Day 4 – Kurokawa onsen, Hakata Canal City, Japan

Day 4 – morning onsen in ikoi ryokan いこい旅館 > breakfast > souvenir shopping > ice cream at Yunon 湯音 > bus ride back to Hakata > check-in at Dormy Inn Premium Hakata Canal City > shopping in Canal City > late lunch at Ramen Stadium > dinner at Hakata Kira 季樂 > supper at Nakasu Yatai

Our breakfast was served at 08:00 and we decided to have one final dip in the onsen before leaving this lovely ryokan. If you have a habit of showering in the morning, a visit to the public bath is necessary as there is no private shower in the room. It was quite empty during the morning and I was the only one in the outdoor onsen.

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This outdoor hot spring is the one with mixed gender. It turns to a female only pool between 06:30 to 08:30. I felt like my onsen mission was accomplished as I visited all 13 hot spring in ikoi ryokan いこい旅館 without getting into any mixed gender pools!

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Our breakfast was ready after our morning dip. A bowl of rice or congee was served with the meal. It is a traditional Japanese breakfast and it was quite filling.

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Before we left our ryokan, we tried the self service hot spring egg and the kumamon soda. The soda didn’t taste as good as it looks.

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We took a walk after our breakfast and bought some souvenirs in the shops around. I would highly recommend this bottle of milk for all the milk lovers. The texture is thick like yogurt and has a very strong taste of milk. It was one of the best milks I’ve ever had! (I’m not exaggerating.)

We walked past the shrine and saw the used onsen pass that were left there for good luck.

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I was extremely full after breakfast but my greediness wouldn’t stop me from eating. Besides, it was our last chance to have the local produce in Kurokawa and we should take full advantage of it.

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湯音 is another shop on my to-eat list. It is famous for their milk flavour soft serve and the horse meat croquette. Since I am not a big fan of horse meat, I went straight for the soft serve. It has strong milk flavour and it was really good. I was 100% full at that time and having any food on top was not really enjoyable and it was just something to satisfy my palate, and to tick off my to-eat list. I felt like I was torturing myself sometimes just to check everything off from my bucket list.

Yunon 湯音

Opening hours: 09:00 – 18:00

Address in Japanese: 熊本県阿蘇郡南小国町大字満願寺黒川6602

Official Japanese website: http://shiawase.shop-pro.jp ; https://www.facebook.com/pages/黒川温泉湯音yunon/155787227811303

The staff at ikoi ryokan いこい旅館 let us know the bus schedule back to Hakata and they arranged a car to send us to the bus station. It was a pleasant stay at ikoi ryokan and I would highly recommend it.

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Even the water bottle in Kurokawa is very nice.

We went straight to our hotel Dormy Inn Hakata Canal City after the 3 hour bus ride back. We went shopping in Canal City and it was relatively cheap with the drop of Japanese yen.

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A robot in the Canal City

We were back on our Japanese food mission soon after a bit of shopping. We had our late lunch at the Ramen Stadium on the 5/F of Canal City. 8 popular ramen restaurants are selected and gather here from all over Japan. They will regularly swap the ramen shops featured in the ramen stadium.

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I chose 初代秀ちゃん (from Hakata) for ramen while my 2 friends chose the ramen from 麺屋 ホウテン with a dark soup base (from Nakasu). I went for their classic pork ramen (770yen). The ramen was good but the Kokutei 黑亭 ramen in Kumamoto would still be the best I had all trip.

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We went to Tenchika for more souvenir shopping after our ramen. There are many big department stores such as Mitsukoshi and Daimaru. I would highly recommend to visit their supermarkets for souvenirs shopping.

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We bought some sake at Mitsukoshi

Premium beef dining – Saga beef

It was about time for dinner after shopping in Tenjin 天神. We booked Hakata Kira 季樂, a restaurant famous for Saga beef, for our last dinner in Fukuoka.

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We picked this dinner set for 5,500 yen (around US$45) x 3.IMG_6833 resize

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That’s the portion for 3. It was more than enough.

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This restaurant is quite popular. It is better to get the hotel concierge to help with the reservation. Request for a window seat if possible.

Hakata Kira 季樂

Opening Hours: Lunch 11:30-15:00; Dinner 17:30-23:00

Address in Japanese: 福岡市中央区西中洲6-8

Address: 6-8 Nishinakasu, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka

Official website: http://kira.saga-ja.jp/en/hakata/

Japanese Food Stalls – Yatai

We went to yatai (food stalls) after dinner. It was quite an interesting experience to have food on the street. Food at yatai are a bit pricey. We ordered some skewers and some pork and it costs us around 3000yen already. Most stalls open after 6pm and you can find a good number of yatai located in Nakasu 中洲.

More about yatai:

http://www.visitkyushu.org/fukuoka-yatai/

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Have you been to Fukuoka? Which restaurant is your favourite? If you enjoy reading my blog, feel free to follow me on twitter @MinionTravel to get the latest update.

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