Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Kagoshima Trip Part 1: Shirokuma

As you can tell from the last post about fireworks, I had guests staying over! They were here till Sunday (Happy SG50!), and we went to Kagoshima once my exams were over. It was a pretty good way to destress, and yay, my first trip to Kagoshima!

We took an afternoon bus from Hakata, arriving in Kagoshima around six plus. While the trams were still running, the city tour bus wasn't, and anyway, we were rather tired. So, for the first night, we basically went looking for dinner. And when I say dinner, I mean sweets (for me). I was so full from lunch, and sitting on a bus didn't make me hungry. So instead of eating a proper meal, I went to eat Shirokuma:


We were basically walking around Tenmonkan when we found this cafe. All I knew about Shirokuma before this was that there's an ice-cream bar with the name. And since one of my friend likes it quite a lot, and we weren't that hungry, we decided to eat here.


Unlike the Moomin cafe, the place wasn't filled with stuffed toys featuring Shirokuma. Sure, you can buy the goods, but they aren't on display. There is, however, a two page spread dedicated to the various types of Shirokuma you can get.

There is more than one? 
 Since I'm not familiar with Shirokuma, I decided to just get the baby size of the classic version.

Can you see a white bear? Because I can't. Ok, just the eyes and nose. 
 The baby size was pretty big. Or at least, it seemed that way to me. It was really delicious though! It's basically kakigoori with fruits and jelly (so, ice-kacang), but I think the ice is made with condensed milk, because every bite was flavourful. Totally no regrets getting this.

The bear! How do you drink this? 
 By the way, the Tenmonkan, where the cafe is located, reminds me a bit of Nakasukawabata. Just look at how the place looks!


The shops are a lot more "modern" though. At least, the clothes shops that were open seemed that way. And it's a lot bigger, I remember a stretch which was basically pachinko (which was kind of like how that place in Kumamoto looked like - I don't remember the name though).

I even saw a capsule cafe.

I wonder if there even is food there. 
After we had our light dinner/dessert, we headed to the place where we were going to sleep. Because we're all poor students, we spent two nights in a manga/internet cafe. Good thing they had a "mat" option, so it was like a hard bed. And the door (on the left of the picture) could open up. We got the staff to unlock it, so that Sonya and I could watch over each others things if we need to leave to bath (there's a shower in the girl's only room, where we were located), get a drink (drinks are 'free') or a comic. 


The next morning, I had breakfast from a vending that caught my eye the night before: a crepe vending machine.


Basically, it came in a little glass bottle. I got the sweet potato flavour, and while it was good, it wasn't mind-blowingly excellent. I'm not sure why I have such high expectations from a vending machine though.

Ok, I should get back to work doing research and translating stuff. The next post will be about an actual tourist spot in Kagoshima - the samurai district in Chiran.

(Also, this is completely unrelated, but I read two books related to Japan recently - a ninja novel and a non-fiction about how Japan and South-Korea view themselves and others. Anyone interested in reading the review? Let me know)