What did I do on my vacation days?
It is time to have a vacation. Summer has reached its peak in Fukuoka. It is very hot and it is in high humidity. The hottest days are between July and August. The skin gets sticky easily with the muggy weather in the city. I feel like I am in the Philippines, a hot country. I really miss going to the beach. The good thing is there are good beaches in Japan. A few days ago, I got my paid vacation days and I spent it outside Fukuoka.
Beach is always associated with summer. So, on the first day, I went to Iki Island. It is one of the few places with beautiful beaches in Kyushu. The island is situated off the coast of Kyushu between Fukuoka and South Korea and is easily accessible by ferry from Fukuoka but the island belongs to Nagasaki prefecture. The other name of the island is Iki Archipelago.
Going to Iki Island by ferry
I went to Iki island by ferry. It took over 2 hours from Hakata port. It was worth to wait because I was amazed by what I saw. I thought I was in Cebu. The beach has long stretches of white sand and the water is very clear. And on top of that, it wasn’t crowded when I got there. I heard that it is very crowded in summer since students are on vacation. Anyway, I went swimming despite the super strong sunlight.
I’m sorry. I need a swim ring in order to float.
The next day, I traveled to Oita prefecture. Oita is very famous for onsens or hot springs. In fact, it has the most number of hot springs sources in the country. Anyone who comes from Oita recommends onsens and anyone who has been to Oita recommends the same thing. That’s how popular onsens are in Oita. However, I didn’t go to an onsen, unfortunately. I felt that hot spring isn’t good in summer. Instead, I went to African Safari Park in Beppu to see animals. I love animals and I love to see animals I haven’t seen yet.
The animals come to the Jungle bus to ask for food.
The park is a home of several African animals such as Tigers, lions, elephants, rhinoceros and many more. You can see them walking, playing and resting in their natural habitats. I had never seen those animals before. But the best thing is I was able to feed them by boarding a Jungle bus. The jungle bus went around the park where those animals were waiting to be fed. It was a very FUNTASTIC experience.
Feeding a lion
The monkey park
On the third day, I went to Takasakiyama Monkey Park, Beppu. The park is located at the base of Mount Takasaki. The mountain has a lot of monkeys that roam freely around its steep, forested slopes. We can get close to the monkeys or watch them as they run around, play or just sit in the sun and groom each other. However, it is important to note that monkeys can be aggressive if you stare into their eyes or touch them. So, eye to eye contact is prohibited because they might attack you if you do so. Interestingly, legend has it that you will be blessed with good luck if monkeys running up to the feeding grounds pass through between your legs. And I might be lucky because 5 monkeys did pass through me.
The Walrus is about to pop the balloon.
Another attraction I visited is the Oita Marine Palace Aquarium (Umitamago) which is located just opposite the monkey park. The aquarium has several animals including penguins, dolphin, seal, otter, and various fish. There are a number of performances in some places at certain times so it is advisable to check their timetables for performances. Among the best performances that I saw were the walrus and the dolphins. The Walrus show was so funny while the Dolphin show gave me an exciting and showery experience. I had to cover my myself when dolphins jumped off simultaneously in the water.
Three days might have been short but I had a great time. I spent it in places that were new to me and things that I love. Summer in Fukuoka is indeed hot but it is also good to go around or even going outside the prefecture and see the other beautiful things in Japan.