About a month ago, my friend Mina asked if I wanted to join her (along with her mom and Steph) to Fukuoka. I immediately said YES for two reasons:
1. Mina is awesome and I knew traveling with her would be a blast
2. Any chance to see more of Japan - and I'll take it!
After agreeing to the trip, we all pulled out our calendars and found two days that worked for all of us and quickly booked our $150 flight! Not bad!
We flew on PEACH airline which sounds silly but it was actually a nice, easy, and cheap flight.
Steph had a friend in Fukuoka named Taka, whom she met a few years back at a Bible study in Irvine! It just so happened that he had Thursday off (the day we flew in) so he picked us up from the airport and drove us to a well known shrine in Fukuoka; Dazaifu Tenmangu!
Apparently this shrine is famous because students go there to pray for a successful school year or to pass a certain test. Sure enough, there were maaany many students there.
Really cool starbs.
I noticed all these people waiting in line and thought "Whatever it is I need it"....this happens a lot in Japan because Japanese people are all about the "hot popular item" and will wait in line for hours for something. Good thing this one was quick...and it was for MOCHI!!!
This was some of the best mochi I have ever had. stuffed with sweet read bean (the perfect amount) with soft mochi surrounding it and a nice toasted crust. AHHHH!!
We had lunch at this traditional noodle shop...where I had green tea soba. DECLICIOUS!
Everyone else ordered pink noodles! I believe they were Umeboshi flavor?
This walkway led to the main shrine. It was a little rainy, but overall a nice day!
CUTE. CUTE. CUTE.
There are a few statues that you rub for good luck. Apparently you rub the bull's head and then your head...but the best part was watching that boy in the blue jacket... who was rubbing the inside on the bull's nose and then picking his nose HAHAHAA. Needless to say, I didn't touch that part of the bull.
The trees in Japan are incredible.
Steph, me, Mina, and Mina's mom Yoko. They're like family to us!
Beautiful ladies inside and out! Mina and her family have hosted many students from Torrance and have taken Steph and I in under their wing from day one! They have helped me set up my phone, helped me book flights (Mina works for Asiana), driven me to pick up a TV, taken me shopping, fed me home cooked food, you name it they have helped me with it and I am so thankful for their generous and joyful hearts!!
Another group shot. Taka is hiding behind me ! haha
Monkey man with his performing Monkey. It was really entertaining (Japanese people are funny) but I couldn't help but feel sad for little monkey having to walk like a human!
Grilled Chicken everywhere! Smelled amazing.
I couldn't stop staring at this tree!
Have you ever waned to eat fish eggs that you could squeeze out of a tube?
After eating snacks, good noodles, shopping, and seeing the temple...we loaded back in the car and Taka took us to another well known place in town...Fukuoka Dome!
Home of the Softbank Hawks baseball team.
As well as a bunch of famous peoples' hands you can "shake" haha!
Next to the dome there is the Hilton hotel which had this amazing wedding chapel!
We went up to the 35th floor for a nice view of the city.
Retractable roof! How cool would it be to have your hotel room on this side of the building when the roof retracts and being able to watch what happening down there...awesome.
By this point...the day was just getting started! I couldn't believe how fortunate we were that Taka happened to be off that day and was kind enough to drive us around and show us all these amazing places. It is really amazing how God connects us to people at different places in our lives and works all things out in His perfect timing!
Part two coming next.