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.
The ferry was a short breezy ride with excellent views of Fukuoka City!
I was with less than 60 tourists since I went there on a Monday.
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!
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!
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!
And of course, I saw a shrine.
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.