Since Japan is only a hop , skip, jump and 30 minute plane ride from Busan, we boarded a Korean air flight (after both having our alien registration cards taken away) and headed to Japan.
We landed in Fukuoka and took the subway into the city, dropped our bags off at our hotel and then put motors on our feet and began to walk.
Fukuoka city is beautiful, We are staying right in the heart of the city near Tenjin Station, which is one of the major subway depots here. Our hotel, the Monterey Le Seour is hip, clean, comfortable and in a fantastic location.
We headed out along the main road in search of Ohori Park and The Fukuoka Castle Ruins. The park was beautiful, the Coy fish were HUGE and the weather was perfect. We saw some boys playing baseball and soccer along with countless people outside strolling like us. The boys also did a little rock climbing
We did hit up subway for lunch, which may sound strange since we are only in Japan for three days, but we have only had it once in 13 months and were dying for a nice subway tuna sub.
Then we checked into the hotel, freshened up and went in search for some sushi dinner. A nice man pointed us into the direction of “where the locals go” we walked in and were greeted with many shouts and japanese and seated right at the sushi bar…after tons of sashimi, sushi, sake, beer and sucking the brains out of shrimps, we made our way to a pachenko room and game room to watch the action.
Friday we took the train into a town called Dazaifu. It was nice to be out of the city and see more of a traditional japanese town. There, we explored the grounds of the Kanzeon-ji temple and played inside of the Kyushu National Museum.
Then, we took a bus to Canal City Hakata and had a sushi dinner again that was not nearly as spectacular as the night before, but “when in rome…” We then walked through the red light district and saw all the businessmen and the women in prom dresses…I guess it must be the :”thing” right now.
The boys then went out for some bonding time while I went to bed semi early for some much needed rest.
We have also come to Fukuoka in time for the Hakata Gion Yamakasa Festival. It is a shame that we won’t be able to watch any of the races, but mock exhibits are set up all over the city. This festival began more than 760 years ago and is dedicated to the Kushida Shrine. What happens is, 7 teams begin creating their “floats” in june and have one month to build a massive, elaborate float which is carried by wood beams. They floats are then displayed around town from July 1-14 and then, on July 15 at 4:59, the teams leave the Kushida Shrine every five minutes and begin a 5 km run, all through Hakata, carrying these massive floats on their back.
Today, we will head to the water oncce everyone wakes up and hopefully catch some more of the town before heading back to Seoul for a final few days with the fam..