Monday, August 13, 2012

Japan 2012: Fukuoka Day 1 - Hakata-ku

My bus to Fukuoka departed from Umeda Sky Building at 10.40 pm, and the ride to my destination, which was the last stop took around 9 hours.

I slept all the way during the journey, I didn't even go for toilet breaks! :O

Actually I did wake up once in a while but I was afraid that I couldn't recognise the bus if I leave it LOL

If you take the Willer Express bus from Osaka (大阪) to Fukuoka (福岡), there are four stops available: Kokura Station (小倉駅 = Kokura-eki), Hakata Station (博多駅 = Hakata-eki), Tenjin (天神) and Hakata Wharf (博多埠頭 = Hakata-futo).

Fukuoka Prefecture is located in the Kyushu region, and its capital city is Fukuoka. My destination was 博多区 (Hakata-ku = Hakata Ward), where the Fukuoka SunPalace Hotel and Hall is, which is also one of  the venues for UVERworld Live Tour 2012.

1st stop: Kokura Station

Was scheduled to reach Hakata Wharf at 8.10 am, but the bus arrived at the wharf's bus parking lot at around 7.45 am! :O

Hakata Port Tower

Bought breakfast from FamilyMart. I was drawn to the various kinds of onigiri available in Japan's convenience stores during my whole Japan trip! That's like the cheapest and filling thing to eat if you're on a tight budget.

I couldn't check in into my hotel yet since the check-in time was 3 pm, but I was allowed to leave my luggage at the front desk. So I walked around the area for hours.

国際 (Kokusai) = International

The weather was.. funny. It drizzled, then the rain got heavy. Then it drizzled. Then got heavy. Repeat. Randomly the rain would just pour. I got tired so I sought shelter behind the area of the Fukuoka Kokusai Center and the Fukuoka SunPalace Hall, which was actually under an elevated highway - the Fukuoka Urban Expressway Route 1.

There was a path leading out towards the seaside, there were pillars with quotes.

They were written in 平仮名 (hiragana), and I'm not sure if I've translated them correctly. Still learning the language at my own pace.

I spent some time looking at a ferry departing from the terminal, until it poured and I had to sit under the expressway again. My umbrella wasn't strong enough to handle the rain. Pfft.

found this flower beside the sidewalk where i lined up to go into the concert venue. it was the only one blooming at that time. but it wilted when the rain poured heavily before the concert :(

one of the buildings under the Fukuoka Convention Center, besides the Fukuoka Kokusai Center and the Fukuoka International Congress Center

this is a little before 12 pm. dedicated UVERfans waiting outside the hall I am not sure why.

it was a Monday, and it was almost noon, and the streets were empty. hmm.

Being the most unprepared traveler I was, I wanted to resort to more onigiris from the convenience stores for lunch when I spotted a Yoshinoya outlet.

I love Yoshinoya! But the ones in Malaysia closed down a few years ago :(

It was having some summer special of una don! Or unagi don! :D

But I went for the yakiniku don instead.

this set of yakiniku don with pickled veges and miso soup cost around RM20 :S

After lunch I walked around the same area again and again, trying to kill time, not knowing where to go or what to do. I didn't want to wander off to far, and I was longing for a rest before going to the concert.

I finally checked in into my second hotel in Japan - Smile Hotel Hakata, which is located at 神屋町 (Kamiya-machi). It is not a building on its own, but it wasn't hard to find.

When I left my luggage I was attended by a well-dressed lady complete with a scarf on her uniform, which I didn't expect, because the hotel looked simple (but very yellow!). I paid for the room for two nights and left my luggage. When I wanted to check in, a guy attended me and carried my luggage out from the storage area. I wanted to take it from him but he gestured me not to, and placed it on the table. Then only he handed me the key to my room.

The hotel is smaller compared to my first hotel, but the service was better!

Will show you the room that I stayed in in one of my next posts on my Fukuoka trip, ok?

After washing up, I rested for a while (more to guling-guling in bed) and then left for the Fukuoka SunPalace Hall for my first UVERworld concert, which was the main purpose of my Japan trip! :D

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