Fukuoka 2000

This week marks my longest vacation trip ever. My friends and I spent roughly one week in the number one city in Asia (according to Asiaweek)… Fukuoka!!!!

Among us, I am the first to arrive in Fukuoka because unlike the others, I chose to ride the morning train. I arrived just in time for lunch. And for lunch, I chose to be adventurous and try out the local dishes. Not. I ate at McDonald’s.

First impressions of Fukuoka? It’s clean. It’s urban and it’s the city where I want to spend the rest of my life. It’s like Tokyo minus the throngs of people on the streets and in the subways. It’s foreigner friendly and you can see that immediately at the train stations… signs are translated to Korean, Chinese and of course, English.

No wonder it’s the number one city in Asia for at least two consecutive years now. It shows.

One by one, my fellow-trainees would arrive in Fukuoka and the I believe the feeling is the same. We all love this city. We can’t wait to explore it’s every nook and cranny. Oddly enough, we spent the first two days in nearby cities/prefectures and not in Fukuoka. I guess we’re just saving the best for last.

On the first day, we had a taste of probably the “scariest” roller coaster we have ridden… ever. It’s called the Titan and it’s in Space World. I have ridden a lot of roller coasters already but looking at this 60-meter high roller coaster, I couldn’t help but have second thoughts. It’s a good thing I didn’t chicken out. It was awesome.

On our second day, it’s Huis Ten Bosch in Nagasaki prefecture. Two words? Picture perfect. It’s like being in Holland without leaving Japan. It’s a replica of an actual town in Holland plus all the perks of a Japanese theme park. I can take pictures all day.

The thing that I’ll forever remember though, is paying 4,000 yen (plus five percent tax) for paella at a Spanish restaurant inside Huis Ten Bosch. It was worth it though. We had so much fun laughing at ourselves for paying that much for paella.

We spent the rest of the week exploring everything there is to explore in Fukuoka. We went to zoos, to movie houses, to discos, to museums, to every where. I used to think one week was too long but as it turned out, it was not enough.

I was having so much fun it didn’t matter if I were spending like there’s no tomorrow. At that time, all I wanted was to spend as much quality time with my friends as I can. I’d go anywhere. I’d eat anything. I’d never turn back on anything because I don’t want to be the one to say “I was this close to … but I didn’t go.”

It’s a good thing this is the way we think. We’ve been to almost every major attraction in Fukuoka and I enjoyed every minute of it. There is one thing though. We didn’t go up Fukuoka tower. We were already there but we didn’t go. I hate thinking about this. I have to go back to Fukuoka if only to go up that tower. Maybe, I will. Anybody willing to come with me?

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