Date of Travel: 11/02/2012
We woke up to the best weather we had encountered throughout our whole trip. As such, we got some breakfast from a convenience store nearby, hopped on a subway from Nakasukawabata station to Ohorikoen station, sat by the large pond, and had breakfast. Those who pictured Japan being just one big polluted country have obviously not witnessed first-hand how beautiful Japan can be. The water in the pond was very clean, and the reflection of the sky and the city in the water made it all the more beautiful. After breakfast, we took around the park. It was a perfect way to start the day!
Next to Ohori Park lies the Fukuoka Castle Ruins. Or at least, they think these used to be ruins. Apparently they weren’t too sure! The large stone bases were very similar to those from Nijo Castle, and is very typical of Japanese castle construction. There was a fantastic view of the city from the top of the hill, where we could see Fukuoka Tower and Fukuoka Dome in the distance. On the way back down, we stopped by a well. This well was used to sense if earthquakes were coming based on the water level. An interesting concept.
From the Castle Ruins, we took about a half hour walk to Hawks Town Mall for lunch. It was our first taste of Okonomiyaki on this trip. The mall itself wasn’t that grand (though I suppose nothing could compare against Canal City). We did try the batting cages while at the mall, which was quite fun though difficult. The mall was located right next to Fukuoka Yafuoku Dome, home of the Fukuoka Hawks Baseball team. The dome ground was surrounded by copper hand moulds of famous people. The most notable was perhaps Michael Jackson’s. Jigyo Central Park is also located right next to the dome, and features a very pretty clock tower.
North of the dome is Fukuoka’s artificial beach. As it was winter, there were no one else on the beach at the time. We weren’t daring enough to hop into the water either! We headed east along the beach towards Momochi Seaside Park, where Fukuoka Tower was located. Robosquare, which is a show room featuring the latest robots, was only a short walk away from the tower, and had some interesting exhibits.
As it was starting to get late, we slowly headed back. Along the way, we got distracted by an owl statue next to the Fukuoka Library. We decided to go in to have a look around in the library, but it was so quiet in there and we felt like an annoyance, so we quickly headed back out. We also stopped by ruins of a fortress against a Mongolian invasion at Nishijin, which was definitely less impressive than it sounds!
After quite a long day of walking around the place, we decided to head back to Canal City to have dinner. Brownie was also getting quite a bad headache, so we decided to take it easy. We took a subway from Nishijin station back to Hakata station, where J.C. got us lost trying to find the exit! When we finally did, it was only a short walk to reach Canal City. It was very busy and there was an event going on. We looked over the edge and saw a “meet and greet” session with some idol group. It was kind of creepy to see the amount of grown men shaking hands with young girls. The security must’ve thought the same about me as well and requested for me to stop taking photos and videos of the event. At the time, I was only taking a video of a water fountain display. See the corresponding video on my youtube channel if you don’t believe me – I’m innocent!
After dinner, Brownie decided to call it a day and headed back to the accommodation himself while J.C. and I continued to look around the mall. There was an Ultraman shop (man that brings back childhood memories) and a Jump shop (specializing in goods from popular shounen manga like Naruto, One Piece and Bleach). Apart from that, nothing else really caught our attention. As such, we decided to head back to the accommodation early. We had an early start the next day anyway in order to catch the earliest train out of Fukuoka.
Halfway back towards our accommodation, we came across the entrance to the Kushida Shrine. It appeared that there were some events ongoing based on the interesting decoration they put up at the entrance. J.C. and I decided to explore the shine since we were already there, and took plenty of pictures around the place. We then called it a night, and headed back to the hostel to rest our feet.
Subway from Nakasukawabata station to Ohorikoen station – 250 yen
Subway from Nishijin station to Hakata station – 250 yen
Fukuoka Riverside Hostel (since been closed) – 3,000 yen
Breakfast from convenience store near accommodation – 355 yen [Hotdog, onigiri and orange juice]
Lunch at なんでやねん @ Hawks Town Mall – 880 yen (Kansai style Okonimiyaki)
Cafe coffee flavoured Pocky – 210 yen
Dinner at Canal City – 880 yen (chicken dish)
Oolong Tea – 128 yen
N/A ~All free~
Souvenir from Canal City – 800 yen [Homura (from Madoka) figurine]
TOTAL (cost for whole trip in brackets)
6,753 yen (281,636 yen total)