Wednesday, 15 March 2017

We Tried the Recommended Sasebo Walking Route

Since my sister is here and I'm not familiar with the area, we decided to explore Sasebo using a map. There was a guidebook, and they gave this "model course" for Sasebo city:


If you can't see it, the course goes like this: Sasebo station → Tunnel Yokocho Arcade →  Hario Market → Sasebo Bridge → Former Sasebo Navy Station (Sasebo Culture Hall) →  MSDF Sasebo History Museum (Sail Tower) →  Main Gate, US Naval Base →  Sasebo Park → Kukken Plaza

We started out with a slight detour to Miura Catholic Church, which is on the way to Tunnel Yokocho Market. I didn't take any photos here, but it's possible to just admire it as you pass by. There is a small explanation of the Church so if you're interested, you should climb up the steps.

The official first stop was Tunnel Yokocho Arcade and Hario Market (I know they're separate places, but they're so close they might as well be one). We kind of entered from the wrong entrance and got a little confused, but it's basically a wet market. We did find a store that sold really good (but cold) chicken that we considered buying back.

I just realised my sister (who took the photo) didn't get to
take the store name, but the phone number if there if you ever need to find them!
Personally, if you're staying in a hotel near Sasebo, it may be a good idea to just come here before lunch/dinner/breakfast and just buy some food to bring back to wherever you're staying. As a place for just wandering around... we finished in about 5 minutes.

From the markets, we made our way to Sasebo Bridge with the help of map. Google Maps turned out to be useless because it turned up 0 results for "Sasebo Bridge". But when we got there...


This is my sister looking unimpressed with the bridge, and I felt hte same way. It's not a bad bridge - the lamps are rather pretty, but I wouldn't make a trip just to see this.

Luckily for us, this is on the way to two other stops so we carried on.


We didn't go into the Former Sasebo Navy Station but it was rather pretty, I guess.


Luckily, entrance to Sail Tower (which was along the same road as the Former Sasebo Navy Station) was free so we decided to go in. There are only two places where you can take photos: this photo corner at the first floor


And the scenary at the seventh floor.


The seventh floor has a mini theatre, but the videos are pretty long (I think over 40 minutes) so we just watched the later half and left. It's basically about the current Japanese marine self-defence force. The rest of the floors was about the history and development of Japan's navy, and unlike many of the museums I've seen, there are English explanations for many (perhaps 80-90%) of the exhibits. Unfortunately, videos are not included, but it is possible to come here without knowing any Japanese whatsoever.

By the time that we were done, it was time for lunch and we decided to try some Sasebo Burgers! The guidebook had a very vague dot near Sail Tower, but we soon found a shop:


Actually, there were two shops so we just picked one at random. Log Kit is over the top American and it's rather endearing.


We decided to order the original Sasebo burgers on the advice of the cashier. And don't worry, there are vegetables in it, but my sister and I aren't fans of raw lettuce in burgers so we asked to have them removed.


These burgers are HUGE (the size of my sister's face!) and really good! And rather messy to eat, if I'm being honest. If you're a small eater, you might want to just get one burger and split it in half. It took a lot for me to finish mine, and my sister gave up after eating 2/3 of the burger.


We also got the twister fries and onion rings! The twister fries had a seasoning that my sister called "strange but addictive" and after thinking about it, we agreed that it tasted like Carl's Junior's chili cheese fries. The onion rings were very sweet, but once they cooled down, the oily taste was very strong. So you should definitely finish these while they're hot.

The next stop after lunch should have been the main gate of the US navy base, but my sister and I weren't really interested in looking at a gate, so we just skiped that. Instead, we headed to Sasebo Park which is spacious and a good place to just chill out in good weather.

We also saw the Albuquerque Bridge and that was a little bit more interesting than Sasebo Bridge:


We ended by walking back to the station via Yonkacho, and we came across this group of school children trying to raise money to go to a baseball tournament.


My sister just about melted, and she couldn't hold it in when they took off their caps to say thank you to her after she made a little donation. I think I've found her kryptonite.

The overall verdict? It's not a bad walking route, since we got to see Sasebo, but some of the stops were less than impressive. But if you're interested in the navy or you like Sasebo burgers and plan to head to general area of Sail Tower, there's no harm in following the route and taking in a few sites.

P.s. We saw this street that had sakura trees that hadn't bloomed so I added in the flowers for you.


P.p.s. I found a tree that was actually blooming (not sure if it's sakura or not because I wasn't paying much attention) so I also took this picture for you.


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