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Behind the Scenes

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Joetsu City
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The scenery along the train line from Niigata city to Joetsu City was so beautiful! There's a spot where the train runs along the Sea of Japan and the rolling waves crash against the concrete barriers close to the railway track. At sunset it was an absolutely picturesque scene!

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Joetsu City
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I thought I was out of shape, but hanging out at Gymrena made me feel like a kid again. Where did this sudden upper body strength come from? I didn't even know I could do this! We had so much fun playing on the equipment between shoots! On the day we visited, athletes both young and old were enjoying exercise.

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Joetsu City
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Gymrena features a wide range of equipment used in official gymnastic competitions. On the day we visited, athletes both young and old were enjoying exercising in their own way. To cheer on the visiting German team a banner with "Welcome" written in German was on display!

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Joetsu City
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Joetsu City
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Joetsu City
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Joetsu City
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Oops, I got a bit too ahead of myself and I need a rest. I wish Niigata was closer to Fukuoka, this is my kind of gym and I could play here all day. With trampolines, tight ropes, balancing beams, and more - this is such a great place to explore the limits of your own human capabilities. Zzz.

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Joetsu City
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Thank you to my lovely teachers who showed me how to jump high on the trampoline! They can bounce and easily get 2-3 meters of air. I didn't get to jump nearly as high because I was scared, but they made it look so easy and effortless. Someday I'll get back on the trampoline and try to do tricks like them!

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Joetsu City
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I haven't been able to jump on a trampoline like this in years! I think the last time I played at a gym like this was at a friend's birthday party when I was 5 years old. I forgot how much fun it is, and how thrilling it can be to jump so high off the ground! I can't wait to do this again, maybe I'll try a backflip next time😂

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Niigata City
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I arrived in Niigata and was greeted by handmade ‘Amabie’ on display within Niigata Station. Amabie are a type of Japanese monster (youkai) that are said to predict epidemics!

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Yahiko Village
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The day I visited Yahiko Shrine was windy and cold! I ate warm zenzai and amazake at a Japanese-style cafe in front of Yahiko Shrine! The perfect choice for cold days.

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Tsubame City
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I rode the local line that connects Niigata and Yahiko stations. Unlike when riding in the city, there were only a few people so very spacious! I was the only person sitting in my entire row!

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Yahiko Village
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Niigata
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Yahiko Village
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Yahiko Village
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Look at this huge Torii gate which faces Mt. Yahiko! The square plate at the top is 18 tatami mats in size. Are you familiar with tatami mats? They are commonly used in Japan as a unit when measuring space.

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Tsubame City
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We visited a select shop called ‘Factory Front’ which stocks many locally designed and processed products from the Tsubamesanjo area. Tsubamesanjo is famous for developing hardware processing technology, I highly recommend a visit!

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Yahiko Village
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We visited Yahiko Shrine on a national holiday and there were lots of people already there. The shrine features a torii gate facing its deity, Mt Yahiko. The exact origins of this shrine are not known, but visitors are bound to feel inspired by its heritage.

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Fukuoka City
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This is one of my favorite places in all of Fukuoka City! The tower is so iconic - it is the third largest tower in Japan, and the sleek blue colour makes it stand out against the Fukuoka Skyline! I love when it lights up at night too!

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Fukuoka City
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My buddy Futa is all dressed up for Christmas! If you come to visit Fukuoka Tower, you can take a memorial photo with Futa in his seasonal attire in the lobby! I think he looks quite handsome dressed up as Santa - maybe it's the beard?

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Fukuoka City
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If you plan to visit Fukuoka tower, definitely aim to arrive just before the sun sets so you can see the daytime view, the sunset view, and the nighttime view as the city starts to light up below. This is one of the most romantic date spots in Fukuoka city.

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Fukuoka City
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Fukuoka City
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Fukuoka City
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Fukuoka City
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I'm not normally good at sports but this one is easy to get the hang of! With a little practice and a patient friend to play with, this is a very accessible Olympic sport that anyone can try! Sweden and Norway will be practicing here in this gym!

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Fukuoka City
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When visiting Fukuoka you absolutely must try the ramen made from pork bone broth. At Ikkosha, the pork bone broth is milky and frothy, and the ramen is prepared and served right before your eyes! Grab a counter seat to have access to the entire show!

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Fukuoka City
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Fukuoka is a vibrant city and there are events happening all year round, like the Christmas market that occurred in December - drawing visitors even on a week night, serving hot wine and playing live music! I love this city!

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Iizuka City
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We are going on a hike! There are lots of great places to hike in Fukuoka, like this mountain, Ryuouzan(Ryu-ou mountain) in Iizuka city!
It was a bit of a steep climb, but we knew the view at the top would be worth it so we pressed on.

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Iizuka City
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We made it to the top! Getting a new vantage point is a great way to gain a broader perspective when visiting a new area for the first time. From the top of Ryuouzan(Ryu-ou mountain), you can see back towards Fukuoka city, and down towards the rural valley on the other side.

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Iizuka City
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This is one of the most famous souvenirs in all of Fukuoka prefecture, and you can buy it here at its original shop in Iizuka! The original hiyoko is a great choice, but there are plenty of other seasonal treats worth trying here as well! you can buy them in gift boxes or individually so don't be afraid to try them all!

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Iizuka City
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Iizuka City
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Iizuka City
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Iizuka City
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Old Japanese style shopping arcades have a lot of charm, especially in older cities like Iizuka where the style is more retro and dated. Even if you don't plan to go shopping, the atmosphere is quite enjoyable, and you can do some great people watching too!

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Iizuka City
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After a hike in the mountains, there's nothing like a big bowl of hot ramen topped with fresh veggies to refuel with. This ramen shop in front of Iizuka station has many different types of ramen, and the noodles are homemade too! Yum yum!

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Iizuka City
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Welcome to Iizuka station! This station is quite small and sometimes you won't even see staff manning the ticket gates, but the journey here and back from Hakata station is very scenic, natural and beautiful!

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Oita City
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This private onsen on the edge of the bay is a wonderful way to relax with friends, family or a partner. There are many onsen in Oita, but I love that you can gaze at the blue sea while enjoying a hot open air bath here.

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Oita City
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After sweating it out in the bath, grab an old fashioned bottle of milk, coffee or yogurt from the vending machines in the lobby, and treat yourself. The bottles are so cute you'll want to take them home!

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Oita City
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Oita City has so many delicious food options besides seafood, such as shiitake mushroom, Bungo beef, kabosu (a kind of citrus) as well as toriten (tempura chicken). If you visit Oita, we recommend enjoying the amazing food there too!

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Oita City
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Oita City
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Oita City
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Oita City
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While in Oita you can't miss out on the delicious food! Try some hot crispy chicken tempura with mustard and dipping sauce, or a special ryukyu bowl with mixed fish marinated in sesame, ginger, mirin and soy sauce for a flavorful lunch break! Don't forget to squeeze some kabosu citrus on top!

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Oita City
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I love shopping for local souvenirs whenever I visit a new place! Today I bought two handmade coffee mugs for my apartment. I can't wait to take these home and use them with my boyfriend. He loves the handmade aesthetic of local pottery just as much as I do.

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Oita City
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This was a great place to visit to see the monkeys! I didn't expect that I would be able to see so many wild monkeys up close like that! My heart beat in my chest when it was feeding time and they all crowded around our feet. I got so many great pictures here!

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