Anyway, let me just finish the Sasebo recap.
After our cruise, we headed to the Kujukushima aquarium, which was just right beside the port. I tend to have rather high expectations of aquariums thanks to the SEA aquarium (still my favourite), but my family and I were pleasantly surprised by this one!
By the way, there are discounts for people holding the 1 day bus pass and JR tickets, so you should definitely bring them along with you!
I'm not going to go through the whole aquarium, so here are the highlights: In the first room, there was a huge, huge tank with this:
|The turtle was pretty big too|
I also saw this purple lobster!! Why is it so purple?!
They also have a feeding area. 100 yen for a capsule of food, and the fishes do seem hungry enough.
And unlike the aquarium on my zemi trip, this one had dolphins! Playful, playful dolphins!
And this wasn't quite really a tunnel but it was still pretty cool.
By the way, if you're willing to fork out more money (I think about 600 yen) you can go PEARL HUNTING!!
Step 1: Pick an oyster
Step 2: Pry it open
Step 3: Find your pearl
Apparently, my pearl is blueish. And while the irritant that eventually becomes the pearl does affect the colour, it seems like experts don't really know exactly what determines the colour of a pearl.
Oh, and they pretty much guarantee you a pearl for this, so you won't open an empty oyster. (Unlike the first time I did the pearl hunting thing, in a totally different country. My whole family tried and not one of us got a pearl)
You will probably get splashed, which is why they distribute huge sheets of plastic beforehand. And it's also why I only have two photos, because I was pretty scared of getting my phone wet.
There's also a touch pool, and a pretty good English audio guide too. The guide is free to rent, and my brother absolutely loved it. They use this "researcher from the future" to teach you about the marine life, and there are quizzes where you have to shake the guide to find out the answer. If you're here, you should definitely get the guide.
And after hearing all about oysters and pearls, I started craving oysters! Luckily, this store sells grilled oysters:
It's 500 yen for 5, or 1000 yen for 10, which is definitely on the cheaper side. We got 5 and they were amazing! Fresh and juicy, I wish I had more room in my stomach!
If oysters aren't your thing, there's a restaurant called Lucky's which sells Sasebo burgers! My mom and I shared two burgers. This delicious one is a bacon and agg burger:
And this other delicious one is a steak burger:
The steak is my favourite because I'm a fan of steaks (I like bacon too, but you'd need a lot more bacon to compete with this), but both were really delicious. You probably can't go wrong ordering either of these.
The Pearl Sea Resort is a pretty good place to spend half a day or so. But the buses there and back are rather infrequent, so it might be a good idea to plan your trip around bus timings - we ended up waiting almost an hour because I read the time table wrong (you can get a time table from the tourism information center at Sasebo station).