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 (6 of 7) Nokonoshima Island Park, Fukuoka Tower, Momochi Seaside Park & Yatai

DAY 6

Woke up around 1am by the sound of everyone’s phone warning. At the place where I’m staying, it is one big room with at least 40 beds. So I could hear everyone’s phone alarm. Then I checked my phone, my friend messaged me that a strong earthquake will hit Fukuoka. A few seconds later, I felt the earthquake. I was on the 7th floor that time. I opened my curtain and looked out to see if I should evacuate. But I saw the Japanese people just talking, they weren’t running out the door so I didn’t panic, and eventually I fell asleep while there were still little earthquakes after.

 

Nokonoshima Island Park

I had a feeling that it’s safe to go to the island even if we just had another earthquake, so I decided to go to the island!

Took a bus to Meinohama Ferry Passenger Terminal (¥370), then took a ferry to the island (¥480 two-way).

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Once I arrived in the terminal, took a bus to the park (¥230). The island park was not as I have expected. If you google this place, you’ll see a beautiful field of yellow flower overlooking the ocean – what  have been looking forward to my entire trip. But when I got there, there were no more flowers and they were actually mowing the fields. I was very disappointed, however, there are other beautiful spots to see around the park.

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This park is too big, very tiring to walk around!

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They had these benches underneath these trees – perfect spot to rest after a long walk around the park.

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Before going back I found the most beautiful field of flowers. Look at this! It’s incredible! By the way, the entrance fee to this park is ¥1000.

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After going around the park, I was just in time for the bus to the ferry terminal (¥230). As we were going down the road, saw this sea wall near the terminal. When I arrived at the terminal, I checked the schedule of the next ferry, it’s in 20 minutes. So I ran to this place, quickly set-up my tripod, quickly snapped some photos, ran back to the ferry, just enough time to buy a drink before riding the ferry!

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Fukuoka Tower

 

After debarking from the ferry, next destination is Fukuoka Tower. Walked to the bus terminal nearby, then I took a bus to Fukuoka Tower. I didn’t go up the tower anymore cause I don’t feel like paying an entrance fee to look at a cloudy view.

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I needed to set the angle of the camera like this because there are a lot of Chinese tourists scattered around the area.

Before moving on, I had a very late lunch at a Subway in a mall beside the tower (¥540 for a sandwich). One of my favorite places to eat, good sandwich. But I accidentally dropped the tray I used into the trash bin along with my trash (sorry, Subway, I didn’t do it on purpose!)

Momochi Seaside Park

Just on the other side of the tower is the beach! It’s not as beautiful as the beaches we have  here in the Philippines, but it’s clean and decent. Sat on the beach to rest for a while, dipped my legs into the water but it was freezing cold! Then I went straight back to the hotel after this.

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Fixed my stuff cause it’s my last night in Fukuoka. After packing, went out to have dinner. I walked to the Yatai area to check out where I can eat, but everything’s full. So I walked to a nearby mall, the Canal City Hakata, to have dinner there. On its top floor, they have a Ramen Stadium where there are lots of ramen restaurants to choose from. Had a black garlic ramen there. Not bad, but Ichiran’s ramen is way better.

After dinner part 1, walked back to Yatai, saw one of the food stall have seats so I went in. There’s not English menu (no surprise), I ended up eating grilled beef (¥1300) and a grilled shelled seafood (¥600), quite expensive. I didn’t know what I’m eating, I asked the person beside me if they know what it is. She’s from Hong Kong, she doesn’t know the English name of the shellfish, but she wrote down the Chinese character. Which I now know that it’s sea snail. It tasted really bad!

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I was supposed to have dinner part three at the sushi place at the 2nd floor of my hotel. But they don’t want to serve me, I was told that they don’t take in walk-ins. I have to reserve in advance. Boo.

Japan 2016 (5 of 7) Uminonakamichi Seaside

DAY 5

So, last night while we were eating dinner, everyone’s phone suddenly alarmed (except mine). I asked my Japanese friend what’s happening. She told me that it was an earthquake warning. A few seconds later, we felt the earthquake. Our seats and tables were shaking. I didn’t know if I should run and hide, but no seems to be panicking, so we just continued with our dinner.

So, I was supposed to go to Nokonoshima Island Park today, but since there was a strong earthquake (around magnitude 7.0) in a city below Fukuoka. I decided not to go ride the ferry to the island. Even though Fukuoka is not a tsunami zone, I just wanted to be safe!

So, I decided to go to Uminonakamichi Seaside Park today instead of tomorrow. But before that, I’ll go to the market to have sushi for breakfast!

I passed by this building, the rooftop access is open, but only on weekends so I’ll definitely come back another day!

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Took the train to Yanagibashi Market for some sushi (¥200). I think I arrived here a little late, because most shops are already closed. There was one shop owner who knows Filipino even though he has never been to the Philippines! He learned Filipino when from his Filipino co-workers back when he used to work in Alaska.

I found a shop that sells packed sushi that has been freshly cut. Not bad, but I feel like I could get cheaper and cleaner sushi from sushi chains.

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Now, off to the seaside park! Walked to the nearest bus terminal, google searched how to go to the seaside park, the bus number seems to match the information posted in the terminal. Both instructed me to take the 21A bus, and so I did.

Rode the 21A bus. And when there were only around 6 stops left, the bus stopped at a terminal and the bus driver told me that this was the last stop! I got off the bus in the middle on nowhere! I asked the bus driver for directions, but he can’t speak in English.

LOST. AGAIN. Walked around the area, there were no one there! After 10 minutes of walking, found some school kids, but they are from a different part of Japan and had no idea where I’m going. After another 10 minutes of walking, I finally found 2 guys who can speak in English! And they pointed me to the direction of the bus stop.

When I arrived at the bus stop, found out that I have to wait for 40 mins for the next bus! Checked google maps, the seaside park is 30 minutes away by walking. But I decided to wait for the bus cause I’m expecting a lot of walking in the park.

Finally, the bus arrived. Got on the bus, and I started to share with my friends what happened (on Snapchat, Facebook, and WhatsApp). I was too busy on my phone that I missed the stop! UGH! Not again!

Got off the next stop, and I started walking back to the last bus stop. But for some reason, I felt like I should ask someone if I’m going in the right direction. I asked someone was just at the same bus as I was. Good thing I asked her! Because the stop where we got off is also has an entrance to the seaside park, and it is also the place in the park that I wanted to go to! Thank God! Since she’s also by herself and going to the same place, I asked her if we can go around the park together, and for the first time, I had someone else to take a photo of me, no need to set up my tripod for each photo!

Uminonakamichi Seaside Park

If I took the right transportation, it will take me just an hour to get here, even less if I take the JR train. (¥830)

The first thing we did was rent a bike (¥400 for 3 hours) because the place is too big to walk around!

Our first stop is this field full of baby blue-eye flowers! This place is just breathtaking! This place must have thousands of flowers! After this, Katherine and I biked to the mini zoo. Most of them are sleeping, but the rodents look so cute and stupid.

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After going to the zoo, Katherine had to go ahead because her flight is in a few hours. So she went our separate ways.

The next place I went to was to the northern part of the park where the beach-side is. It was really peaceful here. There were absolutely no one! Just me, the wind, and the sea. I could just sit here listening to the sound of the sea for hours!

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Another one of my favorite photos. Climbed over the fence again, climbed down 5ft of rocky wall, walked down a grassy path, and here I am at the edge of the giant rock, closer to the ocean.

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The view from where I’m sitting. I’m afraid of heights but I had to sit on the edge of a cliff. What’s scarier about it is that the giant rocks are like shells, the whole thing is around 6 inches thick. You’ll see from the side that it’s hollow, like it could crack!

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After enjoying the experience, I had to walk back up and climb back up.

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Now, I had to ride back to the bike rental place because my 3 hours is almost up. The whole park has blue bike lanes showing leading you around the park. If you come here when Cherry Blossoms are in full bloom, the whole path will be filled with Cherry Blossoms!

My tripod has a bit of an accident. it fell off my bike basket one time and it broke. But still standing to get this really cool shot of my biking.

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After returning the bike, walked around the pond. There are so many tulips planted around this area. (I’m very tired that’s why I’m lying down on the bench)

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I wanted to hop over the rocks on the pond!

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By this time, the park is now closed. They asked me to exit now, but I had to take this photo first cause I don’t have a really nice sunset photo this whole trip.

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On my way out, I fancied a matcha ice cream. (Taking advantage of the sunset)

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Took the train back to the city this time, took me less than an hour and it only cost me ¥460. Got off at JR Hakata Station to shop for lots of calligraphy & lettering pens at Tokyu Hands.

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I love this mall. They have an open rooftop where you can get a view of the city. They also have a garden with a shine, really cool.

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Now I’m very tired. Took the train back to the capsule hotel. Luckily, Ichiran was just like a minute away from where I’m staying!

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Now, I can rest, or so I thought…