So I have chosen to put the daily diary style on pause since Christmas. My days slowed down in the sightseeing sense and picked up on the socialising. The last week in general was quite a solemn and sad one with the goodbyes to my now quite close friend Olga and the parting of the ways with her heading to Tokyo and myself to Fukuoka. The sadness continued on when I realised that Fukuoka really isn’t much to write home about.
I’ll refrain from ripping it to shreds as I’m aware I’m seeing it over a holiday period, in winter, and even then only over a 4 to 5 day stretch so I am barely seeing the true sample size, but what I have experienced (which is all I can report on) has been dull. The major sights and attractions are largely outdone in every sense by previous cities and all the parks are well and truly void of vegetation and lack the landscaping of other places. The one attraction I truly like and have returned to is Ohori Park which is absolutely lovely and I find myself sitting by it’s shore most days soaking in some sun.
The hostel I’m staying at is quite lovely. It’s a much smaller two story guesthouse in a very traditional Japanese style (minus the shared bathrooms) and it’s quite decent for the cost. But, there’s always a but, it’s not very social at all and as of right now I am occupying the ‘common’ room which consists of a few chairs and a bench-space for eating.
That plus the largely walk in, single night stay, Japanese crowd that stay here keeps it from being a truly warm and enjoyable stay. The hosts are lovely and Mizue the lady who I met when arriving has been a true gem.
It’s not the hostel’s fault as such but the majority of people coming through are really inconsiderate. I’ve found that the one night stay over Japanese clients of these hostels really take the ‘oh well, i’ll never see them again’ too far. The 5am wake up calls with alarms that don’t stop, bags being thrown around, begs being shaken, lights being turned on or better yet lights being turned on PLUS phone lights shone in faces, plastic bags being rustled and just the general noise pollution every day is really wearing me down. Last night (New Years) the guy in the bunk above me literally jerked off for 30 minutes shaking the bunk before ‘sneaking’ off to the bathroom…like get f$£ed. You can’t make this stuff up.
I have made a few friends at the hostel. One Canadian who happens to be a 3D concept artist, and an American who teaches English outside of Hiroshima so it’s not all doom and gloom but irregardless Fukuoka has proven a difficult place to warm to.
It’s an alright city. That’s all I can really think of to describe it. Unfortunately it just seems dwarfed by every other beautiful and amazing thing I’ve come across since being in Japan. It’s a fine place for a stay over as the Ohori park is truly lovely to visit.
Ken (The Canadian) and I went out for happy hour at the local British pub which was then followed by Ramen at these fascinating little pop up stores called Yatai that work along the canals in central Fukuoka City. For 700 yen you get yourself a nice bowl of Ramen and an experience unlike any other…
And the beach at the Momochi Seaside Park is relaxing and quite scenic and if you’re lucky you may even get to see some weird ass Asian girls doing these strange jump up in the air photo graph things…
Otherwise I recommend you make day trips out to the famous Onsen towns such as Beppu and relax while you wait to move on. I’m doubly annoyed as I chose Fukuoka for the experience of going by Ferry…which as it turns out don’t run until the 3rd – I was meant to be in Korea on the 2nd…so I could have gone anywhere else and spent my last few days there and flown out, as I am now doing from Fukuoka. You live…you learn.