Mere 4 days after I dropped off my 1st generation Apple Watch at the Fukuoka Tenjin Apple Store, I was told by an e-mail that the repaired device was now in the store for pickup. The mail also said that I should come visit in one week unless I give the store a call to reschedule. Looking at the travel options to Fukuoka, it seemed to be better to make the trip sooner rather than later both in terms of cost and availability because of the various holidays in May and June. So I booked a single-day round trip for that weekend, returning to Fukuoka just one week since I left.
Busan subway line 1 was test operating the Dadaepo Beach extension that was supposed to officially open the in a few days when I rode it on April 15
I was to ride the 8AM Beetle hydrofoil service operated by JR Kyushu to go from Busan to Fukuoka this time with a US$79 round-trip ticket thanks to promotional pricing, but the check-in desk didn't open until 6:50AM and I didn't have much time between ticketing and boarding
Both the Beetle and Kobee hydrofoils cruise at around 70km/h because they are all based on Boeing 929, but the interior and the primary language are different
Beetle left the Busan Port International Passenger Terminal on time for a 3-hour journey
Shortly before 11AM, the coast of Fukuoka came into view, with the Yahuoku! Dome on the left and the Fukuoka Tower on the right - the ship docked at the Hakata Port on 11:07
The return ship was scheduled for 15:30 on the same day. I obviously didn't book any place to stay, so on the entry card I wrote down the address of the Apple Store. This perplexed both the immigration and the customs officers, but it didn't cause any problems after explaining my very brief visiting plan.
I left the terminal about 10 minutes after the arrival, and based on the previous visit I figured that I only needed to make it back 45 minutes before the departure time. This gave me a total of roughly 3 and a half hours to roam around the city. This was more than enough to make a few stops here and there.
There was no time to waste, so I quickly made my way down south from the port, with the Hakata Port Tower behind me
I also carried a minimum amount of cash, so I had to pass by this tempting 100-Yen vending machine as well
At the southern end of Tenjin and next to the Apple Store is the Line Friends Cafe & Store, which shows the popularity of Naver's LINE messenger app in Japan - interestingly in Korea, the app itself is relatively unknown but its characters are anything but thanks to the dominance of the Naver portal
3.4km (2.1mi) and 35 minutes after starting off, I set my foot back in the Apple Store Fukuoka Tenjin after leaving a week before
I submitted the repair papers to a staff and I was soon handed this box of replacement Apple Watch free of charge - I could now return home with it and still have the primary objective cleared, but with nearly three hours' free time left I thought about my next moves
I spent the next 20 minutes in the Apple Store to see if I wanted to buy something that wasn't available in Korea, and eventually I decided to pick up some HomeKit enabled devices from Elgato
Walking south from the Apple Store for about 20 minutes, I came to the Sakurazaka subway station, the closest station from the Minami Park
I wanted to visit the Minami Park because it had both the City Zoo and the Botanical Garden, but as foreshadowed by this entrance, the park was very hilly and made me feel like climbing a small mountain in places
Working through the path that led to the Fukuoka City Zoo's main entrance, I came across a point where I could see parts of the zoo in detail, like this Japanese macaque exhibit
I could also spot a giraffe nearby as the back of the caged area didn't have much visual obstruction
15 minutes into entering the park, I found the entrance to the zoo and across the street, the ticket office - both the entry building and the ticket office were temporary buildings because the entire entrance area was being rebuilt from the ground up
If this was a regular visit, I might have toured around the zoo and checked out what it offered. But I had already used up half of the available time at this point, so I moved on.