Sights to see around Kitakyushu, Japan

Some of you might know that I once lived in Japan for three years. That was in the early to mid-1990s. Besides having many fond memories and souvenirs of all kinds (including our son, who was born there), I also have some good friends there.

My friend, Yoshiko Harada, sent me these lovely photos today, and so the credits for the following photos go to her .

She attended the 6th Oktoberfest (held in April and May) in Kitakyushu earlier in the day. The timing for this month-long event is perfect: spring temperatures are very pleasant in Japan, and the rainy season is till a few weeks away.

Where: Fukuoka Prefecture, Kitakyushu City, Kokura Kita-ku, Jyonai, Katsuyama Park
When: 4th of April until the 8th of May
Opening times: 11:00am until 21:00pm

Prost! (German) Kampai! (Japanese)

Oktoberfest Kokura Kita-ku, Jyonai, Katsuyama Park

For more natural beauty around Kitakyushu, visit the Kawachi Wisteria Gardens (Wisteria is ‘Fuji’ in Japanese).
Tickets for the Fuji Garden can be bought at 7-Eleven or Family Mart stores.

Kawachi Fuji Gardens in Kitakyushu

Visit https://kawachi-fujien.com/ for more information.

Last, but not least, there is the Kokura Castle. I don’t think I have ever seen in such beautiful darkness.

Kokura Castle in Kitakyushu

Restaurant Pub and Spare Ribs at ‘Zum Adler’ in Oberursel

We have been regulars at this restaurant pub for the past 24 years. One of our friends took us there back in 1995, when we had just moved here from Japan. Back then, the Bratwurst (fried sausage in a bread roll) was still DM 2, which was about one Euro. We always liked their Biergarten, and the pub itself still has the same table, where the famous Red Baron used to have its sun downer – right here in Oberursel!

The photo shows the side entrance, which takes you directly into the Biergarten.

As our life changed over the years, we had not been back there for a while. Then it changed ownership a little while back, and we tried their new Greek cuisine (they also serve tradition German dishes), and it was good.

Yesterday, we decided to have spare ribs (another friend’s recommendation). This was really good, and so was the service. The only thing that surprised us was being the only customers in the Biergarten on a Saturday evening. We got there by about 6:30 and when we left at about 8:10, we were still the only customers there.

This type of restaurant pub is usually called in German:

1) Gaststätte, 2) Gasthof, or 3) Gasthaus. ‘Gast’ means guest, and these places usually had rooms to let upstairs. But the days of the Wandergesellen (journey men), who boarded there while traveling and looking for work, have long dwindled since then. All that remains for most of these Gasthäuser is the restaurant pub.

A Winter Day in Oberursel

In late January, I had the chance to visit the old part of town in snowy weather. My walk took me from the market square through the Strackgasse, and then back to the U-Bahn station.

Oberursel Market Square

At the market square, next to the restaurant Marktweib, you find one of the 40+ fountains of Oberursel.

This must be one of the most photographed views of Oberursel.

Oberursel and St. Ursula Church

The Strackgasse, leading from the market square back into the Vorstadt (commercial area), was rather quiet on that Wednesday morning around 10 o’clock.

Strackgasse in Oberursel

The half-timbered houses (German: das Fachwerkhaus) are maintained in very good condition.

Strackgasse in Oberursel

When we first arrived in Oberursel in 1995, we were meant to stay for two years… 24 years later, we are happy to stay longer.

Three November Days in Thessaloniki, Greece

In late November, I spent three days in Thessaloniki, having booked in at the Superior One Boutique Hotel. The Hotel is very modern (compared to its surroundings), has very spacious rooms and bathrooms, and is in a great location. Being the Black Friday weekend, it was a busy time of year. If you are sensitive to noise, then ask for a room not facing the street. I myself had no problems, but traffic was definitely noisy.

I took this photo from one of the two balconies of my room.

Ionos Dragoumi Street

We had arrived in the late afternoon, and walked to the sea shore to see the sun setting.

It was a fairly short walk (1.6km) from the hotel to the White Tower. When you get there, be prepared to get hassled by mobile phone and perfume vendors scouring for easy-to-spot tourists.

In late November, they still offer some short boat trips from the White Tower towards the sea port and back again. The boat tickets are € 3, and a beverage service is also offered on board.

The photo actually shows a sail boat on tour, which we only watched from a seaside café.

Most places had out-door heaters running in the evening (daytime temp was around 15°C) for the many people who still want to eat outside.

Then there is also the heat from within, when you order a glass of ouzo. 🙂

Most traditional taverns, which serve the best local food, are located – as usual – in the little side streets. Around the Aristotelous Square, you find mostly cafés, fusion food restaurants, and many stores.

21 Amazing Places in Germany

​This is a comprehensive collection of unusual places to visit around Germany. I haven’t been to a single one.

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