Tuesday, 21 June 2016

The Japanese Food Adventure Chapter 2 - Day 8. Nagasaki Bio Park

We were up really early this morning to catch the bus to Nagaski Bio Park. We'd enquired at tourist information the previous day about the best way to get there and was told there was a direct bus that went there. We'd heard that it was quite complicated online but it was actually just a bus straight there, the only issue we had was deciphering the Kanji (Japanese script) and matching what was on our timetable to the correct bus stop. Luckily for us there was a friendly local who helped us with this! I cannot stress how wonderful the Japanese are as hosts to visitors. (and dumb tourists!)

For the bus journey we bought some sandwiches from Family Mart. My wife chose egg and I chose this rather tasty pork cutlet sandwich.

No bus journey is complete without a Crunky biscuit. These tasty Crunky sandwich biscuits combine the smooth chocolate and crispness of crunky chocolate with the crunchy sweetness of biscuit.

A pair of red and green Macaws greeted us at the entrance. It costs ¥1700 to visit the Bio Park, we bought the combination ticket for ¥2000 (about £13) which also included entry to PAW (Pet Animal World).

We visited the Llamas first, they were busy munching away on some straw.

Food is available outside each animal enclosure so you need plenty of ¥100 coins if you want to avoid disappointment!

I can't for the life of me remember what these were so do leave a comment on the blog if you know. We entered their enclosure to feed them, they were really friendly!
(David Widdick correctly identified these as Patagonian Mara)

He was certainly an inquisitive chap.

Our next stop was the tropical flower dome, home to a vast selection of incredible flowers and exotic Butterflies. 

This Flying Fox Bat hung from a tree inside the flower dome, an incredible sight!

By the time we'd reached the American Beavers the heavens opened, the Beavers were quite happy swimming around and luckily we'd come well prepared with our rain coats. The weather actually meant there were very few visitors which left us feeling really privileged to be amongst the animals without the masses.

I've always been fascinated by Flamingos so was delighted to have the opportunity to get so close to these European Flamingos.

As soon as we opened the food capsule they made their way over to be feed. A strange sensation having those giant beaks pecking from your hand.

Alpaca are another favourite of mine, these two were really friendly but the brown one was definitely top dog. Everytime we offered them some food the brown Alpaca made it difficult for the white one to get a look in. Look at that sad face!

The insectarium housed an impressive collection of Beetles.

As we left the insectarium I spotted this large Crab resting underneath a rock.

As the heavens continued to open these Japanese Goats took shelter, the smile suggests this one wasn't fussed about the rain.

The main reason we'd wanted to visit the Bio Park was to see the Capybara. We'd seen them before at Amazona in Cromer but here you get to join them in their enclosure.

It was in amazing experience being so close to the Capybara, there were so many of them and they were all really friendly.

My wife really enjoyed feeding them, we spent quite a long time in here especially as they'd just had babies so there were a lot of mouths to feed.

This is why Nagasaki Bio Park is such an amazing place!

It's difficult to appreciate their size in a photo but the Aldabra Giant Tortoise certainly lived up to their name!

The Raccons waited patiently for passers by to drop some food into their enclosure.

This elegant Peacock sat graciously on the fence, he shared this area with someone else though and we were about to find out who.

The Monkeys literally jumped onto anyone that passed by. They tried to get their hands inside my wife's handbag and I nearly lost my glasses, cheeky little fellas!

Next we visited the Kangaroos, it was incredible being able to get so close to them.

Once the food came out you'd made some new friends for sure!

Watching the Hippos searching for food reminded us it was almost lunchtime. We made our way to the restaurant we'd spotted earlier.

On the way to the restaurant we passed through the lower level of the tropical flower dome. We were able to see the butterflies much better from here, they were huge!

The flying fox bat was hanging out with one of the butterfies!

With few vegetarian options on offer in the restaurant my wife decided to order the chinese noodles and give me the chicken. How we didn't notice the word "chilled" is still a mystery.

This chilled noodle dish was a big disappointment to my wife.

I chose a curry, it was ok but nothing to write home about.

As we cleared our plates away we spotted other people collecting Ramen, serious food envy kicked in.

It was almost time to catch our bus back to Nagasaki so we made over to Pet Animal World. It usually costs ¥500 (about £3.25) to visit here but you can enter for ¥300 if you buy the combination ticket as you enter the Bio Park.

My wife was instantly drawn to the huge white rabbit straight out of Alice in Wonderland.

An owl was perched high up above the Guinea Pigs watching everything going on.

There were seperate rooms where you could visit dogs and cats, both rooms were closed at regular intervals to give them some time away from the visitors.

You could buy food capsuals here too, this cheeky chappy was hiding in amongst the capsules.

I used to keep rats as pets many years ago, here there were many which you could handle if you liked, they were all really tame.

We'd become obsessed for many months with seeing the Guinea Pigs cross over the drawbridge at the end of the day. Unfortunatley our bus would be leaving before 4.30pm though so we had to miss out on this incredible sight, it's well documented on Youtube though! 

We said goodbye to the Guinea Pigs and headed back to the bus stop.

We picked up this small frozen cake from the Bio Park shop, it looked cute but was fairly bland. Nagasaki Bio Park is an incredible place that's well worth visiting, bringing your own food along is probably a good option though!

Using buses in Japan was quite confusing to begin with but eventually we worked it out. Board the bus in the middle ensuring you take a ticket, when you leave the bus from the front door put your ticket into the slot. The machine will tell you how much you need to pay, the screen above the driver updates you on the fare which corresponds to the number on your ticket. The machine which accepts your payment also changes bank notes, this can get confusing as you may well think you've paid but you are simply getting change from the machine and the payment is still required.

After such a long day we treated ourselves by revisiting Hanbey.

A cold beer and some cabbage and sauce was much needed.

My wife tried the mushrooms with leeks, they came in a delicious sauce.

She also ordered some deep fried tofu with cheese, a very generous slab arrived and she loved it. 

As it was so good on my previous visit I ordered some more fried chicken, just as good this time round and delicious covered in lemon juice.

I so desperately wanted to try something different but the okonomiyaki was so good last time I just couldn't stop myself from ordering it again. 

I forget the name of these cocktails, they looked and tasted great though!

As we passed burger man we decided to visit a bar for a nightcap that we'd remembered spotting yesterday.

The Crazy Horse was close to our hotel, we could hear a band playing inside so we decided to head inside.

The band sounded good but there was very little space in here, we ordered a drink and stood by the bar.

Some guys were having a school reunion, they kindly invited us to join them. We chatted with them for a while before heading back to the hotel via Family Mart.

These were given to us in Hanbey, delicious savoury fried bread cubes.

Chocolate Panda's from Family Mart, perfect with a cup of tea.

My wife later set about sketching our visit to Nagaski Bio Park, beautifully captured!

Click here for Day 9
Arriving in Hiroshima and the search for Koba

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