Experience · Food · Travel

Day 6 (Last day) – Fukuoka (Ichiro Gyoza – Namco Arcade – Bebe No Kimochi – Soba Okonomiyaki)

Last day in Fukuoka! Time for last minute shopping. There were many things I haven’t seen! First thing first, breakfast. I only ate snack in the morning so we needed to find a brunch spot. Our first destination today was Hakata Bus Terminal Building. Why? Because they have Daisho there and I wanted to look for some stuff.

There is a shopping mall too there, including a department store. They have food area in 8th floor but mostly open at 11.00 am. We strolled around the lower floor and found some stuff. Their department store has an affordable price for clothes and shoes. Do not expect to see something very trendy though. For daily wear or casual wear (and some office clothes), it was nice.

Foot prints in front of Hakata Station

By 11.30 am, we went to the 8th floor and I instantly attracted to Gyoza restaurant. Gyoza! Finally I can try it. Not because I never ate gyoza (japanese pork dumpling) before, but because I heard that gyoza also one of specialty from Fukuoka.

I ordered the lunch package, which was rice and gyoza. For the drink, I ordered shocu, and I regretted it after lol. It had similar taste to Korean soju which I don’t like! But the gyozas were really delicious! The proportion of meat and vegetable were nicely done. The place was the only place who sells gyoza so it shouldn’t hard to find on the 8th floor. The name is Ichiro Gyoza.

Ichiro Gyoza Menu

Japanese Shocu

Yaki Gyoza @ Ichiro

Yaki Gyoza bite

We went downstairs after lunch and stopped by at Namco Station. This is what a gamer would like! Or if you are a gachapon lover like me, then it’s a heaven. I saw a gachapon machine with pikachu in it. Need to pay 300 yen to ‘play’ it. I inserted 300 yen and turned the knob. The next thing happened was I received a plastic container with pikachu figurine in it. Gachapon is like a lottery, you can’t choose the item you one. Now this is the exciting moment, which pikachu do I get. I got the cute one! Lucky.

Since we were there already, might as well walk around the place. The whole floor was filled with arcade games and photo box. I took some photos without knowing that it is not allowed. A girl approached me and told me “no photo”. I said sorry and we left the place because we’re done looking around and need to go shopping!!

Pikachu Gachapon Gashapon Japan

Namco Arcade at Hakata Bus Building

Namco Arcade at Hakata Bus Building

On the 5th floor is Daisho. A really huge one!! I’ve never been to Daisho in Japan, only in Vietnam and Indonesia. They sell almost everything! If you haven’t heard about Daisho, it is a one-price shop (which is 100 yen in Japan), but there are a few products with higher price as well now. We bought some stuff including dog treats and toys for my dog 😀

After finishing in Daisho, we didn’t go back to the hotel but off to Tenjin Station instead using city bus on the 2nd floor. We had no idea how to read the direction! It was all in Japanese language. We saw a “Tenjin” on one of the waiting doors, so we queued there. While we were waiting for the bus to come, I checked on google map which city bus to take from Hakata bus station. There were some according to google but none of them passed by. We were at gate 3 when I saw bus number 13 stopped at gate 2! That’s one of our buses, I thought. So I told Pris to walk to gate 2 instead and boarded bus number 13.

Bus Gate in Hakata Bus Station

Arrived in Tenjin area, we walked around Tenjin Chikugai Shopping Area. It is an underground shopping area. There are a lot of interesting stores there. We visited almost every one of them 😀

Next to Tenjin Chikugai is Tenjin Core. We’ve been here before but only for dinner, so this time we’re taking our time to look around the shops. Tenjin Core is one of the famous shopping malls in Tenjin area as well. It is connected to Vivre (another shopping mall) on certain floors.

We didn’t take a long time at Tenjin Core because we started to get hungry. Since we’ve already been in the food court of Tenjin Core, we looked for something else. Next to Tenjin Core is Parco, and it looked like it has a lot of restaurants. Upon arrival, we checked their floor directory. We found a crepe cafe! That’s it! Let’s try that.

Unfortunately, what they called cafe and what we thought of cafe were different! It was not a place to eat, but a small shop. Not selling any food or snacks 😦 We decided to look around on upper floor then. I needed to find something for my husband’s staff and found a cute Daruma wooden doll and a cute onsen towel. It is quite special I think.

daruma doll and onsen towel

After we finished with the shopping, we went to the other side of parco mall, basement floor. On the corner, we found an ice cream stall! I chose mango and yogurt flavor. They are using vending machine as well to order. We can insert money with a maximum of 1000 yen. I used 1000 yen bill then picked the ice cream I want. After done, I clicked on the button below and I got the change and the ticket. I gave the ticket to the girl and she asked if I want the ice cream in a cup or cone. Cone! I’ve never tried ice cream cone in Japan so this is a chance 😀

Their ice creams are using Ito Monogatari Milk. You can see them on display. The ice cream itself is milky and soft. I loved it! Pris ordered the plain vanilla.

Soft Ice Cream Bebe No Kimochi

Bebe No Kimochi Vending Machine

Mango and Yogurt Soft Ice Cream @ Bebe No Kimochi

We walked around a little bit after filling up with ice cream. But it didn’t last long. We had to have dinner before it gets busy. So continue in Parco, we strolled around the basement area and decided to try the okonomiyaki restaurant. They have a soba okonomiyaki which looked very interesting on the picture.

There were only 2 persons working in that restaurant. One lady was taking the order, serving and cleaning up the table. And one guy was cooking the food. We ordered 1 soba okonomiyaki for share. I knew we couldn’t finish it if we ordered one each.

This soba okonomiyaki was sooo yummy! Every bite was delicious. And we made the right decision about ordering only one. After first serving (which was a quarter of it), we had enough already. The taste becoming a bit strong and it was hard to finish it when that happened.

Soba Okonomiyaki

Soba Okonomiyaki

Pikachu on a glass

After dinner, we went back to Hakata Station by subway. We stopped by at Tokyu Hands there. Apparently they have 5 floors for Tokyu Hands! I thought only 1 floor on the first floor. We did final shopping there and heading back to hotel, because we had to start packing our stuff into our suitcase, which was not easy! It was like playing puzzle to put everything to fit in suitcase.

And this concludes our trip to Fukuoka! Thank you for reading and see you in my other adventure!

Ciao.

Experience · Food · Travel

Day 4 – Fukuoka (Hakata Ichiban Ramen – Daimyo Catholic Church – Fukuoka Tower – Omurice)

As the result of yesterday’s trip to Beppu, we woke up really late today. We were really tired. Taking it easy on our morning… didn’t even have breakfast.

It’s been 4 days in Fukuoka and we haven’t eaten any ramen! Fukuoka is famous for its Hakata style Ramen. A very thick pork broth used for this noodle soup. Time to have brunch at ramen place then!

We were told by Pris’s friend that there is a ramen street on 2nd floor of Ekinaka Hakata Shopping mall. And the recommended ramen shop is Shin-shin. We arrived at ramen street at 11 am and were heading to shin-shin ramen when I saw a long queue in front of it! Desperately wanted some food, we walked around to find an interesting ramen shop. After walking one full block, we found one.

Hakata Ekinaka Shopping Ramen Street
Ramen Street
Ramen street map Ekinaka Hakata Shopping mall
Ramen street map

 

Hakata Ichiban Ramen. There was no queue in front of it but somehow I was interested in this shop. Maybe because I saw a lot of signatures on the wall 😀 Looks like some celebrities coming to eat in this restaurant and left their signature. Before entering the restaurant, we needed to buy meal ticket from the machine first. All of them in Japanese but there were some that are in Roman alphabet so we could read it. I picked ramen karaniku-miso. It was 750 yen.

Hakata Ichiban Ramen Menu
Hakata Ichiban Ramen Menu
Hakata Ichiban Ramen Restaurant
Hakata Ichiban Ramen Restaurant

Put in the money, clicked on the menu I want then I got the meal ticket. We gave meal ticket to the lady who ushered us to our seat. The place is small but quite packed even though there was no queue outside. Looking closer to the place, I was thinking we picked the right restaurant. The people seemed to enjoy their food. Some even asked for another portion. There were more signatures on the wall in front of us.

Hakata Ichiban Ramen Restaurant

The noodle came and at first didn’t look special. Just a normal white pork bone soup. I mixed the karamiso with everything and tasted it. O.M.G. it was very delicious. No wonder Hakata-styled ramen is very famous. Ho Chi Minh has a good ramen place as well called Ramen Danbo. And I heard they also from Hakata. I think these 2 ramens are on par.

Karamiso Ramen Hakata Ichiban
Karamiso Ramen

With happy tummy, we continued our adventure. We went downstairs to 1st floor and I saw the sign “Souvenir Street” Uh-Oh.. Dangerous! We both like shopping. First thing first, supermarket. Local supermarket is a must visit for me. We spent the time quite long there, looking for some stuff for us and for our family.

In front of the supermarket, there are small shops so we also visited them. Found a casual long dress for 1280 yen. Not bad eh. And the shopping continued… the souvenir street was dangerous for us indeed ^^;

We ended up going back to the apartment to store our stuff first. We planned to go to Tenjin Station then to church. It was not convenient to bring all those stuff. We rested for a bit, charging our phones and ready to go.

To go to Tenjin Station from Hakata Station, we can take bus or train, but somehow Google Map only suggested train. So train it is! We needed to take Kuko Line, a subway line but we couldn’t find the machine to buy the ticket. Apparently, we had to go to basement first by following the sign ” Kuko Line ” then buy the ticket from the machine there. First time in their subway line. We proceed to entrance after got lost to another exit somehow ( I blamed Pris for this, but I was at fault for following her and didn’t check carefully xD). Line 2 is for Tenjin Station.

Subway Ticket Fukuoka
Subway Ticket

Tenjin Station is a huge station with soooo many exits. We checked on map and couldn’t decide which one should we take to reach the church so we followed Google map suggestion, which was Exit 4. After we got out, we turned to the right direction and followed the street (we actually got lost again and this time because of me lol. I followed Google map direction then it turned out the GPS was not working properly.. oh well).

Cheeza by Glico

We stopped by at family mart and bought something to eat in case we hungry later. I found cheeza!! My friend told me to try it because it is yummy. And it really does! I like it.

With Pris in charge of direction, I just followed her and taking some photos on the way. We knew we have arrived when we saw a very tall tower with 3 big bells.

Street view Fukuoka

Daimyo Catholic Church Tower Fukuoka
Daimyo Catholic Church Tower

Daimyo Catholic Church. The english mass in this church starts at 4 pm so we still have time. We stopped by by the shop. They have many cute stuff. I planned to buy something for my mom but couldn’t find anything with Japanese characteristic. The shop is closed at 5 pm so if you want to buy something, better buy it before the mass started.

Lady Mary statue Daimyo Catholic Church Fukuoka

 

The mass was finished pretty fast, less than an hour. Then all of us got an honor to witness a baptism ceremony for an African baby. Such an amazing moment!

I couldn’t take photos of this church because it is not allowed. The design is simple and it allows a lot of lights coming in from transparent roof on certain part. We went out of the church and took photos before departed to our next destination.

Daimyo Catholic Church Tower Fukuoka

Street view Fukuoka

Fukuoka Tower.

Pris already searched for the bus to take to go to Fukuoka Tower from Daimyo Church. Unfortunately, it changed. By the time we arrived at the bus stop, Google map told us to go to another bus stop! We had no other option than following the suggestion. After about 10 mins of walking, we arrived at designated bus stop, then we took bus number W1 to go to Fukuoka Tower. Our destination was the last stop of this bus, and it stopped directly in front of a small Shopping Center.

Taken from our bus to Fukuoka Tower

Off the bus, we followed the sign to Fukuoka Tower. At this area, we could visit Momochi Seaside Park, Robosquare, and Fukuoka Museum. I was a bit lazy to join Pris to the tower because I have been to another tower in another city as well and it was cloudy when we were there. The sky was gray. In the end, I joined her.

Fukuoka Tower
Fukuoka Tower

Fukuoka Tower Ticket and Leaflets

The security guard asked us to buy the ticket at the counter. The price for ticket was 800 yen for adult, but since we are foreigner they gave 20% discount, so it was 640 yen per person. We queued for the elevator after we passed by the photo session area. A lady took our photo and we could buy it later when we got out if we like it. There is no toilet up there so if you need to go to toilet better do it on 1st floor. The elevator came, we got in and it went to the highest floor which is floor 123. Somehow they called it level 5.

The view was amazing despite the cloudy sky. It would have been better at night. The tower opens from 9.30 am to 10.00 pm. There was a 3D photo corner with a ramen bowl. Of course, we took photos there! 😀 You can check out the photo at Pris’s blog.

There is also an automatic tower shrine. 100 yen to play. Insert the coin then followed the instruction. At the end, you will get a number which indicates which box you should open. They have many language version in each box, so pick the one you can read. For me, I chose English.

Wishing Corner Fukuoka Tower
Wishing Corner Fukuoka Tower
Fukuoka Tower Shrine
Pris checking out the machine 😀
My luck result!
My luck result!

 

It didn’t take long to finish all the sightseeing there and we wanted to go back to 1st floor. To do so the lady asked us to go to 3rd floor. Pris was confused when they told us that. It is actually floor 121, which is 2 floors below.

When we arrived, the elevator just left so we had to queue for the next one. While waiting I looked at the vending machine and it was full of couple lock and ornament. Then I looked around and saw a bunch of locks on the rail. Oh! This is the floor for couple. I saw some couple there as well. When I walked to other side of the building, I found a corner with a giant heart made of flowers. There are 2 buttons on the left and right just behind that heart construction. I read the instructions.

Couple Locks Fukuoka Tower

Heart Gate at Fukuoka Tower 3rd floor

Apparently it is a heart gate for couple! The couple who wants to declare their love must walk through the heart while holding hands. Each of them has to reach the button on their side then later on a bell will ring!! Cute haha.

Back at first floor, we were offered the photo which was previously taken but we didn’t take it. It was bad photo haha. Sorry. There is a souvenir shop at 1st floor and a supermarket. There is also an artist corner where you can have your caricature made.

View from Fukuoka Tower

With a hungry tummy, we walked around the small shopping mall and didn’t find anything interesting. We decided to go back to Tenjin Station and find food there.

At Tenjin Station we headed to Tenjin Core. I saw they have restaurant and food court at 7th+ floor. Next to Tenjin Core is Vivre. After we got lost (again today), we found out that they are connected on certain level only. Since we didn’t know that area well, the safest way would be back to basement 2 and go to tenjin core 7th floor.

View from Fukuoka Tower

Tamago To Watashi.

I was interested in fried chicken while Pris wanted Omurice. If only they can be eaten at the same place… Okay, let’s try the omurice. I wasn’t interested because it doesn’t look like the omurice that I liked. So I made an offer, I would go there as long as we order the one with gravy lol; The portion looked big that’s why she wanted my help in case she couldn’t finish it.

There were several people eating there. The girl at next table was getting ready to eat her order. The portion was huge! We ordered the one I wanted. The portion for that one was smaller so I’m sure Pris actually can finish it alone. I couldn’t eat much if late already. Me and my weak tummy ~.~

It took a while until the dish came to our table. It looked so yummy. We shared the rice and egg. Omurice is one of traditional Japanese food where they put fried rice inside an omelette, and they usually pour gravy on top of it. I tried it. It was surprisingly yummy! (Or maybe because we were starving lol;). The gravy was very delicious. Good thing we didn’t order the one with creamy sauce. It might be good as well though, but I’m not a fan of creamy sauce.

Tamago to watashi omurice Fukuoka

We shared the dessert as well. It was delicious as well. I always thought Japanese people are good with dessert. Apparently, they do.

We finished eating by 8.45 pm and was excited to see the shop but we were unlucky! All of the shops were closed already. We were at elevator and we couldn’t press any floor except 1st floor 😦

Back at Hakata Station, we checked out the souvenir shops. Pris was looking for something to give to her parent by November 2017 but everything will expire soon. The average expiration date is August 2017. Some of them are November but it will be too tight. In a way it is good because that means they don’t use preservatives, I guess.

I bought a small pack of Menbei. I had no idea what that is but Pris said she saw many people bought it. So when we found a small pack of it, we bought it. I tried the green onion, while Pris bought the mayonnaise flavor. I’m guessing it is a kind of rice crackers but mixed with mentaiko. Rice cracker in Japanese is senbei. Maybe that is why this is called menbei. It does have mentaiko taste and a tiny bit spiciness.

 

We headed back to apartment and preparing for tomorrow.  Our trip to Nagasaki!!

Ciao!