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February 27, 2014

Saga and Nagasaki Roadtrip

My big brother came to visit with a friend from NZ who was travelling in Japan. My brother works in Tokyo, so it's always great when he can come down to Fukuoka on a weekend trip. We rented a car and travelled around Fukuoka's coastline through Karatsu to Takeo on day one, and to the Nagasaki Biopark on day two. That's where we met capybara - a dream come true.

Even though it's winter, we wanted to show our guests the scenic coastline of Itoshima. A chilly wind whipping off the ocean kept us from watching the waves for too long, but long enough for my brother to get some good photos.

Nijinomatsubara, Saga
Along the way to Takeo you can take the wonderful route of Nijinomatsubara (literally Rainbow Pine Grove). There's approximately 5km2 of Japanese pine forest, planted in the 17th century as a windbreak. It's spooky and beautiful.

Takeo, Saga
We made it to Takeo Onsen Town and checked into our accommodation for the night - a two storey log cabin with a private rotenburo (open-air onsen). What more could you ask for?

The next morning we decided to visit the wonderful Takeo City Library. One of my very favourite places. Outside the library the plum blossoms were starting to bloom. (We also tested this year's Sakura Frappucino from the Starbucks inside the library!)

Nagasaki Biopark
This is the place where all of your capybara dreams come true! The Biopark is the most humane version of a zoo I've seen in Japan. The animals aren't in cages, they live in environments that mirror natural habitats. This means you can get up close to lots of cool animals: llamas, butterflies, monkeys, pigs, kangaroos, and capybaras. Feed the capybaras, pat them, watch them bathe in the onsen.

And so came an end to our road trip - too short as always!

1 comment:

  1. wonderful! I would like to visit this place once as well!