Whoa, surprise festival. Rad!
I arrived in Fukuoka, specifically the Tenjin district, and promptly checked into a capsule hotel. 3000 yen a night, and right in the middle of the seedy part of town.
That's more like it. Downtown Fukuoka is one of Japan's most famous hotbeds of the sex industry. Tons of hostess bars, love hotels, and men's "saunas".
But the thing that makes this area stand out from other red light districts is that you can walk a couple blocks away and totally be out of it, chilling with some cheap food and beer. They even have actual benches along the rivers, so you can just hang out and watch the people.
This nice stranger took me out with his colleagues for some ramen. Kick ass! Homeboy didn't realize it, but he was like a goodwill ambassador for this town, and now it's my 2nd favorite city in Japan.
The whole "everything is super close" thing was solidified when I rode my motorcycle about 30 minutes out to Shikanoshima, where you can chill on the sand (it's clean!), watch surfers, and eat some good food.
This is the Shikanoshima bowl, with local seafood. Warning, the shrimp was still alive.
Back in town that evening, more ramen, and early to bed for the next day's ride out of town. A theme on this trip is that I didn't really drink much. Early to rise and all that shit, I guess.
Next: Beppu. Finally, I can talk shit about another place in Japan