Saturday, December 21, 2013

Japan- Currently in Osaka, 21.12. 13 – Writing about Fukuoka/Hakata/Beppu, 16th, 17th, 18th December 

The morning on the Ferry was a bit weird- we docked and I got woken up because there was announcements and everyone was moving around…  but while we actually docked about 6ish, we weren’t allowed to disembark until 7:30. So I pretty much went back to sleep.

^^We had to cross this river every day to get from Khaosan to Hakata Station.^^

From there, we got the bus to Hakata train station, and followed the directions to our Hostel, Khaosan Fukuoka Annex. We were very lucky our room was ready so we could go straight in- the first thing we did was have a shower and have a bit of a rest. Later that afternoon we checked out Hakata and visited Canal City shopping centre. It was a bit of a disappointment, and the busses sucked there (Ange and Mankee tried to ask a question to the driver through the front door- which is the exit door- and the driver shut the door in their faces and then drove off.) so we walked back to the hostel.

^^ Canal City is pretty but the shops are lame.^^

^^ Waiting for the shitty bus.^^

^^ Hakata station at night.^^

The next day we went to Beppu, and as planned, took the Beppu Ropeway up to the top of a mountain. It is known to have a great view of Beppu; alas, it was pouring with rain and when we were about half way up the mountain, it began to snow. So we had a beautiful view of blinding whiteness. Of course, at the top of the mountain it was freezing- we ventured out for some quick photos, I found some novelty KitKats and bought them (Hint: They were not grape as I’d imagined) and then headed back down, a little discouraged.

^^ Really great views of Beppu, as you can see.^^

From there we went back to the station to buy a return ticket to Beppu (a 2 hour trip). We tried for a popular hotspring but missed the bus, and as a result, worried we wouldn’t make our trip back so decided on a local hotspring. Mankee’s map reading skills lead the way to a popular local onsen which had Sandbaths. We pretty much got buried in hot sand (like a heavy, slightly too hot blanket), tried to refrain from going to sleep (or passing out?) and then had to wash off to go in a little mini onsen, which was HOT! I was the first one out because super heated water isn’t really my thing (just like cold water really- I’m good in neither terribly hot nor terribly cold circumstances.)

^^ The wind/snow were more violent here.^^

At that point we realized we weren’t going to make our trip home (we felt bad but because we had our Kyushu rail pass, could just book another trip without paying any extra) so we ventured in to a restaurant for tea. This was a good choice in general- I enjoyed a Cassis Spark cocktail (pretty sure I paid 100yen extra just for a light up ice cube but whatever) and I had chips and a cheese pizza, which was okay. Mankee and Ange had a bit of a fried rice mishap (two serves in one bowl-  then we couldn’t understand the waitress when ordering the second serve…) but overall, enjoyable.

^^ That extra dollar for the light up ice cube was totally worth it.^^

The ride home was a sleepy one, with us going to bed virtually straight away. The next day we got up early to pack our stuff and leave. We checked in for our flights online, giving us an extra hour to sight see in Fukuoka. We left our bags at reception, who were super helpful.  (They rang up to see if we could get to Gukanjima, which I really wanted to go to, but there were only 2 companies. One company just toured around the island and the company who actually let you ON the island were closed for repairs. We were like… no thanks. Why bother just taking a boat ride around it?)

Then we headed to some shrines in Fukuoka, which were quite beautiful. We visited a bunch of shrines that could have been Shofuku-ji, Nyujo-ji and somewhere else, but to be honest, I’m not 100% sure and when I tried to check on Google maps, the images looked rather unspecifically like every shrine ever. After that, we headed to Hakata station, caught the subway to Fukuoka airport, which is super conveniently located like 5 mins away and then headed to Tokyo!

^^Bye Bye Fukuoka! Bye Bye Kyushu!^^

xx Cassis Fiend, owner of Boysenberry Danger (alias the Mulberry Defender), Priestess of the Wul-Zico Shrine. 

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