I remember landing in Fukuoka with eyes that perfectly depicted the very essence of sleep deprivation. At this time, I think it had been a week since I had gotten decent sleep, it all started like two days before my trip to Bangladesh. (If you’re wondering how I even remember this…let’s just say that the last two months of 2019 were extraordinarily memorable, so I still remember all the little details quite well). Here’s a little backstory.
A few days prior to this trip, I was still in Dhaka with my colleagues when I received a text message asking me to come in for my graduate school interview. I checked whether I could make it, since our Dhaka-Bangkok-Manila flight landed at noon and my interview was right after lunch. I headed straight to Rockwell afterwards to see my sister, have dinner, and head to the airport for my Manila-Seoul-Fukuoka flight, which had like a long layover. I can’t even begin to tell you how groggy I was — I hate catnaps but I gave in because my body could no longer take it.
Okay, going back to Fukuoka. I took a cab from the airport to The Lively Hakata, did my best to stay awake during the ride to catch a glimpse of Fukuoka, but I zonked out. I don’t even remember how long the trip was. Anyway, I got the keys from the reception, went up to the room, and allowed myself to get a bit more sleep, which I completely regretted when I woke up two hours later. LOL
The Lively is considered the first “lifestyle” hotel in Fukuoka. I loved the design of the hotel, the breakfast selection (they always had a breakfast special every morning), and the amenities, especially the Liverally, a co-working space for guests, free of charge and available 24/7.
After that nap and after getting ready for the afternoon, I headed out to for a walk. I hadn’t eaten a thing since the flight so I dropped by Family Mart to get bread, coffee, and chicken.
I walked around, hoping to find a bench where I could enjoy my “meal.” I eventually found a nice spot overlooking the river, right by a pretty building. An hour later, I met up with my parents for dinner at Ichiran.
On our second day there, my mum and I spent the afternoon together. Before getting far, we stopped to get coffee and bread — I needed to eat because the only meal I had had for the day was breakfast.
It was a rainy afternoon, but my mum and I wanted ice cream. We got vanilla and strawberry ice cream cones and and an order of fries from McDonald’s before walking around Canal City, a huge shopping and entertainment complex.
While we were walking around, the Fountain Show was ongoing so we decided to watch. At this point, I was ready to leave the mall. Haha I’m really not much of a mall-type of person.
At this time, I didn’t know that Fukuoka was known for Hakata Ramen and I’m not sure if we had an authentic one…we most probably did when we had dinner at one of the Yatais, mobile food stalls that have been around since the 1600s.
We saw people queue for the food carts lined along the street. Since we didn’t have dinner plans, we lined up as well and ordered some ramen, fish, and fishcakes. You would think that food served in any food cart would actually be on the cheaper side but nope, not food from a Yatai.
From Canal City, we walked to JR Hakata under the rain to see the annual Christmas Market. It was cold and everything was getting wet, and that feeling is just….bleugh.
It was the first Christmas Market I’ve ever been to and I was just incredibly happy. Being there surrounded with Christmas music, lights, trees, hot chocolate, and trinkets was just blissful. Have I mentioned how much I love Christmas and everything that comes with it?
One day, I wish to visit all the major Christmas Markets around the world. Especially Striezelmarkt in Dresden, Germany, which is considered as the first genuine Christmas Market.
Our last full day was allotted for a day-trip to Nagasaki (which I’ll be sharing in another post). I’ll end this post with a few more photos we took on our way to the train station. 🙂