Thursday, August 21, 2014

Close Enough Kyushu: Day 0 and 1

Vacation time! My friend Sam and I were considering going to Okinawa for vacation this month, but for a variety of reasons (one of which being I didn't want the skin to melt off of my face) we decided it was a better idea to go to Kyushu, one of Japan's southern main islands (where Nagasaki is, if you recall). Only this time, we were thinking more about beaches instead of museums (and One Piece..but more on that soon ;) )

With saving money for the important stuff always in mind, we made our plan. First, Sunday: getting there. Since we were going to stop in Osaka on our return and take normal trains then, we decided to use the bullet train (Shinkansen) to get there. Even travelling at 300kmh it took about 5 hours (we were going through some typhoon remains, so we had to slow at points). We arrived in Fukuouka around dinnertime (which we then ate) and eventually got to our hotel (after walking in the exact wrong direction and making a big circle, because how else would we get there). But it was still only around seven, so what did we do? Oh, just go see the Rurouni Kenshin movie again <3 It was just as beautiful the second time... Next time I'll actually pay attention and take vocabulary practice notes.

So, first full day! Game time! The goal? Huis ten Bosch. Thousand Sunny. Does that sound familiar at all? Well, when I went to Nagasaki I wanted to go to this "amusement park" (that's super boring) so I could ride the pirate ship from One Piece, but I got tied up searching for the correct bus to the Penguin Aquarium and it was sold out by the time I got there. Well that wasn't happening this time; I was determined.

Continuing our money saving, we left really early so we could take the cheaper, slower trains there. (sidenote: we charged our train cards before we left so we could use them, but the park was so far out in the countryside that it wouldn't accept them...I was super ticked at the accidental misappropriation of money, but I was able to use it elsewhere) We arrived a bit before 10; then we needed to determine how to get to the free area (where you paid by ride instead of admission) where the ship was. Turns out we needed to take a bus that was leaving in 15 minutes. Okay, fine.

Well that bus was 15 minutes late. And poor, traumatized Rosie was freaking out that we didn't get there early enough and it was going to be sold out again. The bus finally came (one of the Japanese people also waiting even called the bus people, because seriously) and took us to the area, and...we got tickets! I was slightly beside myself. Finally. Eeeeeeeee

Then we of course did some One Piece shopping. I was slightly saddened, however, that the One Piece area had shrunk since I was there last time. But we were still happy campers. And Huis ten Bosch is in Sasebo; since we came so far, we figured we'd eat some famous Sasebo food for lunch. Sasebo lemon steak was way too expensive, but we got Sasebo burgers! Yum!

Then we started home and arrived around dinnertime. Then we holed up in the hotel with ramen for dinner and went to bed at 10. Why would we do this you ask? Well we did get up at 5, for one. But the last day of our vacation was at USJ, home of Harry Potter and One Piece. We had to pace ourselves!

But the merriment had only just begun!


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