Kyushu Trip Part 3: Fujimoto Onsen

      Ryokan Fujimoto, Aso Onsen We arrived at our second lodge.  Our most favorite Onsen, Fujimoto. Ryokan Fujimoto     Fujimoto has only 8 rooms.  It’s a small ryokan.  That’s one of the reasons we like about it.  Kurokawa Onsen is a great place with lots of different Onsen spas and the whole village itself is like a heritage.  But sometimes it can be too much tourism. Fujimoto is always private.  You go bathe in the onsen for so many times and hardly see or hear other people.   They recently renovate all their 8 rooms.   Very comfortable modern Japanese design.           We liked […]

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Kyushu Trip Part 2: Kurokawa Onsen

  Our first lodge was Ikoi Ryokan in Kurokawa Onsen, Kumamoto.  About 2-hour drive from Fukuoka.   Ikoi Ryokan, Kurokawa Onsen   Ikoi Ryokan is a pretty lodge with a dozen of onsen baths of different tastes. Ikoi Ryokan, Kurokawa Onsen   The arctic cold air mass was pushing down for the last time of the season.  It was getting chilly.  Just the way we would like it.  You don’t get this kind of chill in Okinawa.   Walking up the hill to one of private onsen baths.   All the onsen baths here are flow-through.  The onsen spring source is at 68C degrees and they let the water flow through […]

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Kyushu Trip Part 1: Fukuoka

  It was March.  We had the craving again to go to a cold place and bathe in onsen. I grabbed a sales with Peach Aviation and got a JPY12000 round trip to Fukuoka.   Arrived in the morning.  We hurried to our favorite breakfast.   Uogashi, Fukuoka   Uogashi is located in Nagahama Fish Market Building.   This place is a high-class restaurant for expensive dinner.  But they provide very cheap, super fish plate for breakfast and lunch.   Saba (mackerel) sashimi and teri braized Mackerel.  This is JPY1080.   Goma Saba.  This is Fukuoka special.  Mackerel sashimi with sesami powder with sweet Kyushu soy sauce.   This is light-roasted Sardine on […]

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Hawaii Big Island | East Coast

We finally came down to our final episode of our vacation on the west coast. Kona district, the dry, sunny side of the island. It’s amazing the big island has all the climates. From this sunny dry heat of the West, wet jungle of the East, cool grassy area of the North, and freezing high land of the Middle.     Seafood Bar and Grill, Kawaihae   This is a restaurant that the ranch owner recommended us. He described it as “not a fancy restaurant, but good food that locals love.”  That sounds like what we were wanting to hear.  But we were not really hungry, so we just dropped […]

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Hawaii Big Island | North Coast

Our exploration continued to the north part of the island.   We stayed at a vacation rental in a beautiful ranch near Waimea. Yuyu loves horses.  That is why we chose this place.  And right after the gate, we were greeted by a dozen of horses.  You could never imagine such encounter in Japan.  A dozen of horses, free on the lawn, coming to greet us on their own will.   She is in heaven.   It was a nice place with lots of space.   We were cooking grass-fed filet mignon we bought in Whole Foods in Honolulu.   We are having it with Papaya sauce.   Along with the […]

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Hawaii Big Island | West Coast

We landed on Oahu on August 31 on our way to our 1-week holidays on the big island of Hawaii.   YuYu has wanted to visit the big island for a long time, and here we are in Hilo, greeted by a full rainbow.  Looking good ahead.  A double typhoons were on the way but we didn’t believe that it would bother us.   A beautil tunnel of trees on Puna coast.   Snorkeling in the tide pool in Kapoho.   Warm pond where hot spring meets the ocean water.   We planned to stay in some vacation rentals.  To be honest, we didn’t expect much from restaurants in Hawaii first.  It’s […]

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Kyushu Trip Day 3: Fujimoto Onsen Spa

Fujimoto is a traditional Japanese Onsen spa, located a little off of famous Kurokawa Onsen.  We just love this place for many qualities and this is our third visit. Just see some photos of this beautiful spa.   They got only 8 rooms.  We’ve got a Japanese style room, but some rooms have beds. The rates depend on the seasons and dates, but it’s about JPY20,000 per night per person, including dinner, breakfast and of course Onsen.  We can’t afford to stay for several days, but we find it worth to travel all the way and stay even just for 1 day.   Ohagi for complimentary sweet. We go straight to Onsen […]

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Kyushu Trip Day 2: Fish, Soba in Kumamoto

We stayed a night in Fukuoka. Today we were renting a car and heading out to Kurokawa Onsen in Kumamoto. But first, we need to fill up.   Hakata Uogashi, on the 1st floor of fish market building.   This is my kind of restaurant!  Fresh fish in simple cooking for cheap price.   Sashimi Bowl, JPY980.   Breakfast of the day, JPY650!!! 2 breaded sardines and teri braised yellowtail.   The yellowtail was so juicy.   Grilled yellowtail.  JPY650!  This was a big fillet!   2 big sardines.  Simply grilled with salt.  JPY760! This kind of grilled fish like sardines and mackerels used to be so common for Japanese everyday meals before our […]

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Kyushu Trip Day 1: Sushi, Ramen, Street Stall in Fukuoka

Fukuoka has become one of our favorite get-away places since this LCC started flying out of Okinawa.  By getting the promotional rate, we bought the round trip for JPY14000 each this time.   Tatsumi Sushi. We came here 4 years ago.  Loved the quality and the price.   We love eating at the counter.  But we were a group of 4 this time and they have assigned a room for us on the 2nd floor.     A nice room with privacy.   Lunch course is available at JPY2900, JPY3900, JPY5200.  We chose JPY3900 course.   Starting with steamed egg pudding.  Based on very flavorful chicken broth.   A little salad.   Gari, pickled […]

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Day 3 in Taipei, Taiwan, Dec 2015

This is the dinner on Day 2. We took our challenge to try this restaurant for the first time.   Jen Dow vegetarian restaurant = 蓮香齋 = Jen Dow is the oldest, and the leading veggie restaurant in Taiwan with over 30 years of history. It’s a gigantic buffet.  All vegetarian food. No meat.  No fish.   Not even garlic, chinese chive or scallions with such sharp strong stimulations.  So Buddism monks can eat out here.  As a matter of fact, we did see some monks dining at the buffet.   We wanted to see how they cook all the foods with such limitations.   The place was huge!!!  A […]

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Day 2 in Taipei, Taiwan, Dec 2015

Starting out Day 2! We have no business to do today.  Full day for fun. When we come to Taiwan, we hardly have breakfast at hotel.  There are so many breakfast places around town to try.  When our hotel has breakfast buffet, we just take coffee and fruits. We wanted to go to one of our favorite Doujian places.  Xian Doujian is a common breakfast.  It’s salty soy milk.  With a little vinegar in it, the soy milk becomes half solid, fluffy texture.   We went to Fuhang Soy Milk = 阜杭豆漿 =   It was Sunday, at 9:00.  OMG, what a long line, all around the building.  It could be 1-hour wait.  We […]

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Day 1 in Taipei, Taiwan, Dec 2015

It has been 6 months since the last we were here. And we are happy to be back in Taiwan!!! The picture is the prepaid card for Taipei subways by the way. Let’s go eat! Straight from the airport, down the narrow backstreet of Taipei. YuYu is leading the way.  She is a master of “Eat Till You Drop” tours in Taipei.   Fu Ba wang = 富覇王豬脚極品餐庁 =   It was Saturday at 12:00.  The place was packed with people. There were 2 lines.  1 for eat-in, 1 for takeout.  It was a long line but the place was wheeling.  It was less than 10 minute wait.   Very decently priced […]

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