Fukuoka on foot (4/4): Museum, udon, and the way home

Considering the check-in time at the Hakata Port, I now had less than three hours' time for sightseeing, including transit time. It was still more than enough for me to visit a museum, take a train back to Fukuoka, have lunch, and walk back to the port.

Kyushu National Museum, opened in 2005 as the first of its kind in Japan in more than a century, is spacious, modern, and easy to get around

The 4th floor of the museum houses the permanent exhibits, which has an extensive collection of historical items in the Kyushu region with the focus in the cultural exchanges with nearby countries like Korea and China

Exiting the Kyushu National Museum walking west, I came across the Komyozenji, a Japanese zen buddhist temple founded in 13th century - I should check this place out next time when I have more time

I was able to return to the Dazaifu train station by noon to catch the next train out

Unlike the train from Fukuoka (Tenjin) to Dazaifu, which was a direct service, you need to get off here at Futsukaichi station first and then make a transfer in order to return to Fukuoka (Tenjin) - something you need to take into account especially under tight schedule

I had a bit of time to spare at the Tenjin station, so I decided to have lunch at "Hakata Yariudon", one of the restaurants there

Hakata is thought to be where the Japanese udon noodle dish was originated, so I tried the traditional Hakata udon, which is topped with foot-long deep-fried burdock (gobou) and fish paste - the noodles were excellent, but I wasn't sure what to make of the burdock

After finishing lunch, I noticed that it was already past 1PM, so I hurried down through the Tenjin Chikagai (underground mall) and walked north towards the Hakata Port

Fortunately, I was able to return to the Hakata Port International Terminal by 13:35, 70 minutes before the departure of the ship and 40 minutes before the closing of the check-in

At the Kobee check-in desk, I submitted the voucher I received earlier in Busan to exchange it for the boarding pass with the seat assignment, and paid for the fuel surcharge with a credit card in the process

Terminal fee (JPY 500) had to be paid in cash by buying a ticket near the terminal entrance using these vending machines

A duty-free shop was awaiting the tourists at the end of the departure process and I decided to buy some Japanese snacks for my family

The Kobee hydrofoil left the Hakata Port a few minutes earlier than the scheduled time of 14:45, probably because everyone got on board in time

As such, the ship arrived in Busan a few minutes earlier as well at around 18:06 and it gave me hope that I could return home a bit quicker

After taking the subway for about 40 minutes to the west, I came to the Busan Seobu (Western) Bus Terminal in Sasang-gu to board an express bus to Gwangju leaving at 19:10

Two buses and four hours later, I came back to Naju Bitgaram City, wrapping up the short-but-complicated Fukuoka trip before the day was over

With that, I thought my story with Fukuoka was done for the time being. But little did I know then that it wouldn't let me off the hook that easily.
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