Saturday, November 29, 2008

In Kyushu Part 6 - Album Update for BVSS

Phew. Talk about a whirlwind tour. I've just finished a pretty intense 5 day tour with BVSS and it was certainly packed coz our usual tour to Kyushu is 6 days long. To BVSS-ians, thanks for being pretty attentive and enthusiastic. I hope you have enjoyed the tour and especially the snow! Yep... you are the one and only group this season that has not only experienced snow but experienced snowing as well! I was really surprised and quite ecstatic for you guys when I saw the snow begin falling that day.

I've started uploading your photos. I will try to get it done by tomorrow night, but I might not be able to before I have to leave for Vietnam on Monday. To be honest, I'm pretty tired from the month-long stay in Kyushu, but I'm hoping I'll be rested in time for Monday's group.

Here's the link for BVSS photos.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

In Kyushu Part 5 - Skies over Kyushu

For some reason, I found that the skies over Kyushu were particularly beauiful the past week. I couldn't help but take a few pictures. Here are some of them.

Sky over Nagasaki. Not very well taken but it was breathtaking to see the rays of sunlight shining through the clouds. Taken at about 9am.
Picture taken when we were at Kyushu Ceramics Museum in Saga at about 12 noon.

This one was obviously taken at Kumamoto Castle. I loved the way the skies framed the castle. Taken at about 10am.
Another scene taken at the castle ground facing away from the castle (around 10am still).

Skies over Toen Junior High School at about 3.30pm.

We then made our way to Mt Aso and when we stopped at the Shirakawa Fountainhead, another awesome ray-through-cloud scene greeted us! This was around 3pm and it was drizzling slightly.

We went to Dazaifu and I caught this sky over the main gate of Dazaifu. (Taken around 3pm)

And finally, here's a pic of the sky as the sun was setting. Taken and San-do, the shopping street leading to Dazaifu at about 5pm.

In Kyushu Part 4 - Album Update for DSS

Another week, another group. So far, this is the group that has stayed the longest in Kyusu, 6 nights, as compared to the usual 5 nights. DSS has been the group with a couple of 'first's:

1st time I've led an all-girls group
1st time I've led a 6-night itinerary
1st time we have had a kimono-dress-up at a castle
1st time a school group has done so much shopping
1st time I almost went crazy trying to manage a group.... (joking, joking...)

To be frank, I was a little apprehensive about leading an all-girl group, but in the end, I must admit I did have a pretty good time. To DSS girls dropping by, hope you had as much fun as I did. I still wished you walked faster (you were really the slowest of all the groups I've led!!!) but we still managed to get where we needed to go. :)

Here's the link to the online album: LINK

As I always say... take care & stay in touch!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

In Kyushu Part 3 - Pics of new places I've visited

Since I have about 2 days in between groups, I decided to explore other parts of Fukuoka to see if there were new places I could add into the itinerary for future groups. Here are some pics of my exporation:

Took a train to the south of Hakata. Actually, it was a Shinkansen! Only cost me 290yen. But I was more surprised that the station at the end was actually a depot and there was a whole row of Shinkansen trains lined up. First time I've seen such a scene.

Was walking towards Dazaifu when I noticed a few small stalls. First was this really yummy sotong stall! I tried the second sotong stick from the right.. yummy!

I've been hungering for some good yakitori and what better way to satisfy that with some yakitori from a road side stall! Look at the gorgeous sticks of sinful meat.... I confess, I had two of the prok yakitoris... SHIOK.

Finally made my way to Dazaifu. It was really busy coz of the Sichi-go-san festival. Quite a pretty temple dedicated to the god of learning.

As it was Sichi-go-san festival, there were many children aged 7, 5 and 3 who were dressed in their traditional japanese outfits. Managed to sneak a pic of this little boy posing for a pic. I didn't dare to take more coz i didn't want to be seen to be walking around taking pics of small kids... just felt wrong somehow... :)

A few minutes' walk from Dazaifu Shrine is the Komyozenji Temple. It's a really serene and beautiful temple. Look at the trees with the zen patterns drawn in the sand surrounding it.

In the temple was a garden which can take your breath away. Look at the beautiful autumn colours!

Finally, I went hunting for the Kanzeonji Temple, a buddhist temple completed in 746AD. It wasn't easy to find and in start contrast to Dazaifu Shrine, there was no one visiting the temple. It was eeriely silent...

Saturday, November 15, 2008

In Kyushu Part 2 - Album Update for NTSS

Another week has passed. Must admit that I'm feeling a little drained after two groups. But it's been fun so far and I hope it carries on being fun.

To New Towners visiting this blog to download your pics, here's the LINK.

NTSS group was kinda strange. But strange in a fun kinda way. I think I took a little longer to warm up to the group but towards the end, I think it worked out fine. One thing which I am really amazed with is how NTSS brought the good weather together with them! Seriously... before you guys (& gals) came, it was kinda rainy and not-coldish. While you were here, it was sunny and cool (most of the time anyway...). And today, after you guys left, would you believe it started to get overcast?!! By about 2pm (Japan time), it started drizzling! I can't believe the good luck you had with the weather. I won't forget the beautiful scenary of the cloud cover over Ichinomiya City (where our hotel was).

OK... Two down... Two to go!

Sunday, November 09, 2008

In Kyushu - Album Update for WSSS

Yep, I'm back in Kyushu, this time for almost a month! Just finished the first group with WSSS and thankfully, I have 2 days before the arrival of the next group. This is a luxury compared to my June groups when I had no breaks between the three groups. Then, it was send one group off at 3rd floor, then go downstairs to pick up the next group. Phew. Still dunno how I survived that.

Anyway, to the WSSS-ians who have dropped by to take a look, I had a pretty fun time with your group. There were some pretty unforgettable characters and I hope you had a meaningful time in Kyushu (even though I know you wanted more shopping time....) I am slowly updating my album... realized there are over 700MB of pictures. I hope to get them up by tomorrow before I start on the next group on Monday.

Here's a direct link to the album: LINK

Please leave a comment in my cbox to let me know u dropped by and let's try to keep in touch. :)