Japan 2016 (7 of 7) Ohori Park, Fukuoka Castle Ruins & ACROSS Building

DAY 7

Last day in Fukuoka, my flight is at 8:00pm.

Ohori Park

My plan was to wake up very early in the morning to catch the sunrise at the park, but I was too lazy and tired to wake up early after a week of traveling all day.

Took the subway to Ohori-Koen station (¥200) and walked to the park (no entrance fee). This park is beautiful. There’s a huge lake  in the middle of the lake. And it’s a great place for jogging or riding your bike. They actually have lanes for walking, another lane for jogging, and another lane for biking!

At the center of the lake is a small island. I crossed the bridge to get to the mini island to see this little orange structure.

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Before moving on to the next destination, rested a bit on one of the benches overlooking the lake of the park.

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Fukuoka Castle Ruins

Luckily the castle ruins is just beside Ohori park, no need to take public transportation. And there’s no entrance fee (I love free entrance)!

Not much to do here, literally castle ruins and some garden areas!

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Saw this interesting place, I believe it’s on the side of the castle. If I remember correctly, this leads to the castle turret. There was no English sign that says “do not enter”, so I opened the fence and walked in that area.

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The highlight of this place is probably the peak of the castle wall where you can see a 360-degree view of the city.

You know it’s safe in Japan when you leave your camera and tripod at the bottom of the wall, ran to the top, took some photos, ran back down, and it’s still there!

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Done walking around the castle ruins. Now time to go back to the hotel for check out. As I was walking to the bus station, saw these trees, just though that it’s a great background to take a photo!

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ACROSS Building

Before going back, I dropped by this building with an open rooftop. The only way to go up to the rooftop is by stairs at the back of the building. FIFTEEN floors! My legs almost died, had to rest twice – luckily there are benches on some of the floors.

Finally reached the top! Another great view of the city.

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Quickly walked back down so I won’t be late for checkout. Good thing this building is an Eco-friendly building, and the stairways full of plants!

There was an Indian Curry Festival happening at park behind this building. I wanted to try their food but I thought that if the food didn’t agree with me, it’s gonna an uncomfortable plane ride back home! So I just smelled the food and left.

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After checking out, left my luggage inside a big locker at the train station (¥600). Then I went shopping for more calligraphy supplies and some goodies to take home.

Before I went to the airport, I couldn’t resist. One last Ichiran ramen! I had to finish it quickly though, because it’s less than three hours before my flight!

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I decided to eat here for my last meal instead of airport food, because I know the airport is just 6 minutes by train from where I am. It’s okay not to be there 3 hours before my flight.

What’s about to happen next was the second most stressful time of my trip! So I arrived at the airport two and a half hours before my flight. But I didn’t know that I had to take a 10-minute bus to the international terminal. When I got there, I queued to check-in my luggage. My mistake was that I forget to web-check in. I was in line for almost an hour! While I was waiting in line, I searched where the post office is so I can quickly go there to drop off my pocket wifi rental before going through immigration.

The moment I saw from their website that there’s no post office in the international terminal, I began to panic! I searched more to find out if they have one at the domestic terminal. It says on their website that it’s permanently closed! Oh my gosh. So I searched for the location of the airport information counter. Right after checking in my luggage, I ran to the information counter. Showed the lady the package I have to return and asked her where the nearest post office is.

She told me what the website says that there are no post offices at the airport. And the nearest post office is at Hakata Station. I had to take the bus back to the domestic terminal, take the train the Hakata Station, go to the post office, take the train back to the airport, and take the bus back to the international terminal! I can’t do that because the plane will leave in 45 minutes! She told me to take the taxi, but she’s not sure if I can make it back for my flight.

I was crazy panicking. I don’t know how to return the pocket wifi! I don’t want to be fined for lost item. I talked to the people at the airport, asked them if they are willing to drop off my sealed package at the post office near Hakata Station. Of course no one would dare accept a sealed package from a complete stranger at the airport! I was hopeless.

Things changed when I talked to a girl with her parents. Told her my situation, showed her the package, she took it, and ran back into the airport. I just stood there with her parents who can’t speak English (awkward moment), then she came back out running with the information lady. And the information lady kept on apologizing, and lead me to the red post box just outside the airport. Dropped it off, and I ran straight to the immigration’s!

WHEW! Made it to my delayed flight! What an adventure!

And that concludes my trip.

Japan 2016 (4 of 7) Nagoya Castle & Chubu Airport

DAY 4

Since this is my last day in Nagoya, I had to stay in last night to do laundry and pack my things. Flying to Fukuoka later today, but first, off to Nagoya Castle.

Nagoya Castle

 

My only plan for the day is to Nagoya Castle and go straight to the airport after. Took the Subway cause I remember walking 10 blocks last time (¥200 from Nagoya Station). Entrance fee for to the castle grounds is ¥500.

Nagoya Castle is different from the other castles I’ve been to before (Himeji, Osaka, and Inuyama). This one’s a bit modern – it has elevators! Nothing inside the castle really interests me. But what’s around the castle is what I find interesting.

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Spend some time walking around the castle grounds. Very interesting gardens and landscapes!

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Love this photo of me sitting on the edge of the castle wall. I had to hop over the fence (while no one’s watching) to get here. I’m scared of heights so it was not easy for me to do this!

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I was enjoying this place so much that I forgot what time it is and that I needed to go to the airport!

Chubu International Airport

One of the most stressful time of my life! Here’s what happened:

So, I was supposed to ride the 1pm train to the airport, but I missed that train. So I asked the hostel receptionist to help me search for the next train schedule. Her English is not very good, at one point she kept on saying to me “Tokyu! Tokyu!”, and I kept on telling her, “I’m not going to Tokyo!” Later I found out that she was asking me is I want the “tokyu” train which means the “fastest” train! Haha! After talking to her, I decided that I’ll take the 2:26pm train instead, and the train ride will take around 45 minutes. I’m not worried cause I’ll make it to my 4:30pm flight, so I had lunch first around the nearby mall.

At around 2:00, I went back to the hostel to get my stuff and walked to the train station. While standing in queue of the ticketing booth, I can’t find the 2:26pm schedule the receptionist told me! All I can see is 2:31pm, which the person in the ticketing area told me to take if I wanted to go to the airport (I think… he can’t speak English). So I bought that ticket and went down to the platform

When I went down, I got confused! There are so many colored lines! I tried to look for the 2:31pm schedule but I can’t find it in the schedule board! I asked someone standing there who’s wearing a uniform which train goes to the airport and where should I stand in queue? He can’t speak English but he understood the word “Airport”, he pointed to the green line on the floor and said “Airport”. So I stood there on the green line queue. I thought I was in the right line cause I saw a sign that says that the green line goes to the airport. Okay! But the problem is, I still can’t find the 2:31pm on the list of approaching trains! It actually skipped 2:31pm! The next train is 2:26pm and the one after that is on 2:40pm. Then I remembered, the receptionist told me earlier to ride the 2:26pm train, so I thought that’s the train! And it’s on the green line so it must go to the airport! So I got in that train.

I was enjoying transferring photos from my DSLR to my phone and editing them. Then I remembered that the receptionist told me that is was supposed to be 45 minute train ride, but I have already been in the train for an hour! I searched google maps and I realized that I rode the wrong train! It went to another direction! Then I started to PANIC! I looked at everyone else, I was the only one with a big luggage!!! And everyone’s asleep so I couldn’t ask anybody! I looked out the window, it looks like I’m in some province!

When the train stopped on the next station, luckily someone woke up! I asked him if this train will go to the airport. He can’t speak English but he understood “airport” and told me NO!! I asked him how to go to the airport, he just kept on saying “Otogawa! Otogawa!”, I told him what’s that in English, but he kept on saying the same thing. But I got off that station!

I walked around the station but there was no one working there! Since it’s in the rural area, there’s no ticketing booth with a person there. Looking at google maps, I need to go back, so I walked to the other side of the station. There’s this guy waiting for the train, I asked him if he spoke English but he can’t (I feel so helpless and lost at that moment). But he understands “airport”, and he took out his iPad to maps pointing to me Otogawa station – where I should transfer to the airport line. He said 4 stops then transfer to another line. Waited 10 minutes before another train came (the 10 minutes felt like forever). After 4 stops, I checked google maps before getting off. Wait, this is not Otogawa station, it’s 8 more stops away! At this time, I was already searching for other flights to Fukuoka (around ¥20,000+). When I finally arrived at Otogawa station, I looked for someone who looked like he/she knows English. I found one, she walked me to the right line, and then pointed and shouted “Run!” so I ran to the train and the doors closed right away!

I finally arrived at the airport, 45 minutes before my flight! That leaves me 15 minutes to check-in my bag! But I got stuck at the bag inspection! They had to search my bag and scan it thrice because I had an “illegal” item in my check-in luggage. They don’t allow batteries/power banks in check-in luggage. But luckily I made it on time to take a wee before boarding!

PHEW! What a crazy day! One of the most stressful day of my life! The whole time, I was Whatsapping my friends to pray for me cause I was lost!

Fukuoka

I finally got to relax on the plane!

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Touchdown Fukuoka! My friend Naho picked me up from the airport. I love this airport because the airport is just a 6 minute train ride from the city center!

She accompanied me to my capsule hotel, Wellcabin Nakasu. A cheap place she helped me find, really nice and really clean place. Only around ¥2800 per night, but it is only for men. After leaving my stuff in my locker, we went to have dinner with her friend, Nami.

We went to Brooklyn Parlor. Really cozy place! Food’s great too!

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