Japan – first glances

To continue on from  my previous post, during the relatively simple travel-day from Seoul to Fukuoka via Busan, I believe I left off while on a train still in Korea.

EDIT: This is all going to be written on a blog/day format retrospectively of when it actually happened. The events of this entry happened last Saturday (24th of July).

The KTX arrived at Busan station to immense humidity and warmth. A little confusion and traditional panicked running landed me on a bus that swiftly passed by the port area in Busan. Realising my mistake I boarded one heading the other way. Neither made me pay which must be testiment to just how confused I looked. My next trick was to run into the domestic port and rather strongly ask the receptionist to go to Fukuoka, in bad-grammar Korean, which in my defence sounds very similar to stating that I wanted to go there.

Thinking I had mere minutes left to check in I got the directions for the international port, one dock along and ran the whole way, ran to the check-in desk, ran the the cash machine for the fuel surcharge, ran back, ran to the customs area and waited for well over an hour. While there I met some Americans travellers off to Japan for a week or so, one of whom had just finished working in Korea. I mention them because I happened to run into them later in the week.

The Ferry to Busan was pleasant, if uneventful. Smoothest boat I’ve ever been on.

Arriving in Fukuoka I found that every hostel was booked up for the night. I was recommended a capsule hotel by the receptionist (who, despite being at least late-30’s, had the most adorable range of expressions for shock, puzzlement etc.). While being a step above the cost of a regular hostel (something like £30) for the night, it was as much of a cultural interest as anything and actually turned out quite pleasant.

I decided to forgo the bus and wandered into town, having previously taken out money from the ATM and bought a small box of noodles for my dinner.

said small box of noodles

The ATM was an interesting experience, apparently the only place that was available to get money out with a foreign card is at a 7eleven. The smallest denomination available from these machines 10,000 Yen – just over £73. I broke that note as soon as I could.

The Capsule Hotel

said capsule hotel

Really much more pleasant than I expected. Depositing my shoes in a locker and all of my clothes in another, I wandered to the spa-dedicated floor of the hotel, showered and had a bit of a relax in the provided hot baths and saunas. Wandering upstairs again they had reclining chairs with inbuilt TVs and personal speakers. Sadly I’d just missed a BBC documentary.

After getting bored of that in minutes I checked out the restaurant facilities. While pleasant looking as well, the price was too rich for my blood. I settled with some iced water, free of charge.

Heaven forbid you should have a tatto. - Sign at capsule hotel.

Closing my day I checked my email and was vaguely disturbed by another guest.

Sat in the PC section of the hotel. There is a guy next to me just watching porn. Not cracking one off, just watching. Intensely.Sat Jul 24 13:35:46 via web

Hmm. Anyway, I retired to my capsule, which was actually of ample size, not big, not small and had a general feeling of a micro-caravan. My dozing off was somewhat disturbed by the sound of another guest just along the “corridor” enjoying some enthusiastic-sounding porn on a portable media player.

Welcome to Japan indeed.


About Dave
I used to teach English in Korea. I used to write in this blog reasonably regularly for a fair while, take a read why not?

5 Responses to Japan – first glances

  1. yelhsa2114 says:

    wait, no tattooes allowed in the hotel? or just in the spa part? that is crazy talk!

  2. me says:

    hey Dave,
    Do you know where in Japan you are going yet…?
    To get cash, go to post offices by the way, they usually will have an international cash machine. (http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3030/2976822343_8a0034db4d.jpg <- is the symbol of the post offices)
    The Japanese do love their porn… though, when in Japan…

  3. Dave says:

    Oops, sorry ‘me’ whoever you actually are, I write these things assuming that just everyone follows me on Twitter, is on my Facebook or is a part of my life somewhere along the line. I’m actually back from Japan writing these in retrospect. Should have made that clear!

    Ashley – Yeah no tattoos. I guess it’s because of the nakedness of the spa and their association with Yakuza gangsters. I think the rules on tattoos used to be even more harsh, I saw plenty of young chaps and chapettes with tattoos on show.

  4. Pingback: Hiroshima to Kyoto (travel day 3) part two « Bristol to Seoul

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