The Keroro Tram

This post is about Kumamoto where I live again.   In Kumamoto city, the tram cars run around downtown.    I sometimes see a tram painted colorfully.   The other day, when I was driving my car,  the Keroro tram passed by me.   Have you heard  “Sgt. Frog” (Keroro Gunso)?    It is a popular cartoon in Japan.     Check out Wiki.    This comic artist grew up in Kumamoto.

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Here is another Keroro tram.    I watched Sgt.Frog on TV for the first time when I traveled to Hong Kong.   He seems to be popular even overseas.

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In the tram, Keroro announces the next stop.   His voice is very cute.

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Forest Bathing

As I wrote in the last post, I climbed Mount Kimpo in June.    In fact, I also went to a river last month.   My daughter wanted to go somewhere richly endowed with nature.   So we decided to go to Kikuchi Keikoku where it takes one hour drive from my house.

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Kikuchi Keikoku is located close to Mount Aso area in Kumamoto, Japan.     There is rich nature there.   You can enjoy forest bathing,  which means spending some time in a forest for the health benefits such as relaxation.    It is famous for a good spot to play with water in summer.  You can walk in the shallow stream.    In fall,  many people come to see the autumn foliage.

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The water is very cold and clear.   There are several springs, which create the stream.

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I think these pictures can’t convey the atmosphere to you enough without the sound of the stream.    I should have brought a video camera.    Instead, I link a YouTube video.

Mountain Climbing

Have you heard of Yuichiro Miura?   He is a famous skier and mountaineer in Japan.   In May, he successfully reached the summit of Mount  Everest (8,848 meters) at the age of 80.  To read his amazing story, please click here. Mail Online    The news of his accomplishment inspired me.   I climbed a mountain twice last month, but the mountain I chose was Mount Kimpo near my house which is only 665 meters above sea level.   I also drove  halfway up of the mountain. lol  There was  beautiful scenery of terraced rice paddies along steep hills at the base of the mountain.

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Hydrangeas are a typical flower in the rainy season, June.  They were blooming beautifully.

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Why don’t you listen to the birds singing while you read?   I recorded the melody of the little cuckoo and bush warbler.

After parking my car, the picture below is the place where I started climbing. There were two course: the easy and the hard trail.  Of course, I chose the easy one, but it was still a little hard for me. The distance to the peak was only 1.3 km though.

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I enjoyed being immersed in nature.  The cool breeze was comfortable.

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The trail was steep, stony and slippery.

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I took a little break.  A whole view of Kumamoto city and  the Ariake Sea can be seen from the mountain.

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Finally, it took about 45 minutes to reach the summit.    There was a shrine at the top.

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By the way, I came across an interesting creature on the trail.  At first, I thought it was a blue rubber hose, but then it moved!