Sunday, October 9, 2011

Uminonakamichi Koen

(You are warned, this is very long, lots of photos!)

Today was fantastic!!  Some of the Japanese tutors took us to Uminonaka Koen.  It was an amaaaaazing park surrounded by the ocean.  I stole this photo from the Internet (don’t kill me) as you have to see how gorgeous this area is.  Wow!  Please click this photo so you can see the original size.  Notice the ferris wheel on the left side, this will come up later, but I’m pointing it out now to give some perspective.

Uminonaka Park

This is the map of the park grounds.  You can also get an idea of the layout of the peninsula. 

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Tash and Mayu being sheepish.  Very charming.

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So…Fukuoka has the biggest spiders ever!  Ok, maybe not ever, but bigger than I’m used to.  And they are everywhere!  YUCK.  This sucker was about 2 inches long from leg to leg.  /shudder

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We first went to the zoo section of the park.  Technically it was called the Zoological Garden on the map.  It was filled with amazing animals, and you could walk around with a lot of them.  Very zoological.  As opposed to zoo-illogical…?  Hm…

This handsome fellow was less than thrilled.  Also, all the animals had their own name tags, very cute.

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This was one of the three monkey islands in the Zoological Garden area.  Three!  They were truly amazing and disgustingly cute.  I could have stayed and watched the monkeys all day.

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Ugh, look at that curly tail!  So cute it just makes me want to jfkjdflsdakdfj@#@!?.

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We then came upon the “petting zoo” area.  The kids could ride these ponies, but only if sporting a cowboy hat and scarf.  Very western, and cute, of course.

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This little boy was definitely enjoying giving this piggy a tummy rub.  Well it was more a tummy smack, but I’m sure his tiny hands didn’t do much harm.  Very cute.

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Now you may be wondering, what are there adorable children waiting for in their bright orange aprons?

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Guinea Pigs!!  The littlest girl in the pink hat eventually started crying.  She wasn’t too thrilled with her guinea pig.  He didn’t seem to mind though.

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Then we came upon monkey island number two.  This was my favourite of the monkey islands.  CAN YOU BELIEVE HOW CUTE THESE ARE?!  Seriously.  I almost died of cute overload at this point.  After today, I am fully convinced that all things cute originate and cluster in Japan.  This whole country is unbelievably cute. 

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They were drinking water with their little hands.  SO CUTE.

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And on to the goats.  I couldn’t tell if this guy was sleepy or giving me the winky winky eye.  I liked his loner style though.

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Check out their sweet beards.  Very beardy.

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These guys were very neat!  What are they??  They looked like a cross between a rabbit and a dear.  A dabbit?  A rabear?

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He was definitely striking a pose.

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And then the kangaroos.  Can you believe this guy?  Just laying around…awww he thinks he’s people.

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Is it me or do they appear permanently annoyed?

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This one is for Hugh.  Sorry, I couldn’t get the camera to focus properly due to the cage.  Silly point-and-shoots. 

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And these photos are for me!  Yes, I love tiny dogs.  Go on, hate me.  But look at how cute they are!  Also please note the ruffled blue and white striped dress cute puppy on the far right is sporting.  We were able to enjoy sitting near these dogs while we had our lunch.  I really wanted to steal one.

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The tiny black guy on the right was my favourite.  The one on the left I called Scrappy.  He was really into putting on a show by kicking up dirt with his hind paws.

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And now for a bathroom shot.  I just got a kick out of this child seat.  It was in the stall with the toilet I used.  I thought it was pretty clever.  Perhaps I just don’t get out much.

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And now onto the flower garden.  Another wow.  This was breathtaking!  I couldn’t choose which photos to post therefore you are stuck with quite a few.  This was one of my favourite parts of the park.

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These were very cool.

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So you can see how gianormous they were.

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Yay for flowers!

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Now on to the amusement area.  These giant inflatable rolly-on-water thingers looked very fun!  They had multiple children inside for extra excitement.

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And the amazing ferris wheel!  It went super slow so they could continuously load new passengers on as the cars passed underneath.  Clever.

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Proof that I actually went on this ride.  It was extremely tall, and a bit scary actually.  But the view was incredible!

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I was trying to get a good shot of the surrounding ocean, but it’s hard to see in the photos.

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The other half of our group.  Hello!

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View of another flower park.  See the rabbit?

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New addition to my family….Sheepy-chan.  I couldn’t resist her, so she came home with me, and is now watching my while I type up this blog.  I suppose that could sound creepy if she wasn’t just do darn cute!  I would like to note that the tag she came with just had the word CUTE on it in rainbow letters.  Seriously.

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And now for the highlight of the day.  NARUTO.  These cosplayers were doing a photo shoot in the park and were kind enough to let us wacky gaijin (foreigners) take photos with them.  Can you tell how excited I was?  Oh yeah, super dorky.

*EDIT* Being reminded that these folks didn’t want photos posted, I have just altered it so you can’t tell who it is.  Sorry!  If you want to see the real one you’ll have to come visit me.  Or wait until I’m back home.

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And this concludes an amazing day!  Thank you to all the wonderful tutors that treated us to an unforgettable time.  I hope to go back again sometime and explore the rest of the park that we didn’t see.  Admission was free today, but apparently it’s only 400yen normally, and it’s not far to ride our bikes there from the dormitory.  And then you can bike around the park!  It’s huge so that idea sounds pretty good.

Speaking of bikes…I guess I should show you my sweet ride.

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And since almost all the students have purchased the same bike, I have decorated mine to distinguish it from the others.  With polka-dot cupcake stickers, of course. :3

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And as it seems every time I post these blog entries, it’s now dinner time!  So that’s it for now, folks.  I have a couple food photos I want to post, but will wait until I collect a few more interesting food items to share.

Until then….


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