08 May 2009

Best way to leave Japan...

is to spend our last night playing Taito's arcade game! We had been eying the game since we were in Osaka but could never justify the 200 yen per player cost. But when you get to whack salarymen for dozing on the job, navigate housewives down the street to the trash truck and practice your bowing...how could we leave Japan without playing?!

So we checked every arcade since Osaka and had never found it for any cheaper. So last night at a Sega town we saw the game and got our fingers ready! We had a blast! Such a great way to close the Japan leg of our trip!

And for the record, Charlton kicked my butt!

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Shop 'til we drop

So today we decided to tackle the Tenjin area of Fukuoka, what we hoped would be more livelier than the Momochi area we are staying in. Don't get me wrong, it's nice in Momochi, but it's quiet and there is nothing around but the TV studios across the street and the Lawson's next door. We needed some shopping (we saved it for here!) and some food!

So we headed out early (by Charlton standards) and went to Nishijin. There was supposed to be a market there and we hoped we could get some local produce. No such luck, 9 o'clock must be too late as all we saw was a flower stall. So we got us some donuts at Mister Donut before hopping on the subway to Tenjin.

Now, take South Coast Plaza add a Bloomie's and a Fashion Valley and you are no where near the size and magnitude of the shopping in Tenjin! It is insane! We went to a ton of department stores, didn't even hit all of them or the underground arcade...and we were gone all day. We probably didn't even get to 1/4th of them. I had read that they were pretty high level, but I think Charlton was surprised in what type of shopping the area had. We did make a special stop off at Kawabata shopping arcade that had a little more touristy stuff.

Other than shopping we made sure to hit the ACROS building, which is known for being a "green building" and has garden terraces all up the 12 stories of the building. It was really peaceful and pretty. Although our legs are still smarting after the hike up Misen.

Also stopped at the post office to send some things home to my mom, sis (both for mother's day) and for my brother for watching our pets (thanks Nathan!) Got lunch in one of the many food courts in one of the department stores (soba and tempura for Charlton, udon for me)

After having shopped ourselves out we had to make sure we hit the Fukuoka mainstay for dinner...ramen. Fukuoka (or Hakata) is known for their ramen, especially the Yatai mobile food stalls. We took the subway from Gion to Akasaka and walked to Nagahama Street, where there were 2 blocks of carts set up. We walked down once to see who had the most customers before settling down at a counter for some Hakata ramen. It was really tasty and a good send-off for the city.

Then we dragged ourselves back to Momichi, to finish off the night with green tea ice cream sandwiches while we watched slingboxed Saved By the Bell. Oyasumi nasai Fukuoka!

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What I dislike about Japan...

are Japanese style toilets!

While the Japanese can add all sorts of features to "western style" toilets (heat, bidet, etc) The fact of the matter is a hole in the ground is still the most popular option. ick!

This is the worst when you are on a train and you don't want to leave looking like you have had an accident (hello, I have a bum arm and can't brace myself well)

While I will miss Japan when we leave I sure won't be missing these!

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