I felt the need to go for a long walk. Fukuoka is a big old town and I thought I’d wander over to the docks, stop by at the onsen for a hot bath before going back to the hotel.
Yes, it’s a big city but the most interesting, picturesque places are by the rivers.
I wandered through a park where I came across a disused open-air theatre.
The most disappointing thing I saw though was a couple of homeless people. We were just talking about this a couple of days ago: where do all the homeless people in Japan go? We hadn’t seen any in Tokyo, or Kyoto, anywhere. Maybe there are none. Maybe everyone is looked after? But I saw a man and a lady today, each pushing a supermarket trolley full of plastic bags of stuff. These people looked a bit shabby too, which is most unusual.
Liesel missed out when I visited the art gallery. A collection of impressionist paintings on loan from the Burrell collection usually based in Glasgow.
The sign on the wall said it was OK to take pctures, but no flash, no tripod, no selfie stick. But I was told off when I tried to take a picture of the van Gogh painting.
I walked towards the docks but it was heavily industrialised, not a place to go for a walk, so I never did see the sea. Instead, I went to the onsen. Such a disappointment. I only have myself to blame, of course, for not even trying to learn some basic Japanese. But surely, if I go into a public bath, it’s pretty obvious what I’m there for? The receptionist pointed me in the direction of the café area. But I couldn’t even see how to order a cup of tea, if I wanted one. A few guys were sitting there with towels around their necks. But I couldn’t see where to go, for lockers, to pay, to take my clothes off, nothing. Too shy, shy, hush, hush, eye to eye. Very disappointed with myself but there are plenty of other public baths.
So, I thought to myself, I’ll go for a massage instead. I looked one up, followed directions and oh my goodness, I know I was still close to the dock area at this point, but this wasn’t the kind of massage I was looking for.
I walked back to the hotel where I had a bit of a lie down!
Meanwhile, back in the UK, lovely William was celebrating his first birthday. We won’t miss his second, it’s too hard!
And so, on to our next port of call. The name of it has proved to be a bit of a mental block for me. Kajagoogoo. No. Kamikazi. Kama sutra. It’s on the tip of my tongue but I just can’t remember what it’s called.
To be fair, it’s not just Japanese place names I have such problems with. There was that night a couple of years ago when I was awake for hours trying to remember the name of Sherlock Holmes’s nemesis. Yes, I know it’s Moriarty. But I couldn’t recall it that night. Montgomery, Montmorency, Mycroft (close but…), Moorcroft, Moorcraft, on and on.
And while out walking the streets of Fukuoka yesterday, I kept thinking of Cosa Nostra, Kate O’Mara, cash ‘n’ carry.
Every time we pack, we think we have too much stuff. We walked to the station having a late breakfast slash early lunch on the way. Hard Rock Café, as it happens, salad and chips, always a good combination.
Today’s journey on the Shinkansen would be our final train ride in Japan, on this occasion. Such a shame it only took an hour and a half to get to kalamati, no, Kalahari, grrr…
Kagoshima. It’s Kagoshima, of course.
Our Airbnb host, Jin, picked us up from the station, took us to our apartment, way up on the fifth floor and there’s no lift. He introduced us to the local greengrocer, told us how good the chicken was, told us where we could get chicken sushimi for only 100, very cheap.
I went for a walk to confirm that I would be able to find the local hot bath tomorrow Yes, there’s one here too, just a two minute walk away, and I will persevere this time.
We should be used to it by now, but when the Sun sets here, it sets good and proper. No messing about with twilight and all that nonsense.
We look forward to exploring this place, Kagoshima, Kagoshima, more fully tomorrow!