Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Fukuoka Visa Run: Day 2

Thanks to some of the great blog posts out there re: the Fukuoka Visa Run (especially Conleys Overseas and American in Seoul) I felt fairly confident in my ability to get on the airport shuttle bus, through the subway system, to our hotel. I'd definitely prefer this little trip if it were a renewal run. Believe me, trying to do this with a year's worth of luggage, not fun at all.

It was pouring with rain when we arrived. Great. 12 years of waiting, and it RAINS when I get to Japan? Not even a bit of drizzle, but a full on downpour?

Cute little sign at the front desk of our hostel

Not to worry, the next day it was as though nothing had ever happened. Blue skies and temperatures of 22˚C and up. Hooo~ Until then, though, we had some lovely people stop to help the two lost and wet-looking gaijin, and the lady at the hostel kindly gave us some towels to rub down with. We stayed at the Fukuoka Hana Hostel, near Kushida shrine and Canal City. I'll post a proper review in a separate blog entry because I have so many wonderful words to say about it!

Late-night food and exploration under the jump!

One final hurdle: setting up a futon. Eep.

After setting up the futon (the hostel, thankfully, provides you with a little cheat-sheet. It's pretty obvious once you know, but it saved my exhausted brain the effort.) and hopping into the shower (and working out how the dual-purpose sink/shower tap worked) it was time for sleep, glorious sleep.

The first of many vending machines I saw.
Except not, because I was now well into my second-wind, and all I wanted was a drink. Upon landing in Japan, we were faced with the seemingly ubiquitous vending machine. They're almost always full of a range of drinks, from bottled teas, water (natural and flavoured), and sodas to cans of beer, cider, and iced coffee. All for less than ¥200 (unless you REALLY want that can of Red Bull), which comes to about £1. The average price, as far as I've seen, is ¥120 though. There's also one on nearly every street, unlike at home where you tend to catch one or two in the lobbies of some buildings.

Anyway, fearing that the shops might close soon (around 9pm), we hurried over to a 7-Eleven and grabbed a couple of drinks as well as some bits for breakfast the next day. Seeing that nothing was anywhere near closing, we decided to have a bit of a look around while we were still fairly alert.

A slight overshoot past our hostel brought us to a shrine, which although fairly deserted still had lots of areas lit up, and people seemed to use the general area as a thoroughfare, so we poked around for a bit. Every time someone turned up I was scared we'd get asked to leave, but even the security guard that eventually appeared on patrol just walked by, so I assume we were good to go. I later found out that this is actually quite a large and well-known shrine in Hakata/Fukuoka called Kushida-jinja.

The pretty lanterns that initially lured me in.

We were too scared of doing something wrong/offending someone by going too close to the shrines, so a lot of these pictures are taken on a zoom. At night. Sorry for any blur! >_<

We had no idea what these were for, until we read much later on that it's for washing your hands.

After that, we felt like we'd been loitering a little too long, and the last of our energy was wearing off, so it was back to the hostel and bed for us. Pretty sure it was lights out as soon as heads met pillows.

Until tomorrow, then!

Visa Run Posts:

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