Growth Chart for My Little Ones

Thursday, July 22, 2010

5 Jul 2010 - Fukuoka Day 3: Marine World, Seaside Park

We left our hotel at about 9am and the plan for today is to visit Uminonakamichi Marine World. From one of the brochures, it is mentioned that Marine World is accessible by JR lines from Hakata station. When we reached Hakata station, first thing is to purchase the 3 days northern Kyushu railpass (JPY7000) from the JR counter. We will start our "day out" starting tomorrow.

After that, we proceeded to buy our ticket to Marine World. When we came to the gate, we stared at the information display for quite a while to see which platform we should go to. It's a nightmare to figure that out. As I've mentioned earlier, Hakata is the largest and busiest station in the whole of Kyushu. There are so many platform and we can hardly see any English information anywhere. The station staff tried to help but their English is "limited". Finally we understood the staff and proceeded to the platform that she mentioned. However, when the train arrived, we were puzzled because the destination displayed on the train did not match where we wanted to go. I walked over and asked the train driver but that stupid guy ignored me totally. Then I saw a station staff on the platform and quickly walked over to ask her. Finally we got what she meant and boarded the train. The fact is that this train does not go directly to Uminonakamichi. We actually have to change to another train at Kashii station.

We alighted at Kashii station and waited for quite a while before the train to
Uminonakamichi arrived. After we alighted the train, we checked the time for the last train back to Hakata. From the station, it's a 15 mins walk to the Marine World. The entire area was very quiet and we can hardly see any soul.

Marine World is a chalky shell-shaped aquarium with twenty thousand marine lives in 350 kinds. You can take a close look at the divers feeding more than 20 kinds of fishes including 150 sharks in one of the world’s largest fish tanks. Both Jerlene and Javier were very excited looking at the big tank. They even made friend with some local kids.

All-weather marine theater (Show Pool) facing Hakata Bay holds dolphin and sea lion shows. Popular dolphin show is held everyday at this all-weather theater with a seating capacity of 1465. Visitors can enjoy watching the dolphins jump up amazingly high and go through the hoops, or the humorous performance of sea lions with the blue sea of Hakata Bay in the background.
At the touch pool, Jerlene had much fun holding different sea creatures and posed for me to take pictures.
Then down an alley with only ultraviolet light, my little princess suddenly glowed!
In the afternoon, we finally saw some people but compared to other Aquarium that we have been before (Sydney, Osaka and Melbourne), it's considered less crowded. Here are some of the sea creatures in the exhibits.

We left Marine World at about 3:30pm and were pondering whether to visit the Seaside Park, which is 10 mins walk from the Marine World. In the end we decided to go in and take a look since it only costs JPY400. The moment we entered the park, we realized we were the only people there. It's really EMPTY!
By the way, Uminonakamichi Seaside Park is an extensive leisure park with seasonal flowers. Festivals are held here in every season; Flower Picnic (spring), Rose Festival (early summer and autumn) and Cosmos Festival (autumn).

Inside the site is also an amusement park Wonder World, which has 23 kinds of attractions including Sky Fantasy the Ferris wheel, roller coaster and go-carts.

Because there is hardly any visitors to the park, most if not all of the rides and food stalls were closed. We took out our park map and decided to pay a visit to the so called Rose Garden, which was the current season. In the garden, we finally saw 3 other visitors of the park.
Next we realized there is actually a zoo in the park. Since we still have sometimes before the park closed, we went over and have a look. We had close encounter with kangeroos and other tame animals.

This park is extremely huge and we walked for more than half an hour before we reached the park entrance from the zoo. I really wonder how this park can "survive" when there is hardly any visitors and the maintenance for such a big park will be very high.

Anyway, we took the last train back to Hakata. We spent sometimes walking in Canal City before going back to our hotel room.

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