Can’t get enough of Kagoshima, Japan? Here’s a continuation of my Top Things To Do In Kagoshima, Japan (Part 1). And as promised, it won’t be just about food 🙂
5. Visit Kagoshima City Aquarium
I believe this is one of the main spots in Kagoshima. Though I’ve been to Manila Ocean Park, there’s definitely a lot to explore in the vast seas of each country. In here, I saw not just living creatures but also preserved bodies and bones.
6. Experience Ibusuki Sand Bath.
Have you ever tried bathing on the sand? This is definitely a “don’t miss this” thing. Located in Kagoshima Prefecture on the southern island of Kyūshū, the Yamakawa Sunamushi Onsen or Yamakawa Sand Baths (also known as Yamagawa Sunamushi Onsen or Fushimesunamushi Hot Spring), provides an interesting way to enjoy the benefits of the heat and minerals with a long hot soak. The onsen water bubbling beneath the coastline (thanks to nearby volcanoes) naturally heats the beach sand above, making way for a most unique bathing experience.
After the sand bath, you’ll get a chance to an Onsen (a Japanese hot spring and bathing facilities) where you have to be naked with some other women of course. However, in our case, we were not used to be undressed and exposing our bodies to some people we don’t know. So that time, we prefer not to use the Onsen. But now honestly I’m regretting it. So a piece of advice, don’t miss a single chance to experience new things okay? 🙂
7. Go to Karaoke bars.
Sing to your heart’s content even you’re in a foreign land! As we all know, Karaoke originated in Japan and is now popular around the world, especially in Asia. ” Kara” comes from Karappo which means empty and “Oke”, shortened from Okesutura meaning “orchestra”. So Karaoke means “empty orchestra”. Okay, that’s a trivia right there! Anyways, going to karaoke bars is not just about drinking hard liquors. Know that you can order sweet juices paired with Japanese finger food and yeah, have a good time with your favourite songs. Plus, lucky enough you’ll be meeting some Filipinos there.
8. Walk around the city.
Don’t just stay in your hotel or visit places by car. Go outside and walk! 🙂 You’ll be able to see Japanese’s lifestyle and environment. Explore the city and enter establishments and stores even if you don’t intend to buy anything haha.
9. Stroll around the neighbourhood and see shrines.
Walking around the neighbourhood makes you appreciate the things you saw in anime movies. The pathways, the bridge, the view, the shrines, everything! It feels like you are in a Japanese film. Now I can imagine all those beautiful scenes 🙂 And yeah, I haven’t seen a single trash around. Even the rivers are too clear for me to see the fishes.
10. Feel the ‘Ame’.
Ame, in Japanese, may have a lot of meaning and in here it means RAIN. Well if you are lucky enough to have your first rain experience in Japan, then go out and feel it! Haha. I’m not saying that it is a must-do, but if you want to make your first travel memorable, you ought not to miss this.
11. Wear a Yukata.
It may be hard as well as expensive to get a chance to wear kimonos unless you’ve got a Japanese friend to lend you one. We have our Filipino interpreters who are living in Japan and are willing to lend us kimonos. Unfortunately, we don’t have enough time to visit their homes. Blessed enough, I was able to wear a Yukata at Ibusuki Sand Bath. I was very happy though.
12. See the Sakura bloom.
Believe it or not, to me that time, I was the most blessed person in the world to get the opportunity to travel to Japan for free during the Sakura season. I mean it’s my dream since I was a kid. When you’d mention Japan, immediately cherry blossoms pop out of my mind. But then, I was able to see the sakura bloom every day while in there? Wow, truly beautiful and magical. So if you have the chance to travel to Japan, you may consider scheduling it during Sakura season.
13. Take souvenirs.
When you go to new places, never ever forget a souvenir. And in my case, I was able to get all souvenirs for free – well aside from the frame I bought at the 99 store 🙂 Japanese people are known to be so generous and they are fond of giving presents. When we went to Kagoshima City Aquarium, our Japanese co-worker bought stuffed toys for us. Well, I bet those were expensive items! Plus, Japanese workers and Filipino interpreters gave us gifts on our last day. Of course, get a souvenir for yourself. The trip was so memorable for me since it was a dream come true. And for me, seeing the cherry blossoms reminds me always of Japan. So with that, I placed a fallen “sakura” (cherry blossom) petals on a frame. Though Japanese believed the fallen Sakura petals to be the reincarnated souls of fallen warriors and wouldn’t want to interfere with it, I guess I’m not fond of beliefs and I can’t help but let my loved ones see a glimpse of its real beauty.
There you go! I think I have thrown all the big rocks out of my trip. Hmm, not to mention all other things like sitting on a Japanese modern toilet and squatting on traditional ones. Haha! Nevertheless, I went back to the Philippines full of awesome memories and definitely I’ll be back soon for more. Mata ne’!