Trip Start Apr 02, 2008
Trip End Ongoing

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Where I stayed
International Hostel Khaosan Fukuoka

Flag of Japan  , Kyushu-Okinawa,
Monday, September 1, 2008

Can't help feeling like we've stepped into the future. From digital toilets, musical pedestrian crossings, automatic doors on the taxis, vending machines everywhere (not filled with crap). In Japan, there's always a surprise around the corner!
We flew from Beijing to Fukuoka in western Japan. From here we will make our way to Tokyo. We collected our seven day rail passes which we applied for before we arrived. They enable us to go where where we like, when we like by train.
We had a little time for some sight-seeing so we went to the Hakata Machiya Furusato-Kan; a small folk museum. A great place which gives you the history of traditional Hakata culture. Kids would love it.
Across the road is the Kushida-jinja temple. Beautiful grounds with lots of big bells attached to ropes which the locals pulled, bowed, clapped and bowed again.
The rear entrance of the temple lead us to Canal City. It's a curved six building shopping mall and entertainment complex with cinema, hotels, bars and bistros. It's not tacky - don't know how they managed it.
Hakata is famous for its Ramen so we went to Ramen Stadium on the 5th floor of Canal City. You order your meal on a vending machine outside the restaurant, take your receipt inside where you are served. It simply skips wait staff cashing out each table, which makes sense...and so far that's Japan, everything just seems to make sense. 
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