Wabi-Sabi Sole

Finding Beauty with Imperfection

Category: Sasebo

Sasebo Sustenance

One final discussion to wrap up our trip to the southern part of Japan. A couple of culinary experiences were on fire, literally! I already mentioned first time our food was set on fire. It was the searing of our steak at the SRF dinner on Wednesday night.

The second time we had our food placed on fire was on Thursday evening. We went to Michele Brown Steakhouse. The restaurant was recommended to us by my friend, Paula. She and her husband were stationed in Sasebo. She recommended the wings. We went Thursday night and when the waitress brought out the wings, she promptly set them on fire!

They were pretty good. I have no doubt the fire added extra taste.

Sasebo is also known for the famous Sasebo Burger. Each time we passed one of the certified Sasebo Burger locations, my desire to eat one grew.

Finally, Saturday night we stopped in Sasebo Burger Shop and ordered a Sasebo Burger with fries.

While we were waiting for I couldn’t help but laugh when I saw the dinosaur on the wall. There seemed to be a dinosaur theme occurring Saturday night.

The Sasebo Burger was pretty delicious. I was definitely satisfied with my cheeseburger. Looking at the first picture makes me think of the “where’s the beef” commercial.

The fries were alright. I would have preferred to have them without pepper. Don’t worry, I didn’t waste any! I ate them anyways.

My favorite Sasebo snack I ate all week were the custard filled cream cakes. My mom makes amazing cream puffs and these were almost as good as hers!

Oh. My. Goodness. They were so good. How good were they? They were so good, I ate two on Friday and purposely went back on Saturday and ordered two more!

On Friday, I ordered two hard and two soft puffs with chocolate and custard. This would give Dave and I a chance to sample both.

The worker filled the puffs to order. She laughed at me taking her picture. She laughed harder when I came back the next day and ordered more.

I didn’t really like the chocolate cream. Dave didn’t really like the custard. Team Dwyer wins again!

It’s probably a good thing we weren’t stationed in Sasebo. Two of the magnificent treats a day would wreck a healthy diet in about a week. I was happy to indulge and will be sure to stop by if I make a second trip!

Huis Ten Bosch

During my visit to the IACE travel office in Sasebo, I saw a brochure for Huis Ten Bosch. Huis Ten Bosch is theme park with a Netherlands inspired theme. What caught my eye in the brochure were the holiday light displays. I immediately added this to my list.

We arrived before the sunset on Saturday in order to see some of the park in the day light. We took a 20 minute train ride from Sasebo to the Huis Ten Bosch Station. We were amazed by the view from the start!

That huge building is the main hotel of the park. Dave and I decided we needed a return trip to experience all the park had to offer, including a stay at one of the hotels!

At the entrance of the park, visitors walk through a field with three large windmills. This time of year the fields have pansies and lights. In the spring, the fields are full of tulips. Just like Holland. Before dark.

After dark…

We enjoyed a walk around the park taking in the sights. One hotel is completely run by robots. Check out this guy!

There were tons of cute photo opportunities.

Even roses blooming!

Lots of decorations.

I also had a giggle seeing another pirate ship. My third one in the past 10 days! Notice the cute Amsterdam Row Houses in the background.

As the sun set, lights started to come on. I was giddy! We worked our way to the magical waterfall.

I hope I captured the beauty in the video. It’s truly amazing to watch.

We walked through the blue garden lights. Enjoying the lights and singing “Blue Christmas” and wishing those wine glasses had wine!

Our next highlight was a ride on the Ferris Wheel.

The ride around was 11 minutes. I’m happy to report the cars were Dave proof. They were completely enclosed so he couldn’t drop water on anyone! The views were spectacular!

After the ride, we walked to the huge tree so we could enjoy the tree lighting ceremony.

It was mesmerizing!

I took a close up of the fountain. Notice the wine fountain sign, Santa, and all the muses. Amusing!

The last highlight of our visit was the boat ride. We rode through the canal and were able to enjoy the lights and animations.

The best part was the canal light show. I recorded part of it for you.

One last funny. The parade was going on while we were on the boat. After we got off the boat, we saw part of as we were walking around. There were lots of Santas dancing and floats and Christmas music and a dinosaur. Yes, a dinosaur. Apparently, nothing says Merry Christmas like a dinosaur float!

All the lights and holiday music truly helped us get in the Christmas spirit. The theme park and illuminations were over the top. I hope we have the opportunity to return in the spring. I would love to see the flowers!

Kujukushima

Thanksgiving afternoon Dave and I went to visit Kujukushima. Kujukushima is a small resort area about 10 minutes from Sasebo Naval Base. We caught a taxi from the base and ¥1500 later, we arrived in the resort area.

Kujukushima means 99 islands. The best way to view the islands is via a short sightseeing boat tour. Our timing was amazing. We walked up to the boat launch at 11:56 and were able to purchase two tickets for the 12:00 tour. Off we went on the Pearl Queen!

The boat tour of the islands was beautiful albeit chilly. Very chilly. The islands and surrounding water was so lovely.

We stayed topside as long as possible. The wind was whipping. Check out our attempts at a selfie!! Don’t you love my flock of seagulls hair! Haha

Finally we found a wind break and we could snap one really quickly!

Along the tour, we saw many oyster fields. We also learned the buoys are for growing pearls in the oysters. We found it interesting how neatly organized all the buoys were arranged. And we were lucky enough to see an oyster boat heading back to shore.

A little over half way through our 50 minute cruise, I was too chilly to stay topside any longer. We went below deck. I found the Captain’s coat and tried it on for size. I was hoping it would help me warmup faster. Please to meet you, Captain Julia-San.

After our boat tour, we were ready for lunch. A warm lunch. Ramen sounded perfect. We found a ramen restaurant overlooking the harbor.

The ramen had a fish broth. Oishi des. We both ranked this in our top five ramen and I gave it the best broth award.

In the surrounding park was an oyster festival. Considering the breeze and chilly weather, there were so many people!

Groups gathered around small grill pits and enjoyed their oysters. Unfortunately, we were so full from our ramen we had no room for oysters. Plus, did I mention we were chilly?

It was a nice afternoon in the park and on the water. We took a taxi back to Sasebo Base. We realized how close we were to the base. We could have walked! Oh, well. Next time!

Thank you for sharing. Ok, subject change.

I just want to pause for a second and say Happy Thanksgiving. I’m very grateful for all of my readers both near and far. I enjoy sharing our adventures out and about in Japan with you. I appreciate all your love and support for us and my blogging over the past 12+ months. Please know we spent the day talking and thinking about our friends and family. We miss you and love you. We are truly grateful for your love and support. Please enjoy a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Delicious Dinner

Wednesday evening, Dave and I had dinner with part of the Sasebo SRF workforce. We meet at a restaurant near the base. Our reservation was for two hours of dining. During this time, we had a set menu and open bar. We started our meal with a salad.

The second dish was a cooked vegetable medley prepared on the hot grill top in our table. Each of the prepared dishes served four people.

The server prepared our food while we watched. He spread the vegetables in a circle before pouring an Italian sauce into the center.

The final ingredient was cheese sprinkled on top. The dish was a little runny and not suitable for eating with chopsticks, instead we had a cut little shovel!

My only complaint about this dish was the amount of corn. I had a pile of whole kernel corn left on plate!

The next dish was my favorite. It started as a large piece of meat with garlic on the side m. We were instructed by our chef to “no touch”!

After a few minutes, our chef placed the garlic on top of the meat and a slab of butter.

When the meat was cooked to his satisfaction, he sliced it before searing it.

He seared it by spraying sauce and lighting it on fire!

While we were waiting for the steak to be finished cooking, we enjoyed paella.

The final dish was okonomiyaki. We had a similar dish when we went to visit Miyajima Island. There’s a lot going on in this dish. Cabbage, egg, bacon, and sauce!

The food was very good. Needless to say, no one was hungry by the end!

Fortunately, Dave and I had a some what long walk home to help us digest the meal. Along the way, we enjoyed a few Christmas lights! It was a great night with a great group of SRF Sasebo employees.

PS. I’m happy to report my WordPress App is working well again!

Plan Your Work

We arrived at the Naval Base in Sasebo Sunday afternoon. We were able to check into our room at NGIS. This might be the fanciest Navy room I have ever stayed in. Not only is it HUGE, there is a doormat, leather furniture, full size fridge, dining room, beautiful backyard, and a massage chair! Seriously!?!

The view out the back door.

The massage chair.

After checking in, we headed out to see the area outside the base. Dave has been to Sasebo for work several times. He took me to one of his favorite restaurants. They actually use a net to catch the fish in the tank for you and serve it on the sushi platter.

I’m not sure there is a fresher way to enjoy sushi.

I was a bit of chicken and ordered my favorite and safe sushi choice. Maguro (tuna) and rice bowl.

After dinner, we stopped at a few local watering holes and then headed back to the room. I used Monday morning to work out our plan for sightseeing during the week. I stopped by IACE travel and was able to obtain a plethora of information for things to do around the area. The travel agent was very knowledgeable about the area and helped me put together a week full of adventures.

One noticeable difference between Sasebo and Yokosuka is the train schedule. I realize now we are very spoiled living in Yokosuka. We have trains running every 8-10 minutes from our closest station. Here, trains run hourly most of the time. This makes it a little bit more challenging when planning an excursion. I was a little frustrated this afternoon because I missed the 12:43 train. The next one wasn’t going to arrive for an hour. This wouldn’t give me enough time to get there and back before my rendezvous with Dave for dinner. Grrr. So, plan B. I decided to use my time this afternoon to plan my work for the next couple days so I could work my plan and not end up in the same predicament. I picked up some lunch and returned back to base, timing how long it would take to go from NGIS to the train station (at a leisurely pace). I ate my lunch on our patio with this amazing view.

Then, I had a massage in the chair. Once my appetite was satiated and I was completely relaxed from my massage, I set to work on my plan. I wrote down a few notes and train schedules for my intended adventures over the next couple of days. Now that I’m squared away I’ll be ready to hit the ground running tomorrow! Adventures await!

Waiting for Our Flight

Dave and I are flying to Nagasaki airport. We will spend the week of Thanksgiving in Sasebo. Dave has to work a few days at the beginning of the week. While he is working, I’ll be exploring. He is taking a few days leave at the end of the week so we can explore the area together. I’m excited to visit another part of Japan. Sasebo is located towards the southern end of the country. We are the blue dot and will be flying to the red flag.

It is a short flight, only 1 hour and 45 minutes. One small cup of coffee will make it fly by.

I’m looking forward to sharing the week of adventures with you! I’m thankful for all you for reading and following wabisabisole. Your support means everything. Happy Thanksgiving week!

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