coffee on it so it wasn’t such a new thing at eh end.
what a best name for a club “Exciting Adult Club”
or How nice of you to come!
Driving around the country
Sleeping in a car
Early in the morning he took the to the service station in the expressway and from there I retook my way to Hiroshima. in my last ride Sigeru Tanaka took me to Hiroshima and we had some lunch together and he gave me a great Japanese souvenir, a wooden rice pale! what more Japanese than rice? and its believed that it was invented by a monk near Hiroshima
hear/read something about it, is a small (not so small when you are hiking to the top) island near Hiroshima.
one that I have visited so far.
something on God’s land. And you can actually feel this feeling you are in a really old place, specially at night when almost no one is there.
there are a lot of events during the year, it would be bad to go there the same day and missing it, look for them before leaving the internet.
What to do there
Maybe my favorite place on the Island, Daisho temple is that kind of places that when you arrive you feel good, peace, light, like if gravity were less on it or your thoughts got dissipated, it was our next stop and on our way to it we could see the Five-Story Pagoda and more deers.
believed if you read them, or touch them in their spinning metal wheels they will bring you “Enourmus fortune”, I did touch them because I cannot read Japanese.
imagine the feeling they have.
Hitchhiking is cool, I really like it, I have done it in Mexico, Taiwan, Finland, South Korea and now in Japan sometimes I do it without thinking or just with the feeling of “oh I should walk that way and then start walking in the road with my finger in the air till someone picked me up.
It makes me feel alive, makes me feel weak and in the middle of nothing it gives you the sensation that you just big failed, but if things went well, you will enjoy 100x more than taking a train or a bus.
But after the Busan mistake I will be more careful, so the night before departing I looked on google maps and looked for the express ways from Fukuoka to Hiroshima.
|Walking to the Expressway|
Starting the adventure!
Because I was in Kasuga city I decided to go to the expressway in the south thinking that maybe most of the cars that come from the south has to take that route.
Second shock in Japan, Japan is clean!!! when walking in the highway in Korea I could easily find any paper or carton to write my destinations name, but here there was nothing, not a single piece of paper in the first hour walking, just some plastic bags that were perambulating in the air but no cardboard or big pieces of paper. Luckily in a phone booth there was the cover of a disposal ice cooler, so I took it and in the next stop I wrote down in Kanji 広島 “Hiroshima”, and kept waking to the last entrance to the expressway.
It took me almost an hour walking there and another hour to get somebody to pick me up, many people on my way wished me good luck and “Gambatte”, some girls in a car stop just to cheer me up, that actually helps. I tried to look for the plate of the cars that instead of saying Fukuoka said Hiroshima, but most of the traffic was local one.
The first people that picked me up were a young Japanese couple that offered me to take me to the service station, Keiichi had done hitchhiking before to Osaka and Niina loved to travel so they recommended me to be in the station and things will be easier, the funny stuff is that we went to a station first, Niina got some mochi, Japanese rice cake, and then we went to another station, and another, and another, they had a free day at work so it seems they were enjoying the trip as much as I was,
We crossed the Kanmonkyō bridge, the one that connects Japan two of the four main islands, and they told me that it was a place where a lot of important Samurai fights happened. At the end we drive half way from Fukuoka to Hiroshima, after that Niina we were hungry so we stop and eat some Japanese roof tile noodles, really good ones!!!
After a long goodbye and a hundred thank you they went back home and I stayed in the station with my sign and looking for people with Hiroshima plates, after maybe 20 min a man try to explain me that we wasn’t going to Hiroshima city but he can drop me in a really close rest station. We tried to communicate with a phone translator, after half an hour I couldn’t stand it anymore and fell sleep until the next stop where they left me, they give me a package of cookies 🙂
|The noodles are over a traditional Japanese roof tile|
|After the second ride and only about 10km from Hiroshima the Sun was going down|
Again in the last station it was only 10km from central Hiroshima and I notice two mistakes I made before leaving the “Wi-Fi safe zone”
1.- Not downloading the maps to where I was going to (Hiroshima)
2.- Not downloading the English-Japanese pack in google translator
*extra mistake: maybe bringing 2 jackets from the beginning of the trip wasn’t the best idea either.
The Sun was almost down and there was some snow in the shadows or the sidewalks, a lady told me that it will be better to write “Hiroshima city” because we were already in Hiroshima prefecture, and then also to put “inside” so people knows that I want to go there, and at the bottom she wrote the district I was going to. I wait for about 20min until Yamamoto told me that he can take me to the city and his house was not far from the central station. Yamamoto is the manager of 17 Yoshinoya stores, he lives far from his family but seems to be happy with his job position, his English wasn’t fluent but enough to have a conversation for the drive.
In central station I could either take a bus or walk for another 40-50 min, again, the weather still good so I decided to walk, I could see the Hiroshima castle, and some nice buildings on my way, I arrived at the hostel maybe 6 pm and that day I felt like its going to be a good place to be for the next weeks.
|At least! Central Station!!!|
Fukuoka is one of fastest growing city in Japan, in 2011 it passed the population of Kyoto, is also a quite new city but full of Shrines, parks, shopping centers, museums and temples. Is the sixth largest city in Japan, with about 1.6M people in the city and 5.6M in the metro area, and the tourism has increase, many many Koreans come here or people that want to renew his Korean visa.
I arrived to the port in Fukuoka on monday, official name is Hakata Port International Terminal, Fukuoka, and being afraid of not having internet later I used the Wi-Fi there, download the Fukuoka maps on maps.me and make a route for the day, I visit the Sumiyoshi Shrine, Joten-ji, Kushida shrine, Shinto-Shrine, Fukuoka Castle, on Higashi park I play with some kindergarten children, visit some temples, other parks, shrines, markets, stores, etc.
One of the first things I notice here is that people is really nice, everyone in the street says おはよう Ohayō and bow their head as I did the same with them. Maybe is because is not a big city and I was most of the time out of downtown but people make a lot of eye contact in a good way, not like Korea that they seem to be too into their own minds they almost never make eye contact, even children. Maybe just different level of politeness.
I walked around the city until I arrived to Hakata Station and by that time I was starving, so I looked for a place to eat, walking around the stations I saw hundreds of restaurants and nice places to eat, between 500-1200 yen, at the end I decided to eat some spicy pork stew, that at the end was not pork but tofu and the rice was ordered apart so I ended paying more than 700yen for what was less than a set, I got some free nice green tea and a soup. In Korea I could have a nice and filing lunch with that amount of money but well usually the first meal in a new country is expensive and not the best.
In the restaurant I met Takafumi a Japanese guy that was in Fukuoka for a business trip, we didn’t talk much before eating just itadakimasu but after finishing the lunch we stay there for maybe half an hour chatting, quite cool guy from Tokyo, we exchange Facebook accounts and each one start walking to different ways, for sure I’ll let him know if I visit Tokyo soon.
Before taking the train I used the Japanese toilets and clean myself with water, I didn’t new you have to stop it but.. well i realized it later, not the best experience. then I took the train south to the closest station of the house I´ll stay in, the weather was nice, a little bit cloudy but not that cold so I walked about 40 min to the direction they told me in Couchsurfing, I could have taken a bus but that implies a lunch or so so I rater walk.
Yoshiki was on time in his home so we get in and Keiko, his wife, receive us with a big smile, we took sit in the living room floor with a square table and some electric Japanese blanket that covers the legs and let you be more comfortable with the cold weather.
We had some really nice sake and dinner, chat for a couple of hours and drink a little bit more, after that we were suppose to take a rest and keep drinking latter but I was so exhausted that when I arrived to the bed I fell sleep until 10pm, I came downstairs and everything was so quiet I didn’t want to bother them. Next day I stayed at home writing and doing some research about Japan, drinking some coffee and eating some matcha chocolate and chatting with Keiko, after that Yoshiki and myself had some really good noodles and enjoy a long chat. He wasn’t feeling really well so we call off the night and I went to my room to take a rest. As usual I was not able to sleep up to late that night.
The noodles and room I stay in, it has a big map with a lot of photographs of host they have had.