The second port of call on our Asia cruise was Fukuoka (which to No 1 Son’s annoyance I kept mispronouncing). After our trip to Nagasaki we were in the mood for experiencing as much Japanese culture as possible and so we started off our day trip with a visit to the Kushida Shrine, which is bizarrely located in the middle of lots of houses (I’m guessing they weren’t there when it was first built, as it’s believed to date back to 757, but in fact you do see these temples in the most unexpected places in Japan).
Even though we’re not remotely religious I do like looking at temples; No 1 Son enjoyed the ritual of washing his hands before we went inside…
…and it was really rather lovely and peaceful.
From here we walked to Canal City, which turned out to be less of a city, more a large shopping centre with these rather noisy dinosaurs as one its star attractions (this little girl was stroking one of them as though it was a cat). So random, but very Japanese.
We made our way across the canal and as we were walking No 1 Son spotted a SNAKE. Of all things. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a snake in the wild before, so it was a bit of a shock, but it quickly disappeared and we carried on walking…
…and then on to Tanjin, before making our way to the Ohori park, which is home to the remains of the castle, and also the art museum, which surprisingly had works by the likes of Dali and Lichtenstein. I was rather taken with this giant pumpkin.
At this point, exhausted by the heat and map reading we decided to take a taxi to the Fukuoka Tower, which didn’t quite live up to its promise, as it’s a rather uninspiring 80s building. I’m guessing it looks better at night.
So instead we had a little walk along the manmade beach, Momochi, where we could see our ship, Quantum of the Seas, in the distance; despite the golden sands and waves the lure of air conditioning and room service proved too much, and we decided to take another cab back to the port.
We had a fun day exploring Fukuoka, which was ranked as one of the world’s most livable cities by Monocole in 2014. I just wish it wasn’t so difficult to pronounce 😉