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Japan Fukuoka Hakata Ramen

8 November 2018

Christmas light hysteria in Hakata

In Fukuoka its the battle of Hakata versus Tenjin for adjacent shopping and dining area superiority. Tonights contestant, Hakata.

The two areas of Fukuoka are less than a kilometre apart, each has its own attractions. For Hakata it is definitely the JR Railway station, and as I found out tonight, the christmas lights, or as they are called in Japan, 'illuminations'.
As I approached the station I could here cheering in the distance. Once I got to the corner I could see tens of thousands of people. But why were they there? At this point I had no idea.
I pushed my way through the crowd, climbed up and around and I was still none the wiser. I assumed one of the pop-star groups with 45 girl members was about to induct a new member and to celebrate they were going to show everyone their underpants, this is the usual reason for a crowd in Japan.

Eventually I decided to give up waiting for something, anything to happen and I ascended to the roof for a different view and then the basement for my predictable ramen. It was only when I came back outside afterwards and all the lights were on that I realised everyone crowded in to see the lights get turned on. Silly people. An hour later and there was hardly anyone there.

Japan-Fukuoka-Hakata-Ramen - Fukuoka also has many canals and walkways along them. This is the one near my hotel at dusk. As you can see, still grey, but really warm, I was regret

Fukuoka also has many canals and walkways along them. This is the one near my hotel at dusk. As you can see, still grey, but really warm, I was regretting wearing pants this evening.


Japan-Fukuoka-Hakata-Ramen - Its all coming back to me now, here is a long covered shopping street that leads to CANAL TOWN, the giant mall with the ramen stadium on the top floor

Its all coming back to me now, here is a long covered shopping street that leads to CANAL TOWN, the giant mall with the ramen stadium on the top floor.


Japan-Fukuoka-Hakata-Ramen - Tonights cat photo. I saw real cats but they were less willing to pose for me than the Okinawa cats.

Tonights cat photo. I saw real cats but they were less willing to pose for me than the Okinawa cats.


Japan-Fukuoka-Hakata-Ramen - Hakata station, why are all those people hanging over the balconies?

Hakata station, why are all those people hanging over the balconies?


Japan-Fukuoka-Hakata-Ramen - What the hell is this crowd for? There doesnt appear to be anything to look at other than each other.

What the hell is this crowd for? There doesnt appear to be anything to look at other than each other.


Japan-Fukuoka-Hakata-Ramen - Even from above I have no idea. I pushed my way to the front of the people crowded onto the balcony. How many people is it structurally rated to hold?

Even from above I have no idea. I pushed my way to the front of the people crowded onto the balcony. How many people is it structurally rated to hold? I pondered this and then decided to go somewhere else.


Japan-Fukuoka-Hakata-Ramen - Here we have the view from the roof, a rare thing, they normally allow you on the roof but then block the view completely. Its really only half a view

Here we have the view from the roof, a rare thing, they normally allow you on the roof but then block the view completely. Its really only half a view, you cant look down, and the railing gets in the way. I had to heavily crop the photo that was otherwise more than half taken up by the rail.


Japan-Fukuoka-Hakata-Ramen - Have a bit more roof view. My hotel is down that street somewhere.

Have a bit more roof view. My hotel is down that street somewhere.


Japan-Fukuoka-Hakata-Ramen - The roof also has a small train that runs around it, and a 'train shrine'. Now I dont know what the train shrine is for, but theres a big plaque on th

The roof also has a small train that runs around it, and a 'train shrine'. Now I dont know what the train shrine is for, but theres a big plaque on the wall with about a thousand names on it. Did they all die on Japan Railways? Thats too many names. Maybe its the employees that worked more than 100 years on the railways (Japanese people live a long time).


Japan-Fukuoka-Hakata-Ramen - Here I am in the basement, waiting for my Ramen. I had reason to be excited.

Here I am in the basement, waiting for my Ramen. I had reason to be excited.


Japan-Fukuoka-Hakata-Ramen - GOD FIRE RAMEN. They have the same thing in Melbourne. So now I dont know if it was the same brand store as Melbourne or if God Fire Ramen is an actua

GOD FIRE RAMEN. They have the same thing in Melbourne. So now I dont know if it was the same brand store as Melbourne or if God Fire Ramen is an actual thing. The stuff that makes it god fire came out on a separate plate rather than already mixed in and the guy warned me. Pffffft, I added more chilli, chilli oil. It still wasnt particularly spicy.
My camera has a very shallow depth of field, I cant even get a whole plate of ramen in focus. Thats a feature!


Japan-Fukuoka-Hakata-Ramen - Now we will examine the lights that caused the mass hysteria, heres some lights.

Now we will examine the lights that caused the mass hysteria, heres some lights.


Japan-Fukuoka-Hakata-Ramen - Here is confirmation the crowd was for the lights, and that the turning on time was 18:15, which is about the time I fled the balcony.

Here is confirmation the crowd was for the lights, and that the turning on time was 18:15, which is about the time I fled the balcony.


Japan-Fukuoka-Hakata-Ramen - One more of the lights at Hakata city. I dont really get the hysteria, they are kind of nice but nothing super special. I wonder if Tenjin has a compe

One more of the lights at Hakata city. I dont really get the hysteria, they are kind of nice but nothing super special. I wonder if Tenjin has a competing set up, I seem to recall that they do.


Japan-Fukuoka-Hakata-Ramen - Last photo tonight, a cool smoky street side restaurant out the front of my hotel. No spare seats.

Last photo tonight, a cool smoky street side restaurant out the front of my hotel. No spare seats.


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