July 27, Sunday- Lavendar Bus Tour

Pre: Writing in my room as usual. Room is hot because I don’t feel like switching on the air conditioner too early. So always write in a stuffy room, only today there is a light lavendar smell coming from my bunch of lavendar which I hope will turn into nice dried flowers.

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Nago the king cat has taken his throne next to my pillow. shoo!

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This morning, woke at 6:45am because we’re supposed to gather at the train station for the bus tour at 8:20am. Okaasan is not going so it’s just K and me. Wawa called to say she’ll meet me at Lawson, in a very serious voice. Or is it coz she just woke up?

Went to a JR station nearby. Caught the 7:21am train. First time taking a Japan Railway train. The seats are not like my usual train seats, but really comfy sofa-like seats. Probably because the train goes very far.

Arrived at Hakata station before 8am. Found Lawson convenience store where we’re supposed to meet for the tour.

Waited anxiously for wawa and I saw her tudong at 8:20am. Just in time. She had gone out from the wrong exit. She’s here anyway!

Our bus is a purple bus, matching our theme: Lavendar tour

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Our tour group is full of old people. Our breakfast was a buttermilk flavoured bread and a tiny box of reconstituted orange juice. I liked the juice.

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We stopped at a rest stop where four other aunties and others joined us. The three of us seem to have taken the aunties’ seats, but it’s the same anyway for them to take our row of seat.

I think the aunties are from kampungs coz they talk loud and act unlike poliute city people. One even said out loud, “Indonesian.” when she saw Wawa. Hello?! Can’t you say Muslim? ok, she probably can’t.

I corrected her, saying, “No, Malaysian.” I probably said it with one less particle, making me seem like a rude young woman looking for a fight.

Truck painted gold at rest stop

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The journey was long and I fell asleep with my mouth wide open.

FIrst stop was blueberry village, where we have all-you-can-eat blueberries for 30 minutes. It’s quite fun plucking berries and eating a handful at one go. But it was so very sunny and blueberries weren’t as addictive as strawberries.

Small blueberry trees had ripe blueberries hanging. Ripe blueberries are dark purple and have a white frost like layer on the skin.

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After blueberry, it was peach eating. Peach sampling was in a peach orchard in the middle of nowehere. Ripe peaches hung on the tree looking like baby cheeks.
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There were two goats in the peach garden. One a baby goat which ate peaches that were lying around. One I call Billy which has a beard
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And of course, we’ve spotted another cute guy in the peach orchard. He was showing his girlfriend a dung beetle he caught. Wawa used me as a decoy to take a photo of him.
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And of we went to the beer factory. We didn’t exactly get to see people packing beer, because it was Sunday. The employees there wore uniforms.

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We were shown a film about the beer company. SAPPORO beer. And then taken on a tour on a floow above the packing area and we were behind glass. We couldn’t take photos. And our guide was standing right behind me when there was a good view of the beer packing factory.

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After the tour, everyone had the chance to try out their beer. Those who can’t drink beer have a choice of cold tea and cold apple juice. Even the glasses are frosted. I had half a glass of beer and confirmed that I do not like the taste of beer. Give me tea anyday!

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View from beer bar

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Cute bus next to ours

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Then it was off for lunch. We had black pork, soba and rice. Wawa gave her pork to K. I loved the hot tea that came with lunch. I love tea.

A bit of photo taking and off we went to another rest stop. Here, there was a mountain with smoke, which wawa and I mistook as Mount Aso, but is actually some random fake volcano.

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Then it was the main attraction, the lavendar fields. The field of lavendar wasn’t really really big but it was enough. Most were on a small hill. The air had a faint smell, not like the fake lavendar smell that toilet detergent has.

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The place had a sign saying, 50 stalks for 100 yen. So cheap!!! After photos, Wawa and I asked the tour guide about the flower thing. We paid at the counter and were given a pair of scissors. And we were shown the area where we could snip lavendar.

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There were a lot of dragonflies and bees around. We weren’t stung. And had a fun ime sniping lavendar. It was hard trying to keep count how many stalks we had sniped. When it was about time, we went back to the shop where the lady wrapped our flowers in newspaper.

Fresh lavendar when crushed has a plant-like minty smell. The flowers look like a wheat plant. They aren’t as high as wheat, only about 25cm.

Our last stop was a bridge that is built over a valley. Rain were dropping in plops when we left lavendar land. The valley looked wonderful from the bus, but when we got there, it was raining really really heavily.

In the end, the majority wanted to skip the bridge and go back. K looked very disappointed about that. Next time then.

We reached Hakata station a bit after 7pm. I bought a magazine at the station <Non-no>. My first Japanese language magazine at 450 yen.

Taking the JR train back was confusing because there are so many lines and so many different trains going to different directions. We managed to catch one and were lucky to have seats too.

Cool looking train

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Then okaasan went to the station to fetch us.

Oh, got a call from Jee Yen at 9pm. Was very very surprised to hear from her. Our chat aws 10 minutes because my mom said 10 minutes calling to Japan is cheap.

Very glad to hear from someone so far away. Keep safe!

10:45pm

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