SC writes: Yesterday explored Fukuoka or rather Fukuoka, Hakata and Tenjin. They are all parts of one large city now but these areas have different identities. It can get challenging when trying to look up Fukuoka on the Japan Rail website... because the station is called Hakata...! Anyway, we explored this busy and vibrant city by bus and subway. All very interesting and more than a few shops, in long arcades and often underground. As the sixth largest city in Japan and the Capital of Fukuoka province there are lots of people..it is busy! We have settled into our hotel here, again somewhat tight but comfortable enough. It does have a very good onsen, which we are enjoying nightly...no pictures obviously...
Today we headed out on a planned side trip to Arita which is famous for its porcelain ceramics. After a 90 minute train ride with a view out front over the driver’s shoulder we arrived in very scenic and very charming Arita...see photos. However, despite detailed research on line and in Lonely Planet we failed to discover that Arita really only happens at weekends. Still the weather was fine, warm even, and we set off to walk through the
Cathy does a deal
Well almost... it turned out that the smallish tea mug that I fancied cost not £15 (rather a lot, but it was nice) but £50! Reader, I left it behind ...
preservation area, about an hour. Nice enough but only one in three places open and only one cafe. On the return leg, we had more luck when Cathy spotted a planter for succulents ..again see picture and I spotted a rubbish bag full of broken pottery. Cathy has form here, having been bin diving in Japan previously. Broken pottery equates to free good mosaic materials of course! A quick chat (lots of hand signals and pointing, and the deal was done... Happy Cathy!
On our return to Hakata we popped in to Daiso, a sort of glorified £1.00 store. We were in there an hour - there is some weird and unexpected stuff.
On the food front we have enjoyed some fabulous Ramen, served in a broth made from port bones - absolutely delicious.
That’s about it for now ...time to head to the Onsen.
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