This week I left Hong Kong and headed to Fukuoka. Man, Fukuoka is a weird place. There were so many rude people there. I'd be happy to never to there again.
The night I arrived, I got pulled over at customs and had my bags searched. Not just a quick look through either. It took about an hour for them to through everything. I understand they are just doing their job but I have everything so carefully packed and then it was like take your stuff and go with no time to get everything repacked. I had stuff everywhere so jumped in a cab to get to my hotel. It's only a 5 minute subway ride from the airport to Hakata station but that was far too much to deal with when you have stuff everywhere.
On the positive side, I didn't have to have a body cavity search.
Every other time I've arrived in Japan, I've walked straight through customs without a second look. I think the number of land permit stamps in my passport or that I'd left for 2 weeks and come back.
The next day, I met up with my sister (not the one I stayed with in Hong Kong) who'd taken the shinkansen from tokyo and we headed to the Arashi concert. We caught the subway but were running late and had a 12 minute walk from the subway station. We jumped in a cab but the traffic around Fukuoka Dome was hell so the cab driver mounted the kerb and did a U turn, speeding down the back streets and almost knocking down pedestrians to get us there in time. He was our hero.
On Friday, we had a bit time to get ready and made it in time. Both nights we headed out for ramen after the concerts because what else do you do in Fukuoka? More rudeness including one old lady screaming abuse at use because wanted to go into her yatai (ramen cart).
We'd planned to head to Kagoshima for the day on Saturday but we were fucked after all the flying + running around so had a lazy day. We were pretty much over Fukuoka by then. But it got worse. On Sunday, we turned up at the station, wanting to get the fuck out of town but could not find the office to exchange my JR Rail Pass. There were no signs or anything. I asked a few station staff but they were incredibly rude and unhelpful. How hard is it to say go that way?
Finally found the place and made it out of Fukuoka without killing anyone just. I have not fucking clue why people mill around in the way at train stations when people are trying to get through with heavy luggage.
Hiroshima was the exact opposite of Fukuoka. Everyone was lovely and things were so easy. We got to the station and could check out luggage straight through to the hotel so it was waiting when we checked in. That was heaven.
Outside the bag checking office was the stop for the sightseeing bus so we did a lap around town. Free with the JR Pass even.
After that, we headed to Miyajima and jumped on a ferry (also covered by the JR Pass). We got to meet some awesome, fluffy butt deer and eat some delicious food.
After that, we hopped on another ferry that took us straight to the hotel. It is seriously worth forking out the bucks for a nice place to stay occasionally -- we stayed at the Hiroshima Prince Hotel. Not only were they lovely, the hotel was so comfortable and easy to deal with. Best of all. we packed most of our shit into the biggest suitcase and got it shipped to arrive when we get to Tokyo.
Dinner was some Hiroshima okonomiyaki followed by happy hour at the 23rd floor bar with views over the Seto Inland Sea (we also had amazing views from our room).
today we left Hiroshima and caught the train down to Kochi. We checked into the cutest business hotel. It's very outdated and kitschy in the best way. The rooms are small but amazingly function. Plus I don't have to share a room with my sister and listen to the weird noises she makes in her sleep.
It's been a pretty hectic week but we got to see Arashi twice so that makes it all the more awesome.