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Trip Report Kyushu Trip May 2013

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Trip Report Kyushu May 2013
I will try to trace our Kyushu trip for forum members and those interested in this part of Japan.
Here is basic itinerary
0-- Depart Hawaii, Hawaiian Air - Honolulu -Fukuoka Dep 1:50 PM

(9 hour flight)


1-- Arrive Fukuoka - 6:50 PM (next day)


2 - Fukuoka


3 - Fukuoka


4- Yufuin


5 - Yufuin


6 - Kumamoto


7 - Kumamoto


8 - Kurokawa


9 - Kurokawa


10 - Kagoshima


11 - Yakushima


12 - Yakushima


13 - Kagoshima


14 - Fukuoka
- Hawks Game!


15 - Return to Hawaii
Day 0-1
We left Kauai at 9:45 AM, got to Honolulu 10:20 AM and walked out to the gate to wait for the 1:50 PM departure to Fukuoka. Our plane was a Hawaiian Air Boeing 717, the seats being 2-3-2 configuration, the cost being $770 per person, Kauai> Fukuoka, round trip. Not quite as nice and new as the Airbus 320 we took to Tokyo last May but a nice double aisled plane with pretty good leg room in coach..
After departure there was room on the plane to stretch out in different rows as the plane was about 3/4 full. The flight time to Fukuoka is a little longer than that to Tokyo or Osaka being about 9 hrs plus. We arrived at 6:50 PM the next day with a lot of sunlight left, the weather being warm and clear.
The Fukuoka Airport is right in the city so the approach is exciting as it involves some steep banks right over the city. We literally breezed through immigration, picking up our baggage and through customs in less than 15 minutes. Fukuoka Airport is connected to the city by subway but we chose to taxi to our hotel, the Dormy Inn Premium Hakata Canal City, the fare being 650 yen at the drop and adding up to 1250 total to the hotel door. Our room for three nights added up to $352. breakfast included.This hotel was located next to Canal City and a short walk to the Gion subway stop so the location worked for us. This Dormy Inn also had a onsen bath floor with separate men and women's baths, also free laundry and free ramen after 9:30 PM in the dining room. We freshened up in our room, which was a double, small but efficient and clean, then went out trying to stay awake to at least ten o'clock before going to bed. Decided to eat at Ramen Stadium at Canal City. The ramen was delicious but the atmosphere was a little lacking as they had loud rap music playing of the "take your top off" mature rating variety and the demographic of the workers and customers definitely trended young.
The ramen was good and the shochu that went with it had its effect, and after eating we shopped a bit in some of the large sporting goods stores, went back to the hotel and to bed to be ready to get up early for the next day.

A brief side note here as a cautionary tale. The day before leaving I experienced some gum pain. Something I had had before and gotten over with no problem.No way I was going to cancel our vacation. This time however the pain got much worse so by day two I made the decision to seek out dental assistance. I found a good prospect through the use of google of an english speaking dentist and by afternoon visited his office. To make a long story short I had a root canal and subsequently had a tooth extracted the day after when it became apparent the infection was not going away. I feel lucky to have found a good dentist and the treatment and explanation of my condition was clear. To have a dental emergency on vacation is a scary thing and I don't know if a checkup beforehand would have made any difference. I could suggest taking a prescription of antibiotics and pain medication, legally prescribed "just in case" but that seems excessive. I feel lucky that being in Fukuoka for three days at the start of a two week vacation I was able to be treated and though going through a lot of pain at first and subsequent jaw soreness managed to enjoy the rest of my trip without having to cancel any ryokan stays or change our itinerary.Although at first I had to develop a system of eating small bites with chopsticks that I could push through a not so wide opening and chew

Next day Shofukuji Temple, Nakasu and Tenjin stroll, JR North Kushu Rail Pass pickup and Yufuin no Mori train reservation, Dentist visit, lunch at the Iron Chef Chen Ichi's son's Hakata Eki outlet.......

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