Five Star Vagabond

Super travel tips, all road tested by David Herd. I'm an Australian guy who moved to Thailand in 2011 & still travel the world as often as possible.

Kumamoto trams sake yakitori

November 20, 2016 by David Herd

Too much sashimi is never enough

Kumamoto trams sake yakitori Kumamoto trams sake yakitori was on my list travelling from Hiroshima to Kagoshima on the Shinkansen, so I decided to spend 24 hours in Kumamoto to see the earthquake damage to the beautiful castle.

Kumamoto trams sake yakitori

Kumamoto trams sake yakitori One of my passions is Japanese food, which help make my visits to the great country a total joy.

As for the sake

Kumamoto trams sake yakitori Well that’s another story, it kind of sneaks up on you after 2 or 3 small bottles. Made from rice, “Sake” is an alcoholic beverage peculiar to Japan. It has a long history dating back to the 3rd century A.D.

Yakitori

Kumamoto trams sake yakitori Plus edamame washed down with cold beer, delicious.

Lots of choices here

Kumamoto trams sake yakitori Often language can be a barrier in Japan, however in restaurants like this you just have to point. 🙂

Seattles best coffee

Kumamoto trams sake yakitori Any idea who they may be having a go at, and I wonder what Starbucks thinks of the name? 🙂

Seattle’s other coffee

Kumamoto trams sake yakitori From what I have read about Seattle it always seems to be raining, perhaps that’s why everybody sits in coffee shops because it’s too wet to go outside. 🙂

Their coffee & cake suits me

Kumamoto trams sake yakitori I must admit I am a Starbucks fan.

Covered arcades

Kumamoto trams sake yakitori Japan in famous for it’s covered arcades which are simply shopping walkways crisscrossing the cities. Many as you can see have circular transparent domes running along the roof line letting in light and sunshine.

Pachinko

Kumamoto trams sake yakitori Japanese people seem to be addicted to these noisy gambling parlours which occupy prime positions in all of the busy parts of a city. The pachinko machine is like a vertical pinball machine with no flippers and a large number of relatively small balls. The noise inside these parlours is so loud it certainly must have a detrimental effect on the hearing of their customers.

Heavily promoted

Kumamoto trams sake yakitori Walking past you are nearly knocked over by the noise. 🙂

 Trams fares are only 170 Yen

Kumamoto trams sake yakitori A great way to get around the city, comfortable & cheap.

I think upstairs is some sort of shrine

Kumamoto trams sake yakitori I couldn’t quite work out if this was a shrine or a temple.

Part of the ritual

Kumamoto trams sake yakitori The people visiting here would step through this circle a number of times before continuing upstairs.

Toyoko Hotel

Earthquake damages Kumamoto Castle

My budget hotel was in an excellent location, good rooms with free WiFi, for a great rate just book using THIS LINK.

         Checkout some more of my terrific blogs on the links below.

             Lisbon                                 New York                       Airole Italy     

Lisbon restaurant            Wall St New York            Airole                         

             Menton                          Pattaya Storms                   Shibuya Tokyo

French Riviera            Pattaya Thailand            Shibuya Tokyo                 

        Hong Kong                        Florianopolos                         Dubrovnik

Kowloon Hong Kong           Joaquina Beach Florianopolis            Dubrovnik

 

                                        Great hotel room rates anywhere in the world if you book
                                                through these links below.  Book now & pay later. 🙂
                                                       Bangkok Hotels                    Pattaya Hotels
                                                  Amazing Bangkok busses               Amazing Bangkok busses
 
Pattaya webcam

 

That’s all folks

David Herd Thailand

 

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Earthquake damages Kumamoto Castle

November 19, 2016 by David Herd

Kumamoto Tram

Earthquake damages Kumamoto Castle Earthquake damages Kumamoto Castle, I was travelling on the Shinkansen from Hiroshima to Kagoshima & decided to spend 24 hours in Kumamoto to see the earthquake damage to the beautiful castle. I am very glad I stopped, firstly the damage was more than I expected, secondly Kumamoto turned out to be yet another very interesting Japanese city. The colourful efficient trams were a great way to move around the city.

Comfortable, cheap & efficient

Earthquake damages Kumamoto Castle My hotel the Toyoko Inn was in a terrific location but I couldn’t check in until 3 pm so I took a tram to the castle and walked around the perimeter. 

First glimpse of the castle

Earthquake damages Kumamoto Castle My first reaction was there didn’t seem to be much damage, however I was totally wrong.

Not too much damage on this side

Earthquake damages Kumamoto Castle However the further around I went the worse the damage was.

The extent of the damage is starting to show

Earthquake damages Kumamoto Castle Naturally the castle is closed due to the damage and lots of work is being carried out.

Crumbling walls

Earthquake damages Kumamoto Castle Very few structures have survived the centuries since the castle’s construction in 1607. The original castle keep burnt down in 1877 just before the siege in in the Seinan Civil War.

Three years to repair wall

Earthquake damages Kumamoto Castle The city hopes to repair the main keep within three years, while the rest of the grounds are expected to require about 20 years to be fully repaired.

What a mess

Earthquake damages Kumamoto Castle Naturally as you would expect the castle grounds are closed to the public indefinitely until further notice. Knowing the nature of Japanese workmen they will ensure the repaired buildings and grounds will be close to perfect for the public to once again enjoy this great Japanese castle.

Earthquake damages Kumamoto Castle

Earthquake damages Kumamoto Castle Thanks for visiting my Earthquake damages Kumamoto Castle photo blog.

Toyoko Hotel

Earthquake damages Kumamoto Castle My budget hotel was in an excellent location, good rooms with free WiFi, for a great rate just book using THIS LINK.

         Checkout some more of my terrific blogs on the links below.

             Lisbon                                 New York                       Airole Italy     

Lisbon restaurant            Wall St New York            Airole                         

             Menton                          Pattaya Storms                   Shibuya Tokyo

French Riviera            Pattaya Thailand            Shibuya Tokyo                 

        Hong Kong                        Florianopolos                         Dubrovnik

Kowloon Hong Kong           Joaquina Beach Florianopolis            Dubrovnik

 

                                        Great hotel room rates anywhere in the world if you book
                                                through these links below.  Book now & pay later. 🙂
                                                       Bangkok Hotels                    Pattaya Hotels
                                                  Amazing Bangkok busses               Amazing Bangkok busses
 
Pattaya webcam

 

That’s all folks

David Herd Thailand

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Lisbon ancient western European city

August 27, 2013 by David Herd

Lisbon hilltop district of Bairro Alto.

Lisbon ancient western European city

Lisbon ancient western European city is an experience to remember. Wandering through the winding narrow streets among dozens of restaurants and bars, with jazz, reggae, electronica and fado filling the air and revellers partying until dawn.

Baxio district

Baxio district Lisbon

Nightclubs scattered all over town make fine use of old spaces, whether on riverside docks or tucked away in 18th-century mansions.

Amazing restaurants in Lisbon.

Great Lisbon restaurant. photo 158_7841143593_4438_n.jpg

 Food fabulous food, I think Lisbon is one of the most underrated cities in Europe.

Mouthwatering display of cured ham

Lisbon ancient western European city

The atmosphere in many of Lisbon’s restaurants is wonderful

Lisbon ancient western European city  Lisbon ancient western European city  Bairro Alto is a great district for interesting restaurants.

 Bairro Alto at night

  Lisbon ancient western European city

Many of Lisbon’s buildings have not changed in centuries.

  Please click on Google + to help my page ranking.

 

Fado, traditional melancholic singing.

Lisbon ancient western European city

Fado is a music genre which can be traced to the 1820s in Portugal, but probably with much earlier origins. Fado historian and scholar Rui Vieira Nery states that “the only reliable information on the history of Fado was orally transmitted and goes back to the 1820s and 1830s at best. But even that information was frequently modified within the generational transmission process that made it reach us today. In popular belief, fado is a form of music characterized by mournful tunes and lyrics, often about the sea or the life of the poor, and infused with a characteristic sentiment of resignation, fatefulness and melancholia (loosely captured by the word saudade, or “longing”). However, although the origins are difficult to trace, today fado is regarded, by many, as simply a form of song which can be about anything, but must follow a certain structure. The music is usually linked to the Portuguese word saudade which symbolizes the feeling of loss (a permanent, irreparable loss and its consequent lifelong damage) Many thanks to Wikipedia.

Play it again Jorge.

Lisbon ancient western European city

Jorge really seemed to love his work. 🙂

The famous Café A Brasileira.

Lisbon ancient western European city

The Brasileira was opened by Adriano Telles on 19 November 1905 at No.122 (an old shirt shop), to sell “genuine Brazilian coffee” from the State of Minas Gerais, a product generally unappreciated in homes of Lisboetas of that period. In order to promote his product, Telles offered each shopper, who bought a kilogram of ground coffee (for 720 réis), a free cup of coffee.

Of course coffee at Brasileira was excellent

Lisbon ancient western European city

The Brasileira is one of the most famous cafes in Europe.

Lisbon, both modern & ancient.

Lisbon ancient western European city

There is a modern side to this ancient European city.

São Jorge Castle

São Jorge Castle

Although the first fortification on this hilltop date to the 2nd century BC, archaeological excavations have identified a human presence in the Tagus valley as far back as the 6th century BC. The first fortification was, presumably, erected in 48 BC, when Lisbon was classified as a Roman municipality.

Beautiful Lisbon building.

Lisbon ancient western European city

A wonderful city to wander around in the evening.

Should the guy on the left be considered suspicious?

Lisbon ancient western European city

The cops are too busy trying out their new Segway.

This is one very steep hill.

Lisbon ancient western European city

Walking down is not a problem.

Lisbon tram.

Lisbon ancient western European city

The old fashioned Lisbon trams are a great way to get around the city.

So many restaurants & so little time.

Lisbon ancient western European city

Lisbon was such a total surprise for me, unlike the more popular busier European cities like Paris, Rome, Barcelona & Berlin, Lisbon turned out to be a gem. I am probably a little biased being such a lover of good restaurants, wine and music, coupled with the beautiful old buildings and narrow winding streets in the Bairro Alto district, this city has it all.

Thanks for visiting my Lisbon ancient western European city photo blog.

                             Here are some more posts to check out
 
              Sydney                               Paris                                   Bangkok
Sydney Opera house        Paris hotel        Grand Palace Bangkok
           Tokyo                        Rio De Janeiro                        Budapest
Tokyo        Carla, what a girl. photo CopacabanabeachNov2003-128.jpg        Buda Castle
             London                            Beijing                            Capetown
Kings road Chelsea        David & the General photo DHandthegeneral.jpg        David Herd Thailand
 
             Great hotel room rates anywhere in the world if you book
                  through these links below.  Book now & pay later. 🙂
                              Bangkok Hotels                    Pattaya Hotels
                         Amazing Bangkok busses               Amazing Bangkok busses
 
Pattaya webcam

 

That’s all folks

Beckington Trowbridge

 

 

 

If you enjoyed Lisbon, hilltop district of Bairro Alto I’m sure you also love Paris, click on the photo below.

 


Cascais is on the cast near Lisbon

 

In Monte Carlo you can smell the money

 

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