Nagasaki city harbour street drummers, arriving at the station by Shinkansen from Kagoshima, I was eagerly anticipating the history and subsequent recovery of this fascinating city on the west coast of Kyushu Island.
A great way to get around the city in Nagasaki, my hotel was only 200 meters from the station where all the trams stopped as well.
My favourite Nagasaki sign
It’s on billboards, the side of trains & trams, wonderful Japanese humour. 🙂
Kankō Maru was Japan’s first steam-powered warship, originally a Dutch warship named Soembing it was presented to Japan in 1854 and renamed Kankō Maru.
She was based at Tsukiji until she was sent to the scrapyard in 1876. This exact replica was built in the Netherlands in 1987, it has a crew of 14 and can carry up to 300 passengers.
A number of restaurants overlook the harbour, I enjoyed many ice cold beers with two Sydney guys I met on a tour to Battleship Island.
Nagasaki nature culture history
Here I am with Doug & Waz, not much culture but lots of tradition, we solved many of the world’s problems before finally having dinner at Gorm’s, a very nice Italian restaurant.
Hills overlooking Nagasaki
One one side of the city is the bay & the other side hills overlooking the city.
Let there be drums
On two occasions I was so lucky to see street performances by some amazing artists.
Nagasaki city harbour street drummers
Just a matter of being in the right place at the right time.
Nagasaki ferry terminal
I bought a ticket to Battleship Island.
The terminal itself looks like a ship with a huge funnel. 🙂
In front of the station
The tram stop was in front of Nagasaki station and my hotel was just around the corner.
Kagoshima Japanese seaside city on Kyushu Island, is the capital of Kagoshima Prefecture. It’s well known for Sakurajima, an active volcano that faces Kinko Bay. Once set on an isolated island, the volcano became connected to the Osumi Peninsula after an eruption in 1914.
A very interesting city
Lots to see & do, sadly the weather was not kind to me so I didn’t get to see as much as I would have liked.
Some very cute cars
Japan is a great country for producing interesting vehicles, here is a very cute example. It reminded me of the great little “drive yourself” cars I saw in Yokohama last year.
Helpful Docomo staff
I had some trouble with my sim card that I purchased in Tokyo, these lovely people at Docomo shop in Tenmonkan really went to a lot of trouble to help me out.
Hundreds of shops & restaurants in the Tenmonkan shopping arcade which has a roof to provide shade from the sun and also protection from the volcanic ash from Mount Sakurajima. There are retail stores, boutiques, & restaurants selling traditional Kagoshima food.
My hotel was only 10 minutes walk to lots of restaurants & the ferry terminal, a great location and a great room rate if you book through THIS LINK.
Japanese hotels have everything you need
The only thing to keep in mind is most of the budget hotels won’t let you check in until 3 or 4pm. So best to time your arrival around then.
Of course you can buy cold beer 24/7
Unlike the nanny states in Australia you can buy alcohol from vending machines in your hotel. 🙂
Or Bullet train as it is called in the west transports you from city to city at speeds up to 320 km per hour.
Here is a short video of the Bullet train.
The train is arriving at Hiroshima.
Looks like Sydney Opera House
Kagoshima City Aquarium Kinko Bay has a similar look to the Sydney Opera House. Not nearly as spectacular of course but certainly well worth a visit.
This guy is giving me the stare.
They are so sleek and sinister.
The active volcano dominates the skyline just a 4 kilometres across Kinko Bay.
Plumes of smoke, cracks of lighting and a flow of lava came bellowing out of Japan’s Mount Sakruajima in July 2016. Located in a scenic bay on the southern island of Kyushu, this 1,117 meter high volcano has been a sleeping giant for the past three years prior to this fiery spectacle. The incident took place at 12:02 am on Tuesday at the mountain’s Showa crater, which resulted in a 5,000 meter high column of ash – but officials say no fatalities have been reported. Credit to STACY LIBERATORE FOR DAILYMAIL.COM Read about it here.
Experts have voiced concerns about the volcanic activity on the Pacific Island, primarily that it could be completely wiped by one massive eruption in the next century – killing all of its some 127 million inhabitants.
Only 5 minutes walk from my hotel Kagoshima’s newest spot “Dolphin Port” opened along the Kinko Bay in April, 2005. Dolphin Port consists of restaurants and shops.
Mekkemon, Dolphin Port
Rated number 5 by TripAdvisorfrom 2921 restaurants in Kagoshima, this really was the best sushi train restaurant I have ever been to.
Kagomma Furusato Yataimura
There are 25 restaurants in this little village near the station, each one offers a variety of delicious dishes with ingredients from different areas of Kagoshima.
Overcast & raining
Except for my first day it was overcast & raining for the rest of my stay.
In the 3 weeks I was away there was only 3 or 4 days of rain.
Kagoshima Japanese seaside city
Plenty of lights at night.
That’s all for now
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Kagoshima City Aquarium Kinko Bay has a similar look to the Sydney Opera House. Not nearly as spectacular of course but certainly well worth a visit.
The whale shark is the largest of the fish species. The biggest confirmed individual had a length of 12.65 meters and a weight of around 21.5 ton.
Here is a video of the Whale Shark & others.
I’t’s so peaceful & relaxing watching these amazing fish swim lazily in circles around the huge pool.
Another big guy
I can’t remember how many years it has been since I was at an aquarium, it was a total pleasure visiting the aquarium at Kagoshima. Entry was 1500 Yen or $14 USD.
Another huge tank with a great variety of fish
The women in the photo gives you an idea of the size of the tank & the fish.
Jellyfish are the most efficient swimmers in the oceans. They use less energy to cover a given distance than any other ocean creature. Follow THIS LINKfor some great information.
Big body, small head.
The huge variety of marine life is quite amazing.
Hiding among the reeds
This little guy was only about 6 inches long.
Here are some starfish in the background
The starfish is not a fish. It’s an echinoderm, closely related to sea urchins and sand dollars.
There are some 2,000 species of sea star living in all the world’s oceans, from tropical habitats to the cold seafloor. The five-arm varieties are the most common, hence their name, but species with 10, 20, and even 40 arms exist.
They have bony, calcified skin, which protects them from most predators, and many wear striking colors that camouflage them or scare off potential attackers. Purely marine animals, there are no freshwater sea stars, and only a few live in brackish water.
Beyond their distinctive shape, sea stars are famous for their ability to regenerate limbs, and in some cases, entire bodies. They accomplish this by housing most or all of their vital organs in their arms. Some require the central body to be intact to regenerate, but a few species can grow an entirely new sea star just from a portion of a severed limb.
Most sea stars also have the remarkable ability to consume prey outside their bodies. Using tiny, suction-cupped tube feet, they pry open clams or oysters, and their sack-like cardiac stomach emerges from their mouth and oozes inside the shell. The stomach then envelops the prey to digest it, and finally withdraws back into the body. Credit National Geographic.
Here is another video, great shots of sharks swimming.
These sharks are absolutely fascinating creatures, so streamlined & graceful.
My hotel is only 10 minutes walk to the aquarium, a great location and a great room rate if you book through THIS LINK.
Now for some more sashimi 🙂
Another beautiful looking creature.
Deep sea worms
Despite being an inland bay, Kinko Bay reaches depths of more than 200 meters, making it home to deep see marine life as well. Additionally, a new species of tube worm, or Lamellibrachia Satsuma, can be found on the sea floor at depths of around 90 meters in the upper bay. Research has shown that this unique population is supported by underwater volcanic vents from Mt. Sakurajima that spew hydrogen sulfide from the sea floor.
A few small fish among the coral
The coral itself makes a beautiful display.
You have seen the worms, now how about a sea snake?
Snakes are one of the things I have always been afraid of. Gowing up in Australia which has nine of the ten most venemous snakesin the world, is it any wonder we are scared of them? 🙂
You really can spend hours watching these wonderful creatures.
Stonefish, most venemous fish in the world.
Stonefish are venomous, dangerous, and even fatal to humans. It is one of the most venomous fish known. They are found in the coastal regions of the Indo-Pacific.
Video of the Stonefish in full camouflage
Very hard to see this guy, looks just like the surrounding rocks.
This guy is giving me the stare. 🙂
They are so sleek and sinister.
Imagine swimming in the sea & seeing this guy coming toward you.
I think I would die of a heart attack before he got to me. 🙂
Watching the seals being fed
Always popular with the crowd is feeding time.
Video of the dolphins
Personally I don’t like to see these wonderful intelligent animals in captivity, they need to be free in the ocean, not imprisoned in a small pool.
Brisbane City River South Bank was a pleasant surprise for me, it had been many years since I last visited and the changes were many. Way back in the 90s when I worked for Metway Bank and the NRMA I would travel there regularly for the endless tedious meetings banks & insurance companies were famous for. This trip was purely for pleasure after spending 10 days on the Gold Coast.
Uniting Church Albert St
Across the road from City Hall stands this delightful old church which was originally built in 1888.
From the old to the new
Infinity tower is the magnificent tall building (81 floors) on the left and the monster on the far right is 1 William Street which will house only government departments. The photo was taken from the William Jolly Bridge.
The William Jolly Bridge
The art deco design bride was built during the depression and opened in March 1932.
Sunday Suitcase sale August 21st 2016
The majority seemed to be backpackers selling their old clothes.
Treasury Casino was formerly the Lands Administration Building until it became a casino in 1995.
Many cranes on the skyline
There is no doubt Brisbane is in the middle of a building boom, just count the cranes on this small part of the city.
Another great way to see Brisbane’s city and suburbs. Check out THIS LINK for my photo blog.
A sunny Sunday afternoon at South Bank.
Lots of people cross the river to visit South Bank with its many attractions.
South Bank tranquil garden
The garden has a genuine rain forest feel.
A beautiful pagoda.
This Nepalese Pagoda was originally brought to Brisbane for Expo 88, in fact I actually remember seeing it back then. Incredibly this is one of only three Nepalese peace pagodas in the world to be located outside of Nepal.
As you can see from my Brisbane City River South Bank photo blog there is so much to see in this great city.
The Wheel of Brisbane
Nowhere near as large as London or Tokyo but it certainly looks very nice at night. 🙂
This sculpture in front of the Queensland Art Gallery is named “Approaching Equilibrium”, I guess people with more understanding of art than I possess will appreciate it. In my opinion a better name would be “Big Black Mosquito”. 🙂
The heart of Brisbane
The Queen Street Mall is certainly the heart of Brisbane, no traffic, lots of shops & restaurants.
Relax in the Mall
A great “people watching” place where you can enjoy dinner & a glass of wine.
Lots of colour, lots of shops
Day or night the mall is a hive of activity.
Eagle Street pier
Eagle Street is Brisbane’s business hub, jump on a City Cat and cruise along the river past many of the cities landmarks.
Huge towers beside Eagle Street wharf.
Lots of offices and lots of good bars & restaurants to capture the workers for lunch and dinner.
Cruise past the wheel on a City Cat.
Cruise past the wheel on your way to lunch at The Regatta Hotel, you won’t be disappointed. 🙂
Good Value Brisbane City Hotels starting with Abby On Roma which is directly opposite Roma St railway station. The coffee shop you see on the ground floor does an excellent breakfast. Use THIS LINK for an excellent room rate.
Located at 40 Elizabeth Street in the heart of the city. Nice rooms and friendly staff, good shopping arcade next door where you will fine Coles supermarket & Target. Book through THIS LINKfor a very good room rate.
Very nice rooms with an incredible view. About an 8 minute walk to Queen St Mall. My only complaint was the very poor internet service, they give you a miserly 250 meg per day. Book through THIS LINK for an excellent room rate.
View from Park Regis one of the Good Value Brisbane City Hotels
One of the best river & city views from my room on the 7th floor.
Brisbane city Restaurant recommendations I visited in August 2016 included Harajuku Gyoza at 141 Queen St. The service was good and the Gyoza excellent. There are two other branches, one in South Bank the other in Fortitude Valley.
Busy chef at work
The Gyoza was as good as I have experienced in Japan.
Little Singapore is adjacent to Harajuku Gyoza
TripAdvisor rating is 502 out of 3,180 Brisbane restaurants.
Vapiano 191 Albert StQueen Street Mall
Also opposite Harajuku Gyoza and I could not believe the queue waiting for a table. I didn’t eat there myself but if the queue is any indication the food must be good. 🙂
Mexican restaurant in the same complex as the above at 175 Albert St.
Latin, Mexican & South American dishes , dine in or takeaway.
Chez Nous opposite Roma St station
Very busy for breakfast, good coffee and quick service. For an excellent room rate at Abby o Roma just book through THIS LINK.
Brisbane City Cat River Cruise started for me at the South Bank Wharf and took me on a 45 minute cruise almost to the Gateway Bridge and back. This post will highlight many of the wonderful Brisbane buildings along the river.
Overlooking the river is the Treasury Casino where they will be very happy to relieve you of your hard earned cash. 🙂
What a monster
I believe this huge skyscraper will house most government offices when completed. That’s the Victoria Bridge in the foreground.
South Bank Ferris wheel
Not as large as London or Tokyo but it does look nice at night. 🙂
Another look at the Monster
Called the Government’s new Executive Building it towers over Brisbane river.
This is the heart of the Brisbane business centre.
Huge towers dominate the skyline
The city cat stops right here for the workers to commute from home.
City Cat arriving
What a great way to get around Brisbane, my 1.5 hour trip only cost me around $3.
The famous Story Bridge
The Story Bridge first opened in 1940, & is named after prominent public servant, John Douglas Story.
The CityHopper lets you travel the Brisbane river for free, the ferries run every 30 minutes between 6am and midnight, seven days a week. The ferry travels along the Brisbane River, to North Quay, South Bank 3, Maritime Museum, Thornton Street, Eagle Street Pier, Holman Street, Dockside and Sydney Street terminals.
I leave the City Cat after a terrific 90 minute cruise.
You can take the City Cat in both directions from the city, a nice idea would be to head in the direction of Toowong and disembark at the fabulous Regatta Hotel,a great place for lunch, dinner or a few drinks. Follow THIS LINKto see this iconic hotel.
Brisbane City Cat River Cruise
This city is just getting better & better, it’s now August 2016 and the number of cranes on the skyline indicate a building boom.
Thanks for visiting my Brisbane City Cat River Cruise photo blog. For a discounted hotel rate at the Park Regis Hotel which is in a terrific location just book through THIS LINK.
The tall building in the centre is the Banyan Tree Hotel which has another famous Sky bar and restaurant called Vertigoon the 61st floor.
Bangkok’s tallest buildings
This is from a small bar area on the 2nd floor which would be a great spot for a private party.
A slightly different angle
Maybe you prefer a tent
Bangkok Sky Bar Cloud 47 really is one of the cities great location. 47th Floor, United Center Building, Silom, Bangkok. Tel: +66 91 889 9600. For you Thai speakers suay mak mak.
Just before sunset
We are eagerly waiting for the lights of the city to come on.
Bangkok’s tallest building
MahaNakhon is a luxury mixed-use skyscraper currently under construction in the Silom/Sathon central business area of Bangkok. Designed to fit into the Thai landscape with a unique pixelated facade, it will have the unconventional appearance of a glass curtain walled square tower with a cuboid-surfaced spiral cut into the side of the building. Upon its estimated completion in 2015, it will become the tallest building in Bangkok at 314 metres (1,030 ft), with 77 floors. Featuring hotel, retail and residences, 200 units of The Ritz-Carlton Residences, Bangkok inside the building are priced between around US$1,100,000 to US$17,000,000, making it one of the most expensive condominiums in Bangkok. From Wikipedia.
My favourite time of the day
Such an exciting sight to see the lights of the “Big Mango” start to come to life.
Peak hour is a good time to avoid the Bangkok traffic, take the Sky train instead.
Larry is quenching his thirst
My friend Larry Krausz has recently moved to Thailand from Australia, we have known each other for quite a while, in fact in 1999 we travelled around the world including Carnival in Rio de Janeiro.
City views don’t get much better than this.
Bangkok Sky Bar Cloud 47
By now we were on our 6th beer and feeling no pain at all.
A great night
This certainly was a night to remember, Cloud 47 will become one of my regular Bangkok haunts. For those of you who like to boogie the band starts at 9 pm.
Remember the name
Put Cloud 47 on your bucket list, especially if you are a beer drinker.
Goodnight folks & thanks for visiting.
My Bangkok Silom Sky Bar Cloud 47 post simply proves once again what a fabulous city this is.
When I’m in Bangkok I like to stay in Sukhumvit Soi 11, here is an excellent budget hotel, if you USE THIS LINKyou will get a great rate of around B1100 per night, or $30 USD.
Times Square New York City is one of the world’s most iconic locations. When I last visited in February 2008 I stayed at the Hotel Edison only 100 meters from Broadway.
For an excellent room rate just book through THIS LINK.
The fabulous Broadway shows
In seven days I saw five Broadway shows. My favourite was A Bronx Tale by Charles Palminteri, closely followed by August Osage County.
A Bronx Tale
A small theatre with one man on stage talking about his life, it was fantastic.
Times Square New York City
At night Times Square comes alive.
The song said it all
They say the neon lights are bright on Broadway…….
M & M
Great colours and lots to see around Times Square.
Gallagher’s Steakhouse at 228 W 52nd St
Not quite Times Square but only a short walk away. Gallagher’s lived up to it’s reputation as being on of New York’s best steakhouses, in fact my Surf & Turf could have fed two people easily. I believe the restaurant was refurbished in 2014.
Times Square New York City
There are enough bars, restaurants and shows within a couple of blocks of Times Square to keep you occupied for weeks.
You gotta love New York
What a city, I often say to friends, if the cities of the world could be likened to a horse race, New York would win by 10 lengths over the next bunch of cities which would include Paris,London, Sydney,Bangkok,Tokyo, Rome, Rio De Janeiro & Cape Town, not necessarily in that order.
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Octave Rooftop Lounge Marriott Bangkok is where I decided to watch the sunset on Halloween night at Octave, which is the roof top bar at the Hotel on 2 Soi Sukhumvit 57. I actually started the day with breakfast at the JW Marriott at Soi 2 Sukhumvit just near Ploenchit station.
If you want a front row seat you better arrive early.
Sunset at the Marriott
Of course everyone is waiting for sunset when the city lights come on turning the skyline into a fairyland.
Happy hour cocktails
The drinks are quite expensive at most roof top bars however here you get two for one cocktails at happy hour before 6pm.
On come the lights
There is nothing nicer than sipping a cocktail while watching the lights come on in this remarkable city of angels.
Sky turning bright blue
This time of the evening is a great time for photos, just turn off your flash and capture the moment. They call it “the blue hour” and the results are often spectacular.
Sukhumvit is one of Bangkok’s busiest roads so catch the sky train to Thong Lo station and walk 5 minutes.
It’s Halloween at Octave Rooftop Lounge Marriott Bangkok
Time to go up to the 48th floor for the Haloween party.
First a stop at 47.
Another great bar to relax with a cocktail or three.
Could this be the stairway to heaven?
Stairway to heaven?
What a great bar
The party hadn’t quite started when I arrived so I was able to take some nice photos before the crowd arrived.
The fabulous kept changing colours.
Let the games begin at Octave Rooftop Lounge Marriott Bangkok
Setting up the decorations before the crowd arrives.
Time to check out my 2 minute movie.
Ok, so I’m no Steven Spielberg but not a bad job for an amateur. 🙂
Marriott hotel Bangkok is quite luxurious as you would expect from this well known world wide chain. They have purchased the Queens Park hotel in Soi 22 and are renovating the 2000 room hotel from top to bottom. They expect to open in 2017 which will certainly add to this chains Bangkok footprint.