Fukuoka, Japan – 25/26 March 2019

The day has arrived for a very new adventure – Japan. This is totally out of my comfort zone – language, culture and hills. I think I can handle the food without hesitation.

We hugged the Western Australian coast up to Exmouth in the first leg – enroute to Bangkok. A lovely sunny day with spectacular views of the coastline despite the slow moving category 4 Cyclone Veronica causing all manner of damage through flooding and high winds in Port Hedland and surrounds.

A short 2hr stop in Bangkok then onto Fukuoka. Waiting for our departure – John said, ‘spot the blonde’ haha … then a group of young girls appeared – they were English speaking and a few blondes … it turned out they were from Melbourne.

Arriving in Fukuoka 7:30am through immigration/customs/assembled bikes on the road at 9:15am. My cycling app Komoot was very effective and syncing it to my new garmin worked successfully … yay.

Culture to the max today – too much info – I used the bidet at the airport. The toilets are warm – I didn’t press the 🎶 button though – I’m sure there will be another opportunity in the weeks ahead.

Our accommodation is a Ryokan – a traditional Japanese style inn – 3pm arrival means 3pm!! We arrived early and grateful to leave our bikes and panniers there while we did a reci of our surroundings. I think John is a winner with Japanese food. A food court under a shopping centre – chicken katsu hit the spot just pay extra to microwave and miso soup included all for ¥500 – $7 enough to share.

Cherry Blossoms are a couple of days away from full bloom but still looking lovely in the parks.

Back at our digs – I can’t wait to rest my head on the rice pillow and thin mattress. At the front door of the establishment shoes are removed and slippers put on … they will do my head in … I can see myself tripping up the stairs. There are separate slippers for the toilet – one has to do a quick shuffle when going to the loo between slippers.

John was worried that someone would steal his age-old runners … not likely I say … however, I wonder if I could pay someone to take them.

There are many covered shopping areas close by so a quick beef/pork curry and another dish with salad and miso … I’m loving miso.

The traditional bath – after walking our feet off today there is nothing quite like a soak in a hot tub. Our Ryokan is equipped with an onsen … a communal bath … separate for men and women … there is quite a process and I am thankful that I researched this before coming here. One must wash completely in low showers sitting on a stool and rinse off before entering the hot tub. Quite a liberating experience.

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