#04 : Whole lotta animals. Tales of Fukuoka, Kitakyushu and Miyajima.

Ok, where were we at? 

Yes, of course! Nagasaki. 

That’s where I left off with the last blog post! 

 

Once we said our goodbyes to the wonderful people met in Casa Noda, we took our Specialized Tricross and biked all the way to Fukuoka, the second big city of this trip. 

Now, I would love to tell you amazing stories and share insightful details of the two days ride to Fukuoka but, unfortunately, I can’t. I can summarize it with long rides, boring landscapes and average weather. 

The important thing is that we hasted our way to Fukuoka and reached the city exactly according to our plan. After a much needed stop at the hot springs, we brought our bikes at Zing Zing, the Specialized dealer in Fukuoka. There, the staff took our bikes in custody and gave them a complete check up. 

Our Specialized Tricross being checked up by the guys at Zing Zing

Our Specialized Tricross being checked up by the guys at Zing Zing

Sio while waiting for our bikes at Zing Zing

With the Zing Zing team! 

Once the bikes were okay, we took some photos with the guys at Zing Zing and then rode the last few kilometers to the Takaima Guest House, right in the city centre. We changed our clothes, dropped the bags and off we were, strolling around town. 

Now, you may not believe this but Fukuoka is a cursed town: at every given moment, in any given direction, in any given circumstance, you’re always completely and utterly surrounded by gorgeous girls. I know it may seem not so much of a big problem per say, but believe me: it is. Being so overwhelmingly outnumbered by hot girls makes your heart hurt. And your neck, as well :)

After a few hours spent in this weird, ever going state of confusion (yeah, you can blame the girls for that) the hunger took over and we sat down at the counter of a yakitori restaurant (meat skewers).

Not even 2 minutes passed and we were already speaking with Minoru-san, a frequent flyer of the restaurant (we later discovered he’s the uncle of Hajime Isayama, the author of Attack on Titan!) and we kept on drinking with him and his friends for a while. Man, that was a fun night! 

Minoru-san

Night street scenes of Fukuoka

Night street scenes of Fukuoka

Night street scenes of Fukuoka

Night street scenes of Fukuoka

The next day we woke up early and once again, went out to explore the city. While walking through a commercial alley, we noticed a bar sign that read : “Owl Bar”. Needless to say, we immediately went in and… Yes. Owls. Real owls, everywhere. 

In the Owl Bar of Fukuoka, don’t ask me why, you can order a coffee and play with owls for a whole hour! How freaking cool is that!? I won’t even try to explain how terribly excited we were and how much fun we ended up having :)

Sio holding the biggest Owl in the bar.

More owls. 

More owls and people clearly loving to play with them. 

Dreams do come true! 

More owls. And more happiness!

Once we got back in the streets, we realized we were still surrounded by way too many hot girls and decided to retreat in the hostel for a quiet night of… work. Yup, it happens. The next day we left Fukuoka and rushed our way through the 70km to KitaKyushu. 

The sunset on Kitakyushu

The Castle of Kitakyushu

A corgi with glasses. How freaking awesome is that? 

Another way-too-cool dog, in Kitakyushu

Kitakyushu is a surprisingly small yet modern city. Te city centre was build from scratch in 1963 to connect 5 smaller cities that became its districts. All of which, of course, with a huge medieval castle right in the middle of everything. We spent the night in the park, thanks to our trusty and wonderfully warm tent, and set off in the morning, ready to leave Kyushu and reach Honshu, the main island of Japan.

The view of Honshu from Kitakyushu

Kyushu and Honshu are connected by a huge bridge in Shimonoseki, under of which there’s an underwater tunnel for bicycles and pedestrians. 

Simonoseki Bridge

Sio still in Kyushu while i'm in Honshu

An old guy telling the story of Shimonoseki.

As soon as we reached Honshu, we did what felt most natural: trying some local food. 

Completely ignoring the fact that we had planned to ride a lot of kilometers that day, we saw a tiny restaurant near the coast and went in. Three old ladies greeted us on the door with the following conversation:

“ Hi, is there place for 2? ”

“ Do you like fish heads? ”   

“ Well, yes, I guess ” 

“ Good, because we have nothing else. Go sit upstairs, we’ll bring you some “

 

Upstairs, the owner was practicing karaoke alone. We sat down and shortly after, the three ladies brought us what, so far, has been the best meal ever! A gigantic tray full of fish, vegetables, rice, soups and much more! It was DELICIOUS! 

While we were eating, the owner of the restaurant, Matsumura-san, started chatting with us and told us the story of how he quit being a navy officer to open the restaurant. Since the opening, he spends time everyday focusing on calligraphy and writing things that, to be 100% honest, we didn't really understand but that seemed so damn wise. 

Matsumura-san

Matsumura-san

We said thanks for the great meal and left.

Now, what we did for the next 2 days can be described with 3 simple words: riding, riding, riding. We hasted our way through the 200km to Hiroshima, with nothing particular to mention besides spending one night in Ube, right in the middle of nowhere, where we experienced what it feels like set up a tent in COMPLETE DARKNESS, and pretty much taking control of a corner of a combini, the night after, to set up our traveling office and steal all the electricity we could. Besided that, temples and torii everywhere. 

Serious people, always. 

A hidden temple in the mountains. 

In case you ever wandered what's inside a Japanese temple, well, here you go!

The third day, on our way to Hiroshima, we made a brief detour to Miyajima, famous for being one of Japan's three best views. And yes, it truly is. Miyajima is a small island, a 10 minutes ferry ride away from the coast of Hiroshima, most famous for its giant Torii in the middle of the sea. On top of that, the island is known for its surprising deer population, that roam everywhere in the streets, regardless of the huge quantity of visitors. Now, could we not spend a good 30 minutes playing with them!? 

 Sio and our favorite deer, Zuppos

Sio and our favorite deer, Zuppos

Zuppos

Zuppos

The view of Miyajima Torii

The Torii of Miyajima

Sio on his Specialized Tricross looking at the Torii of Miyajima

The travel goes on...

Uh, before i forget : here's the last Vlog! 

Booya!