Wednesday, November 25, 2009

11/24/09: Day 5 in Japan, Part I - Tenjin

While Hakata is where the Shinkansen stops, Tenjin is where the action is. To find out more, I decided to take a walk in the morning.

Tenjin is about 20 minutes away from Hakata station by foot, separated by Nakagawa River. Watanabe Street is the center of the town, and it's flanked by Fukuoka/Tenjin Station of the Nishitetsu line, as well as numerous department stores and shops.

Just as busy is the underground concourse right beneath Watanabe Street that houses bunch of shops while allowing pedestrians access to all the surrounding buildings without the fear of cars or waiting for lights.

On the way back to the hotel, I found a booth that sold something called Inaho Yaki. It was to okonomiyaki what pizza pocket is to a pizza.

For lunch, I stopped by a ramen joint near the hotel called Chen Mar Ya.

Their speciality is the spicy Dan Dan Noodles using tonkotsu soup base. As you can tell by the picture, this was richer and much spicier than usual tonkotsu ramen, with hints of sesame and Szechuan peppercorns.

The lunch set came with Ma Po Tofu served over rice. Thicker than the Ma Po Tofu I am used to, it nevertheless had good flavors of the Szechuan peppercorns.

Here is the obligatory serving of gyoza...

I again spent the afternoon at Ryusei Onsen. The hotsprings are invigorating, and I read sauna is great for digestion which is much needed at this point.

The hotspring is located in the mountains, and it offers calming scenery to ease my soul...

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