Saying Goodbye

It has been a crazy week here, getting ready to leave Japan. Goodbye parties, packing parties, cleaning parties etc..

Today I leave Chikugo! I don’t have anything eloquent to say but it’s been a great year, and I’m so glad I was lucky enough to be placed here and meet the people I have.

Goodbye Jutaku!


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Japan’s Weird Food: Street Stall Ramen

In Toronto they have hot dogs, in Berlin, doner, in Fukuoka, Ramen. Fukuoka is famous for its Tonkotsu Ramen, with broth made with pig bones, pork, noodles, sesame seeds, green onions, and seaweed.

While ramen is available in restaurants all around the city, the best place to get it is from the street stalls all over Fukuoka called Yatai. Open late at night, these stalls usually serve variations on ramen and oden. For 500 yen you get a bowl of ramen, and an additional 100 yen gets you a refill of noodles.

At this particular Yatai the owner, depicted in cartoon on the bowl, was playing the harmonica for our entertainment.

Cheap, delicious with free entertainment?

The perfect street food.

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Daijayama – Fire Spitting Dragon

This weekend, we were lucky enough to get a preview of a float from Omuta’s biggest festival – the Daijayama festival. Kids tell me it means giant snake, but in a less literal translation, it’s fire breathing dragon. It’s next weekend in Omuta, and I can’t wait!

One of my Oba-san (grandmother) friends took me to see her Karaoke teacher, who happens to make these dragons in his garage. It’s made out of Bamboo, paper mâché, and straw.  I am holding the tail and the eye, and Scott has the ear. These parts are saved after the festival and given as good luck charms to people in the community who have babies, get married or retire in the next year. It takes this guy four months to make each dragon and most of the dragon is burned after the festival, and they starts all over again the next year. Craziness!


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Canada Day!

It’s Canada day and to celebrate I’m spending most of the day studying for the Japanese proficiency test I foolishly signed up to take on July 3rd.

I wish I could be home and camping, but since I can’t, I am really looking forward to spending my first foreign Canada day eating Poutine  in Fukuoka at this promising party.

Fukuoka Now is an amazing local English magazine, and I think the editor is Canadian, so they are hosting a big party! They promised Canadian music and beer, so as long as it’s not Nickleback or Celine all night long, I’m sure it will be amazing!

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Nokonoshima Soda

This soda is brewed on Nokonoshima Island, tastes delicious, and I think the labels are beautiful.

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Nokonoshima Island

Fukuoka city is located in Hakata Bay and has many different islands to explore. On the weekend we went to Nokonoshima island, a ten minute ferry ride from the mainland. A small island, it’s most famous for a flower park and the view of Fukuoka city.

We ate a decicious burger, had a wonderful strawberry shake and then rented bikes to go to the park. The park is on the top of island’s hill, and so we got super cool racing bikes. Well… some of us did.

I got this bike.

The park was beautiful. Full of nice flowers and playground equipment. Also, for some strange reason, goats and bunny rabbits!

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