Fukuoka is a great introduction to Japan – very laid back with beautiful scenery. Although we didn’t do a lot, it was great to relax in the many parks and gardens. I also found the people in Fukuoka to be very friendly – sometimes confusingly so! I dropped into a 7/11 (which is actually a Japanese company now) to buy a quick lunch. As I was paying the clerk had a huge smile and said something to me in Japanese. Before I could blink he put a big box in front of me, and motioned for me to take something from it. I pulled out a little card with an anime cartoon on it. The clerk sounded like he was congratulating me… apparently I had won a free coffee!
While walking around we checked out the Fukuoka Castle and a Shinto Shrine. Shinto is a unique religion to Japan, and is connected to traditional rituals, mythology, connection with nature, and the Japanese Emperor.
Note that we were in Japan in April 2016. While in Fukuoka, we felt the aftershocks of the major earthquake that hit southern Japan. We were 200 km away from the epicenter, but very distinctly felt the shaking in the middle of our first night in Japan. On the roads, we could see many military aid conveys travelling to the affected area. Even in this disaster, it was heartening to see the people throughout Japan working together to raise funds for those affected.
Our next destination is Hiroshima. Onward and forward.
Photos by Jon Lang
Asia Trip – Early 2016