Hello! It’s Tomocchi ☆
Just the other day I went on a bus-date with a gorgeous military commander in Shimabara♪
… Just kidding! lol
In Joka-machi of Shimabara, where spring water flows in the streets, there’s an exciting new deal getting a lot of attention! It’s the “Shimabara Megurin Ticket” which is a special set that includes entrance to two popular tourist spots: Shimabara Castle and Shimeisou. The set also comes with a Shimabara Walking Guidebook, an original mini-tenugui (hand towel) dyed in the Shimabara fashion, and a bottle of Shimabara spring water.
And on top of that, on weekends and holidays there is a ‘Shimabara Megurin Bus” that you can ride all you want as part of your Megurin Ticket. What a deal!!
Note: This bus only runs on weekends and holidays.
And that’s why I took a trip to Shimabara to have a date with a handsome General on a Megurin Bus, and enjoy all the special advantages the ticket had to offer.
Disclaimer: These handsome generals rode with me because I was there for PR, and therefore will probably not be present on regular trips ^^;
The Shimabara Bushoutai came out to greet me at Shimabara Castle.
To start, I bought my Shimabara Megurin Ticket at the castle tower ticket booth, and used that to see the inside of the castle.
(The Megurin Tickets are also sold at the Seiryutei Tourism Exchange Center, the Shimabara Station Tourism Information Desk, and the Shimabara Port Tourism Information Desk.)
Alright, time to jump on this bus and check out what else Shimabara has to offer!
This Shimatetsu Bus has been specially decorated and makes roughly one-hour laps around the main tourist attractions in Shimabara City. With your Megurin Ticket you can get on and off the bus freely at any of the eight special bus stops.
‘The town of swimming carp’(「鯉の泳ぐまち清流亭前」 Koi-no-oyogu-machi seiryutei-mae bus stop)
After you’ve used your Megurin Ticket to visit Spring-water garden Shimeisou, I recommend dropping by the Shimabara Yusui-kan to try your hand at making Kanzarashi (300 yen).
Don’t forget to grab some souvenirs at the Seiryutei Tourism Exchange Center.
Ginsui, the original makers of kanzarashi. (「銀水前」バス停Ginsui-mae bus stop)
Ginsui is a bit outside the city, and walk away from most bus stops, so I am always so happy when I get the chance to visit!!
Ginsui, “the original makers of kanzarashi,” opened about 100 years ago.
Unfortunately, it closed down for about 20 years. Luckily, the city reopened it and now its gaining popularity as a local tourist spot.
These soft, little doughballs float at the surface of this lightly sweet syrup. I like to savor each spoonful of kanzarashi, which tastes just like the old days.
In winter, they also have a hot menu that includes zenzai.
(You get 50 yen off your kanzarashi if you show your Megurin Ticket)
Workshop Momo, the Blue Barbershop (「七万石坂」バス停Nanaman-gokusaka bus stop)
This retro-blue colored wooden building was originally a barbershop. The healthy genmai lemonade sold there warmed me to my core. (510 yen with a cookie)
Genmai lemonade is brown rice (玄米genmai) roasted, mixed with spring water, to which lemon and honey is added.
The fragrance of brown rice and lemonade go surprisingly well together ^^
(If you display your Megurin Ticket, you’ll receive an original postcode with your purchase)
The bus also stops at Shimabara Port where the ferry from Kumamoto arrives and departs.
There’s a footbath near the port. I recommend enjoying that with your bottle of spring water and your tenugui.
Come get your fill of Shimabara with a Shimabara Megurin Ticket. Make sure to try the Megurin Bus if you come on a weekend or holiday☆
Shimabara Megurin Ticket
Shimabara Megurin Bus
Depart Shimabara Port → Ginsui → Shimabara Station → Ote → Shimabara Casle → Nanaman Gokusaka → Seiryutei → Shirachi → Return to Shimabara Port