Quit our jobs, sold our home, gone riding...

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by lightcycle, Aug 1, 2012.

  1. Turbo Ghost

    Turbo Ghost Been here awhile

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    The Hayabusa is well-known but, the Serow was Yamaha's source for the original name of the XT225 due the the nimble footing of the little critters!
  2. lightcycle

    lightcycle Nomad

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    That doesn't stop many people (and animals) from walking around the very pretty grounds and taking in the cherry blossoms

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    Neda in her element!

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    Shops and stalls outside Kumamoto Castle
    TwilightZone, mikegc, ross and 7 others like this.
  3. lightcycle

    lightcycle Nomad

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  4. lightcycle

    lightcycle Nomad

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    Kumamoto Castle through the cherry blossoms

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    Back outside in the city, we walk along the moat surrounding the castle grounds
    Vrode, ross, B10Dave and 5 others like this.
  5. Spicciani2

    Spicciani2 Been here awhile

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    "Us" or just you? we can see Neda, is still looking fine...
    danh600, ross, DunkingBird and 2 others like this.
  6. lightcycle

    lightcycle Nomad

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    B10Dave, Spicciani2, MrMac and 5 others like this.
  7. lightcycle

    lightcycle Nomad

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    It's lunch hour and people stream out from the office buildings nearby

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    This is Hanami!

    Hanami is defined as the "Japanese traditional custom of enjoying the transient beauty of cherry blossoms". It is a national past-time during the early spring, where you grab a bento box, find a cherry blossom tree and sit underneath and enjoy your food and the view. If I could draw a parallel, it's as traditional as an American going to a baseball game and having hotdogs and beer.

    There's a funny saying around Hanami: "hana yori dango". It means "dumplings rather than flowers" and pokes fun at people who enjoy the eating of the meal more than sitting and admiring the cherry blossoms.

    That would be me. If I went to a baseball game, it would totally be for the hotdogs and beer...

    And the briefness of cherry-blossom season is about as short as the Maple Leafs playoff schedule. I don't know anything about baseball. Did I say that right?
    MadRider777, B10Dave, Vrode and 9 others like this.
  8. Cheftyler

    Cheftyler Adventurer

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    :drums:(
    gpfan likes this.
  9. lightcycle

    lightcycle Nomad

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    Strolling along the moat surrounding Kumamoto Castle amongst the cherry blossoms

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    Taking pictures of cherry blossoms is also a national past-time. Just like scarfing down dumplings,
    it's an activity that I can totally get on board with as well!

    We walk back to our bikes to see which one of them got towed. :)

    To our surprise they were both still there! Either two-wheelers get overlooked for parking violations or the Japanese just don't think anyone would willfully break the law like that...

    No matter, we head out of Kumamoto in the late afternoon to try to beat the big city rush hour. We're only a little bit successful. Although the GPS says it's only another hour or so to get to our next stop, we arrive in Aso just as the sun begins to set. We are starving and can't find a restaurant that's open.
    B10Dave, Vrode, thwak and 8 others like this.
  10. dtysdalx2

    dtysdalx2 Knowledge is horsepower

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    Nice photos! :bow
  11. lightcycle

    lightcycle Nomad

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    After riding around a bit, we find this very small family-run restaurant

    The lady that runs it is very nice, but she doesn't speak any English at all, which we're totally used to by now. I don't think we even ordered anything, we just sat down and did a bit of sign language to indicate we were hungry and then these plates appeared in front of us after a little while. It was very tasty: grilled beef with rice and miso soup. I love Japanese food!

    Good thing we know the Japanese word for Asahi beer. It's "Asahi"... :)

    After dinner, we try to find our guest house in the dark, navigating through very narrow streets of the tiny community by headlight only. The housekeeper lets us in and shows us to our room:

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    To our delight, it's a tatami room!

    Finally after almost a month in Japan, we are able to see some cherry blossoms for Neda. Had some great food today and we're sleeping in a cool tatami room tonight. What an experience! We are loving Japan!
  12. gpfan

    gpfan a mari usque ad mare

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    If you get a chance:

    http://www.bbc.com/travel/story/20191202-is-this-japans-most-perfect-ramen
    DunkingBird likes this.