Ah, Japan. Last summer, I embarked on a multi-city jaunt through the Land of the Rising Sun. The trip was memorable for so many different reasons and as I get ready to revisit Japan, I thought it would be fun to share some of those memories.
Our first taste of Japan would be Fukuoka Airport. The lack of English freaked me out a bit and continued to throughout the trip. There’s something interesting that happens to your senses when you hear and see a different language 24/7. I embraced it. It also helped that travel buddy, Joel, knew some Japanese. Thank goodness.
Navigating Fukuoka Airport and finding the correct office to get our JR Rail Passes would be our first challenge. The second challenge involved finding the correct bus that would get us to Fukuoka Airport Station and then catching the correct train to Hakata Station. We passed with flying colors.
It was about a 10-minute walk from Hakata Station to Hotel Hokke Club Fukuoka. The check-in process was pretty straightforward, with a few nuances that I am guessing is specific to Japan. First, they like cash up-front versus charging the room to a credit card. Secondly, we didn’t get a plastic room card. Instead, we got a key. An actual key. It also served as a light switch of sorts. Plug the rectangular end into the correct slot and boom…light.
I was quite excited to inspect our toilet. It was the first thing that I did in the room (after we figured out the light situation). I’ve heard so much about Japanese toilets. The hype lived up to the expectations. My booty was happy.
We settled into our tiny room. Reminded me of New York, but even smaller.
We quickly set off on foot in search of Fukuoka’s poplar yatai, or open-air food stalls, located along the river on the southern end of Nakasu Island. Along the way, I spotted this urinal. Perfect for the exhibitionist in us all.
As you make your way to the yatai, you will pass Canal City, Fukuoka’s largest and most popular mall.
There were about 15 or so food stalls that sat about five to eight people each. It was a loud and lively experience that was perfect for any first night in a new country.
For dinner? Ramen, gyoza, and a large bottle of Asahi. I’d say that was the perfect meal to have after a long flight. When in Japan, don’t hesitate to slurp your ramen with authority.