Japan Day 2: Kumamoto –> Fukuoka

IMG_4795Hello all,

After a hearty breakfast, we went off on our way to visit Suizenji Garden. The forecast was telling us rain in the afternoon, so we wanted to beat the rain.

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Now, I need to explain transportation in Japan. This is a generalization, but I think most people will agree with me that as a traveler, transportation is pretty complicated! Trains, trams, and buses are all owned by different companies, which means buying a pass is limiting, expensive, and are not always easy to find. We couldn’t understand which track to go onto without asking and would also end up in the wrong place in the correct station. The stations are sometimes connected but owned by different companies which means you would have to go to another section of the station to get onto the correct tracks. Way confusing. Anyways, we were able to manage after asking multiple people, checking online, and reading countless signs. πŸ™‚

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We found the garden and were amazed at its beauty. The grass and other greenery were just unbelievably green. The air was clear, water was calm, and paths cleared. It was obvious this garden was well-kept. We even saw some men in action, trimming away bushes and shaping greenery into incredibly straight lines. We were impressed and temporarily forgot how hot it was. We cooled off with an ice dessert made with matcha–something we definitely had to have while being in Japan. πŸ™‚

 

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We were lucky to beat the rain and relaxed for a while, waiting to see if the rain would let up before leaving the garden. It continued raining, so we had no choice but to head out in the rain. Luckily, we saw the garden without the rain, so we had to count our blessings.

Once we reached Kumamoto Station, we bought two tickets for a Shinkansen bullet train to Fukuoka. It would take about an hour to get there, so we relaxed, played on our phones, and reached our destination. Quite impressed with the speed of these bullet trains, so it was fun to be on one again (C’s first time).

IMG_4903Once we arrived to Fukuoka, we needed to get some food. The hunger set in again so we thought of what we haven’t had yet.: RAMEN! πŸ˜€ We found a little shop that obviously specialized in ramen, so we paid for a ticket through a vending-type-machine and got our customized ramen ready! It was soooo good. I can’t even describe how good it was, but this is seriously one of my favorite things about Japan. Ramen is just too good. We were able to choose what firmness of noodles we wanted along with toppings. We were both extremely happy after eating and may have had a slight food coma after. Who cares that it was summer? We need our hot, soupy, and noodly ramen! ❀

Well, the food coma got kind of real, because we decided to look for our accommodation to rest. Hmm, yeah so story time: we walked for more than 30 minutes around the vicinity of where our accommodation was. We. Could. Not. Find. It. I was growing very frustrated because not only were we tired, but it was hot and we paid for threeΒ nights at this accommodation. We stopped at a Family Mart and asked for help. They were kind and directed us via a map. ❀ We tried again. No luck. We came back and asked if they could call the accommodation as we didn’t have a calling phone. Finally, we were able to communicate and apparently I was supposed to get an email (which I never did) to explain that the accommodation does not have a front desk. What. I would have to get my key from a lock box attached to a fence. Huh. Then, use the code to open the box and help myself into the accommodation. Ok… So we did that and got in safely. It was just bizarre. How would anyone know that was the protocol without that email??? Also, this key was literally a piece of plastic with a bunch of holes. Some key. 😐

IMG_4928Happy to be in, we rested a bit and decided to go see Fukuoka Tower since the views looked good at night according to Google Images. Since it was a little bit far from our accommodation, it was the perfect night activity. Once we got to the tower (and got used to the bus system), we were surprised that it was literally on the ground instead of on a hill or other structure. You could touch it. That’s how close it was.

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Funny enough, it was extremely busy. The line was over an hour wait so I guess everyone was thinking the same thing and decided to come to the tower at 9:00 at night. We made our way and enjoyed the night view from above. It’s amazing seeing this coastal city and ocean meet. We really enjoyed our time in the tower and slowly made our way back to our accommodation, having a late night but a fulfilling day regardless. πŸ™‚

Until next time,

Jess

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