Sunday, April 29, 2018

Fukuoka 2018 Part 2 | Fushimi Inari + Atago Shrine + Marinoa City + Canal City Ramen Stadium

On our first real day in Fukuoka, we made our way to Fushimi Inari and Atago Shrine for the morning sightseeing. The easiest way to get there is by train and then a brief walk.

The underground station at Tenjin is beautiful, to say the least. I'm reminded of the general Harry Potter Ministry of Magic aesthetic whenever I passed by here. It's dark but warm and beautifully integrated to the various malls above ground. But the passages underground are every bit as filled with stores for you to check out.

Once you get off at Muromi Station, take Exit 1 and this should be what you see upon exiting. Then head straight from here.

The view from the bridge!! Japan never ceases to amaze me with how insanely clean their waters are.
The walk to the Shrine probably won't be as fun in the height of summer so as always, I recommend visiting during the spring when it's slightly cool! This will keep you a lot more patient when it comes to walking up hills like this.

You will eventually see these stone toriis. From there, keep going up the stairs which will eventually lead you to...

The actual entrance to the Fushimi Inari shrine!

Not to be mistaken with the large Fushimi Inari in Kyoto, the Fushimi Inari in Fukuoka is surprisingly small - almost like a hidden area!

It is customary to wash your hands before entering prayer areas. Right then left. Then, using your left hand, rinse your mouth, and then wash your left hand once again. As a final step, with the remaining water, tilt the ladle to a completely vertical position so that the water washes over the whole handle. Then you're done!

Emas at the prayer chamber.

Unlike most temples, Fushimi Inari accepts offerings in foreign currencies so you're more encouraged to try your hand at making a wish or a prayer!

There's an unexpected amazing view of the city from Fushimi Inari though!

And of course, like the famous Fushimi Inari in Kyoto, it also has a series of Toriis but just a fraction of the amount of toriis in Kyoto. If you follow this path, it'll lead you to Atago Shrine!

Atago Shrine is actually one of the oldest shrines in Fukuoka and it's amazingly stunning in the spring as you can see!

The stairs before the actual temple is the perfect place to take your spring vacation photos!! Unfortunately though, I didn't get to go into the actual temple part - because I was admittedly taking so many photos lol. But the shrine in itself isn't too different from Fushimi Inari but it is much larger - according to my siblings haha!

From there, it was a long walk back down to the nearest bus stop. We literally walked along the side of a mountain for a brief moment, but since the weather was quite nice, I didn't really notice the long walk.

We took a short bus ride and got off at Marinoa City which is the most popular outlet mall in Fukuoka.

I didn't really take photos of all the shops here, but there are a ton of local Japanese brands at friendly and not-so-friendly prices. So I think it could be a great place to get acquainted with the local mainstream fashion scene here. If you're looking for your usual Western brands, they have Tommy Hilfiger and Columbia. However, for sports brands like Adidas and Nike, they're all carried under ABC Mart. And there are two separate ABC Marts here. One concentrates and shoes and is found in the outdoor mall, while the other is in the indoor mall and is much larger. The deals there are also better and there are definitely more choices in terms of shoes - and of course, it's the shop with clothes!

We had lunch at Kisuimaru because we were craving for some Sashimi Bowls!

I ordered the Salmon Bowl (1280yen) which was not bad at all for the serving size and the quality. Nothing much I can say except that it was delicious and that the salmon was fresh and melts in your mouth! :)

We went shopping afterwards and headed back to Tenjin to leave our stuff at out AirBnBs.

For our dinner, we decided to try out the famous Ramen Stadium at Canal City! You can actually walk it wherever you are in Tenjin, though it will most probably take a long time, which you won't really mind in cool weather. However, if you're traveling with older people, you can take the bus and it should take just about 5 minutes to get there! Though the bus can come really late...

Canal City is actually a giant mall, and you can do a lot of your shopping here. The UNIQLO is huge and definitely more organized than the one in Marinoa or Tenjin. There are a lot of other stores but we didn't fully explore because they closed early except the Ramen Stadium.

To get to the Ramen Stadium, you simply keep going up until you reach the top.

And then it becomes a surreal ramen haven!!

If you want to go on a ramen pilgrimage, you can just as easily keep coming back here during your entire trip to taste so many varieties of ramen.

We ended up trying Shodai Hide-chan. I'm not really sure why though, but I just followed my family lol. You make your orders at the little machine at the side before being seated.

I ordered the Number 3 in its most complicated form. (a.k.a the one at the top right) Unfortunately, something was lost in translation and I ended up getting the most basic version (lower right).

The Gyoza here is fried and densely packed inside. If you eat it with the sauce, it is soooo good! However, Gyoza does mostly taste the same anywhere you eat it, but I liked the extra crunch to this one.

The serving size of the ramen here is pretty decent. Very much the same from what you would expect at any ramen place here in Manila! I did feel that it was only alright? By this I mean, I would have equally enjoyed a bowl of ramen here in Manila. So I was sadly not too blown away (or maybe my expectations were too high?)

Don't get me wrong though. It's still definitely a great bowl of Ramen. Haha!

Stay tuned for more of my Fukuoka travel series! :D

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