Tosu Premium Outlet Mallo

At the weekend we made a drive out to Tosu, in Saga Prefecture, to do a bit of shopping for my son at Tosu Premium Outlet Mall. My husband is a bit of a shopaholic and is quite keen on styling up our son at the mo, Tosu mall has lots of well known brands and everything has discount on it. It’s a good place to pick up brand name goods at lower prices and also items that are currently not in the shops as most of the stock are slightly older lines, personally I think with a bit more selection.

Shops with good selections for children are Mikihouse, Beams, Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hillfiger and all the sports brands. While there we bought stuff for our son from T-shirt Design Graniph, Ralph Lauren and Beams. My husband also picked up a jacket for himself from Desigual and I got some Nike sweatpants. Everything very reasonable. We also got our son some Lego from the Lego shop!

Very hard to take a picture without my son photobombing!!

They also have a food court there and a couple of restaurants, and we enjoyed a crazy crepe!

Access: To get there from Fukuoka using the Highway and Motorway takes less than one hour. If you follow google to Tosu Premium Outlet it’s a pretty easy route with ample parking, it does get pretty busy on weekends.

Tosu Premium Outlet Mall website has all the travel details of how to get there by bus or train from Fukuoka, Kumamoto and Nagasaki in English! It’s a good website!

Address: 〒841-0005 Saga, Tosu, Yayoigaoka, 8−1


Kinoshita Circus (until March 8th)

Yesterday we went to see Kinoshita Circus, it was my first time ever going to a circus and we really had a lot of fun! Some of the performances were really amazing, and I think the price of the ticket is really reasonable for a 2 hour 10 minute show. My son is 3 years old and he really enjoyed it, his favourite performers were the clowns, especially one called “happy” who is part of the acrobatic troup and the magician! Lots of “wow” and “Mummy, look at that!”

I thought the lion tamer was amazing and also another act, something called “Wheel of Death”! You see a whole range of different acts over the course of the whole show and there is a lot of variety, so I think it really keeps young children entertained. Me and my husband really enjoyed it too, so great activity for the whole family. There are little shops selling snacks and souvenirs when you go inside the door, and there are good toilets and sinks with soup so you can wash your hands.

You are not allowed to take photos while the show is in session, only when the performers come out to bow at the end, hopefully my photos below give you a bit of an idea of what it was like.

My son was so inspired by the acrobats he started doing his own moves after the show!

Also outside the main circus area, when the performance is finished you can take a photo with their two elephants, it costs ¥800 and the money goes towards the Kinoshita Elephant Hospital in Thailand.

Below are photos from the Kinoshita Circus leaflet.

Here is the pricing and performance timetable. If you get tickets in advance they cost ¥2,900 for adults and ¥1,900 for children, if you buy tickets the day of the performance it’s ¥3,300 for adults and ¥2,300 for children. These seats are round the sides of the ring, the light blue colour on the seating chart. I think from anywhere you get a really good view. The price for children is from age 3 until Junior High School 3rd Grade. You can buy tickets from convenience stores or at the circus on the day of the performance.

If you’d like central seats or ringside seats you have to pay the original ticket price plus an extra fee, I’ll summarise this below:

Ringside A + ¥2,500 (peach colour on seating chart)

Ringside B + ¥2,000 (yellow)

Ringside C + ¥1,800 (green)

Royal Blue + ¥1,800 (dark blue)

Royal Yellow + ¥1,500 (orange)

We had Royal Blue seats and the view was really good. Also on the leaflet you can see the performance time schedule.

Monday/Tues/Wed/Sat – 11am & 1:40pm

Thursday closed

Friday – 1pm & 3:40pm

Sunday and National holidays – 10:10am, 1pm & 3:40pm.

Access: The Circus is really easy to get to it’s at Ohori Koen, in Fukuoka city. You can take the subway and exit 3 or 6 are the closest to the big top.


Over the February public holiday, me and my family stayed in Oita prefecture for a few days, enjoying the slight snowfall we had.

One of the places we went to in Kokonoe is called Chojabaru. It’s a really beautiful place to go for a walk. My son is 3, and we told him we will go hiking, this “hiking” is very easy for small children. Chojabaru is a kind of marshland area overlooked by some dramatic mountain scenery. A wooden boardwalk is raised over the marsh, it’s very flat and wide, so perfect if you are using a pram/baby stroller or are pushing a wheelchair. My son also really enjoyed having a “snow fight” too!

The views are beautiful and I think lovely throughout the year. Across the street was a Montbell shop with a cafe on the first floor and a restaurant on the 2nd floor so we had lunch followed by ice cream here after our “hike”. The kabosu and honey soft cream was really nice and refeshing. Also good shop to pick up souvenirs of the area.

Address: 255-33 Tano, Kokonoe, Kusu District, Oita 879-4911

We drove to the Chojabaru Visitor Centre, which is open from 9am-5pm, free to look around and has ample parking. It is possible to do some real hiking starting off at the Chojabaru Visitor Centre, you can enquire inside for more information and maps. Also in this area are lots of places to go horse riding. Me and my husband several years ago went to a place just down the road from here and we had a nice time. (Website for the Chojabaru visitor centre, and general information for visiting the Kuju Alps). (Website for nearby horse riding)

U-kiyoe Exhibition

Right now at the Fukuoka City Art Museum is an exhibition of 5 of the most influential artists of the U-kiyoe, wood-block printing style. I’ve seen an exhibition of paintings by Hokusai quite recently which was really good, so I was keen to see more of his pictures as well as see other famous artists who used the same style.

The five artists featured are Utamaru, Sharaku, Hokusai, Hiroshige and Kuniyoshi. The first two did mainly portraits, Utamaru portraits of women and Sharaku portraits of Kabuki actors in costume and character.

Hokusai and Hiroshige’s work is similar to each other, mostly landscape pictures focusing on the route from Kyoto to Tokyo. Hokusai is famous for his views of Mount Fuji, but he also has a series of pictures of waterfalls and bridges and then pictures of birds and flowers. Hiroshige’s work uses different perspective with a lot of dramatic weather captured such as heavy rain and snow, he also does pictures of birds and flowers.

Finally Kuniyoshi does more humorous pictures, depicting animals in the guise of people, cats forming the shape of words and people’s faces formed out of bodies. His work is the most modern looking and you can see how modern day manga artists may have been inspired by his work.

You are not allowed to take any photos of the exhibition but I bought some postcards from a few pictures on display.

The exhibition is on until March 22nd at Fukuoka City Art Museum, I really recommend going if you have any interest in this style of painting. It costs ¥1,500 for adults. There is a small exhibition next to the main one included in the price of the ticket that shows erotic pictures done in the same style by a different artist which is also interesting, not suitable for kids!!

Access: The Museum is within walking distance of Ohori Koen subway station, exit 3 & 6 are the closest

Mammoth Exhibition

Until February 23rd there is an exhibition at Fukuoka City Science museum about Wooly Mammoths and Kindai Universities Mammoth Revival Project.

It is quite a small exhibition but extremely interesting, showing the team from Kindai University’s expedition diary to Sakha province in Russia to look for Mammoth remains in frozen permafrost. There findings are amazing and you can see first hand a foal who is 40,000 years old, still looking very horse like, as well as some other animals removed from the permafrost. And the remains of Wooly Mammoths, including skeletons, Mammoth hair (that you can touch!!!), teeth, part of the trunk and the head of a Mammoth.

There findings and what the future holds are quite unbelievable and I would really recommend this exhibition, we found it really interesting.

If you are going with young children, I recommend taking them to the 5th floor permanent exhibition room afterwards, which has a lot of hands on exhibits young children can enjoy, our 3 year old son had a really fun time playing in there, his reward for being a good boy while we got to look at the Mammoth Exhibition.

Access: The easiest way to get there is using the Nanakuma Line from Tenjin Minami Station get off at Roppommatsu Station and the Science Museum is closest to Exit 3.

If you come from Hakata Station take the Kuko Line subway to Tenjin and then walk around 10 minutes along the underground shopping arcade to Tenjin Minami Station to transfer to the Nanakuma line.

Happy New Year 2020

I haven’t updated my blog for a while as other things have been taking my priority, but I’m going to try and get back into the swing of things this year with more regular posts. Probably focusing a bit more on parenting and teaching ideas as well as outing suggestions.

I wish everyone a happy 2020 and I hope for most of us we can stay positive and try to keep in good health and avoid getting sick especially in these worrying times, take care everybody!