Fukuoka, Japan Part 3

Being a Tourist

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crappy map

I woke up early Sunday in an attempt to get all my touristy stuff done (because most places are closed on Monday).  I first started by exploring the area I was in to visit all the shrines and a museum nearby.  In about three hours I visited over 10 shrines and toured the museum.  Then I hopped on the subway to go to my next destination: the zoo.  Unfortunately, I only had the crap map from the other day and then the maps available in the area were either non-existent or completely unhelpful so I walked a little more than an hour in the wrong direction.  My feet were killing me, and I was a little hungry, so I stopped in a KFC.  I trekked back to the subway station and picked another direction.  Luckily, I found a sign for the zoo and after another 3o minutes and an accidental small detour to a random shrine on the top of a hill, I ended up at the zoo.  My feet, needless to say, were killing me.  So I had a few breaks at the zoo to rest my feet.  I stayed for about two hours and then left about 30 minutes before they closed (5pm).  I went back to the subway to go visit my last destination of the day– Fukuoka Tower (about a 30 minute walk from its subway stop).  To walk around the top takes an entire 2 minutes…but I stayed there about an hour or two to get pictures after the sunset.  It was beautiful watching the lights come on and the fog roll in.  Oh and there was this cutest Japanese toddler that decided he wanted to be my friend.

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part of the zoo

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123 m/423 ft to the observation room

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city by day

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fog rolling in

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sunset and fog

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night view

Dinner, bar, and hostel get-together

Japanese beer on the table that night

When I finally got back to the hostel—my feet screaming at me, and me cursing my Converse shoes—I was ready to call it  a night and just sit on my bunk and relax.  Fate had something else in mind because soon after walking in, one of the guys asked if I wanted to join up for some dinner and possibly go drink.  I told them I’d join them for the company but that I probably wouldn’t drink, so the 3 of us head out: a guy from Finland currently an exchange student in Seoul and an American currently working in another area of Japan.  We ate some meat and veggies on rice which was really tasty and a popular meal according to the guy that had been living in Japan for 3 years.  After that, we headed to bar but they closed about an hour after we got there (we arrived around 10 or 11pm).  But back at the hostel, most of the lodgers were in the common room lounging about and drinking beers.  So we joined in and had a relaxing chat with everyone until about 2am.

Shopping Spree and a Reggae Bar

Because I had already paid to exchange USD to YEN, I didn’t want to pay to exchange YEN to KRW so I figured I’d just spend everything that I brought.  So, I woke up with the intent of Monday being the day to spend all my money…but…my feet were still at screaming me.  I told them to shut up because it was my last day and then they could take a break.  LOL.  So my morning started out with the haircut that I scheduled with my friend.  It was the most expensive haircut I’ve ever had but probably the best.  Then I walked around and shopped for 1 pair of shoes and a bunch of clothes…basically a shop ‘til I dropped thing. When I finally got back to the hostel (around 9pm) I was ready to collapse and give my feet a break, but then these guys that I had met in the common room last night wanted to know if I wanted to go out to a reggae bar.  Of course, me being me, I said sure why not.  We got a free ride (from the hostel owner) to the reggae bar.  I stayed until about 1am, had only one drink (on the house), and then walked back.  At the hostel, I joined in the conversation with a Korean man (from Daegu) and the Japanese hostel caretaker…I was their ‘translator’ even though they were both speaking English.  LOL.  The problem was their English was limited and they couldn’t really understand each other’s accents.

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haircut inspiration

Reggae Bar 2

A bar with a Jamaican owner

Back to Korea

I got up at a bright and early 630am and headed to the subway and airport.  It was pretty uneventful, and I spent all the remainder of my yen on a snack at the airport.  I feel I got all the touristy things I could have gotten out of Fukuoka.  No, I didn’t party or sleaze it up, but I had a good time.  In 3 days I walked over 24 hours and I really didn’t spend a lot of money until the very last day.  So it was only an ‘expensive’ weekend because of the shopping (a little over half of the money I spent during vacation—including flight–went to my shopping and haircut).  I would definitely go back to Japan but to a different city/island next time.

More pics on my flickr page. ^^

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