Let's start off with today's least good part: dinner. After a long day Marli and I skipped into town to have dinner together. Having heard many stories about how awesome shabu-shabu is supposed to be, we went to a local restaurant in the JR Hakata City building. Since it's a department store building and since there are many "normal" eateries in there we didn't expect it to be a big deal, but nice nonetheless. Well, it turns out that Ningyocho Imahan is very much a big deal. Or more properly: a Big Deal (tm). With a history dating back to 1895 and a rather high-end clientele we weren't really in the right place.
You know the cliché story about a couply that unknowingly walks into a posh joint, has no clue how to act, keeps getting ogled by the staff and who actually don't really like the food altogether that much either? Yeah, that was us. Including moments where we were stifling our giggles and where I kept an eye out for the waiter, while Marli tried to fish out "lost" food we dropped into the pot. ^_^
The bill was damn steep too, but we knew that going in, so it's not all bad. "It was an experience", is what we thought to ourselves.
So, putting that aside, today was bloody awesome! /o/
Earlier this week I'd searched for a few local things to do together with Dana, should Marli need a few hours of rest. Yesterday's trip to the zoo was one of them. Today's trip to Umi no nakamichi ("road in the ocean", called that way because it's a strip of land connecting an island to Kyushu's mainland) was another one. Today we went there with the whole group: Michel, Kaj, Dana, Marli and myself. We were all looking for something fun to do in the lovely indian summer weather. It's not often that you encounter 30+ degrees and bright sunshine in October ^_^
Umi no nakamichi is a huge park and I do mean "huge", which serves as a get-away spot for people from the city. Gardens, biking lanes, attractions, picknick spots, restaurants, play grounds, they have it all! Here's a map, which is divided into sub-maps. I don't think we even left section D, despite being there for three hours. Dana had a wonderful time, as did all of us. I find it hard to describe how much I enjoyed myself, suffice to say that I felt like a big kid ^_^
The rest of our day was filled with a visit to the Marine World aquarium across the road. The entrance fee was higher than I'd hoped, at Y2100 a head, but the aquarium's quite nice! Like at the zoo, Dana was usually more interested in signs and blinking lights than in the huge rays and sharks passing in front of her, but hey. The big tank was impressive, the seals were funny and the dolphin show was cool too. Once Marli pulled Dana into it (cheering, clapping, cooing and such) Dana got really into it and loved the show. Lunch was good too, with my first curry of this trip. Surprisingly (and very good!) the curry actually wasn't a normal curry sauce, but more like a beef stew. Bonus!
By the time we got back to the hotel Dana was dead-tired and asleep. After we'd packed our suitcase (it'll be shipped to Osaka tomorrow) we rolled her into bed, without dinner. That has me worried a little bit, but I hope she'll do nothing but wake up with a tremendous appetite.
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All content, with exception of "borrowed" blogpost images, or unless otherwise indicated, is copyright of Thomas Sluyter. The character Kilala the cat-demon is copyright of Rumiko Takahashi and used here without permission.