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Sunday, July 25, 2010

10 Jul 2010 - Fukuoka Day 8: Explore Fukuoka on Green Bus

Today will be our last full day in Fukuoka. So our plan is to cover the remaining area that we had not explored. Based on past few days experience, we knew that there were many places that were not accessible on foot or subway. As such, we decided to get on the green bus which will take us to most of the major attractions in Fukuoka.

The bus started out from Hakata station but we boarded the bus at Gion, which is nearer to our hotel. Again, we had to carry two strollers up the bus.

We alighted at the bus stop next to Fukuoka Tower. Before going over, we realized that Robosquare is actually on the 2nd floor of the building. So we decided to pay a visit there first.

Robosquare is the world’s first robot science museum that offers hands-on experiences. The museum collects 143 robots in 44 kinds and consists of three zones where you can meet the latest robots, communicate with the robots, and learn about robotic development. It's not a big museum, whereby you can see everything in 15 mins time. Jerlene and Javier were pretty facinated by some of the intelligent and cute robots.
Next we walked across the road and entered Fukuoka Tower.

At the top of the tower, we had a marvellous 360 degree panoramic view. It takes approximately 70 seconds by elevator to the observation room at 123m above ground level. On top of being able to view sites of Fukuoka city, such as Hakata wharf and Sefuri Mountain, you can enjoy the gradually changing colours of the blue sky as night falls.


Such observation tower is not new to both Jerlene and Javier. When we were at Melbourne last year, we went up a residential building called Eureka Tower, which in fact was much higher than Fukuoka Tower.

At about noon, we walked over to Yahoo! Dome, which is a baseball field and serves as the headquarters of Fukuoka Softbanks Hawks, one of the more popular baseball team in Japan. The Dome is located in Hawks Town, near Momochi Beach. As there was a match going on, the whole place was packed with people.

We had our lunch in a Japanese restaurant in Hawks Town. The Ramen and fried rice were fantastic.

As there was nothing much to shop in Hawks Town, we decided to take the green bus to Fukuoka Castle Ruins. There were slopes everywhere so we has a hard time pushing the strollers around.

Fukuoka Castle was built in the beginning of the 17th century by Kuroda Nagamasa, the first daimyo (feudal lord) of Chikuzen, the feudal domain which used to cover parts of today's Fukuoka Prefecture. Today only ruins, one gate and one turret of the castle remain. There is a nice view of the city from the former main citadel. Parts of the castle's former moats were used to construct nearby Ohori Park


It was all this while drizzling but as we were about to leave, it started to rain quite heavily. Finally, we were able to make full use of the umbrellas that we have bought at the beginning of this trip. We took the green bus back to Kushisa area to catch another event of the Yamakasa festival.
The event held today (10 Jul) is called Nagaregaki. In the event, each nagare carries its float through its own area in a warming-up exercise. The team that we saw did their practice run along Kawabata shopping street mall. As they run through the mall, the shop owner will pour water at the participants. Glad that we did not miss this event, which was pretty interesting.


After that event, we walked to a shop called Bic Camera, which sells electronics product, at Tenjin area.
Jerlene and Javier were occupied with the balloons in their strollers.
We then walked back to Tenjin underground shopping mall to look for souvenirs. However, we could find suitable ones so we decided to take the subway to Hakata station, where we had previously seen some interesting snacks.
So this marked the end of our Fukuoka trip. Jerlene and Javier had so much fun with the balloons on this very last night in the hotel room.


1 comment:

Steve Taylor said...

I am working on a robot museum in the US. May I use some of your pictures and comments from your blog? I am going to do a kickstarter and they would be wonderful additions...
steve @ cupofrobots .com