Fukuoka again (2/2): Garden, buildings, and the final return

With about 100 minutes left to walk around Fukuoka, I decided to visit the Fukuoka City Botanical Garden next to the zoo, then work my way back to the port by the shortest route through Tenjin. At this point, I could almost walk around Fukuoka without a map and not get lost.

Next to the zoo entrance are the long, steep steps to the Fukuoka City Botanical Garden, which made me wonder how I'm supposed to bring kids there in the future

At the end of the steps you still have to walk some more, but it looks like the hill does offer some nice picnic spots for the locals

April is a good time to visit the Botanical Garden, with the tulips and other flowers adorning the entrance

The information panel showed what flowers and plants were currently ripe for viewing in each of the major locations throughout the garden

I didn't have the time to explore the Fukuoka City Botanical Garden further, but at least I got to see some nice bell-shaped flowers on my way down

The construction on the new zoo entrance was easily visible from the hill, along with the aviary peeking out of the trees in the back

The hilly nature of the neighborhood around Minami Park continued as I had to walk many steps down while making my way back in the northeasterly direction

At the bottom of the steps was the stylish Josui-dori street with fancy houses, shops, and this cathedral

Many Buddhist temples like Choenji you see here are easily found in the Imaizumi area just south of Tenjin

Giant communication tower on top of the NTT Tenjin building was overlooking the busy area full of stores and restaurants, and I had 90 minutes left until the hydrofoil left the port

With careful planning and timing, I returned to the port with just enough time to spare for the check-in and a bit of time to take a look around the duty free shop.

I entered the departure gate at the Hakata Port International Terminal just 40 minutes before the departure time

I boarded one of the "New Beetle" hydrofoils, which have the renovated and updated interior for 2017 applied to the original Beetle fleet of the JR Kyushu

The most welcoming change for me was that a USB charging port was available on each seat, which allowed me to recharge my iPhone 7 Plus about 2/3 the way as the ship made its way from Fukuoka to Busan in 3 hours

When the Busan Habour Bridge, completed just 3 years ago and about a year older than the new passenger terminal, appeared out the window, I knew that I've nearly arrived back in Korea

As always, I hurried my way through the entry and customs check to catch the fastest transit home - the difference from the last time was that the ship made its scheduled arrival about 25 minutes later than the Kobee, so my return home would be at least that late

Still, I was able to go back home before midnight after hopping on and off the buses, putting an end to this month's affair with Fukuoka for good

This concludes my April trips to Fukuoka caused by a simple need to repair an Apple Watch with AppleCare+. I think the experience will serve nicely as a blueprint for the next iPhone launch day pickup run, or a family trip to Kyushu in the future.
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