This is a LONGGGGGG post. please read at own risk. haha
28th: 8:50pm depart- it was a fairly nice bus ride. the seats were bigger and more comfortable than economy airplane seats. an 11 hour ride from kyoto to fukuoka was pretty long, but then since we slept for most of the night, it went by rather quickly. i got maybe around 5 hours of sleep.
29th: 7am arrive in hakata, fukuoka
hostel checkin- i'd have to say the hostel was a lot lot better than i expected it to be! i was placed in a dorm styled room with 2 of my friends + someone else. they had wireless internet, computers to use, a common kitchen, tv room. downsides to it were that there were 3 floors, but then only 2 women showers and 1 men showers to accommodate all 3 floors. it had been almost 40 days since i've slept in a western bed, and it still feels wonderful. they even had temperpedic pillows too so very very comfortable.
nagahama ramen- after dropping off our stuff at the hostel, we headed out to find some ramen at 9am. of course no stores were open so we went on the "green bus" that was for tourists. it stops at certain places along the city and you just hop off. we got off at around 10:30 in "chinatown" of fukuoka and eat some good ramen. it was kinda expensive, but still good to the stomach. haha. from there, we started walking a lot cuz everything on the map seemed far from each other, but it wasn't really all that far at all. we were in search of a place on the map called a "palace" and headed in that direction, but then when we got there, it was just a small strip mall called the "palace"!! haha. had a good laugh about that one. then we went to a street market that really wasn't all that exciting except for QUICKLY!!!!! (boba store back home) ironically, i didn't get boba, nor milk tea. haha. didn't taste as good as it does in the states nor in taiwan, but still decent. :)
fukuoka tower- walked to fukuoka tower, 2nd largest tower (tokyo #1). it was next to the beach, so then not only did we get a great view of the city, but also saw the beach.
seaside park- walked down to the beach from fukuoka tower. it was really cold and windy, so we didn't spend a lot of time there at all. plus, also we were afraid of getting sand in our shoes. HHAH. from there we hopped back on the bus and to see some shrines.
tried yatai but ended up eating okonomiyaki- the hours for yatai were 6pm-2am. but when we got there at 6:15~ there were street vendors, but then nobody eating at them. by street vendors, i mean the street restaurants like in korea where they set up the tents and then take them down by the end of the night. anyway, they sold mostly ramen, yakitori and oden, of which we had 2/3 of for the day. plus, being the only customers with 10+ shops waving at you to come in, the stench and how unsanitary the place was, we ended up eating at an okonomiyaki place. good, but was kinda disappointed that we didn't get to cook our own okonomiyaki like we can at the place in torrance. after dinner, we headed home and i was in bed by 10pm. wayyy to exhausted since i didn't get very much sleep on the bus.
fish market fail- for breakfast, we decided to go to the fish market. in fukuoka, they have the morning fish market where they sell the fish from the previous night's catch. we left the hostel at 9am and headed over to the area. but of course we got lost and tried to walked through the warehouse where it CLEARLY said in English "No Trespassing". By the time we walked to the end of the warehouse, one of the security guards finally stopped us and said no pictures (of which we already took) and no trespassing! haha. then he pointed us in the direction of the restaurants which was just across the street
sashimi- having sashimi + tempura for breakfast is like heaven! i paid 1750yen for a fairly small sized meal and was somewhat disappointed, but since the service was good and the fish fresh, i still enjoyed it very much!
yanagibashi fish market- afterwards, we walked pretty far to another fish market. yeah, we walked a LOT on this trip. haha. anyway, there we eat more snacks that the street market sold. it really wasn't all the much. felt like any other asian market probably in asia. haha. went to other shires and parks afterwards
canal city (circus)- then walked to canal city. huge shopping mall with a few department stores and shops. we saw a flyer for the a circus premium event that was happening at 7pm that night, so in order to kill time, we decided to do some shopping, place arcade games, eat some more, and even went to shires. haha. at the arcade, we got really hooked on nice one game. in all, probably spent close to $50 combined with all the games. haha. the show was pretty exciting though! there were these 3 japanese guys that was walking on this pendulum sort of thing. i think two times, they almost fell off cuz the pendulum was swinging too fast! there were 3 other acts that was pretty impressive (pantomime, swing, and a rubber balancing beam)
motsunabe (!!!!!)- finally we got the chance to sit down and eat some motsunabe! besides hakata ramen, fukuoka is also famous for their motsunabe. motsunabe is a hot pot styled dish, but instead of thinly sliced meat, it is intestines. with that they cook vegetables. the soup base was the most delicious soup base i've ever had!! the place was very classy, even the toilet was automatic (it would lift the lid of itself when you walk in). after you finish what is in the pot, you can add 350yen to put rice and egg in the soup and cook it again. the rice soup is SOO AMAZING! like, before eating the rice, you don't feel full at all, but then after it, you feel like this place is worth it. UNTIL YOU ASK FOR THE CHECK. when you ask for the check, they give you only a small piece of paper that says the total for the bill. since we were paying as a group for 6 people, we had calculated before hand how much it would be per person. 1450yen. but then when we got the bill, it was more than what we expected. 1700yen per person. we didn't know what was going on and ask them to calculate clearly what we ordered. might i add, their service really wasn't all the great. they looked annoyed whenever we talked to them especially since we didn't know about what was going on. and then they come really slowly, maybe 3 minutes after we pretty the bell that calls for service. anyway, the extra 250yen turned out to be for service fee, which we were all furious to find out because they didn't even service us very well. so then my friends were all so mad that they decided to pay him all in coins, as many coins as they could. and then they didn't leave for the longest time. we all decided to use the restroom too. i was the first to use it and then went down to the ground level right away afterward cuz the waiter was still at the entrance to the place waiting to bid us farewell. but my friends wanted to lounge around until everyone finished going. the waiter was still waiting there until everyone left. then downstairs, we were furious with all that we had to pay and laughed about trying to cause them trouble. then, for the sake of memories, we decided to take pictures with the sign of the place. we asked a person on the street if he would take pictures for us, and he was really patient and even suggested moving to the 2nd sign which was a little better lit. afterward, we thanked him and i turned around and saw the waiter WAS STILL THERE WAITING FOR US TO LEAVE!!!! i was so shocked i laughed my head off. haha. and then what was even crazier was that the man who took the picture for us walked over and talked to the waiter like they were friends!!! HAHAHA. here we were trying to make memories of how much we hated the place, but the guy taking the picture probably thought we loved the place. HAHA. ionno. we just tried to get away from there asap after that. haha. got home around 10:30 and was in bed by 12.
hotel check in- since we booked our reservations at the hostel too late, they didn't have space for the 6 of us the last night. so we moved our stuff to a hotel near tenjin. it was a really nice hotel, but they of course didn't have wireless internet.
castle ruins- walked to look at a castle ruins. it was a pretty big castle, so we didn't have all the time in the world to see everything. however, we did climb to where the watch tower once was a took pictures atop the mountain with the city as our background. it was really quite a site. plus, there was fukuoka tower in the background.
beer museum- we had made reservations to go to Asahi beer manufacturing plant. we had heard the tour only takes 20-30 mins and at the end of it, you get to enjoy 3 beverages made by the company. little did we know, it would take us 1.5 hours. it really wasn't all the exciting anyway because the machines weren't running so didn't even see anything moving. but the tour was completely free so it was nice to eat, drink and be happy. also, by this time of day, we haven't had a legit meal yet. we snack a lot, eating this and than along the way so everyone's faces turned red rather quickly. haha.
tenjin/johnny's store- this is like the shibuya/harajuku area of fukuoka. where shopping happens. but instead of shopping, i decided to head up the johnny's store!! since 40 days of arriving in japan, it's my first time stepping into a johnny store during this trip. i was surprised that it took me so long, but since there isn't one in kyoto, it made sense. compared to 2.5 years ago, i'm also not that crazed of a fan anymore, so the johnny's store wasn't all that amazing. besides the regular shop photos, they also had some reallly old goods for KAT-TUN/NEWS. these were so only that i remember they came out the winter after i went to japan 2.5 years. ago at least 2 years ago!! >.< i spent a little more than 5000 yen at the johnny's store on shop photos. time to decorate my walls again! :DDD
ichiran ramen- my friend heard from her sensei that in fukuoka, the famous place to eat hakata ramen in ichiran. sure enough, when we got there was a line. after wasting a few minutes we were seated into these stall like things. each person had their own stall and each row was separated by a wooden wall. this stall had only a small area where the food was to come in and out. basically, you had all the privacy in the world to do eat as messily as you would like. the ramen was actually very tasty! kinda expensive, but still very good to eat! even when the food came too, they close the blind on you so the hole where the food came in was gone. i kinda wanted to try their rival (ippon) since i heard it had a more garlicy feel to it, but we didn't have enough stomach to eat more ramen. haha. went back to the hotel afterwards. tried to sleep at 11pm, but since in this hotel we there was only one bed for two people, we had to share beds. it was a double for two people and not enough rolling space. T_T haha. in the middle of the night too, i forgot i was sleeping with us and actually screamed when i saw her face next to mine. LOL
5am wake up- had to catch the 7:05am bus to the nagasaki, so we left the hotel at 5:45am. but then... we got there too early, earlier enough even for the 6:30am bus. haha.
bus to nagasaki 2 hours- slept some more. a regular bus this time, but since it was a short ride, didn't get very nauseous. arrived at 9am.
hotel check in- the hotel that we stayed in for this time was a ryokan. this is a japanese styled room that cost us 8400 yen per person with all 6 people living in the same room. their service was excellent also! we dumped our stuff at them and then they said they will bring it up to the room when we come back to check in later. the hotel manager asked us what we were going to do for the day and we told him we didn't know at all. so then he recommended us to some places to see and some places to eat. for nagasaki, they are famous for champon ramen, chinese food, kasutera, and toroko rice. he even photo copied us maps too so we could know where to go!
breakfast at the mall (nagasaki eki)- since by that time it was already 11am, we decided to eat brunch at the mall in the eki. i ordered korean bibimbap, but the sauce was completely off!! it was more sour and tomatoy more than anything! quite a disappointment, but i still enjoyed the nice half burt crunchy rice. ^^
the shy guy at taiyaki- on the first floor of the mall is this food court and there was this mochi taiyaki place. (instead of bread on the outside, it is mochi). at first we were trying to take pictures of the young man making the taiyaki, but then my friends and i just started taking pictures of the guy alone. at first he pretended not to notice, but then he actually looked up and posed ^_^V for us also! haha. then without buying anything we left to go play some games at the the arcade. haha. we knew we were going to buy the taiyaki after the games since we just had lunch, but they probably thought we were rude foreigner just taking pictures without buying anything. when we went back afterwards, he was gone. T_T
peace park, hypocenter, atomic bomb museum- yeah. that's just how it sounds. we did that. i personally didn't think it was that bad, but everyone said they felt depressed and sad to see the pictures of the effects after the bomb. yeah.
glover garden- this is a garden (HUGE GARDEN) with an amazing view of the town below. it is quite the climb up, but since it is such a hot destination, they have escalators and elevators that take you all the way up the mountain so no climbing! ^_^v we had bought strawberries at the fruit vendor at the bottom of the mountain, so munched on delicious strawberries while looking at the view. we spent quite a long time there into maybe 6:30pm. just such a relaxing place to take everything, the ocean, the mountains, the bridge, the city.
chinatown- a busy busy street. the restaurants here all said to wait 30 mins, so then we decided not to wait in line. looked good though!
chanpon, sara udon, nagasaki style dandan men- instead, we went to eat at a place the hotel manager had recommended to us earlier that day. the place had good service, high class styled place, so we were afraid that we would have to pay service fees again!!! but we didn't. haha. :) food was so-so. kinda bland, but i mean, still chinese food! :D
taxi tour to mt. inasa for nightview- nagasaki, kobe and some other place in japan (hokkaido?) are the top 3 places for night views, according to my taxi driver. initially, we wanted to take the ropeway up to the mountain, but it closes at 10pm, and it was already 9pm. so our manager called the taxi company and they sent over 2 taxis for the 6 of us. our taxi man (morinaga-san), was a nice man. it was hard though obviously to make conversation with him, but he wasn't bad or anything. when we got up to the top, the view was really quite amazing. too bad my camera wasn't that good at capturing night view without flash, but it really was quite pretty. :) we only had 20 mins for free on the mountain before we had to head back down again. so it was run run run pic pic pic run run run leave. haha. my taxi man also told us where to get kasutera. it so happened to be the place where my manager recommended us to go, so it must be famous and good. headed back to the hotel an slept at 12am.
japanese style breakfast- japanese styled breakfast is really amazing. i think more so that the heavy sugary stuff at americans eat for breakfast, the japanese had a very delicate breakfast with good flavor but delicate flavors. it came free with the room, and it wasn't this buffet style breakfast but where they actually serve you too! excellent. had fried fish, miso soup, egg, seaweed, different styled seaweed, natto, yogurt, tea, salad, potato salad and rice. urghhhh SO GOOD.
dejima (dutch factory)- trade with the dutch was once a big business in nagasaki. so they made the factory into an overpriced tourist place. end of that.
warf/seaside park- i don't know why, but i think we were just getting more and more tired as the days dragged on. at dejima, we sat a lot. then at the warf we sat. then again at seaside park, we sat. HAHA. anyway, the park had a very SF feel to it. since there was the bridge and they the bay with the wind. it felt really relaxing, so we just sat there for maybe 30 mins. we also saw a pet ferret. hha. i think those are illegal in america, right?
rejected at the no.1 toruko rice restaurant- the hotel manager had recommended two places for toroko rice. no.1 was his favorite and what he says is most like japanese flavors. no.2 is very popular, but he think no.1 is still better. it took us some time to find the no.1 place, but then when we did, we were rejected by the place. it usually opens until 2:30, but that day, it was only opened only 2, so we were kindly rejected at 1:30 and asked to leave. retarded huh. i mean, we got there before 2, they should serve us before 2. ROAR. then we went to the no.2 place
waited 1.5 hours to get it from the no.2 restaurant- yeah, you see how long we waited? 1.5 hours. 1 hr standing. .5 hours in the place for the food. and when we got it, it wasn't even that exciting anymore. honestly, i could have just assembled that at home. basically, it was "spaghetti" (overcooked noodles with dried up tomato sauce), rice pilaf (fried rice, but with less of the vegies, etc.), a pork katsu (fried pork), a smalllll salad and curry put over the katsu. doesn't that sound so....plain? ionno. all of us weren't that impressed with it. the chinese people behind us too who ended up sitting next to us weren't that impressed either. so...plain. i just don't see how that business is going so well too. the workers don't seem to be in a rush to make the food. in fact, they didn't even LOOK like they were making food. eveywhere i looked, only on table would be eating at a time. so many empty table, so many bored faces. haha. ionno. =_=
meganebashi/kasutera- then we walked to the eyeglass bridge. my friend described it as "nagasaki running out of places for tourism". haha. it really just looked like any other bridge, but they decided to make it something else. lol. the kasutera place was right next to the bridge, so I guess that was convenient.
game center, omiyage- then we went back to the mall because it was just TOO hot to do anything (i can sense how nasty summer is going to be. even the taxi man had said kyoto gets hotter than most places because there's no ocean around it.) i saw the taiyaki man again, but i was too embarrassed to go and buy another taiyaki. it really was very good, but just too embarrassed. i mean, we all took pictures of him! HHAHAHA.
home-bound- hopped on the bus at 8:30pm. The bus this time was reallly...um...not comfortable. the chairs were SO TINY. didn't even have an arm rest between chairs, and the japanese person next to me would come towards my direction. the "girl" next to me....was something. haha. i was really quite tired from the past couple of days so i went to sleep at around 10. i knew that she was getting ready for bed too, but i felt like i should give her some privacy and put on my blindfold. the next time i woke up was at 12 for the rest stop. i look over and the person changed! i thought it was an entirely different person, but it was the same person. she took off her WIG. i remember right before going to sleep, staring at how her hair was too uniformly crimped. now, she had short hair like a boy's hair and no makeup anyway. WOW. hahah. it was quite funny to be honest. anyway, arrived at 9am in the morning in kyoto. really exhausting trip, very EXPENSIVE trip, but very very fun. :)
okay that took 1.5 hours to type. >.< i will end it here. good night!