Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Suginoya Sake Brewery: Itoshima- Fukuoka Prefecture

Suginoya Brewery is one of the most popular stops on our Itoshima Peninsular Day Tours out of Fukuoka. Why is this?  Well, it all about the tradition of the Sake Brewing process, exploring the old but esthetically pleasing building as well as the tasting experience that gets everyone fully involved in the process.

The Brewery is over 140 years old and it shows but in a traditional and authentic way.  No one wants to go to a brand new building that lacks character and history, it is for this reason that a huge majority of our customers have rated this attraction as their favorite one on the day.

On this rather cold and cloudy winters day, I took a wander around the facilities and enjoyed all of the scenes and experiences that were on offer.  You can take your time and inspect all the materials and equipment that is used, otherwise you can just jump to the tasting side with friendly and informative staff ready to answer you questions.

But really the proof of the product is in the taste and you have many an opportunity to taste their Japanese Sake (Rice Wine) a wide selection of Beers and of course everyone`s favorite Umeshu (Japanese Plum Wine).  Just be careful, because for many people this is seen as a rather weak drink but Suginoya Brewery produces a Umeshu at 20%, which is the strongest but most delicious variety that I have ever tasted.  A recommendation by moi, for all to enjoy.

Please click here to see Suginoya Brewery on a map:

Please click of the photos below to enlarge:

Please click on the videos below to see more about the Suginoya Brewery.

Sunday, August 2, 2020

Karatsu Castle, Saga Prefecture, Kyushu

One of the most amazing locations in all of Kyushu is without a doubt the Karatsu Castle.  It is located on an island overlooking the Karatsu Bay with the Black Pine Forests of Niji no Matsubara in close proximity.  Everything about this place screams Japanese!  The history, the culture the architecture and of course its purpose, to crush any uprising and discontent in the ranks of its people and rival factions.

The original castle was built in 1608 by Terazawa Hirotaka, the first lord of the Karatsu Domain. The present castle keep tower was newly built in 1966 and you can overlook the Niji No Matsubara Pine Grove and the Karatsu Bay as well as the downtown area of Karatsu City from the top floor.

The castle tower reopened after renovation in July, 2017. The history and culture of Karatsu City is exhibited with AR (Augmented Reality) equipment in the new exhibition room.  This room showcases Samurai arms and armor including swords as well as the regions famous ceramic wares which are well known throughout Japan.  In fact, I spent as much time checking out all the displays, even more than the actual view from the tower, which is a rarity for me.

Karatsu Castle is also well known as a viewing spot for cherry blossoms and wisteria during Spring.  In the photos provided, my visit with my son was in summer, so i will attempt to return again next year in spring to check out the flowers and colors of this time of year.

Karatsu Castle is located approx. an hours drive away from Fukuoka and is an amazing place to visit on a Day Tour or as package 2 or 3 day tour of Kyushu Island.  I am sure you won`t be disappointed even if you are here for just an hour because your time here will satisfy all your sightseeing needs.

Please check out Karatsu Castle here on a map:

Please click on the photos below to enlarge:

Please check out these video below to see more information about Karatsu Castle:

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Canal City: Fukuoka City

Canal City located conveniently in Fukuoka City is one of our go to places especially on our Walking Tours of the City.  Apart from the usual shops and excellent shopping experience the area has 2 things that makes it an interesting and unforgettable experience.

The first is the fountain display performed every hour.  It really is a show stopper!  Everyone will stop what they are doing and take a few minutes of of their day to see a unique and extremely pleasurable experience.  I have included a video below for you to check out.

The other amazing experience and it is a culinary one, is to go to the top floor, called Ramen Stadium, to partake in Fukuoka`s speciality, that being Tonkotsu Ramen.  For those in the know, Tonkotsu, is a type of soup that is produced from boiling Pork Bones at a very low temperature for a long period of time.  The flavor is very intense and it is the go to Ramen in these parts of Japan.

There are many vendors available, so you will be able to choose which Ramen and which shop takes your fancy.  Our private tours usually end up here at lunchtime and I can tell you that there haven`t been any disappointed customer so far.

Even if you don`t partake in any of our tours I would still recommend that you come here and check out the hype for yourself.

Check out Canal City here on a map:

Please click on the photos below to enlarge:

Please click on the videos below to see more about the hourly fountain display and the Ramen Stadium.