Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park- Hiroshima City, Hiroshima Prefecture

There is no doubt that the most historical and as a result the most popular location in Hiroshima City is the Peace Memorial Park and the Peace Memorial Museum. These 2 iconic locations always come up first on everyones agenda when planning a trip to Hiroshima, no matter whether you are Japanese or any other nationality from around the world.

It really is a bucket list location that we all must visit at least once in our lives and especially whilst traveling around Japan. In fact, all Japanese school students must visit Hiroshima and or Nagasaki at least once in their school education as mandated by Japanese law. For this reason, whether you are in Nagasaki or Hiroshima it is more than likely that you will encounter at least one school group at the Peace Park or Atomic Bomb Museum.  I have been told numerous times by my clients that it was amazing and beautiful to see the next generations of Japanese youths being educated about the horrors of war and why we should try and attain peace for humanity to thrive.

For me personally, it had been about 6 years between visits to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park but it was just as I had remembered.  The main attractions including the Prayer Fountain, Pond of Peace, Peace Flame, Bell of Peace and of course the main monument the Atomic Bomb Dome which is the most famous and iconic image as a result of these 2 devastating Atomic explosions during WW2.

However, what really delighted me, is to see the park being expanded and many more public spaces being created. The vibe and atmosphere of the area now is very different and the 2 separate parks have definitely improved the overall concept and image of the City.  It is not just a sad and depressing place where contemplation of humanity is fore-front in every visitors minds but an area where vision and a strong, vibrant and positive future can be visualized by everyone. It is for these reasons that you could easily spend 2 or 3 hours just in the parks let alone the Peace Memorial Museum.

Our professional guides will be able to show you all the main sights both on and off the beaten track to leave you fully satisfied at days end.

Please check out the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park on the map below:

Please click on the photos below to enlarge:

The peace fountain

It's a very iconic view

The eternal flame

Always many school children 

A place to contemplate

The peace bell

Lots of info to digest

The atomic dome

Close up

Powerful images are everywhere

So much to see

The symbol of Hiroshima

Entrance to the Museum

A place for all to enjoy

Main entrance

Please check out these videos below to see more of the Hiroshima Peace memorial Park:

Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Costco- Fukuoka City

Firstly, just to let you know I am a huge fan of Costco. I have been a member for at least 20 years and there aren't enough superlatives to describe how impressed I am with their level of service, quality and range of products and obviously value for money. In fact, I honestly doubt that I would still be in Japan after all this time if Costco wasn't accessible to me on a regular occasion.

So, if I am an absolute fan, then I have come to the conclusion that others must be in the same boat as myself. Therefore I have decided to make a Costco visit an option on the Private Tours that I perform as Shore Excursions and Day Tours in Fukuoka.

I have had the opportunity to visit quite a few Costco's around the world and always been intrigued about the differences and range of local products to choose from.  Obviously here in Japan, we have many unique and interesting products like Wagyu and Sushi but also there is an opportunity to buy quite a few products to take home with you to make excellent presents for relatives and friends.

On one of the last tours I did, my client wanted to pop in and have a quick look. So, we had a nice quick walk around the store and picked up some snacks, a traditional Japanese cake as well as some of the best instant ramen that you will ever have. I am sure you will find aomething to your liking if you decide to visit Costco on your private tour.

Please check out the Fukuoka Costco here on a map:

Please click on the photos below to enlarge:

Wagyu galore

Selection of sushi is amazing

Checking out the snacks

A fun experience indeed!

A few presents for family and friends

Please click on the videos below to see more about Costco in Fukuoka:

Tuesday, February 6, 2024

Kanmon Tunnel Pedestrian Walkway: Fukuoka and Yamaguchi Prefectures

There is a special experience that I have wanted to do for ages now but there was always something either holding me back or preventing me for accomplishing this task.  However, my opportunity arose last weekend because my family joined in in one of my many forays into adding more attractions into my itineraries and thus I had another driver that could meet us on the other side so to speak.

Both sides, can be designated as the entrance point.  This time I chose to enter from the Honshu side of Shimonoseki, Yamaguchi Prefecture and exit from the Kyushu side of Fukuoka Prefecture but it is obviously possible to choice the other option.  This exercise although not an issue for me (however height challenges affect me greatly) may not be for everybody, I can understand that people who feel uncomfortable to be in relatively small areas may not want to participate in this activity.  In these cases, they may stay in the vehicle and drive with me across the bridge or thru the automobile instead of the pedestrian tunnel.

I am sure everyone will enjoy and remember this not normal and not everyday experience.

Please click on the photos to enlarge.

The entrance

Check out the many maps

Time to walk.

Not too far

Half way point

The 2 separate prefectures

Before heading down to the bottom of the tunnel there is a very historical area in front of the entrance called the Dannoura Battlefield.  This area is where the major battle between 2 major clans took place in the 12th Century.  As a result of this battle the Genji Clan went on to become a powerhouse in feudal Japan and the Heike Clan became a footnote in history.  Sad how things can change in an instant but interesting and a important part of history that made Japan the country that it is today.

Please click on the photos below to enlarge.

12th century technology

Check out those guns

Lots of info

Kanmon Bridge

Leader of the Heike Clan

Leader of the Genji Clan

English explanations

Powerful image indeed!

Finally, on the arrival side and where I pick you up at the Mekari Shrine, we will quickly say thank you for your safe passage under the sea and praise the gods for your continued safety during your travels here in Japan.  It can never hurt to have as many prayers and blessings as possible, right?

There is no need to go overboard but a few coins as a symbol of gratitude will definitely go a long way.

Lots of info to digest

Great views

Great location

A popular place

Contemplation time

Please click here to see the Kanmon Tunnel Pedestrian Walkway on a map:

Please click on these videos to see more about this above location;