This past weekend, Stephanie, Josh, and I went to the city of Fukuoka. Its about a two hour bus ride from APU. Luckily, Steph and I only had a first period class on Friday, so we left after our class and made it to the city in the early afternoon.
Where to start? One of the biggest attractions in Fukuoka is the humongous five story mall called Canal City. I'd compare it to Great Lakes Crossing Mall from back home, but Canal City is definitely bigger.
Because of its size, we ended up just shopping around for the rest of the day and exploring the gigantic mall and all of its glory. There was a ton of great shops in there, including a Pokemon Center and a Cold Stone Creamery, both of which we made sure to stop in.
Sometime during the mall madness we realized that we were starving, so we tried our luck at an Omu Rice restaurant. Omu rice is like an egg omelet with rice and other ingredients inside. I ended up getting some sort of shrimp/white sauce rice omelet and the result was this:
After that, we were very tired, so we headed back to our hotel and conked out.
Saturday, we got our butts up early and headed out for some of the sights of the city. We went to a couple shrines first. Its very interesting because the shrines are located in the middle of the bustling city area, so its somewhat strange to see the cars and tall towers and then a section of beautiful trees and traditional looking gardens and shrines. They were absolutely beautiful, and the weather was so awesome, I was so happy because the weather allowed the quality of my pictures to turn out so much better!
Then it was off the the Fukuoka Art Museum which I was personally excited for. It was a very nice museum, not very big, but very good none the less. I ended up purchasing a book there that had some of my favorite pieces from the gallery. There was modern art as well as more traditional art, although both were good in their own ways.
After the art museum, we stopped at this bakery shop because my sweet tooth was calling for my attention the entire day. It was so worth it.
When night falls, the streets near Canal City become littered with Ramen Stands, all along the canal side. We ended up eating at one of the stalls, choosing with pointing fingers and broken Japanese some kind of bowl and some beer. I have to say, it was the best ramen I've ever eaten. This stuff can't even compare to the Cup-of-Noodles that I live off of back at college. This was the real deal, and it was amazing.
It was still early because we had gotten such an early start, so we went back to Canal City and explored any areas we may have missed. And oh boy, did we miss something. We missed the huge arcade on the fourth floor along with the famous Ramen Stadium, which is a whole floor dedicated to tons and tons of different kinds of Ramen from all over Japan.
We ended up staying in the arcade a little bit longer than we planned, but we through in a couple hundred yen and played some Silent Hill and good old fashion Mario Kart. The winner, of course, was your truly.
We headed back to the hotel after we realized we had no money left, and put on our complementary yukata's (robes) and played some cards.
All in all, it was a fabulous weekend that went by way to quickly. I can't wait until the next trip, but until then, I'll have to get back to all of the Japanese homework my sensei gives me.
The weather is finally turning around here, but I'm not going to hold my breath.