Fukuoka: Part the Second

After the antics of the previous night, I managed to escape from my hotel at the exact check-out time. Unfortunately I didn’t get to shower. So, what do you think I did? Walked around dirty all day? Ha! You don’t know Jim Moore.

I took the train down to Futsukaichi, a small town with an onsen complex, and had a nice relaxing soak. As in most of these places, the clientele were mainly old men, with the less-than-ideal sights that entails. Still, it comes with the territory. It’s not like I was expecting Jessica Alba or anything (though that would be a nice surprise).

After I got back I explored Canal City, the river (see above) and Tenjin a bit more, and before I met up with my Leeds friends again, checked into a capsule hotel. I had it down as one of those things I might as well do while in Japan, and this one seemed a little better than most – it had an open-air bath on the roof. Yes, on the roof. Who cares about sleeping in a pod – there are four-star hotels that don’t do that sort of thing! I changed into the yukata-style nightwear they left out for guests, had a shower and quick dip in the public bath, and headed out on the subway to meeet my friends. (BTW, if you think I’m showering/washing/bathing too much, try spending a fairly active day in Japan in mid-summer. You will not believe how much you can sweat.)

I got a tour of Fukuoka University campus, during which I somehow managed to not spend every second pointing out things that were better at Gaidai. They’ve got a Mos Burger on campus, but we have a Seattle’s Best Coffee. Despite my almost bankrupting myself last semester with coffeee, I still wouldn’t care to trade. Anyway, they took me out to a little place off campus, where we had ramen. Fukuoka is actually famous for this king of foods, and there are many little mobile stalls, called yatai, selling it around town. I wandered past a few of these in the early afternoon, and they were just starting to prepare the ingedients. There were enormous hunks of pork bones laid out for making the broth – so big I could actually tell which part of the pig they came from. Being a carnivore is fun.

All in all, Day 2 was pretty chilled, but I had a nice evening. I’m heading off to Seoul tomorrow. It’s all been a bit last minute, but it should be fun, barring those pesky North Koreans. Someone should tell them to play nice.


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