Asia, Japan

Japan 3.0: Day 1 (Fukuoka)

After many hours on the plane and in various airports, we finally made it to Fukuoka, Japan. It was late in the evening when we arrived. Luckily, the airport is pretty much in the city so it only took us around 15 minutes to get to the hotel by Tenjin station. Valie Hotel Tenjin, is a minimalistic business hotel. There was a cute cafe/lounge area next to reception that we did not spend too much time in. There were also various amenities that can be picked up at front desk as well, including a shampoo/conditioner area where you can sample various rotating products. I tried the caffe latte one, which smelled really good and was a much higher quality than usual hotel shampoos. I was sad to see that it was no longer available the next day. The room itself wasn’t very large. We wanted a king-sized bed (which was actually 2 twins pushed together) and it basically took up the whole room. The bathroom was tight but this was typical of other Japanese accommodations. The room was clean but the shower curtains did have a mildewy smell, unfortunately.

Ramen Time: As Per Tradition

As per tradition, after we put down our luggage, it was time to get some local ramen. The popular Shin Shin was only a few minutes walk for us. We got there around 10:30pm and there was a line. It moved quickly though and we were soon offered counter seats so we can see the ramen assembly action happen in front of our eyes. Everything was very efficient. The egg and pork were pre-made. The chef only had to make the noodles and pour in the hot broth. We started with some gyoza and both had the original tonkotsu ramen with egg. The gyoza was ok but the star of the night really was the ramen. The broth is super smooth and porky as one would expect from a nice tonkotsu broth. I’m usually a thick noodle fan but the thin noodles here were able to capture the broth within the strands so well. The egg and pork were decent but was not very special compared to some other ramen places we’ve tried in the past.

It’s been a long journey and combined with carb overload, it was time we headed to bed.

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