Friday, February 25, 2011

福岡 - Fukuoka

Hi All,

よし!! (yosh!)

As I said before I went off to Fukuoka (福岡) to visit my friend’s motherwhom I honorifically refer to as お母様 (okaa-sama), and her friend whom I also honorifically refer to as 女川様 (Onnagawa-sama). As they both hosted me when I visited on my vacation to Japan summer 2009. I am very fond of them both.

Arriving at Fukuoka was a trek.

I had an old man help me with directions and he treated with me chocolates in honor of Valentine’s Day… and that was the only good part about my trip!

It was snowing everywhere outside of Mishima –of course. It took me nearly all of 24 hours to arrive… let’s talk about exhaustion. (-___-")

on the bright side, over-night busses in Japan are really made for sleeping as comfortably as possible on a bus

When I arrived, I was warmly welcomed by my friend’s mother. We had lunch and in terrible Japanese and limited English spoke about my horrific trip.

My friend’s brother and I bonded more than we did my previous visit. I think we had a lot of fun complaining about the difficulties of learning a new language. And we practiced kanji =)

DAY 1 (Tuesday):

I was taken to an aquarium. Totally loved it. I mean I seriously loved the experience.

I got to touch this little shark... felt like sand paper

I really hate these fish, they freak my out. A lot.

Fugu! Which reminded my of Billy and Damien because they have eaten this fish.

I was also taught to make 餃子(gyoza) which “typically consist of a ground meat and/or vegetable filling wrapped into a thinly rolled piece of dough, which is then sealed by pressing the edges together”

I was terrible at it. Period.

Got to drink homemade 梅酒 (umeshu); Japanese Plum liquor. Sweet.

DAY 2 (Wednesday):

I was taken to a Japanese Doll Festival (雛祭り Hina-matsuri), or Girls' Day, by both Okaa-sama and her friend Onnagawa-sama. The festival is held on March 3. Platforms covered with a red carpet are used to display a set of ornamental dolls (雛人形 hina-ningyō) which represent the Emperor, Empress, attendants, and musicians in traditional court dress of the Heian period.

Traditional Japanese garden, modeled after Zen

Okaa-sama-tachi, when we went for treats after viewing the dolls

DAY 3 (Thursday):

I spent with the Onnagawa family.

Onnagawa-sama's Hina collection My room at the Onnagawa's house Eve Chocolate retriever I think...this dog scarred me last time, physically with her leash. Not that she's not playful and cute... just, she made sure I never forget her, really.

I was treated to lunch by Onnagawa-sama with her English conversation tutor who is from Canada. The restaurant was exquisite.

After the resturant Onnagawa-sama fulfilled my wish to wear a 着物(kimono). I was both eager flattered and extremely honored. She loan me a kimono she inherit from her mother.

Did you know? -- Kimonos have the left flap on top of the right, it's only done in reverse for funerals. -- Young unmarried girls wear kimonos with long sleeves and the back is folded in a bow, unlike the kimono I wore which is simply folded.

DAY 4 (Friday):

My return day. No snow so the trip was fairly painless and I arrived on time to Nagoya on Saturday morning...

*Ahem... There was a tiny hiccup in my otherwise smooth return when I accidently rode the super express 新幹線(shinkansen/ Bullet Train) that goes from Nagoya to shin-Yokohama, directly –nonstop.

The bullet train is called Nozomi (のぞみ) and it is the fastest train service running on the Tōkaidō/Sanyō Shinkansen in Japan!!! And do you know how expensive it is!!? –gasp— Nozomi can reach speeds of 300 km/h (186 mph). I took it from Nagoya to Shin-Yokohama! It took 81 minutes to cover 337.2 km/ 209.5 miles and the cost? ¥ 10,150/ $125 ::cries::

Luckily I played the very true “I made an honest mistake, I’m a foreigner in this country” card and I got off not having to pay that =) ―Close call

I arrived shocked and baffled but I only had about .5 of a day to rest and 1 day to clean to await my mother’s arrival…

Wait until you hear about that!



  1. Fukuoka sounded like a blast! I will be visiting Fukuoka when my Japan friend in America comes back to visit her family there! 楽しみ!

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