Saturday, July 14, 2007
Friday, July 13, 2007
Anyway, a typhoon is currenly being let loose in Kyushuu. My first typhoon experience! It has been raining nonstop for two straight days, and according to the news, there has been incidents of landslides and floods in some parts of Kyushuu. For once, I'm glad that my university is on top of a mountain and there is no chance of a flood nor landslideover here.
So, let's continue with the update of my life in Japan. And we shall being with Nagasaki trip, which happened like almost a month ago.
A group of 8 of us embarked on a short weekend trip to Nagasaki. We all skipped our classes on Friday, and hopped onto a Kousoku bus from Beppu to Nagasaki. And from Nagasaki, we took the JR train down to the Holland Village theme park, Huis Ten Bosch.
And on our train ride, we saw this cute little picture of a baby boy sleeping on his mother's lap. よっぽと可愛いんじゃないか。And a group photo of all of us on the bridge that connects the JR train station and the theme park. Right behind us is the hotel that we would be staying for the night - ANA Hotel JR Huis Ten Bosch.A close-up view of our hotel. I really loved the hotel. It was really nice, (in fact, it was better than the theme park) and the stay at the hotel became the highlight of my Nagasaki trip.
A pic of our double bedroom. We opted for the double bedroom instead of the twin bedroom, cos the former is much cheaper than the latter (We are poor students afterall). But the bed was definitely big enough to comfortably accomodate two pple on it.
And the view of the theme park from our room：
And after checking into our hotel, we began our magical journey into the Dutch city of Kyushuu - Huis Ten Bosch. There, as we strolled along the 17th century Dutch houses and historic church towers, we couldn't help but drank in the full splendor of the old Europe's setting.
And our first stop: the teddy bear kingdom: And the world's biggest teddy bear:
Ben! Are you molesting the statue?
A picture of the Singaporeans and half-Singaporeans on the dutch boat, which took us on a romantic trip through the canals and also one whole round the theme park.
And a SMU jump attempted by the Canadians (Nadia and Rosanna) and Weili in front of a windmill!
And the authentic jump by Thor and Weili in front of the twin towers gate:
P.S. Yijia or anyone coming to APU, if you are thinking of going to the theme park, grab the travel package offered by the student union. It's only 10000 yen and that includes a return JR train ride back and forth to Nagasaki, a 5 stars hotel stay, entrance fee to the theme park and a very good international breakfast buffet. Cheap until siao ah!
Thursday, June 21, 2007
Oh, anyway back to Okinawa. One of the most memorable events we did in Okinawa is definitely the cave snorkeling at 青洞窟. It's really beautiful, and this is my first time doing a cave snorkeling.
Group pic before going down to the cave:
Overcoming the treacherous path to reach the cave, and at the same time battling the propulsive waves that threatened to sweep us away anytime:
Why is the cave called 青洞窟? Because the water inside the cave is of emerald blue! And it's so clear that you can take a picture under the water!
Me attempting a dive:
The girls relaxing after the snorkel:
And finally, one group pic of all of us inside the cave:
Definitely one of my most mind-blowing snorkeling experiences! If you ever go to Okinawa, make sure you go for the cave snorkeling. Just mentioned 青洞窟 and the shop pple would know where to bring you to:)
Thursday, June 14, 2007
So after the 2 hours ferry back to Naha, we went to pick up our rental car and then drove for more than a hour to our 5 stars hotel: Hotel Moon Beach.
Hotel's lobby bathing in the morning rays:
Hotel Moon Beach's private beach, which is so coincidentally named 'Moon Beach':
Our deluxe room, which was in a complete state of shambles:
View from our balcony:
Pretty cool hotel. We stayed there for 3 days 2 nights after coming back from Zamamijima. The hotel has almost everything, and I particularly enjoyed the 大浴場(public bath). Sleek and modern, the public bath provides you with everything, including Shiseido skin conditioner and hair tonic. Picture's not available as no camera is allowed in the public bath.
And on one of the nights, we met up with all the APU exchange students who were also holidaying in Okinawa.
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
Summer House Yuyu.
By the advice of the Oyasan, we headed down to this beach, which is reportedly the best snorkelling spot of the island.
Did you see those brownish discolorations in the midst of the turquoise blue water? Those are coral reefs, rich and undestroyed. I have been scuba-diving for quite a while, but never have I seen something so amazing. The coral reefs are less than a metre from the shoreline, intact and animated in the southern warm ocean water. Most of the other diving sites that I have went to are either partially or totally destroyed by inconsiderate novice divers or irresponisble fishing. This is really the paradize for all lovers of the sea.
Fishes, of rainbow colours and various sizes, unabashed of our existence, swam temerariously near us. And when we littered our unfinished Cheezos as we dived into the waters, school of fishes circled and enveloped us, much like the scene when the birds spiralled around the singing Snow White in Shrek 3.
Just as I was mesmerized by this magical moment, I heard a wailing scream behind my back. Apparently, a sea snake of bright yellow stripes was also equally interested in our Cheezos, and was swimming menacingly close to Jenelle. Jenelle, in her desperate attempt to distract the serpent, threw the can of Cheezos into the deeper waters of the open sea while she swam frantically to the shore. Fortunately, nothing untowards happened to us and the sea snake swiftly disappeared after its brief appeareance. Nonetheless, this incident became one of our laughing stocks for the next couple of days.
Hot girls in Bikini:
There were actually other hot pics (think FHM, haha) of the girls on the beach, but they were ruthlessly censored by the 3 iron ladies.
After the exciting and life-threatening dive, we visited several observatories on the islands. The sceneries from the observatories were equally stunning as the marine life from our earlier dive. We drank in views of treacherous cliffs and mysteriously shaped islands, all of which painstakingly crafted by Mother Nature.
After visiting the observatories, we went to the one and only restaurant in Zamamijima (remember? It’s only a small island) Decent food and reasonable price. Osusume!
On the second morning, we went for a scuba dive trip. This was my second dive in Okinawa. Unlike my previous experienced dive, this was a full dive. The instructors didn’t really ask for my diving license (I left my license in Singapore).
And after the dive, I felt so blessed. So blessed to be able to go on an exchange programme to Japan, so blessed to be able to come to Okinawa, and so blessed to be given a chance to dive in the Japan Sea. It has always been my dream to dive in other foreign seas outside of Malaysia and Thailand. Though it was a little pricey compared to my dive trips in SE Asia, the sense of overwhelming achievement and the unique experience of witnessing marine life of foreign seas certainly made my every cent count.
After the dive, we took the afternoon ferry back to Naha. There we would move into our 5 stars Moon Beach Hotel, and there we would begin our mad spending spree! Wait for my next installment of my Okinawa trip:)