2019 Year End Trip Day 1

Local Time: 12/20/2019 9:28 pm

Today is Day 1 of our 2 weeks of adventure in Asia. Once again it started super early, 4:30 am early, partly because of jet lag, partly because I just wake up after 7 hours of sleep. The sleep last night was pretty decent.

Today is Vicky’s birthday. After we woke up and surprised her with a small gift. She seems super happy. There were a lot of history to this gift. So 10 years ago, in 2009, we were traveling to Europe. We were still dating at the time and got stuck in Amsterdam airport and I gave her the first Tiffany’s necklace there. However, that gift was stolen and I thought I should give something similar to remember us being together for over 10 years!!!

So after giving my wife my lovely present. We went to the hotel’s Japanese breakfast. I feel like we maybe getting so much Japanese food that by the end of our trip I probably won’t want any Japanese food for a while. But for now we are still all Gun-ho about getting our Japanese food fix. Initially we went to the hotel restaurant thinking that it is a Japanese food buffet, but not it is not. It is a fix meal set that they provide you. It seems like it is not enough, but it was really filling and nothing goes to waste. Over all it was a fantastic breakfast.

After breakfast we went back to our room to get our stuff and ready to head out for the day, then all the sudden work hell started to happen. I got pull into some emails for work and next thing I know Vicky was also pulled into her work and started to call her coworkers. However, it was not until nearly 10:30 before we were done. We ended up going straight to the lunch reservation for lunch.

Lunch was pretty amazing, we sat at the top follow of the Hakata station having some awesome Japanese BBQ. The food was another set, but once again, nothing was wasted and it was so filling.

After lunch we decided to pick up for JR pass for the weekend and also take a train to the Ashahi Brewery near by. Vicky found out that there is a brewery tour there and so we decided to go and check it out.

Once we got there, we realized there were actually nothing to do around there so arriving early was really boring. We took some pictures in the lobby and afterward, we decided to find a place to go. The only place we found was the local grocery store and a 100 yen store near by. So off we go.

I am weird sometimes, I love walking around in the local grocery store and this is no exception. This local grocery store is 100% for the locals and for the nearby residential communities, we got to see all the different local fruits and every day things and of course we had to buy some awesome Fukuoka strawberries!!!

Our appointment for the brewery was 3:00 pm. And I was surprised how many people were there and I was wondering was the tour in English? But when the tour started, we realized that there were multiple tours for different language going on at the same time. Wow I did not know this free tour was so popular.

The tour was fun, but unfortunately it was maintenance day, so none of the packing machine was running. But the best part is the beer tasting! And I finally figured out why this free tour was so popular, it was because of the FREE BEER!!! Yes you heard it right free beer!!! With each tour, you get a chance to try 3 glasses of Ashahi Beer!!! For a light weight light me it was super awesome!!

After the free beer, Vicky asked if I was tired and want to go back to the hotel for a nap. For some strange reason, I was extremely high. Must be the free beer, I was full of energy and ready to go so I suggested let’s go check out the night market. We took a local bus and of course, having the Apple wallet Suica card is just AMAZING!! So anyways, for some reason, I remember that yesterday it got dark around 4:30 or so, But that was Tokyo, but we are now in Fukuoka which is much father south. When when we arrived around 5, it was still bright out the the night market is not nearly as awesome. A little bit disappointed and we were going to back around and then I accidentally discovered “Gundam Base”!!!!

There was a Gundam base in Tokyo, we went there many years ago, but I did not know there was one here in Fukuoka. Will that is because it just opened on 11/30/2019!!! I was like a kid in a candy shop!!! It was so AWESOME!!! If it wasn’t that I have another 15 days of travel a head of me, I would have for sure bought 1 or 2 Gundam models!!!

After the Gundam Base Experience, the sun was gone, and the night market was much much more beautiful and I snapped few photos with my mirror less and realized … the mirror less still takes better shots!

From XT-3
From XT-3
From XT-3
From XT-3

Vicky did not want to eat at the night market because it was getting cold outside so we decided to walk back to the hotel and find something to eat on the way.

So what I realized that not speaking japanese sucks and my 6 month of off and on japanese did not help much. When under pressure I forgot everything. I do need to work on it much more. So here is what happened. We went to few restaurants and all of them turned us away, it seems that there were full, even though there were no one in there. I froze and couldn’t communicate so ending up walking away. We finally found this hole in the wall yakitori place that no one spoke English and once again they told us to come back and it is full, but my amazing wife Vicky insisted and the owner came out and some how they let us sit in the bar. Vicky is just awesome that way. We then order skewers just by pointing at what the cook was cooking at the time. My Japanese reading skill did help a little with the menu, but I still had a lot of work to do.

Finally our night and day ended with a nice walk back to the 7 Eleven back to the hotel to get some yogurt and concluded our busy and first day in Fukuoka!