Lost in Translation (Fukuoka, Kyushu, actually)


No sooner can you get used to one Japanese city and it’s time to up sticks and get disoriented and lost in another one.
This time, after arriving in Fukuoka on Kyushu island the cardinal error was navigating from the wrong Hyatt hotel in completely the wrong direction.
Rescued by a Japanese insurance man – negotiator or loss adjustor I think.
He insisted on walking us for nearly half an hour to the city theatre.
His expressions of deep sympathy with Princess Kate over the publication of some topless pix were not reciprocated.
We spend a fortune on clothes for her and Harry.
You would think they would be grateful enough to keep them on.
We thanked him for his kindness but had reservations over his solution to the escalating row with China over the Senkaku islands (and the shipping lanes and mineral and oil resources nearby).
A Japanese Thatcher to take on nuclear-tooled China might not be entirely the best solution.
Since we came to Japan the nature of the dispute has changed entirely.
Then it was Korea and Japan going head to head.
Now it seems to be Japan and China with the Japanese shutting down some of their factories and businesses in China after riots and attacks on Japanese businesses, people and vehicles.
It’s a bit like the final showdown in Clint Eastwood’s The Good, The Bad and The Ugly except one of them has nipped off to the toilet.
At the theatre the show was not Noh.
Not Bunraku.
Not kabuki. Not Kyogen. Not any classical Japanese theatre.
It was the Sound of Music!
Revived by ice cream and iced coffee headed out of Canal City shopping and leisure centre despite the lure of fountains dancing in time to music (why don’t the ones in Queen Square, Wolverhampton do this?).
Alongside the river they were setting up Yatai stalls where they cook ramen noodles, oden, Giza, grilled ramen and tempura.
Some were doing Chinese food as well.
We made a mental note of those and a likely-looking sushi place on the main drag before a gentle 20 minute round trip on the river.
After that fear of insect bites by the river at dusk and a fancying for sushi saw us sliding onto a bench in front of the sushi master.
He produced magical sushi – and sashimi and tempura with a flashing blade and a blurring switching between rice, seafood, vegetables, pickles and sauces (and hidden hot wasabi paste).
A couple of ice cold beers finished it off in fine style.
Immediately jumped on a bus and back to the hotel to clean up and make people lose the will to live with the blog.
Last time I did this travel stuff I stopped in the town of Littleborough, Rochdale.
Oddly enough on our last night in Hiroshima the jazz musician playing in the hotel bar, Tom Southerton, was from Littleborough.
He also teaches music here.
Strangely enough he ran off saying he had to catch an early Shinkansen when I offered to make him homesick by showing pictures of the Rochdale Canal and The Rake Inn and Tapas Bar in Littleborough,
Now the dilemma is – do we try to find a sports bar showing the lowlights of Fleetwood Town v Port Vale at 4am or go to bed at a reasonable time.
As we are supposed to take trains, buses and a cable car to get up some volcano still doing the lava, poison fumes and blowing up stuff tomorrow perhaps we will continue to be part-time supporters.

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