With Backpack

One World in One Lifetime

Sumo!

Posted by Heliocentrism on December 24, 2010

November 27 – 28, 2010

All Pictures

When do we get to the good stuff?

That’s it?

Mark and I spent the weekend in Fukuoka with many JET’s from all over Kyushu and further. The great migration was in honor of the final sumo match of the year. I knew nothing about sumo before this trip, and didn’t learn much. But here is what I did learn…

Throw some stuff… squat a bit…

There was a lot of pomp and circumstance. The wrestlers stepped into the ring, threw some salt, stretched, squatted and pretended like they were going to start, then got back up. Then there was a guy in a nice rode who shouted stuff.

It could take up to 8 minutes for a sumo match to actually begin and can start with very little warning.

This will not end well…

It was over in a few seconds. Thirty seconds would have been a long match. If you looked down at the wrong moment the match could start and end before you realize it.

Sumo wrestlers fall hard. Many of them fell right off the sand platform. A couple of them were flipped off the platform. And since they are all big guys, it must take a toll on their knees and ankles.

I wonder what he’s thinking about right now.

Many sumo wrestlers these days are not Japanese. Many of them are Mongolian, and a few are from the ex-soviet countries.

Ready to 9gag the night away.

Free Coffee all Night Long

Because of the sumo event, all the hotels and hostels were fully book over a month in advanced. So Mark and I had to spend the night in an internet cafe. It was a very unique experience.

I wouldn’t say that it was uncomfortable, but I wish that the lights would have been turned off. I did sleep ok though.

In the morning we woke up and drank all the coffee and hot chocolate we wanted. Then checked out after a hot shower.

Taking the Fukuoka City bus to wherever

Nothing to see here folks.

We spent the rest of the day walking around and seeing the few tourist sights that Fukuoka has. It’s not really a tourist type of town. Fukuoka is more about shopping.

Most of the things we saw were very disappointing, like Robo Square. We also visited several temples. When we were both fully tired we relaxed in a coffee shop in the underground mall.

I don’t recommend going to Fukuoka solely for sightseeing. It’s more of a shopping town. But if you do go and you do what to see some sights I recommend doing a bus tour or riding on one of those green loop buses.

All Pictures


 

Japan
(日本)
(Nippon)

How to get there:

You can enter Japan by plane or boat. Though, the number of boats going to Japan from other countries has gone down significantly.

Americans get 90-day visas to Japan at the port of entry. Check with your nearest Japanese embassy or consulate for visa information.

Phone:

Website:

Downloads:

Videos:

Books:

Notes:

  • Be careful what over the counter drugs you bring into Japan.  Actifed, Sudafed, Vicks inhalers, and Codeine are prohibited.
  • InternationalATMs are really hard to find; more so if you aren’t in a big city. Many places in Japan do not use credit cards. Take cash and call yourbanktoaskwhatATMs or banks in Japan will work with your cash card.
    • ATMs have opening hours. Usually 9:00-18:00 (They have better work hours than most business men and women here.)
  • You can get a Japan Railway, pass which saves you a lot of money on the trains, but you can only buy it before you get to Japan and you cannot be a resident of Japan. (I don’t have more information about it because I’ve only ever lived in Japan. I’ve never been a tourist.)

Fukuoka
(福岡市)

How to get there:

From Oita City –

  • Take the Oita Expressway heading west.
  • Then take the Kyushu Expressway heading north.
  • Then take the Fukuoka Expressway Route 2.
  • Take any of the exit at Fukuoka city.
    • These are toll roads and the cost depends on the type of car you drive. It should cost 2900-3500 yen.
    • It takes about 2.5 hours to drive.

Website:

Downloads:


Fukuoka Convention Center 
(福岡国際センター)
(Fukuoka Kokusai Center)

How to get there:

  • Coordinates 33°36’11.2″N 130°24’04.2″E
  • The nearest subway station is Hakata station. It is 2.5Km away.

Address:

Sekijo-machi, Hakata-ku
Fukuoka City 〒812-0032 2-1

Phone:

  • 092-262-4111

Websites:

Notes:

  • This is where sumo matches are held every November.
  • Many concerts are also held here.

Media Cafe Popeye
(メディアカフェポパイ) 

How to get there:

  • Coordinates 33°35’31.8″N 130°23’48.6″E

There is one near Nishitetsu-Fukuoka (Tenjin) Station on Showa dori (street).

Website

Cost:

  • About 500Yen per hour or
  • 2500Yen per 10 hours.

Hours:

  • Open 24 hours a day

Notes:

  • Once inside you will have access to free all-you-can-drink coffee, hot chocolate, tea, and soda.
  • There are snacks and cup noodles to buy.
  • There are also free showers and they provide towels, hair dryers, tooth paste, and toothbrushes.
  • There are booths for 1 and booths for 2 to sleep in. It’s not terribly uncomfortable, but the lights are never turned off. Most people are generally quite.
  • To use the internet you will need to get a card which requires you to fill out a simple form and present some sort of ID. The card is free.
  • In Japan there are cases of people who live in Internet Cafes.

Fukuoka Castle
(福岡城)

How to get there:

  • Coordinates 33°35’03.8″N 130°22’59.4″E
  • You can walk there from Ohorikoen Station.

or

or

Address:

7-1, Okihama-cho
Hakata-ku, Fukuoka

Phone:

  • 092-262-3111

Website:

Cost: 

  • Free

Hours: 

  • Always Open
  • There is a tour of the underground passageway on Saturdays at 14:00.

Notes:

  • This is a great place for free parking. Unfortunately it is not near anything, but you can take the a bus or subway after parking your car

Robo Square

How to get there:

  • 33°35’33.4″N 130°21’09.1″E

The closest subway station is Tōjinmachi Station.

It’s very close to Fukuoka Tower, a very underwhelming tower indeed.

Address:

2-3-2 Momochihama,
Sawara-ku, Fukuoka

Phone:

  • 092-821-4100

Website:

e-mail: nfo@robosquare.org

Cost: 

  • Free

Hours: 

  • 9:30 – 18:00
  • closed the 2nd Wednesday of every month  except January, July, August and December.
  • Closed December 31 – January 2

Notes:

Don’t expect too much. The most impressive robot is a Roomba knock-off.


Tenjin Underground Shopping Area

How to get there:

  • Coordinates 33°35’20.3″N 130°23’59.2″E

By bus –

  • TakeNishitetsu bus and get off at either of the following stops;
    • Tenjin Minami,
    • Tenjin bus center-mae,
    • Soarlia satge-mae, or
    • Tenjin kita.

By train –

  • Take Nishitetsu train
  • Get off at Fukuoka (Tenjin) Station.

By subway –

  • Get off at Tenjin Station (Kuko line) or Tenjin-minami Station (Nanakuma-line).

Address:

1-3 Underground, 2, tenjin,
Chuo-ku, Fukuoka City

Phone:

  • 092-711-1903

Website:

Hours:

  • Most Shops 10:00-20:00
  • Most Restaurants 10:00-21:00

Map:

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