Friendly Fukuoka - Nakasu Matsuri, Momochi Beach, Canal City and Showa Style Pub

On friday there was a matsuri, Japanese festival, going on in Tenjin. It's something that most of us had always wanted to see, so of course we couldn't skip it! During the day I didn't do much though. So in the evening a lot of the JTW students and students went to the matsuri. During these festivals a portable shrine is usually carried through the city to the main shrine. Usually men do this, but this was a special matsuri where women had to carry the shrine. They wore some special traditional attire that I had never seen before. They looked so cool. When they were carrying the shrines they were shouting in unison and they looked so bad-ass. On the shrines there were standing four girls to encourage and keep the pace of the shouting and walking.

After they were gone some Japanese girl group gave an performance. It was funny to see because it's such a typical Japanese thing to have crazy fanboys shouting and dancing with their lightsticks to a group of too cute underage girls. When they were gone a group of young taiko drummers gave a performance. And man, they were so cool! I wished I was that cool at that age. They played very seriously with a cool posture. When they were finished another group of drummers came up, but they also did some traditional singing and dancing along with the drumming. It was so beautiful, and very traditional. But during their performance we left to get food. We went to a pretty expensive izakaya but didn't drink this time around. After dinner we moved on to karaoke (oh my god, maybe I am addicted), but only for an hour. After another satisfying evening we biked back to the dorm and went to bed at a reasonable hour.

Cute little boy!

Saturday we finally went to the beach! There are a lot of beaches in and near Fukuoka and I had been looking forward to go there since, well..... since the day that I knew I would be going to Fukuoka. It took us a while to go there because we went by bike, but during the ride there we saw a lot of Fukuoka which was a big advantage. I really need to go exploring by bike more often because there are a lot of nice places to discover here. The beach itself was very big and with the pier it really had a wow-factor. 

Sadly there was a typhoon on its way to Japan so the wind was very strong so it was too dangerous to go swimming. But the water surprisingly warm despite it already being october and the strong winds. I think it was even warmer then the water in Italy a few weeks back. I keep thinking about the sea and how badly I want to swim there! So instead of swimming we just stood there in the undeep water and got splashed by the high waves so my one of my friends and I ended up being soaked by the water anyway. No need for swimming. Most people felt cold because of the wind (which wasn't that cold to me). I could have spent hours there but they wanted to leave and get lunch, so that's what we did. We went to some Udon place and after that returned home with full bellies and a little bit tired.

Another day of classes on wednesday. They were just introduction classes though so I don't know about the real deal yet. In the evening there was a lunar eclipse going on so we went to roof of one of the uni buildings to watch it. It took a long time, but it was beautiful to see. Someone brought a telescope too so we could view the moon in detail! Being there was really fun because it was my first time going up a rooftop here and the airplanes heading to Fukuoka Airport were so close to us! The whole moon-watching on a rooftop scene was just something really special in my opinion and it all seemed so Japanese to me, like I was in a Japanese movie or cartoon or something. And I got to talk to my friend Japanese friend who wants to go to Leiden University next year.  But all that moon-viewing took long and we were really hungry afterwards so we hoppe don our bicycles and headed to スシロー, the conveyer belt sushi place it talked about in the post about my first week here (I think).

a friend took these photos with his cellphone
Thursday I didn't have class because the only class I wanted to attend got cancelled. So we went to Canal City. It is a big shopping centre, but we didn't go there for shopping. We went there for the food and the decorations! As the name says, there is a small canal in Canal City. There is also some greenery, statues and this time of the year a lot of Halloween decorations. It is really pretty and I don't think I've ever seen a shopping mall like that. There is also a cinema, planetarium and a theatre, so I am sure I will be going back there to check them out. We ate at Gindaco, a place that specializes in takoyaki. For my Dutch family/friends; they are basically savory poffertjes with squid in them and mayonaise instead of poedersuiker. Now you might be wondering, why does someone who hates seafood eat squid-hotcakes? Because they are freaking delicious of you take out the squid! I took out the big pieces of squid and gave them a friend, and what's left is a delicious, hot, savory mini-pancake. It is sooo good, just like okonomiyaki.


Are you sure we are in a shopping mall?

Making hotcakes?

Nope, it's takoyaki!

First robot sighted!!


In Solaria Plaza I waited for my Japanese friend who I hadn't met in two years. She lead me to a place where we would eat, but first we took purikura together (You know how I roll). Since she has a Japanese cellphone she can download the photos, so I can finally show you what purikura looks like, to give you an idea. She picked out an izakaya in Showa style. Showa is a historic period from the 1920s to the 1960s. The place was filled with old posters, food containers, lanterns, old tvs. The decoration was spot on and the atmosphere was just right. It was small but cosy. The prices are really cheap for an izakaya and they sell some popular dishes from that time. The yakitori for example was only 52 yen which is not even 40 eurocents. They even had some fried cheese dish which was so good and reminded me of kaaskroketten. I miss cheese! But this place has some awesome fried cheese to curb my cheese cravings. With one particular dish that a client ordered the whole staff started singing some song in really loud voices, it really added to the atmosphere of the place. And the staff was very friendly too. I think it is the best place that I went to so far. I am very thankful to my friend for introducing me to this place and the fun evening we had.

heavenly cheese on a stick.

And some purikura for the curious people;
Basically a photo machine which makes your eyes big and skin beautiful, and afterwards you can decorate with a lot of cute and weird things. Decorating is the fun part!

There's already so many pictures and writings in this post that I will stop for now ! :) Next week's post will be more toned down as I had some quiet days when the typhoon came.
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