Kyushu, Day 10: Yanagawa

MARCH 13, 2020

Yanagawa is well-known for its canals and eel production… which are the reasons why we went to this area. We headed to GANSO MOTOYOSHIYA for lunch as it was the nearest unagi restaurant to the kawakudari company with free donkobune ride included in our ticket pack. We ordered their famous unagi no seiromushi (¥3,700).

Ganso Motoyoshiya was established in 1681 and well-known to be the origin of unagi no seiromushi. They described this dish as (1681) “charcoal-broiled fillets of eel placed on a bed of flavored rice in a steamer, topped with finely sliced scrambled egg, and served with a light soup containing eel liver”.

The taste did not disappoint! I was bothered by the bones though and not sure if it should be removed, but I did that. The best part was eating the rice coated with their sauce.

From the restaurant, we walked for a few minutes to reach YANAGAWA KANKO KAIHATSU K.K. SHOUGETSU PUNTING STATION. This was the kawakudari (“short river cruise”) company included in the Dazaifu and Yanagawa One-Day Sightseeing Ticket Pack for free.

We were guided to the dock for donkobune, which are low flat boats pushed with a pole. Ogata-ojiisan, our boat captain and guide, warmly welcomed us. We were fortunate to have another passenger who knew some English so during the 1-hour ride, he would translate some of the fun facts given by Ogata-ojiisan.

Ogata-ojiisan actually had a good English accent and would sometimes give facts in English so we learned a lot during the cruise. We passed by 10 or 11 low bridges during the cruise so we had to lower our head and body to avoid bumping on these.

We saw trees with different types of flowers already blooming, signaling that the peak of spring was just around the corner. Unfortunately, no sakura but Ogata-ojiisan said that the place would become even more beautiful in a week or two when the sakura trees have bloomed.

In the middle of the cruise, we stopped by this small area where they were selling snacks, dessert, and beer. When I found out that one of the ice cream flavors was Amaou ichigo (Amaou strawberry), I immediately said that I would buy one. The ice cream was really, really good – milky and very prominent strawberry taste. It did not taste like an artificial flavoring.

Some more spots we passed by…

And after an hour, we said our goodbye to Ogata-ojiisan and the very friendly local passenger.

We went back to Hakata and had dinner at HYOTAN SUSHI, a kaitenzushi (“conveyor belt sushi”) restaurant. It was fascinating to see different kinds of sushi on the conveyor belt where you could get any plate that you want to try.

They also offered a menu so that if nothing on the conveyor belt interests you, you could select from the menu and ask one of the chefs to prepare it. This was how I placed most of my orders because otoro (¥390) and snow crab (¥450+) were not available on the conveyor belt.

I ordered these again because both were really good! Otoro is the fattiest part of the tuna so that one had a melt-in-your-mouth feel. As for the snow crab, the amount of meat in the sushi was really generous!

After dinner, we headed to our new Airbnb and the lovely couple homeowners welcomed us with mochi and cup of matcha. ❤

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