I’m not the biggest believer of bucket list. Heck, I even wrote a lengthy post for that one. But I decided to make one when our trip was finally happening. I’m not a glamorous person, but when I got older (my age now…thirties *sobs furiously*) I became more sentimental and very appreciative of the simple things in life. So when trip has finalized I decided to list down things I want to do while I’m there. Mind you all of the things I want to do are very simple (I admit kinda influenced by the manga I read and the anime I watched). When we applied for our Japan VISA, I made sure to be honest with my application. We can’t afford that luxurious Japan experience but that doesn’t mean it’s less fun; in fact that didn’t hinder our enjoyment of visiting the country I’ve been dreaming of since I was a kid! The experience was one for the record books! It is the simplest of things that I look forward to! And here are the stuff that I got to do while we were in the land of the rising sun!
- Visit shrines and temples
- I’m so happy that Fukuoka has so many shrines and temples to see. I know that these places are sacred and it is place of worship for people of these beliefs, but these places also hold traditions. In fact while we were visiting Sumoyoshi Shrine, there was a wedding happening. It was amazing to witness (on the sidelines). Shows so much of their tradition!
- Eat Melon Bread
- I know, super simple! But I’d always wanted to try melon bread ever since I watched it on Yakitate Japan! It used two different dough and that makes it special in my eyes! It’s very yummy although the one I tried didn’t have the melon inside. I wish we get to visit a bakery and buy one! But for now, it’s one off of my list!
- See a cherry blossom
- We went there second week of March so the cherry blossoms aren’t in full bloom yet. But I’m glad to see some trees have their buds starting to blossom, while some are luckily have flowers already. It must be nice to see all the trees in Maizuru Park and Nishi Park full of cherry blossoms! But I’m just happy get to see the trees up and close and personal. Yey!
- Visit a bookstore and buy manga
- If you didn’t know me, a lot of times when I go overseas I always visit bookstore that sells Japanese manga. I went to Kinokuniya in Malaysia and Asahiya in Hong Kong. But luckily we managed to drop off to one amazing store: Book Off! They sell manga and it’s very cheap! For the newest releases or ongoing series it’s 40¥ to 50¥ less than in other stores. For other older series it’s 108¥ each! Such a bargain!! If you bought 5000¥ above you’ll get avail it tax free! We bought a total of 40 manga volumes, and yes we exceed our baggage weight, good thing my sisters has prepaid baggage allowance so we get to bring our manga home!! I’m so happy~!
- Eat Authentic Ramen
- My family loves Japanese food! We usually eat out trying Japanese food here in Metro Manila! Of course nothing beats the authentic they say, although there’s a language barrier (my Japanese is only good at reading, my tongue twirls when I need to speak!) we managed to eat ramen! If you don’t know Fukuoka is known for their delicious ramen! I wish we also tried yatai stall, although when we roamed at night near the are we were staying we didn’t get to see one…I heard the stalls are near Nishi park (a bit far from where we were staying)! I’m little nervous because we were facing the people making the ramen and my chopstick skills are very subpar (yep, not all Asians eat with chopsticks!) But it was an awesome experience!!
- Try traditional Japanese sweets
- While we were in a tight budget we still managed to try some stuff! I love the mitarashi dango! And the sweet marsmallow daifuku—which according to the nice guy in the souvenir store we went to is very tasty (thanks for the rec oh kind sir!) he was right, it was very fluffy and delicious! Before we left we went to Hakata Station and bought knickknacks for people back home and us!! The sakura marshmallow was delicious and the Hakata Torimon was really spot on!
- Visit a Castle
- Technically, we didn’t get to see a castle in all its glory, because there’s nothing left to see in Fukuoka Castle Ruins (we didn’t get out of Fukuoka prefecture) but I guess I did get to see it regardless! I think the place will be more beautiful once the cherry blossoms surround it are in full bloom!
- Check out the vending machine
- I know there’s vending machine in Philippines, too, but vending machines in Japan are whole ‘nother level! It’s not just beverages; I saw one that sells meals! Meals!! Yep, so much innovation!!
Of course we did some tourist-y things as well, but I did manage to tick off a lot from my list. There are still few left unchecked but I will make sure to visit Japan again to do those! I have to! Hopefully somewhere in Kansai region next time!