Kyushu: Nokonoshima 

Fukuoka half-day trip: Nokonoshima

Day 5 into my Kyushu trip, I decided I had enough of Fukuoka City and wanted to go somewhere for half a day that is easily accessible from the city. Fukuoka Airport was just 10 minutes away via the Subway from Tenjin so I had plenty of time for half a day somewhere! Reading up on some lists online, my attention got caught by an island quite near Fukuoka, just 10 min by ferry from a harbor 30-40 minutes away from Tenjin or Hakata by bus. I could spend 2-3 hours on an island! So excited that it’s possible to have a half-day trip to an island from Fukuoka, and top it all off, it had a flower garden on top of a hill!! LOVE IT.

I decided to go by train to Meinohama, and just walk to the ferry port, thinking there would be some interesting views on the way. After 20 minutes of usual neighborhoods, finally, a view of the sea! And just in time to board the ship.

View from the ferry port
View from the ferry port

The ferry was a short breezy ride with excellent views of Fukuoka City!

View of Fukuoka city from the ferry
View of Fukuoka city from the ferry

I was with less than 60 tourists since I went there on a Monday.

Finally, Nokonoshima!

A ship docked in Nokonoshima
A ship docked in Nokonoshima
Hello, Nokonoshima!
Hello, Nokonoshima!
The bus to Island Garden is 230 yen
The bus to Island Garden is 230 yen

Right after we arrived the town bus came which had its last stop at Island Park. The bus went through the hill, and I saw foliage that really looked like Philippine countryside. Even spotted a banana plant!

Never thought I'd see an actual banana plant in Japan! Kyushu is definitely south.
Never thought I’d see an actual banana plant in Japan! Kyushu is definitely south.

We arrived at the park, got my ticket for 1000 yen, and set off to explore!

It’s really a huge place! And the garden is well-maintained. There are all sorts of activities possible here. They have cottage accommodation, volleyball courts, soccer area, swings for the kids, grilling area, and lots of grass for everyone to enjoy. Although I would have loved to see flower fields, I went there with no particular flower in season. But since I am a sea person, I did enjoy the view of the sea and other islands. For its distance to Fukuoka, it’s really a great side-trip!

Beautiful scenery greeted me right after I entered
Beautiful scenery greeted me right after I entered
Flowers and cute mushroom-like  trees
Flowers and cute mushroom-like trees
View of  Nokonoshima from the flower hill
View of Nokonoshima from the flower hill
Few marigold left at the end of the season
Few marigold left at the end of the season
Hama fish lunch! In Tagalog I would call it  piniritong isda in pretty plates!
Hama fish lunch! In Tagalog I would call it piniritong isda in pretty plates!
View of the sea from the restaurant
View of the sea from the restaurant
A well that doesn't work anymore
A well that doesn’t work anymore
Shops or some houses for rent in the facility
Shops or some houses for rent in the facility
Pottery
Pottery
Old  cars
Old cars
Perfect weather!
Perfect weather!
Goats in the park. They had bunnies as well on the other side.
Goats in the park. They had bunnies as well on the other side.
Another beautiful scenery on the other side of the park
Another beautiful scenery on the other side of the park
Sunflower plants about to bloom! They would be perfect in mid-August
Sunflower plants about to bloom! They would be perfect in mid-August

I hopped on the bus back to the ferry port. Since I had about 20 minutes to kill before the ferry left, I decided to check out the neighborhood of the first tiny island I visited in Japan. I realize that there must be a fair number of fishermen there, judging by the boats on the dock.

A lot of houses were quite big and modern, while only a few were made of wood. They had cars, and I bet if they wanted to feel like going to the city they would just hop on the ferry with or without it and be in Fukuoka in other 30 minutes. Time-wise, it doesn’t change much from my daily train commute. Interesting lifestyle!

Fish shop near the dock
Fish shop near the dock
Love how tiny islands  had informative maps
Love how tiny islands had informative maps

 

Some old houses of Nokonoshima
Some old houses of Nokonoshima
Didn't get to see the museum anymore
Didn’t get to see the museum anymore
Cool looking fishing boats.
Cool looking fishing boats.

And of course, I saw a shrine.

 

 

 

sculpture

Eifukuji Shrine in Nokonoshima
Eifukuji Shrine in Nokonoshima

I got on the 2pm ferry back to Fukuoka, then the bus to Meinohama at 2:17pm, got my stuff from the locker and hopped on to the train at 2:45 pm, and arriving at Fukuoka airport at about 3:10. Good thing I did web check-in at the hotel. Jetstar kindly printed my boarding pass since I only had a screen shot.

My trip to Kyushu ends and I am back in Tokyo, ready to plan my next trip, the Nagaoka Fireworks in Niigata.

 

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