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Published: February 15th 2010
The next morning it was still overcast and raining on and off, so we gave the 'hogs' a rest, grabbed the umbrella, and opted to walk/take the metro. Our first stop was Ohori Park, a large, gorgeous, park with a pond in the middle of it. The pond was previously used as a moat for Fukuoka Castle (whose ruins we visited later in the day). After walking a semi circle around the pond, we found the Fukuoka Art Museum. I thought the ticket to see all of the exhibits was expensive, about $13, but it was totally worth it to see the Ancient Egypt in Torino exhibit. The Fukuoka Museum of Art had borrowed several pieces from the Egyptian Museum of Torino, Italy's collection. I read in the exhibit that many of the pieces had never left the Torino museum before. There were even two mummies, one of a child and one of an adult and I really enjoyed looking at the inside of the various sarcophagi lids to see how they were carved so that a person could fit inside.
After looking through the better part of the museum, we walked over to the Fukuoka Castle Ruins. Looking at
the walls, I can only imagine how awful it was to move all of those large stones into place. And now days, I imagine it isn't very fun to be the man who keeps the vegetation that tries to grow out of the walls under control (you could see how some of the plants had been snipped back). The area was huge and it was interesting to see how sports fields had been constructed right next to the old castle walls, including a tennis count whose fourth wall was the castle wall. Surprisingly some of the flowers on the many trees around the ruins were starting to bloom already. It was quite beautiful.
I am for some reason incredibly fascinated by temples so we went to Tochoji Temple right outside of Gion subway exit. Its main attraction was the 15 meter Buddha it has sitting inside one part of the temple. but since we arrived after 5pm it was already closed. We looked around the outside areas a little bit but since there was quite a bit of construction going on, we decided to leave. We went to a little shop next to the temple that was selling all
I was fascinated by this because it vaguely resembled a marshmallow peep. It was not marshmallow but more like a pastry with a soft yellow center.
sorts of pastries/candies. Mike bought a bag of something that resembled peanut brittle and we were both ecstatic to discover that it actually was peanut brittle!!! Woohoo! That night back at the hostel, it died and untimely death when Mike sat it between the two us on the coach while we read. So tasty!
Our final dinner in Fukuoka was at a restaurant in Akasaka near Canal City. We got off the subway and started walking in search of a place to eat. We had a hard time trying to find a respectable looking place that looked as though it would have a menu that we could work with. The further we walked down the side street, the less restaurants we saw and the more pictures of beautiful young girls we saw adorning posters. Not sure exactly what these posters were advertising, but I have my suspicions...
After turning onto a different street we finally we stumbled upon a nice looking restaurant. Most of the restaurant's options involved huge, expensive portions meant to be shared with a group of people, however, we thought our wallets would be safe if we ordered one of the smaller meals (there were
no prices listed in the menu). We ordered a fried platter of shrimp, sweet potatoes, and peppers, as well as some sushi. For the amount of food that we got the price was shocking (again, I'm used to dining in Korea). The room we were in was not very big and while we were eating, I was very annoyed by the people who were smoking. I was very surprised by the fact that there had been smoking in every restaurant that we had been in. There are signs all over the street that say that you may not smoke on the sidewalk, but it is okay to smoke in restaurants? That was strange, and very unpleasant to me.
Since we could see Canal City from the restaurant, and we were tired, we decided to go see if any good movies were playing. On the way, we passed a lot of food tents (Yatai) on the side walks. I've read/heard many times to try the street food, but there's just something about buying random food from an impromptu looking tent on the street that just doesn't sound like a good idea to me. If I remember correctly though, it's quite
an organized thing and there is actually a federation of people who set up these food tents, but still, it's not my thing. We checked what was playing at the theater and sadly, all of the movies that we were interested in watching didn't play for another 2 or 3 hours.
The next morning we checked out and caught the bus to the ferry terminal. I was glad we asked for bus directions at the hostel, because the bus that we took the night we arrived, was surprisingly, not the same bus that we needed to get back to the ferry. There was only one restaurant in the terminal, so that narrowed down our lunch options for us. When we saw the place we thought, so much for having to convert our yen back to won. Surprisingly, the food was no more expensive than anything else we had eaten in Japan. I had some really delicious chicken rice curry. Not exactly Japanese food, but really tasty and satisfying.
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