Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Busan and Fukuoka Trip - DAY #4 "Fukuoka Tower"

(Fukuoka Tower)

Yesterday, we missed the chance to visit Fukuoka Tower and the Fukuoka City Museum. Today, we weren't going to fail. Also, little did I know then that I was going to meet someone special later.

Points of Interest
Nishijin (daytime), Fukuoka City Museum, Fukuoka City Sogo Library, Momochi Seaside Park, Fukuoka Tower, Oyafuko-dori, Naka River

Tuesday, Feb 17th - Fukuoka, Japan

On the way to Nishijin, I couldn't help thinking about Mikako and her message. I wanted to see her on that day. She told me she was only available Wednesday after work which was my last night in Japan.

Due to last night's late night snacks, we weren't really hungry that morning and just settled on something small for our first meal.

I think this was umegae mochi. This store had a perpetually filled line. Price was under a buck each.

It was served in this nifty bag.

It wasn't out of this world good. But it was good.

We were back to the Nishijin Shopping Arcade...

This area looked completely different in the daytime. It was still bustling but a different kind of bustling.

We needed another snack: takoyaki!

I don't remember the price, but it was fairly cheap. It was also very delicious when hot. But the last cooled-down pieces tasted weird. Interestingly, one of the staff members was maybe middle eastern and spoke fluent Japanese as far as I could tell.

And off we were to our 15 or so minute walk towards Fukuoka Tower. Some random buildings we spotted on the way...

A school.

Almost there.

The first stop of the area was Fukuoka City Museum, a gigantic building we missed the opportunity to visit yesterday...

The main lobby. There's a flag of France because... why?

This could have originally been an airport hangar.

Tickets were under $2. Here are some highlights of inside...

The first room. No, this is not a photographic blunder. This literally was a large, darkened room with a single, tiny object on display (which turned out to be an ancient golden stamp).

Model of the Fukuoka Tower waterfront.

Traditional Fukuoka gifts, I believe.

Model representation of the Yamakasa festival.

One of the "floats" that are carried around during such festivals.

Just chillin' in the old pub.

Bryant in the 20th century history section. It did mention (briefly) WWII.

Our legs were so tired so we relaxed in this room. The interior design and chairs were so inviting.

After resting, we went to the Fukuoka City Sogo Library...


We were literally in and out within five minutes. We just wanted to take a glance at what the library was like.

Looks more like a computer model than reality.

We decided to have our first real meal of the day. It was kind of an odd time to eat so this restaurant in the tower was a bit empty...

It seemed insanely classy. The servers were dressed up. And classical musical played in the background. Yet the prices were inexpensive. Average meal price was like $7 or $8.
This wasn't exactly authentic Japanese, but I needed some steak which is hard to come by in Korea.

We wanted to go to Fukuoka Tower when night was coming so we decided to go to the Momochi Seaside Park first...

This plaza must be crazy busy during the summertime.

Everyone at this beach was Korean. I guess only tourists go to the beach on such a windy and cold day.

This is a popular venue for weddings.

At last, it was time to climb the tower...

Random 7-11 inside on the main floor. These are everywhere in Japan.

Tickets were about $6 for foreigners: cheaper than for citizens.

A view from under the tower revealed no floors. It was literally a tower encased in a glass shell.

On the elevator ride up, the attendant explained some facts about the tower in Japanese, English, and Korean. It was quite impressed by her language skills.

But onto the views...

An artificial beach.


Night was coming which would reveal the city in a different light...

A view of the beach we had just visited.

High-exposure shot.

High places in Asia must always have love locks.

It felt like we spent all day up there taking pictures and enjoying the sights. Also, most of the people up in the tower were Koreans. I felt like I was in Korea again.

Finally we descended the tower.

I will let you decide. Is Fukuoka Tower more gorgeous in the daytime or at night?

The tower was always watching us.

We rested at the hotel for a bit before heading back out to enjoy the nightlife of Oyafuko-dori in Tenjin...

While mundane to Japanese, this building just looked so cool to me.

Bryant found a club on the internet called Infinity which was allegedly popular on the weekdays. Already on the first floor, we could hear the music bumping. We climbed up the elevator to check it out.

Again, the "no dancing" sign. I wondered if they'd be strict here.

Surprisingly, there was a $10 cover but at least it included a free drink. We sucked it up and paid. Inside, the venue looked pretty sleek and the music was banging. There were some people already even though it was still early. We sat around and watched. I noticed no one was dancing which made me wonder if it was actually permitted.

After a while, it was getting kinda' boring sitting around. Also, we wanted to get drunk but didn't want to pay for any club drinks. So we decided to do things Korean style...

We went outside to a nearby convenience store and bought the strongest, cheapest drink they had with a mixer.

Yeah, that's how we do it in Korea! Buy a bottle of soju and a chaser, drink it on the streets, and then enter the clubs. Cheap and effective.

I had no idea what this was, but I knew enough katakana to understand it had 16% alcohol content. In comparison, soju has 19% and vodka has 40%.

Unlike soju, the taste wasn't strong and could have been drunk without the chaser. Price was about $2-$3 for whatever this alcohol drink was.

We went for round two...

Even though it had the same alcohol content as the previous drink, it tasted stronger and actually kinda' gross. It was like drinking pure vodka, and the chaser was definitely needed.

The sweet life. Drinking on the streets is technically legal but kinda' considered low class in Japan. It didn't matter; we were foreigners!

Suddenly, I saw this classic Japanese sports car drive by and I just had to snap some pics...

Now on a high, we re-entered club Infinity...

It was getting more filled. People were starting to dance which alleviated my worries. There were some Westerners and Koreans inside too. This one guy, maybe American, came in wearing what looked like formal clothing from 1910. He was definitely peacocking.

It was time to get our one free drink. Apparently, almost the entire menu we could choose from for a free drink! Many clubs in Seoul, you can only get a beer, a tequila shot, or a simple vodka cocktail. So we went for the most expensive thing on the menu: Hennessy with a Red Bull (uncommon in Korea).

Tons of lockers. We stuffed our things in one of them.

This particular song that they played in club really stuck out to me.

That night... was interesting.

The music was great, and we had a good time dancing. Actually, the dance floor was mostly filled with guys and the girls were just sitting around at tables on the side. It wasn't a big deal though. We mostly just danced and enjoyed the music to ourselves. There was this one guy who tried to dance with me thrice and not in a heterosexual kinda' way. lol.

Towards the end of our time there, we did meet two girls. One was named Akiko who didn't really speak English, but I somehow was able to communicate with her in Japanese. She came with her friend Ran who spoke some English and connected more with my friend Bryant.

The rest of the night was a drunken blur. I remember going to a random bar and eating at this 24-hour McDonald's...

I also remember walking back to Nakasu from Tenjin...

The Naka River is a lovely place to take a stroll at night.

I did exchange contact information with Akiko. She was really funny and had a certain way to her. Her intonation and laughs were very Japanese (but not "cutesy" Japanese); it's hard to explain. A part of me thinks that if I lived in Japan and could speak Japanese well, we could have been something. But another part of me knows that's crazy talk.

Anyways, this is her good picture...

I took it from her Line profile (phone messenger app). Maybe I shouldn't post it on the internet, but I don't think she or anyone she knows will ever find this blog anyways.

Overall, it was an interesting night in Japan. Unfortunately, tomorrow would be my last.

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