Day 6 – Koyasan to Fukuoka – 24 June 2019 – taking a Shinkansen to Kyushu and visiting the Pokemon Center Fukuoka and Canal City

Highlights

  • Vegetarian breakfast at our Buddhist Temple lodging Saizenin
  • Traveling down the mountains to Fukuoka, Hakata Station
  • Visiting the Fukuoka Castle Ruins and strolling around the Ohori Park
  • Shopping around the busy Tenjin shopping district
  • Spending the night at Canal City and the street stalls
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Morning breakfast at our Buddhist Temple lodging Saizenin

We woke up super early to attend a 30 mins morning prayer with the Buddhist monks. I recommend closing your eyes and just taking in the surrounds using your ears as I noticed that some other guests found the experience boring. The head monk and two other monks sat facing a tower of incense and progressively chanted their morning rituals in a rhythmic chant.

After the ritual, we were welcome to put our own incense onto the tower of incense for luck. We were escorted to breakfast, which was laid out in a two by two formation. The whole affair was vegetarian, including the miso soup. It was a hearty meal and consisted of several different variants of tofu. The breakfast was included in our room rate.

Following breakfast, we had one more look around the temple. We were astonished by how clean it was and how tranquil the place seemed to be.

We headed back to Koyasan Station by bus and then proceeded to take our long journey back to Osaka, down the mountains and rural life to the busy city. Koysan is definitely worth visiting as you get a taste of the quiet tranquil surrounds and humble life that many of its inhabitants live.

Shin-Osaka Station

At Shin-Osaka Station, we reserved a seat on the Shinkansen towards Fukuoka. We made sure to grab some brunch before hopping on for our 3 hour journey.

We ate some delicious Ochazuke (お茶漬け). It is a simple one-bowl dish featuring steamed rice with an assortment of savory ingredients, partially steeped in green tea. Ocha refers to green tea, and zuke means ‘submerged’. This usually serves as a quick meal or at the end of the meal to fill up for Japanese people.

I loved pouring the delicious soup on top of the rice. I am glad they usually fill the teapot to the top.

Hakata Ramen

We stayed at a new Tokyu Stay hotel on the east side of Hakata Station. Thankfully after check-in, we managed to found some lunch at Hakata Issou.

Hakata Issou is a popular franchise in Fukuoka. The ramen soup is very pungent due to the pork bones and as result it has very strong accompanying garlic flavor. My wife wasn’t happy with the flavor, because the pork bone flavor was too much for her sensitivities. For me, the pork flavor was noticeably strong, but I was fine with it.

The restaurant was small. You ordered by purchasing a ticket from the machine near the entrance. English menus with photos were available as well.

Pokemon Center Fukuoka

After lunch, we headed back to Hakata Station to visit the Pokemon Center Fukuoka. This store had all the main merchandise and I liked its layout.

There were plenty of plush dolls and other goods to buy. As with all Pokemon Centers you can listen to the catchy theme songs from the franchise, the anime, game, etc. Make sure to buy anything exclusive at this store.

Heading to the busy Tenjin shopping district

You can walk to the Tenjin shopping district, but it’s better to just catch a bus. It’s only ¥100 to catch a bus in certain parts of the city.

I found it pretty cool that both popular street wear brands Supreme and Bape were right next to each other. Supreme can be hard to spot, but it is under this stairwell under the 2F Karaoke sign.

Bape is a Japanese brand and is usually cheaper than Supreme. Look out for their shark hoodies and camo gear. I found that this Bape store had more popular clothing in stock compared to Tokyo. I think its better to buy here then wait for Tokyo. If you buy anything, make sure to claim the tax free by showing your passport.

The shark hoodies are on the bench in the photo below.

Fukuoka Castle Ruins

We walked to Ohori Park and wanted to see the Fukuoka Castle Ruins. Unfortunately we didn’t get to see much since the ruins are just a few rocks here and there. If you do go, I recommend just walking around Ohori Park. This park is far from Hakata Station so I recommend catching a bus. It’s 30 mins plus walking from Hakata Station.

Canal City

Canal City is a multi-level shopping complex. There are the waterworks on the ground floor which shoot water spouts to the sound of music. Luckily for us they were also hosting an Evangelion event and were screening an exclusive short film atop the waterworks.

Canal City is host to several cool shops including the Sanrio Store (Hello Kitty), Jump Store (Shonen Jump) and the exclusive Evangelion Store.

The front of the Jump Store at Canal City Hakata

There is also a ramen museum with several different types of ramen to try on the top floor of shopping complex. A short walk outside Canal City are the Street Stalls that open along the main river. The prices for the Street Stalls seem expensive, but popular.

Next time Day 7 – Fukuoka to Huis Ten Bosch – 25 June 2019. This is probably the oddest theme park I have ever attended. It’s a theme park based on Holland.

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