facility.

 

 

There are three different athletics courses set up of different heights – 3 metres, 6 metres and 9 metres.

 

What’s different to the usual leisure facilities is this equipment!

 

 

Here you put on a harness with a lifeline and a helmet to take on the course.

 

First, the 3-metre-high course – here we go!

 

 

The first obstacle: a sudden single log bridge!

 

 

You can easily tell that I was nervous by the way I held on to the lifeline.

 

Before I went across I was scared, but once I started I realised the log was very sturdy and it was fine!

 

I normally have fun watching celebrities doing this kind of thing, but watching and doing it for yourself are two completely different things.

 

There’s also an area where you have to dangle in the air and pull yourself along on a rope!

 

 

I think my cry of “Heeeeeelp!” may have echoed all across the leisure park…

 

Even though I know that there’s no way I can fall because of the lifeline…it doesn’t mean it’s not scary!

 

Even though it’s really terrifying, I wonder why it looks like fun to bystanders.

 

 

So that the lifeline doesn’t slip and slide everywhere, there are stoppers at intervals and to keep going forward you have to keep reattaching the line.

 

 

You use not only your body but also your brain as you work out where to attach the line next. In my case, I was completely freaked out so it was really hard work! 

 

Lastly, I followed the instructor along.

 

 

“Are you up here every day?” I asked.
“Yes, I am.” It was a very strange conversation, haha.

 

There is a height restriction (you must be over 110cm tall), but everyone from children to adults come to brave the course.

 

I’m not particularly scared of heights but I’m also not exactly in love with them either, and my first reaction after I finished was “It was scary!” but I also felt a great sense of achievement that I did it!

 

I want all my friends who stayed on the ground and laughed as they watched me, saying “But it looked like you had fun!” to do it too!!

 

I recommend this to adults who feel like they need to stretch their bodies a bit, and to children with a lot of energy!

 

 

 

 

 

Adventure Park
Place: Camp Ten Bosch, outside Huis Ten Bosch
Opening Hours: 9:30~17:30
Entry fees differ depending on whether you have a Toku-Toku ticket or are a Familie member, so please check on the Huis Ten Bosch website:

 http://english.huistenbosch.co.jp/tickets_generalinfo/passport2011.html

 


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Suwa Shrine’s Animal Plaza

28May 2012 tomocchi

Right next to Suwa Shrine, which is famous for NagasakiKunchi, is this place calledAnimalPlaza – and it’s free to enter!

 

 

There’s this impression that people are clearly divided into two groups regarding this place – either you’re incredibly familiar with it, or you’re not at all. If you live in Nagasaki now, which do you fall into? 

 

I’m the latter, by the way, but apparently my siblings were often taken here. Today, too, I saw mothers and sons having fun looking at the animals.

 

It’s really right next to Suwa Shrine, but if you end up visiting the shrine then you might not notice what’s beside it at all. 

 

 

 
Here they have three kinds of mammal, and nine kinds of bird.

 
They have rabbits!

 

 

They make me think of the animal handlers at school.

 

 

They also have a family of Japanese macaques.

 

 

They’re looking out across the streets of Nagasaki city (or so it looks like).

Then there’s a blue peacock!

 

 

Between 1.15pm and 2pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays every week (apart from national holidays and when it’s raining), you can even enjoy petting the animals. 

 

 

If you go up past the Animal Plaza, then you can find this restored water fountain, said to be the first ever established in Japan. 

 

 

Here we found pigeons, koi carp and tortoises.

 

 

It’s kind of soothing to watch them sunbathing.

 
The hawfinches were having a rest at the Tsukimi Teahouse below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

【Animal Plaza】

Address:Nagasaki Park, 1-1 Kaminishiyama-cho,Nagasaki city

Opening Hours: 9:30 – 17:00
Free Entry

 


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Takashima Saruku Walking Tour

11May 2012 tomocchi

I recently visited Takashima – a bit further than Ioujima with its new bridge freshly opened last year, but before you reach Battleship Island (Gunkanjima).

 

Takashima was once known as an island that flourished through the mining of coal, just like Battleship Island, but it’s now famous for its tomatoes.

 

So first, let’s go to a Takashima tomato greenhouse! 

 

 

Wow, there are so many tomatoes! Apparently the lower levels begin to turn red first, and the tomatoes on the upper levels have a higher sugar content.

 
When you try holding one of these smallish, tomatoes in your hand, you realise they’re quite heavy and firm. 

 
 

 

Continuing on, Takashima also has a fishery centre where they farm fish. Do you know what kind of fish these are?

 

 

Well, it’s pretty hard to tell from this picture whether there are any fish there at all…

Ta-dah! It’s a flatfish!

 

 

Here they raise flatfish and tiger blowfish from fry to adulthood.

This particular flatfish then became…

…my lunch!
 

 

Made into sashimi, sushi, boiled, fried, made into biscuits – no part of the fish is wasted in this set meal.

 

 

Next, just as your stomach’s been filled up, it’s on to some exercise!

This is Takashima Iyashi no Yu (Takashima Soothing Bath), a bathing facility using sea water.

 

 

Here, you can do pool exercises in bathing gear in warm seawater.

 

I tried it out and because it’s seawater rather than regular water, your body floats and it’s easy to exercise. They also have a steam room and a cave bath, so after you exercise you can take your time and let your exhaustion just float away.

 

Lastly – and I apologise for using a picture where the weather’s not so nice – is Takashima Swimming Area.

 

 

This swimming area is very unusual because it has coral!

Also, it has more than just a little of it! Even diving experts who’ve been toOkinawa and theMaldives are impressed by the coral here.

 

What’s most impressive, however, is just how close it is to the shore! Usually you have to go out by boat to appreciate coral like this. 

 

With the coral and shoals of fish under the sea, it’s like that Disney film Finding Nemo – I can’t believe that you can experience such a thing here on Takashima! This is definitely one spot I think I’m going to come back to in the summer.

 

 

The “Takashima Saruku Walking Tour” one day full course – which includes the Takashima tomato greenhouse and flatfish farm that I introduced here today,  the coal museum, Thomas Glover’s second residence and the flatfish set lunch – has started and is available only on Wednesdays and Sundays between April and June.

 

When the weather brightens, come and get your fill of hiking and Takashima’s specialities!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

【Takashima Saruku Walking Tour】

 

URL:http://www.nagasaki-tabi.jp/experience/1118.html

(Note: Reservations can be made through this website.)
Open: Wednesdays & Sundays, April until June
Fee: Adults (junior high school students and up) 4800 yen, Elementary Students 2900 yen
Reservations and enquiries can be made at:Nagasaki International Tourism and Convention Association

Tel: 095-823-7423

 


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