Fam Bam In Fukuoka Part One
Family travel is not always easy. We all know what cabin fever can do. I must say I was apprehensive. As a kid growing up, I was always left out of family holidays. I can count the number of holidays I was left all by myself at home while the rest of my siblings went to Australia, Taiwan and beyond with Mum and Dad.
But before you think badly of my parents, it was for good reason. Somehow, it always coincided with major ‘life-depends-on-it’ exams. The two I can remember are O and A level cambridge exams and another one was while I was serving National Service. In Singapore, exams such as these are potential life altering life events. If the cards are not played well, or, if you don’t study hard for it, conventional wisdom of the day dictates that could be the beginning of the a good or poor life ahead. Looking back, it was so overly dramatic. To be honest, I don’t blame Mum and Dad for leaving me at home. It gave me all the space I needed to study and perform at them. Which also taught me a great deal about independence.
Which also meant I wasn’t sure if I would get along well with my new adopted family.
Fortunately, this version of our family and holiday went spectacularly well by all measures. Also helps this is everyone’s first time in Japan, so excitement is at an all time high. We also hired a car on our third day which was super handy since it rained heavily the rest of our trip!
I have to say we did very well hitting up lots of spots in Fukuoka. We walked and clocked many thousands of miles between us.
My partner and I had already arrived in Japan. He spent a week on work assignment while I galavanted through Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka on my own. We picked up Mum and Sis at the airport when they arrived in the evening.
Here’s a quick breakdown of our first two (and half days) of our itinerary.
Ichiran Ramen - we hit up the main store in Nakasu once we got off the airport. With luggages in tow! Checked into our cute little Airbnb near Yoshizuka right after.
We hit up Yanagibashi Market. Grabbed some coffee and eats at Maru Coffee to ease into our morning.
We surprised the sister with a special treat to the Owl Family Cafe at Kawabata Shopping Street nearby. SHE. LOVES. OWLS. So, naturally she was super excited. We all got to hang out with owls of every size, including a majestic white owl that looks like it came out of a Harry Potter movie!
Canal City & Ramen Stadium - We checked out one of the Ramen shops at Canal City after some shopping.
Nice and early, we got ourselves to Ohori Park. Had our breakfast at the bakery at the park before taking a nice slow walk across the long bridge intersecting the lake. Mum was especially happy because she got to see pink and purple sakura flowers in bloom.
We visited the nearby Fukuoka Castle Ruins and got a bonus stop over at the Wisteria Rest Stop. This was a wonderful unplanned surprise as we had wanted to get tickets to Kawachi Wisteria Gardens but somehow tickets seem to be sold out. This little rest stop was full bloom with beautiful luscious wisteria flowers hanging off the sprawling pavilion.
We headed next to Fukuoka Tower and checked out Momochi Seaside Park. Super windy and cold that day but the sunset was absolutely beautiful. Also a great way to wind the day down with some beachside beer and yakitori. We ended the evening with a short shopping trip at Tenjin before retiring a little earlier for the evening. We had to pick up the rental car some 1 hour train ride away first thing the next morning. Another story for another blog.
But for now, here’s our fukuoka fam bam vlog for our first two days!