Unagi no Seiromushi – Steamed Eel Rice

If you like unagi-don, then you must try this steamed eel rice, one of Yanagawa’s specialty cuisines, when visiting Fukuoka.


Yanagawa is about 1.5 hours train ride from Hakata, making it perfect for a day trip. There were two reasons why I put Yanagawa in our itinerary: one was the boat ride through the canals, and the other is the local speciality steamed unagi (eel) rice. After our 70 minutes boat ride, we were eager to eat some delicious eel rice for lunch!

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Aoyagi – A Traditional Japanese Restaurant in Kumamoto

We got to experience Japanese hospitality in this long-established restaurant.

Aoyagi (青柳) is a well known and popular restaurant opened in 1949 that specializes in Kumamoto cuisine using fresh seasonal ingredients. What is unique about this restaurant is that they recreate Edo period dishes based on a book called Kumamoto Retainers’ Book of Recipes. On top of that, you can try this ancient noble’s meal inside the famous landmark, Kumamoto Castle. Unfortunately, the castle is closed off due to damages from an earthquake in 2016. A little disappointed that we weren’t able to eat at such a unique location, we decided to visit the restaurant as it is still a great choice to try the regional cuisine.

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A Glimpse of Hanami – The Tradition of Flower Viewing

We joined the locals to see beautiful Sakura trees at Maizuru Park in Hakata, Fukuoka

Let me start off by saying that I’m not a flower person. While I acknowledge that flowers are beautiful and occasionally get swooned by creative floral designs, I’m not one to buy flowers for decorations nor like to receive them as gifts. However, when you happen to visit Japan during Sakura (cherry blossom) season, it’s hard not to admire with them. Continue reading “A Glimpse of Hanami – The Tradition of Flower Viewing”

The Best of Northern Kyushu, Japan: Trip Highlights

Top 6 things we enjoyed doing in Kyushu!

We just came back from a trip to Japan’s third largest island! During our 12-day, self-guided tour around the northern areas of Kyushu, we’ve set foot in over 13 cities, rode on a mini cruise, visited local markets, soaked in hot springs, sat in a designer train and ate lots of delicious Japanese food. Take a look at what we thought were the best part of our trip to Northern Kyushu:

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