After a restful evening in Marine Terrace Beach Resort, Jeremy and I were excited to start the third day of our trip. We were excited to go check a unique zoo that we had found out about thanks to our friend, Yumi. Seeing the sun rising over the mountains as we got ready was really cool.
About half an hour from Fukuoka is Nanzo-in Temple. Nanzo-in Temple is the home of the reclining Buddha. I've been wanting to see it in person for a while and figured since we were in Fukuoka we should take the detour to go visit it. Even though I had looked online about this temple often, I didn't know there was more to it than just the reclining Buddha. I also didn't know it was halfway up a mountain. We had quite a few surprises waiting for us.
After having a couple of long stressful weeks, Ashley and I decided that we needed a weekend away from base. Since our weekends are crazy we made Monday and Tuesday be our weekend. Thankfully the Hotel & Resort Sunshine Sazan Seto hosted us for our girls' trip. The resort is located about an hour away on Oshima Island. It is the perfect distance to make you feel like you are from base. With the palm trees surrounding the resort, it is easy to imagine you are on a tropical island. It helped set us up for the relaxation we were seeking.
For the first time in a long time I am actually busy everyday. I am happy I am getting out the house and socializing more. I have a bad habit of becoming a hermit when Jeremy goes away. I'm really working hard to change that.
The day after I purchased my camera, Jeremy and I traveled down to Yuda Onsen for the Byakko Festival. It was only about two hours from base. The festival is based on a legend that 800 years ago a monk happened to witness an injured white fox dipping his hurt paw into a puddle. When the monk dug into where the puddle was, he unearthed a golden Buddha and a hot spring started to bubble up. The white fox is the symbol of the city.
While driving out to the Mara Kannon Shrine, Jeremy and I passed signs for the Tawarayama Onsen. An onsen is a hot water mineral spring bath. Visiting an onsen has been on my Japanese Bucket for a while but I was also nervous about visiting one. Jeremy and I decided that today would be a good day to try it out.