April 19-20,2007: A friend from Germany
April 18: We had an unexpected snowfall in Aso and Kuju area of Kyushu island.
Today, we headed to Kumamoto city. First, we planned to drive through a hill side course, but as there was the possibility of frozen road, we changed the route #57. A new highway "Trans central Kyushu" is under construction above near Taketa city.
We took a short break at Taketa drive-in. I played with snow debris on the parking lot. It was so chill and the temperature started to drop down.
Blue clear sky and pink double cherry blossoms made an unusual scene.
Kuju mountain range was very beautiful in the distance. There had been almost no snow on the mountain due to warm winter.
We entered Kumamoto prefecture. The back is Five peaks of Aso mountain with snow caps.

The outer rim of Aso cardera was dotted with snow fringe. It was shining in the morning sun beautifully.
We took lunch at a Japanese restaurant. A kerosene stove was glowering.
We ordered famous Aso Takana dish set including Dango soup which warmed me.
The restaurant's name was Sakamoto.
We arrived at Kumamoto railroad station after all. We welcomed two guests from Germany.
We met Mr. P.Klaus and Mrs. Kaeko after a year. They looked like in very good condition.
We stayed at Seifuso inn at Jigoku spa of southern valley Aso. We enjoyed a short walk around the inn before the dinner and enjoyed an outdoor hot spring.
The dinner was very good. Today's menu was Kushiyaki, or spit-roasting. The food tray was flowed down on the stream.
We roasted the materials by the fireside.
Prosit! Last time, we met in Tatsuno, didn't we?
We enjoyed pleasant chatting and waited for the roasted food. The food was Yamame trout, wild bore meat, duck,sparrow,quail,Tofu,taro,and leek. I felt a little bit sympathy to some materials.
Beautiful sunset through the window. I hope tomorrow will be fine as well.

The day broke in cold. We took a short walk around the inn. This was the spa source.
The breakfast was of Japanese buffet style. There were so many good foods.
We picked up favorite food.
The food on the box.
Eggs fried sunny-side up and Miso soup were very good.
On a clear ray, we drove up to the top of Mt. Aso.
We took a rope way up to the crater. It was just like European Alps, Mr. Klaus said.
The crater lake and smoke.
Playing with snow.
Mrs. Kaeko took my picture in fun.
It was very cold here.
We-were-there picture.
We then headed to Kusa-Senri meadow.
It was very pleasant to chat all through the way back to Kumamoto station. Good friends, see you again. "Aufwiedersehen!"
We drove back to Oita through Milk road.
A view point on the outer rim of Aso valley.
Mt Kuju had no snow already.
A cow monument.
It took about three hours from Kumamoto to Oita (120Km.)
Mr. Klaus kindly offered to visit Norway to see the aurora borealis. Yes, I strongly hope to do so.