Come with me for a relaxing sun and sea escapade to Miyajima in the morning, afternoon visit to Hiroshima and an okonomiyaki lunch and conclude with a finale of a Ramen Stadium dinner at Fukuoka. Why not create a travel itinerary that maximises the use of the Japan Rail Pass? After all, the railway fares for shinkansen and limited express trains, Miyajima ferry fare and Hiroshima sightseeing loop bus fare are already included in the price of the JR Rail Pass. That’s the beauty of a visiting Japan with the JR Rail Pass!
Tip: If this is your first visit to Japan, do visit my related article on Taking In Tokyo as a Japan first-timer for practical tips.
Let’s take the Shinkansen Sakura at JR Hiroshima station bound for Hakata station in Fukuoka. The train journey is 67 minutes. You have earned a well-deserved rest aboard the Shinkansen Sakura. Grab an afternoon nap and rest your tired legs from having visited Miyajima and Hiroshima hours earlier.
Before you get to Hakata station, you will pass by the Kitakyushu port, the main port in the Western Japan and also see some Japanese countryside views.
When we arrived at Hakata station, we took a chance to familiarise ourselves with the surroundings as there is still plenty of daylight left.
I was amazed by the orderliness of the waiting taxis queuing patiently for their customers. There are even gridlines parking spaces drawn neatly on the road for each waiting taxi. Thumbs up Fukuoka city!
After a 15 min gentle stroll, we made it to the Ramen Stadium which is located on the 5th floor of Canal City Hakata shopping mall.
If you had stayed at Grand Hyatt Fukuoka, you will be able to witness the musical fountain performance every 30 minutes. During our visit, the fountains were dancing to the tune of Abba’s Dancing Queen. It was a magical experience.
I was so happy to have spotted this sign for Ramen Stadium (ラーメンスタジアム). It means that a very great ramen experience is coming up!
Have you tried Japanese ramen? Do you love ramen? I do!
Having done some pre-travel foodie research, we ate at our No.1 choice, the famous Hidechan ramen restaurant. Look out for the sign board 初代 秀ちゃん (Shodai Hide chan).
It is common to prepay for your ramen at a vending machine. To use the vending machine, pay into the cash slot above the total price, the buttons on the machines will light up depending on the amount you have paid. Now, you can choose to pay for ramen No.1 and Ramen No.2. If this is your first time prepaying for your ramen in Japan, it is not a bad idea to be in a queue for the vending machine. You can observe how to use the vending machine or seek help from a friendly restaurant employee who generally speaks fluent English. It is definitely worth learning how to use the vending machines in Japan. Once you have mastered the art of ramen vending machine, no ramen machine will be a challenge unless of course the vending machine is devoid of English translation.
My only fear is that if I don’t learn Japanese quickly, one of this day I will be pressing the wrong buttons on a Japanese-only vending machine and order myself a big bowl of soy sauce or chilli oil and no ramen noodles to accompany my most interesting meal order. 🙂
Hat’s off to these ramen maestros that composes such delightful tonkotsu (pork bone-based broth) and springy ramen.
It makes me sing with joy at each slurp of the flavourful tonkotsu broth.
Looks like many celebrities had discovered Hidechan restaurant before our visit.
After the meal, we made our way back to Hakata station and enjoyed the nightscape of Hakata station’s surroundings.
All’s left is to say Sayonara as we board our 114 min shinkansen back to JR Okayama station and short 5 min saunter back to Mitsui Garden Okayama hotel. Hope you have enjoyed the calorie-free Tonkatsu ramen reading experience. Greetings from Hakata with love! Sayonaraさよなら!
- Hidechan Ramen (初代 秀ちゃん) at Ramen Stadium Hakata
Signature dish: Tonkatsu Ramen
Address: 1-2 Sumiyoshi, Hakata-ku, Ramen Stadium, Fukuoka, Japan.
- Currency: Japanese Yen (JPY)
- Best Time to Visit: May or November to avoid the mad tourist crush!
- Getting around: walk or take the Fukuoka subway
- Getting here: See http://www.welcome-fukuoka.or.jp/english/395.html for further details.