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Best of Fukuoka – great sights, good eats, cheap shops

Posted by on Oct 30, 2013 in All posts, Japan | 0 comments

Fukuoka translates to fun. It is a small city – for Japanese standards – and easy to navigate. The city reminds me a bit of wonderful Budapest, as Fukuoka was also once divided into the west bank dominated by Fukuoka castle and the east part, still known as Hakata. Merged in 1889 it is now modern but has preserved its compact layout. Starting centrally from our apartment located near Tenjin Station, we pretty much walked to all major sights (scroll through post for more info and location): ❤ Fukuoka castle ruins – enjoy a fantastic city panorama ❤ Mandarake – for anime and manga fanatics on a tight budget ❤ Book Off Bazar – rewards bibliophiles and fashionistas on a tight budget ❤ Kihinkan Hall – for its early 20th century European flair ❤ Canal City – family entertainment...

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Japanese house architecture & our condo rental

Posted by on Oct 18, 2013 in All posts, Japan | 2 comments

The most important thing when on the perpetual travel road, is a cozy place to work and live while being close to all amenities of the city. Living in various places gave me an insight into the different housing culture of countries.   Japan’s architecture is easily recognisable, with its perfectly cube shaped small shops and houses, intermingled with tall residential buildings which all stand very close to each other.   Japanese middle class.   Japanese well off.   Sometimes, black cables run from electricity posts in front of buildings which doesn’t look pretty but is easier to fix in the case of earthquakes and also a lot cheaper than putting all those cables underneath. Our town house in Tokyo (I am typing this from now), has a balcony and a great view up to the horizon but cables...

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Japanese seafood kushiyaki

Posted by on Oct 14, 2013 in All posts, Japan | 0 comments

Japan is the epicentre of food heaven and we are working our way up through Japanese culinary comfortzones. Tonight we felt like going a bit further out to have dinner. In terms of leaving the comfy distance from our apartment but also in terms of trying out new Japanese dishes. New for us but a Japanese classic, kushiyaki (or yakitori) can be skewered meats, seafood or vegetables. We went for the pescetarian version with seafood at the new and stylish shopping complex at Hakata Station. Opened in March 2011, Jr Hakata City is one of the hippest shopping complexes in Fukuoka, home to Hakata Hankyu, Tokyu Hands, Amu Plaza, a multiplex cinema.   Hakata Station has the largest train station with the Shinkansen and other intercity lines passing through.   There was even a wooden ramp especially created for...

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Sushiro – super sushi

Posted by on Oct 12, 2013 in All posts, Japan | 0 comments

If you are hungry (in Fukuoka), if you have a big stomach but a small budget, I recommend this sushi place! Sushiro is excellent sushi with an increased fun factor. Tasty sushi plates pass by your table on a conveyor belt, you have a touch screen to please greater culinary demands and each plate-portion is 105 to 280 Yen. Of course there are starters and desserts, too! Sushiro is a Japanese restaurant chain all over Japan. For locations check out their (also English!) site:  http://www.akindo-sushiro.co.jp/en/shop/40/index.html   Let me make you drool!   Salmon sushi.   Barbecued shrimp.   Avocado shrimp.   More salmon. I think.   Bonito sushi.   Eeel.   Tamagoyaki. Japanese egg-omelette sushi.   Soups. Like miso and udon.   Deep fried stuff.   Devin here, a delightful gaijin from the States (who teaches English like many...

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Just another PTraveler day in Fukuoka

Posted by on Oct 11, 2013 in All posts, Japan | 0 comments

Settling into Japan wasn’t much of a challenge. We live in Fukuoka – the largest city on Kyushu Island. Our apartment is right in the centre of Tenjin. A modern distrcit with boutiques, eateries, clubs and bars. We don’t need to use the metro to get to… well anywhere really and Fukuoka is a very walk-able city, too. Not as big as Tokyo – Fukuoka has only 1,5 million inhabitants – but with all the comforts.   Like vending machines.   If you look at the variety – non of it is Coke! Japanese vending machines are the best in the world. I am wondering why they never caught on in Europe. Well, maybe because in European cities… vandalism would finish these off in no time. This looks like a shop window.   Our first drink at the airport,...

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Free Japanese language classes and easy Katakana

Posted by on Sep 30, 2013 in All posts, Japan | 10 comments

Today we went to a volunteer language class – which is led by Japanese native speakers – to improve our meager Japanese. Despite two teachers missing, one sweet sensei took us in and adjusted the level of rather advanced students, so that we could participate. The hospitality and eagerness to help in Japan always amazes me. The best thing is that there are many places like these in the city and they are mostly free, or you pay a truly symbolic monthly fee. Japanese classes are usually once a week and based on professional Japanese teaching materials, some offer conversation classes. You can pick up a free brochure (‘Japanese Language Classes by Volunteers in Fukuoka- Class Map‘) which lists ALL available language classes/times/contacts in Fukuoka. Booklets are available at Kansen Nihongo Kyoshitsu, 1-1-1 Tenjin, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka, across Fukuoka 3F...

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Free entertainment – Food for 270 Yen – Fukuoka!

Posted by on Sep 29, 2013 in All posts, Japan | 0 comments

Japan is the country of friendliness and good manners. Even in humble places where you would not expect good service by western standards, Japanese workers will take pride in what they do and show their best. Just as we walked outside our apartment building we were greeted by a construction worker who guided us with his laser stick. Although there was no danger apparent (Japanese construction sites are the safest in the world), it was a nice gesture. I quickly learned to appreciate Japanese cultural advancements and especially not to take it for granted. There is also a lot of free entertainment in Japan. Today, we stumbled upon an open air concert in our district (Tenjin), as part of Fukuoka’s ‘Music City Tenjin‘ program and attended a free rock concert with many performing punk rock artists.   Listen in,...

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Fukuoka dreaming

Posted by on Sep 28, 2013 in All posts, Japan | 3 comments

We are back. Back on the blog and back in Japan! Our summer trip of  traveling through 5 Asian countries is over and we are going to rent and stay in Fukuoka and Tokyo for three months – to relax from traveling (haha!) and to get some work done (internet is finally reliable again). So I thought what better start to get in touch with my dear readers than to share a meal with you. After all, culinary delights are what stands out the most in Japan. We are in Fukuoka, which is a lot more in harmony with nature than Tokyo with many green areas and trees. Let me show you a bit of the town first. And then let’s go out for some fantastic Japanese food. Here we are at the remains of the biggest castle on...

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