Sim cards, train tix, Rakusui-en garden.
Nov 20, 2017
|Fukuoka Mon 20th Nov. 5.4 - 12.7 °C, early light rain, chilly breeze, clear afternoon.
Breakfasted at a nice bakery in Tenjin before heading to Hakata Station on the Kuko line subway.
Followed the signs from Hakata Stn to the Hakata Bus Terminal building, on 4th floor collected our purchased online Welcome sims from the Docomo store. ¥1,700 for 500MB data only, topped up to 1GB by watching short vids, surveys & etc.
Went to the Hakata stn 'Midori-no-madoguchi' (green ticket window) to collect my purchased online Kyushu rail pass and luxury train 'Yufuin-no-mori' seat reservation.
We took a break to have some morning coffee and carefully sort out seat reservations for other trains. Went back to the green ticket window seat reservation, same counter, different line than Rail Pass. This is when we encountered super efficiency gone wrong.
I'm travelling solo on one trip, Mel & I are together on another. So, I have a rail pass, my seats are free, Mel doesn't. As Mel started explaining what we needed, instead of listening, the girl gave Mel a form to fill out destinations, times etc. This is when it went pear-shaped.
As Mel was filling out the form, the girl started inputting the info. Presented with almost twice the tickets, four times the expected price, and one ticket wrong, I watched Mel heave a small sigh, and burst forth in very precise and perfect Japanese, explaining the errors completely. Incorrect tickets quickly disappeared into a machine and correct tickets and price were presented within moments.
Needing a break, we walked to the small but serene Rakusui-en garden nearby. That is, once google maps and I came to an agreement. Started out for Rakusui-en, but ended up heading for some chocolate shop! Turned off directions, figured it out on the map.
Lovely peaceful garden, with ponds and a waterfall. A real escape from the city, it has a tatami matted teahouse, and a suikinkutsu, a sort of musical garden ornament. Water drips through a hole in the top of a large buried pot onto a small pool of water inside. You hear a pleasant sound of the dripping water echoing in the pot. Very faint, really need to listen through a bamboo pipe.
Took the Nanakuma Subway out to Jiromaru, where there's a small shopping centre with a bakery that makes hard to find, delicious rice bread. Bought a couple of loaves, and some tasty curry bread that is dark and crunchy outside with a mildly spicy filling.