Shopping and Eating in Kurokawa # 9: Shimokawabatadori Stroll

Along Shimokawabatadori Street there is a small gallery/shop that can be rented short term and attracts a variety of artists throughout the year from both near and far. Until May 16th the gallery houses a display by a potter,Kazuyo Taguchi, whose studio is near Mount Kinpo in Kumamoto City.



Kazu Pottery (until May 16th 2017)


Apart from the usual dishes,cups and vases , unique pottery clocks caught my eye along with colourful chopstick rests,necklaces and earrings,which could easily be wrapped up and transported home safely in your luggage.



Pottery clocks


Can you spot the two-faced vase!?















All in all it was a perfect afternoon for a stroll around Kurokawa ,lots of fresh green leaves and a slight breeze along by the river…



Kurokawa stroll,in Yukata of course!


Why not rest a moment and try the refreshing footbath (ashiyu) located by the river? Just pop across the street to Yamanoyu Ryokan first to pay the ¥100 entry fee at reception (an extra ¥100 if you need a towel). Operating hours are 8:30am to 8:30pm.




Footbath (足湯)


…..and  then ice creams from nearby Sugiyohoen (the Honey Shop) round off  the afternoon  perfectly!



Sugiyohoen ice cream contains honey,yum!



Shopping and Eating in Kurokawa # 8: Fudo Cafe

Fudo (風°C) is a fairly new café that popped up on Sakuradori Street (gekkojyu) and has a covered deck area where you can sit and look out onto the street. Open from 11:00 to 17:00 every day the café offers a variety of drinks and snacks for eating in or taking out.



Covered deck at Fudo Cafe

We chose to eat in ,as it was a cool and wet afternoon,but several customers were wrapped up in their yukata robes and tanzen  (short jackets) and enjoying drinks out on the deck. The large,juicy meatburger sold here (¥600) was a hit with my son,while my daughter and I sipped herb tea in real china tea cups. The hibiscus tea (¥200) was refreshing,but we were a little disappointed that other yummy-sounding teas (caramel and strawberry) advertised on the chalkboard menu were not available.



A really meaty burger !


Pictures of items on the menu are clearly displayed on the wall and counter,so its easy to point to what you`d like to order. Prices seemed reasonable for the quality and amount of food,although a plate of sirloin steak would set you back ¥2500. Seasonal specialities are also available.



Inside Fudo cafe



Open daily 11:00 to 17:00

English menu/signs


Shopping and Eating in Kurokawa #7: Terakoya Senbei (Rice cracker) Shop

Wasabi (horseradish),red pepper,sweet plum….these are just a few of the unusual,mouthwatering flavours of rice cracker on sale at Terakoya Rice Cracker Shop  (寺子屋煎餅店)on Sakuradori Street. We couldn`t resist the wonderful aroma of freshly-baked crackers,and ended up buying a few to take out and eat while we wandered around town.



Terakoya Rice Crackers


The selection of flavours made it hard to choose…..I tried a sugar plum crispy cracker,which was huge,and my son tried Wasabi. One of the specialities at this store are the `semi-soft’ (mochi-yaki) crackers,which are smaller and served on a skewer like a kebab,but I was worried about maybe losing a filling and opted for the full crunch variety of cracker.


Selection of semi-soft and crunchy crackers

Selection of semi-soft and crunchy crackers


Inside the shop are further varieties of crackers packaged ready for edible `0miyage` (souvenir) shopping ,with detailed descriptions in English and starting at around ¥130 per cracker. There`s also a small area where you can sit and rest while you eat your take out cracker.



Red pepper? You must be crackers!


Detailed descriptions of the various flavours
















Open daily 9:30 to 17:30

Credit cards not accepted (even though this store is one of a chain,also located in Yufuin and other tourist spots 😕 )

Detailed signs in English




Shopping and Eating in Kurokawa # 6: Yumekurodo Gift Shop

Exploring a section of Sakuradori Street this rainy afternoon…and it was difficult to keep my purse closed at the first stop, Yumekurodo (夢蔵人).



Entrance to Yumekurodo


Such a colorful array of small,light and easily transportable presents such as socks,handkerchiefs,wall hangings and jewellery in traditional Japanese designs,with many of the smaller items selling at 2 (or 3) for ¥1080 (that pesky 8% tax!) . I was almost tempted to start my Christmas shopping!



Socks (tabi) and hankies going for 1080yen for three. Must go back for those sushi socks!


Popular items here are the original Kurokawa T-shirts and tote bags. T-shirts and clothing are hard to find in Kurokawa,these T-shirts are perfect for the warmer months if you find you need to add to your wardrobe on your travels,children`s sizes and adults up to XL available.



Cool T shirts


Tote-ally cool totes!















Open Daily: 9:30 to 17:00

Credit cards accepted

Some signs in English and Korean,a little English spoken.





Shopping and Eating in Kurokawa #5: Goto Liquor and Corner Shop

It`s 9pm and you find yourself suddenly in need of a packet of tissues, a bottle of pop (or something stronger) or a few postcards and last minute presents. Where should you go? Well, just pop round to Goto Liquor and Corner Shop (後藤酒店) on Sakuradori Street, a stone`s throw from the Visitor Center and open every day (except the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays in the month)  from 8:40 to 22:00.



Goto Liquor / Corner shop

The shop is quite large and the corner shop side has a fairly good array of daily necessities,including snacks ,local dairy produce and drinks .There is a small selection of fresh fruit/veg and  even a few packaged lunch boxes and sandwiches on sale too.  By the door on the liquor shop side there are also some tasteful postcards and small gifts for sale. A variety of Japanese sake,spirits,local brews, as well as foreign wines and imports etc are sold, and apparently there are sometimes opportunities to try a taster of  some of the alcoholic beverages (but please make sure you are not driving later that day!)



Turn left for daily goods…


….and right for alcohol and gifts.














From the left: local beer,local cider (lemonade)` and ramune` (soda pop).




OPEN DAILY (except 1st and 3rd Weds ) 8:40 to 22:00

A little English spoken