Fukuoka, Japan - NOT Just for a Visa Run!

My list of places to visit is about a mile long, and Japan was always somewhere on it, but never really near the top. It's a 3 hour plane ride from Seoul to Tokyo, and once you get there its just insanely expensive and let's face it - Japan's just a super cool, trendier version of Korea. BUT - this particular opportunity arose and well, its now whetted my appetite for more Japanese travel.

This might be one of my most favorite trips in life purely because of how I get to tell it. So it's Thursday night, and I have plans to go see a late movie with the boyfriend, and as I'm getting ready to walk out the door, said boyfriend calls and cancels because he needs to look up Visa information since his expires soon. If you've had to experience Visa stuff in Korea lately, you know that it's virtually impossible to find any answer to any question. So our solution on a late Thursday night was to hop on board a high speed ferry on Saturday and spend the night in Japan, so he could get rid of his visa.

We do some finagling and some research and sure enough we're on the KTX train at 8am Saturday morning - VIP all the way down to Busan, have a nice fresh seafood lunch at the Jalgachi Fish Market, and then hop on the coolest thing I've ever been on in my life - The Beetle.

What's the Beetle you ask? Well - it's only an insane jet-fuel powered hydrofoil that gets you from Busan to Fukuoka in less than 3 hours for less than 250,000w (fees/taxes included). This thing comes OUT of the water, and skims the top of it going at a sweet 80kmph over some of the roughest seas I've seen. It's just like riding on an airplane too - the announcements are the same, there are "flight" attendants, and really comfortable seats with actual life preservers in them that have a chance of being used (unlike in an airplane where they should maybe supply parachutes instead).

Anyway, we wind up at the port in Fukuoka, go through customs (my first time coming into a country by boat) and then go off to find ourselves a hotel. Fukuoka is a very cute little city - extremely clean, trendy, tourist like. We got in around 6pm, showered and went off to go explore. We found that Asahi beers out of the vending machine were pretty cheap, and found some malls, and temples, and even a little river area overlooking what's basically the downtown area. My only regret is that we didn't get some Japanese food at any point because we just spent too much time walking around and enjoying the great fall Japan weather, BUT we did find a Wendy's, which made our nights. We got up the next day and did some more walking, unfortunately in the rain - only to have to get right back on the ferry to head back to Korea. But overall a great weekend trip - maybe a bit too expensive for 2 days, but hey, you only live once right? The life of an English Teacher... always unpredictable. Pictures Below: