Exploring Kyushu: Harajiri falls and Oka Castle

Sunday, September 15th 2019

I’m writing this post with a month’s retrospect so the details may be a bit hazy or re-fabricated thanks to the wonders of the human brain. Monday, September 16th was Respect for the Elderly Day, thus a holiday and we did not have to go to work. Tori and I drove westwards on the day before the holiday (Sunday, September 15th) towards Bungoono and Taketa for a little day of exploring.

I’ve decided to name our Honda Life kei car after “Tohru Honda”, with her American name being “Bertha”. Tohru Honda is a character from my favourite anime/manga “Fruits Basket”. I love her for her positivity, hard work and her love and compassion towards her friends. She never gives up and really tries her best. She never wants to be a burden on anyone and brings a lot of positivity wherever she goes. As I explained in an earlier post, kei cars are much weaker than a normal car, so they struggle uphill. As Tohru approaches 200,000 km and we push her up winding mountain roads, we urge her on.

Image result for tohru honda fruits basket
Tohru Honda also really likes cats. Coincidence? Probably not.

It was a lovely day, albeit a bit hot. It’s rare to find a weekend during the typhoon season where it isn’t stormy and there aren’t a bunch of warnings to be wary of landslides and heavy winds. Tori and I don’t chance it with our little Tohru, no matter how much of a trooper she is.

We decided to make a small daytrip to Harijiri Falls. It looked pretty online, but it was even more beautiful in person and we were unable to capture the magical feeling of being there. It was busy with people, but that was to be expected with how lovely the weather was.

I don’t really trust walking across bridges. It’s probably one of my only irrational fears. When I was younger, I used to cry when I had to cross bridges over water. I suppose it’s not that irrational when you watch movies where bridges suddenly snap and the main character is left dangling on the bridge with roaring and crashing waves under them. Okay, but the likelihood of that isn’t very high I suppose. Maybe.

Anyways, despite my fears we crossed the slightly swaying bridge that was suspended over the lazy stream of water that came from the waterfall and walked a little loop of the area. When we felt too hot, we opted for some Kabosu soft serve ice cream. Kabosu is basically a lime.

After, we decided to visit Oka Castle. Originally, we weren’t going to visit the castle, but we had enough time. A few minutes later, we arrived at a decently empty parking lot. Oka Castle was more like Oka Castle Ruins. It was a huge estate with foundations dating back many centuries. On the way back to the car, there was a small shop set up. A lady was standing outside with cups of something and a plate of something. She smiled at us eagerly. That’s when we made the grave mistake of letting her give us the cups of something and some of the stuff on the plate. She placed the food right into the palms of our hands. Plates? Nah, those aren’t environmentally friendly. The tea-soup thing was also slightly strange, and we awkwardly finished it while the lady had hobbled back to her shop. What a strange ploy to try to get people into her shop. We returned the cups and smiled awkwardly before walking briskly back to the car.

This is one of three blog posts that I wrote today (Wednesday, October 16th). So many apologies for the hiatus and erratic schedule that I seem to hold despite having so much time.

Love always,


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