A Week in Fukuoka

I can’t remember how it happened, but sometime last year, I stumbled across a Facebook group named Worldschoolers. Intrigued by its name, I joined the group, and was delighted to find close to 30,000 members that shared many of our family’s outlook and values on life learning. These were not just homeschoolers/unschoolers, but traveling families that have left the familiarity of their home to travel the world together so they can learn and experience all aspects of life.

When Bridgette and I embarked on our 2 month long trip to Hong Kong last November, I posted on the Worldschooler page to ask if there would be any Worldschoolers in Hong Kong around the same time as us. One family responded that they would be, and we exchanged our contact information and agreed to meet up while in Hong Kong.

I still remember our first meet-up in Hong Kong with Suewan and Ruby, at an indoor jungle gym type of place. Just 1 year apart by age, Bridgette and Ruby hit it off almost instantly, with their bubbly personalities and their shared love of My Little Pony, Pokemon, and Shopkins. Suewan and I hit it off as well, chatting nonstop while the girls played at the indoor gym for hours. By the third playdate, Bridgette was sleeping over at Ruby’s house already and the girls were inseparable, wearing Best Friend necklaces wherever they went.

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When we came home at the end of our trip, the girls were really sad to be separated, but kept in touch regularly through Facetime. In March, the Kemps left Hong Kong for their next destination–Fukuoka, Japan and invited us to visit them. Ofcourse, Bridgette and I jumped at the chance to see them again, and to explore a region of Japan that we hadn’t been to before.

BFFs
Clearly they weren’t excited to see each other when we arrived to Fukuoka 🙂

The Kemps were really gracious to host Bridgette and I at their Airbnb in Fukuoka, and prepared a lovely tatami room for us. This sign was taped to the door of our room, which made us feel so welcomed! Ofcourse, after the first night, Bridgette decided she’d much rather share a room with Ruby so they could talk all night and left our cozy tatami bedroom to myself. 🙂

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Our week in Fukuoka was a wonderful combination of exploration, sightseeing, and playing. The girls were over the moon for this week-long sleepover where they were simply joined at the hips 24/7. It didn’t matter what we were doing; they were just happy to be together.

Fukuoka is located in the more southern part of Japan, and is very quaint and suburbia. It felt vastly different than Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, and other parts of Japan we’ve visited. Many people get around on their bikes, and there are really just a few concentrated areas of shopping, but even those areas are tiny compared to Tokyo. It was a nice contrast to our previous trips to Japan for sure.

Fukuoka Tower:

Canal City (Arcade, Mall, and Ramen Stadium):

Ohori Park:

Forgot the name of this area but it was on our way to Fukuoka Tower:

Robosquare:

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Nice quiet beach near Fukuoka Tower

One afternoon, the girls decided to pick a random subway station to explore. We did that, and ended up hiking quite a bit near the Fukuoka zoo! We finally had to hop on a bus to get back to town, since we were quite famished. Lunch at the girls’ favorite Dunkin’ Donuts was their best reward for being such good sports during the unexpected hike. That evening, I watched the girls on my own to give Suewan and Dan a date night, and we had so much fun together!

On our last day in Fukuoka, Suewan signed us up for a Japanese cooking class, as a pre-celebration to Ruby’s upcoming birthday. It was held at the home of a local Japanese woman, Yuko, who first met us at the local supermarket to buy all the ingredients together. I loved how patient she was, as she explained each type of ingredient to us. When we arrived to her home, we saw that she had set her dining table up with 4 individual stoves for us, along with a Happy Birthday banner for Ruby. All cooking tools and equipment were ready to go for our class. We couldn’t wait to get started!

On the menu that day were the following items:

  1. Miso Soup (made from scratch)
  2. Japanese omelette
  3. Chicken Teriyaki

The hardest part was making the Japanese omelette, as it required multiple thin layers of egg being rolled up one by one in the pan. The girls did quite well though, better than Suewan and I!

The final results looked amazing, as you can see from the photos above, and we were able to enjoy it together for our lunch. Yuko also taught us how to properly set a table for a Japanese meal, and how to properly make and drink green tea. Who knew there were so many etiquette, including how to present a tea cup to someone!

I would highly recommend this Fukuoka Home Cooking class with Yuko, which was booked through Trip Insight Corp. We had an amazing time, and learned so much! Since returning from our trip, we’ve already cooked this meal at home several times, and we’re still loving it!

That concludes our week long trip in Fukuoka. We loved our time there! Big thanks to our gracious host, the Kemp family, for making our stay so fun and comfortable!!

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