Monday, February 9, 2015

Fukuoka and Wonderful Ryokan (22. Jan.)

Last morning in Hiroshima, and will spend the night at a Ryokan (Traditional Japanese style accomodation) my friend Greg recommended for me in Fukuoka. So for now, it's all about making my way lazily over there. No other plans, no rush, just take it easy as I make my way there.

Japanese newspapers at the hotel.

This time, I decided to take the sightseeing bus to Hiroshima Station. I had no rush to get there, so I could get the scenic route. I also had my JR Pass, so it was free. Perfect.

One thing not-so-perfect, the little leg-room.

Inside the sightseeing bus.

These are everywhere in Hiroshima and even to Miyajima: Momiji Manju, the maple-leaf shaped pastry. They come in all sorts of flavors (personal favorite: chocolate.) They range from 80 - 120 Yen. I got them for 80 Yen at Miyajima, but I think I saw them selling it else where (on Miyajima) for 75 Yen or so. Not sure, but worth a check.

Yay for being able to know what's coming in a language I know!

Oh, so that's how they arrange the periodicals . . .

Yes, you will find this info in English (as well as Japanese).

Same on the trains themselves.

All sorts of magazines are available.
That's right, ALL sorts.

Convenient to know which car your standing close to if you stand there and the train arrives.
There are further markings on the floor.

There he goes!

And off I go, and now arrive at Hakata Station. I'm sure this is the busiest station on Kyushu Island (it definitely felt that way). I felt as though I were in Seoul Station, but it was placed where Dongdaemun Station is.
Yeah, tons of people.

Ok . . . 

This bakery was a lifesaver. This is the only bakery I've ventured in that has all the items in Japanese AND English!
Yay, now I know that custard bread was really a curry bread (or something like that)!

An exit from Hakata Station.
I think you can see the name.

Okay, so this is when I look for my ryokan and get lost. I have a map and it's marked, but not very clearly. Looking back, I think the hotel was marked on the wrong block. Anyway, I made it to the correct neighborhood, but was 2 blocks off. Thanks to the kindness of patient, gentle, non-English speaking Japanese, I got there--even had 1 kind gentleman call the ryokan's number (*ALWAYS REMEMBER TO COPY YOUR HOTEL'S NUMBER!!!), guide me to the correct block, and the owner of the ryokan came out to meet us!
*waterfall of gratitude flowing forth from my soul*

By the way, my ryokan was Zen Oyado Nishitei. I loved it and let me show you why via photos . . .

My room.
That bed was gloriously comfortable.

Random stuff.

My own study.

Only thing is I had to duck a little every time I walked through the door.

Welcome message.

Welcome to the bath.
Straight ahead is a toilet. To the right of that, is a shower.
The door on the immediate right (with the brown hanging sign) is the private bath.

Yes, they clean it after each and every guest.

Said bath tub.
It was just what I needed, just I didn't know it.

Shower head 1.

Shower head 2.

Good ol' instructions.
I didn't go back to the tub after I showered though.

When I was there.

Before I got there.

Complimentary "pj's" with vest.
And they fit me! (Must've been men's)

Complimentary socks.
They felt weird.

A hallway.
The door to the left is my room.

Just around the corner from my room, is another toilet and 2 sinks.
Very convenient.

Beside the previous picture of the toilet and sinks.
They were very steep.

Oh, that makes sense.
Why have a room number when my room can have a name?
So, . . . what does it mean?

Now, it's time for dinner, prepared by their own French-trained Japanese chef.

My table. All to myself.

The menu.

My own pot of tea.

And my own waitress dressed in a kimono!
She was really sweet.

Let me show you my menu:
Course #1
Marinade of Vegetables
Roll of Duck
Sweet Potato Gratin

Course #2
Turnip Soup

Course #3
Tagliata Salad of Japanese Beef Loin 
(the beef was buried under the salad)

Course #4
Guinea Fowl
(No kidding, it tasted like chicken)

Course #5
Plum-flavor Soba

Green tea

Course #6
Green tea Gateau
Framboise (strawberry) and Honey Ice Cream

THANK YOU GREG for recommending this place!

Beautiful End of Day 4

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