We had some time in the morning so we decided to try on the yukatas in the common area and do a photoshoot! It was so fun! We tried our best to follow the instructions. LOL.
After breakfast, it was off to another day trip! We saw this train while waiting 🙂
Going to Ainoshima Island is actually much simpler than when I was planning it, but we definitely still timed leaving the hostel to the ferry schedule. We took the train from Hakata Station to Nishitetsu Shingu Station, just right outside the station, there is a bus stop where there 100-yen buses going to the Ainoshima Ferry Terminal. I was worried about this because I read on blogs that it was hard to figure out so other people decided to walk instead. But people don’t walk, it’s really far, and there’s an area where the road is too narrow and there’s really not much space for people to walk on. The bus can barely get through it. You will not miss this bus stop because if you’re going to time your departure, chances are you will be with a lot of people who are also going to the ferry terminal. The only downside is, there will be a lot of people on the bus so it will be packed like sardines.
Looking at that schedule, Shingu Port is the one coming from the city and Ainoshima Port is from the island. We decided to take the 11:30am ferry from Shingu and the 2:00pm ferry from Ainoshima, so we had roughly 2 hours in the island. The ferry ride takes about 20 minutes. Two hours is plenty! Just right at the port, you will already see a lot of cats. I think we finished going around the island and playing with cats in an hour. We still had a lot of time to just chill in the shade, have a snack and some warm drink (and more cat playing LOL).
Playing with the kitties~
Just some lovely photos of cute kitties.
Celine, looking every bit of a cat lady haha
Some chill and warm drink time in the shade.
Sooooo you are actually not supposed to feed the cats, but we did! HUHU! We really didn’t know. We only found out when we went to the office to buy a ticket for the ferry going back. Sorry, cats. HUHU. This was a very convenient day trip as long as you follow a schedule. You will waste a lot of time if you don’t research the schedule beforehand. The ferry is also really nice, kind of like the ones they use for rides from Macau to Hong Kong or, Manila to Bataan, ok. Haha.
We were back in Hakata quite early, so we visited a couple of temples. They are located in the same area, so we took the train to the closest station (Gion) and just walked to the temples. We only visited two, Tochoji Temple and Kushida Shrine. Tochoji is right outside Gion Station. The pagoda at Tochoji looks really pretty, but I wasn’t able to see the big Buddha. I couldn’t find where it was. The trees around look really beautiful. The changing colors of the leaves is just too pretty!
Kushida Shrine is not too far from there, so we just walked as well. There are torii gates here like Kyoto so we took some nice photos here. There were a lot of people praying in the shrine when we were there.
We already bought our (super late) lunch from a convini at Hakata Station, so we went to Reisen Park (which is nearby) and ate there. I read that there are usually installations at this park but I think we just missed the last one. It was pretty bare when we went, but there were kids playing around, women waiting possible dates, and us, having a very very ate lunch in that cold weather. LOL
We then walked to Don Quijote to see what we can buy there. Ok, this is so huge! Everything is organized, but it’s hard to buy stuff since there are no English translations. Hahaha. They are so cheap, and I bought a few things and snacks, but it was just super enjoyable to browse around, see what they have, and compare the prices. It literally has everything you need.
Don Quijote is actually located inside a mall called Gates (or Gate’s) and it’s on a main road, where buses pass through! We were able to take another 100-yen bus from here to Hakata Station. We also tried a different route going back to our hostel, so we found out that we are actually closer to the Hakata Bus Terminal. This was pretty helpful on our last day when we took the bus to the airport. It was a faster walk, which is convenient since we had our bags and all.