Hello all! 🙂
So to speak, I pray for Japan and I really hope everything will be alright soon. Nature once again has given a very significant lesson. I can’t even imagine experiencing earthquakes in my life or any natural disasters. Well, I don’t mean to make you feel down or something, just so many deep thoughts entered my mind when I got to hear what happened in Kyushu. I loved how I spent my summer holidays there last year, in spite of the insanely hot weather. I spent almost a week, mostly in Hakata (Fukuoka), Nagasaki and Oita.
Just like any other countries in the world, Japan’s regionalism is pretty huge. In comparison with Tokyo, everywhere in Kyushu looks way smaller, more peaceful and less touristic. It was quite funny how I determined to revisit Japan after one and half year. As finishing my temporary job in Seoul, I was seeking for something that could refresh myself before starting a new work and I accidentally found out a last-minute ticket bounding for Saga, Japan. Alright, to be honest with you I had no idea where that was, first off I thought it was an island close to Okinawa. Then I just googled it and realized that it belongs to Kyushu, so in case I get a Kyushu train card for Non Japanese travelers, I would be able to travel whole Kyushu, well it still depends on which card you buy though, mine only applied to Northern Kyushu, so that I would have paid extra money in order to go further south, likewise Miyazaki or Kagoshima. Here I link you the detailed information about Kyushu pass. It’s definitely essential when visiting Southern Japan, unless you are a native Japanese person. Information(click)
In some unexplained way, I always wanted to visit Nagasaki much more than Osaka or Fukuoka. I’ve been racking my brains but I have no idea why, maybe its interesting name? or probably owing to Champon (The noodles!)? I really don’t have a clue, but let it be.
Upon my arrival to Saga airport, I bought my Kyushu pass and headed to Nagasaki right away. Saga is insanely small and seemingly not so interesting, thus I resolutely passed it and decided to explore Nagasaki even for a longer time.
One thing I really admire about Nagasaki is that they don’t subway systems yet, but old-fashioned trams run everywhere in the city. Once in a while, especially when I travel around, I wish my city also had trams. I loved being on a tram, it’s obviously slower and less convenient than buses or metros, but still so romantic and special.
I made it to the top of Nagasaki where I could see an overview of the city and I loved it. It seemed like every single traveler visiting Nagasaki goes there at least once. Oh btw, did you know that Nagasaki’s night view has been selected one of the bests in the world? Honestly I wasn’t aware of that. I stayed at “Catholic hostel of Nagasaki”. It’s a bit out of city, but very cozy and nice. The hosts were awesome, in particular the lady kept saying her English is really bad and she couldn’t make an actual conversation, but I didn’t agree. She was fairly good for Asian standard. And guess what, I met up with Yunosuke.
It was completely coincidental again. Hmm, I’m not fond of saying it, but let me do it. “Traveling is full of coincidences.” We began to talk and apparently there were so many things to share between us. He had been traveling whole Japan starting from Kawasaki, his hometown. As much as he wanted to go abroad and see something new, he decided to see and get to know his country better first. And I liked his idea.
So, we traveled together in many areas in Nagasaki. We met a Taiwanese-American guy named John by chance, we visited a temple, had some local champons and talked endlessly. The weather was being horrific though. Funny, I thought I was ready to fight against the tremendous Japanese summer, I wonder who can fight against it, because it was much warmer than I ever imagined. Heck, Japan is awesome, but being there in the summer isn’t as awesome as the country itself 😀
Actually Kumamoto was the city that I wanted to go the most, of course after Nagasaki. However I just changed my mind and headed to Fukuoka with Yunosuke. On the 1st day I stayed at a very nice hostel that was very close to Canal city. Fukuoka has been called as a “Shopping paradise” by a lot of Japanese girls. I shopped a little bit and I’m quite sure I would have spent at least three times more if I bought the same stuff in Korea. Dang, lucky Japanese! You get all the good stuff for a very nice price.
As I felt a bit tired of walking thanks to the massive Japanese sun, I just decided to follow up the typical Tourists attractions in Fukuoka. Well, what will those places be? Fukuoka tower, Momochi beach, Canal city and some ramen places.
The next day, I said bye to Yunosuke as he headed to Hiroshima. I wish I would have joined him because I wanted to visit the city as well. Trains in Japan are extraordinarily expensive, even Japanese people think so too, I kinda felt thankful for able to get a pass as a foreign traveler. Yunosuke seemed to be surprised since he never knew travelers take that kind of advantage.
Les français au Japon
Sounds interesting, doesn’t it? 😉
I moved to Yoann’s place after saying bye to Yunosuke. Actually he had to reject my couchsurfing request since his flat was being full of guests and the fact that his wife being pregnant which means he needed to take care of her. But then he said I could come over and stay for a few days. God, I love couchsurfing! I think the owner, or founder or whatsoever you want to call it should be awarded, such a genius idea made everything easier! And I loved my stay at Yoann’s place. He’s broad-minded, curious and also funny. I never noticed he was Parisian, well yeah he is. We had a party kind of at Fukuoka station with his friends. I don’t want to admit it but I’d better be drunk if I want to be social enough to be friends with everyone and that was what happened.
We managed to visit the beach and let our body get tanned on the following day. Yoann and his friend Damien, both of them swam really well, I honestly haven’t seen any bad swimmers from France. The bar night was fun too, there were 4 Japanese ladies next to us, we kinda had a good chemistry between us and kept talking for a little bit. As expected, (typical) shy Japanese women! Quite funny one of them is from Nagasaki and one from Kumamoto!
Four things that I love about Japan
1.The good order
Everywhere you go, everywhere I come out from, no matter where that is, so clean and people know how to line up. Tokyo’s metro was totally crazy though, so many people everywhere!!
Japan is one of the cleanest countries I’ve ever been to. Hey, it’s a common knowledge that one should feel humiliated in case he or she dumps trash on the street or spits. Obviously those people don’t seemingly exist.
Oh dear, their food is just amazing. From just some ordinary food from the street to luxury food, I loved everything. But I don’t like Sushi 😀
Everyone smells different and I don’t easily get annoyed by smell unless it becomes beyond endurance. I think Japanese people have got a very peculiar smell, my friend Junko told me the smell comes from Japanese old houses. I don’t know if it’s correct though.
I love the way Japanese tourist commission attracts foreign tourists. It’s pretty obvious that this country has been shown up and considered as a magical Asian country for westerners, I think that’s where their big interests in Japan come from. Shameful that I still haven’t been to Kyoto and Kansai area; Well, let’s round off like this : Kyoto, that’s where I’m going next time! Hopefully soon! 😉 The sooner, the better.
Too many photos for one post! That explains everything! 🙂
Peace and love.