Fukuoka Day 2

Continued from Fukuoka Day 1.

Woke up today to the sound of rain. We had checked the weather and expected this. Hopefully it’ll let up a little later today, but if not, no big deal.

We tried to wait to see if it would stop raining by noon, but it didn’t seem to slow, so we put on our raincoats and waterproof shoes and went out in search of lunch and to explore a little.

ACROS building is right across the river from us.

This government building is well known for having a very extensive roof top garden.

For some unknown reason, the stairs leading up to the roof is closed today. Perhaps due to the wet?

Love our raincoats.

That’s more than just a roof top garden, it’s like roof top forest. Definitely the most impressive roof top garden I’ve ever seen.

We are enjoying this rain here in Japan. It feels so peaceful and quiet out here since most people are inside staying dry. Not only that, since Japan is immaculately clean, there’s no muddy puddles or nasty shit soaked water. It’s just clean and crisp out here, it’s beautiful.


A 4 car parking lot.

Heading to a mall, where we’ll be looking for food.

Free bags to wrap your wet umbrellas so you don’t drip it everywhere inside.

This is Canal City, it’s a mixed use development.

Reason why we wanted to have lunch inside this mall, Ramen Stadium!!

Love how many of the restaurants here in Japan have these accurate and delicious looking mockups of their food.

Here’s Ramen Stadium!

Right across from a giant, two story arcade.

Inside Ramen Stadium, there are many different ramen restaurants, all selling different varieties of ramen from different regions in Japan.

Since we are in Fukuoka, we chose a shop that sold Fukuoka style ramen, made with pork broth.

It’s also one of those restaurants without cashiers, so you pay and order via a kiosk that’ll spit out tickets for you to redeem. We lucked out, there’s an English option on this machine!

Our food ticket receipts, the chefs have the other half.

Good to be in a country where they take beer more seriously. My cup came out from the freezer and was so cold that it froze some of the beer inside.

I am not the biggest fan of ramen, but I am excited to try this!

I love these marinated medium boiled eggs. Then to the left of the egg are pieces of fried pork fat. Soooo good!

After lunch we walked around the mall to see what Japan has to offer. Walked by this store that rented out anime costumes for cosplay and photo booths.

Free roaming robot in front of the movie theater.

A store that sold seemingly everything. Maybe it’s like a Target or Walmart?

“Pearl Harbor Second Wave Attack”. Errr…I can’t believe they have this! I am pretty insensitive, but this kind of blew my mind. This is like the US having a model plane and putting on the box in Japanese that it was the model bomber that dropped the atomic bombs in Japan. Seriously, why is it in English?

Speaking of wars, remember the Rape of Nanjing from the Japanese? Well, one of the Japanese higher ups who was tried and sentenced to death for his role in Rape of Nanjing, he has a statue here in Fukuoka because he’s still very well respected here. Though, in Japanese’s defense, they are hardly the worst offender. China has Mao plastered everywhere and he starved millions to death during his Great Leap Forward. Asshole.

Also used for Pearl Harbor attack. Then again…I personally had built a ship model of the Titanic…which of course sank and took along 1500 lives with it…

RL found these which she thought were hilarious.

Who wants to join us for sake when we get back to Austin?!

I’ve got one, and it’s a lifesaver if your dog sheds a lot.

We had split a bowl of ramen earlier, because we knew we had to make a visit to the rotating sushi restaurant that we saw earlier in the mall.

They have a call button. We pushed it to ask for some wasabi(surprised they didn’t just give it to us), and this being Japan, literally every single employee in the restaurant answers in unison when the call button goes off. Incredible customers service, but it’s quite embarrassing actually because now all eyes are focused on us.

Needless to say, the best sushi we’ve had all trip long!! And also not too expensive. I think we paid $25 or so. Totally worth it!! Love Japan. We love Japan as much as we hate Xi’an.

Still raining, now coming down harder actually.

I have gas.

I just farted.

The rain has picked up. Originally we wanted to walk to a shrine a bit away from here, but I think we’ll skip that and head back to our hotel instead.

Cool, an inflatable dam. Wonder why it’s here?

RL, get out of my photo! To which she said “Never!”.

This is where we ate at the yatai stands last night.

They’ve got fresh water hook up.

It was around this time that I told RL that we should start looking for a restaurant that sells fugu(blowfish). Many of the fugu restaurants have a picture of a fugu etc. on the outside.

As soon as I told RL that we should be looking for a fugu restaurant, she literally points at the restaurant that we were standing next to. DUH!!! Found one! We made plans to eat fugu tonight, and we’ll keep this one on the list.

Stock up again at one of the many amazing convenience stores.

Don’t mind if I sit down on the chair inside the elevator.

Alotta Fagina. We came back to our hotel room and watch Austin Powers. I can’t believe RL has never seen this before!!! It’s so funny! I am also eating a fried chicken drum stick. Life is pretty amazing right now.

I did say that life is pretty amazing right? Here I am singing and dancing to the theme song of Mothra(the giant moth that fights Godzilla). 100% sober right now actually, just excited to be in Japan.

Came down to our lobby to head out to dinner. This wasn’t here earlier.

We asked our front desk where we should eat fugu tonight. Well, they actually pointed at the restaurant that we passed by earlier today!!! OK, it’s a done deal then.

Still raining.

The yatais have their doors up to keep some of the rain out. Cool.

Here we are again. What a funny coincidence that I mentioned we should look for a fugu restaurant right when we were literally standing next to this place earlier. Not only that, this ended up being the only fugu restaurant that we saw the whole time here. Must be fate.

We sat at the bar with a tank of live fish in the middle.

Their chopstick holder is a little fugu.

My favorite Japanese beer.

A working fish tank. Pay attention to the couple to the left of the guy netting the fish. All night, they kept us intrigued because we were trying to figure out if she was one of those girls who worked at a hostess bar out on a “date” with one of her customers(this is the area for that). For starters, she’s easily more than 20 years his junior. She chain smoked the whole time(They have awesome ventilation systems here in Japan. You can sit right next to a smoker and often, there would be literally no smell. It’s amazing.) and they ordered some really expensive dishes. We estimated that they probably paid $500 for their meal.

Enough about the escort, let’s talk about our food.

Wait, the escort and her client orders a whole lobster. Does he need another escort? I love lobster!

Our fugu sashimi shows up, and our waitress shows us how to eat it. You roll it up in the green vegetable(chives?) and then dip it in the soy sauce based sauce.

Did I mention that fugu is very poisonous and that if it’s improperly prepared, it’ll kill you? The chefs that prepare fugu have to be licensed and trained, and only they are allowed to prepare it for the public.

Not only is fugu highly poisonous, it is also pretty expensive. RL and I spit a fugu set menu for one person, and it was $105. Eek.

So, what does fugu taste like? It’s chewy and gummy with very mild flavor. I do like the texture of it though, it’s almost like chicken in texture.

Hard to believe that it’s still chewy even though it’s sliced so thin.

Fried fugu. Now, this has the consistency of tough chicken.

Hotpot with fugu bone stock.

If you know what a fugu looks like and you try really really hard, you can see a giant fugu at the bottom of the tank. It was big, close to 2 feet long it seemed.

After eating our hotpot, our waitress comes by and ladles out most of the soup. Then with most of the soup gone, she puts in a bowl of rice and makes porridge out of the stock.

Well, that was a very cool authentic Japanese experience. I’ve been to Japan many times, but have never tried fugu before. So glad I got to try it with RL tonight!

Oh yeah, that couple that sat across from us? Yeah, by the end of dinner, we were pretty sure that she was a hostess out on a “date” with a regular client…speaking of which, apparently there are also foreign Caucasian girls who work as hostesses here in Japan and they command a premium rate. I wonder how often RL and I are walking around and people think that she’s out on a “date”.

Some after dinner dessert to celebrate not dying from fugu poison.

Despite the rain, the touts are still out.

Ahhh, Japan. Never cease to entertain us.

This place looks swank. Maybe their girls are extra talkative.

To celebrate not getting poisoning some more, we decided to visit one of the many izakaya(Japanese pubs) around here.

Love it already. It’s small and warm feeling.

Round two.

That was an awesome experience. I’d imagine we’ll visit many more izakayas during our time here in Japan. Apparently some of them have an all you can drink and all you can eat options….we’ll save that for another day. The guy working the kitchen on the photo above, we actually ran into him again the next day on the Shinkansen platform as we were leaving Fukuoka and he was very excited to see us. What a funny coincidence.

To be continued at Miyajima Part 1.

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