Asia, Japan

Japan 3.0: Day 3 (Fukuoka)

Jet lag has been getting the best of me and I’ve been waking up at 4-5am every day. Given the limited size of our room, I wait in bed till Aaron awakes from his slumber and we were off from some breakfast in preparation for an eventful day. 

Onigiri Feast

We had noticed a onigiri shop (Onigiri Dokoro Kabata) at the bus stop on our way to Nokonoshima Island yesterday, so we decided to check it out today. We picked out 4 onigiri and sat down for our rice ball feast. There were no English labels so we just picked a few out based on the visual presentation and my extremely limited Japanese reading skills (Thank you Duolingo!). We had the salmon, beef, vegetables and seaweed onigiri. Compare to the convenience store ones (which have been the only onigiri we’ve had so far), the rice was actually warm! This was definitely comforting. The downside of that is that the nori (seaweed) is a bit soft as a result. The filling itself is definitely less plentiful. It’s really good if you like rice though! I think out of the four we had, I liked the beef and the vegetables ones the most. The interesting thing about the vegetable one is that there is no nori on the outside, and there is not real filling either. It is a like a furokake-like seasoning mixed with the rice. 

City Exploration

After breakfast we wanted to stop by a stationary store to grab a card for our friends who were getting married today. On our way there, we were distracted by their gorgeous city hall with a rooftop view. I climbed up 14 flights of stairs on the side of the tree-lined building to see a view of the city. Across from the city hall was a Vietnamese Festival going on with street-food vendors and live performances.

I Do

Distractions aside, it was time for us to get ready for a wedding we have to attend! We saw that it was only a quick 20-minute bus ride to the wedding venue and we got to the bus stop extra early to make sure we wouldn’t be late. Unfortunately, Japanese buses are not as reliable as Japanese subways. We waited at least 20 minutes before our bus arrived and we made it to the restaurant just in time to catch the “I do’s”. The venue for the wedding was at a gorgeous French restaurant, Imuri. There was a beautiful rooftop patio area where the intimate ceremony took place. After the ceremony, we went indoors which large windows overlooking the city, where we had lunch.

Wedding Menu

The menu today was very impressive. We started with some seasonal Japanese appetizers. I particularly enjoyed the escargot-like item. Next, we had some green pea soup with some chicken pudding, which I really enjoyed. After that we had some sashimi which tasted very fresh. The next course was a hot dish course with grilled sea bream (one of my favourite fishes), miso clam and egg yolk (amazing!) and some vegetable tempura.

Sweet Beginnings

Before our mains, we had an interlude where the bride and groom made some mochi where one would use a hammer to pound the mochi, while the other folded it with his/her hands. After their turn, the guests could also volunteer to “help” as well. We, of course, gave it a try. It was more for fun than anything. I’m pretty sure they need professionals to actually pound and knead it properly afterwards since we weren’t doing a very good job. 

Mains

For mains, we had some melt-in-your-mouth wagyu. I am still amazed by how the beef can be so tender in Japan. After that, the groom came out in a chef’s outfit making some clay-pot scorched rice soup. It was a very interesting dish. The rice is crispy, like rice cereal in a thicken gelatinous soup. 

Best Dessert Buffet

For dessert, we tried some of the mochi that we had previously made. The restaurant also has a bakery so their dessert buffet was amazing. I especially liked the wedding cake which was light and airy. This was the best wedding cake I’ve ever had. I also really liked their cheesecake which is my favourite typical super fluffy Japanese cheesecake.

Break Time

After the wedding, we have some time until the next wedding event, so we headed back near our hotel to go do some shopping at UNIQLO. Aaron again loaded up on some essentials, while I just did window shopping, for now.

Karaoke All Night Long

We dropped off Aaron’s purchases at the hotel and got dressed up again for some fancy karaoke at Cote D’Azur! The wedding party had 3 separate rooms and we got to hangout in the different rooms throughout the night. Each room held around 8-10 people and there was a small stage in each of the rooms. There were tablets to pick songs as well as to order drinks/food. It was a fun night and we ended up singing for 6 hours!

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