June 2014


Fukuoka’s professional baseball team is the Soft Bank Hawks. I went with a friend last May. The game was against Yakult Swallows – it was an exchange game between the Pacific League and the Central League. Hawks were down by 4 at the first inning, 10 by the second, and it was pretty much ‘game over’ soon after. By the end I’d lost my spirit to cheer.
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The most popular food specialty in Fukuoka is Mentaiko, which is spicy cod roe soaked in red peppers. I took a tour of Fukutaro’s factory. The tour is free to take and there are free samples to try.
Last time students in NILS’ short course did the tour, some liked Mentaiko, but others found it a bit too spicy. In Fukuoka, you can enjoy Mentaiko with many dishes such as rice, spaghetti or pizza. Mentaiko is often added to a packed lunch. Please try it!
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I went to Umi-kirara, the aquarium in Sasebo City in Nagasaki Prefecture. Sasebo is two hours from Fukuoka by an expressway bus, and its round trip fare is about 4,500 yen.
Its most interesting event is Dolphin Show. Dolphins do play catch with each other jumping in the air, though I failed to take pictures of them at that highlight. Some spectators happen to get wet through with water showered by them. We can have a good time there.
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Panoramic view of Fukuoka Fukuoka Tower


福岡の天神から地下鉄で約20分。タワー周辺のシーサイド海浜公園で九州の食材にこだわった手料理といっしょに海辺の時間を楽しめます。またPublic LiburaryやCity Museumもあります。

Sweets of Fukuoka: ‘Umegaemochi’

One of Fukuoka’s local claims to fame is ‘umegaemochi’. It’s thought that umegaemochi was first made by a local woman who offered it to the noble poet and great scholar Sugahara Michizane who is honoured at the Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine. The Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine is a place where all NILS students are sure to visit. It is one of the most famous shrines in Japan. Every year two million worshipers from all over Japan are welcomed by Dazaifu Tenmangu around the start of New Year. There will be many chances to learn about Japan’s shrines during your studies.

Umegaemochi is a roasted rice cake; small red beans covered in a thin rice cake crust and has the shape of a Japanese plum flower baked on it. It’s often enjoyed with Japanese tea.
It’s best when it’s fresh out of the oven and is nice to bite into. It has a sweet smell. You should try umegaemochi in Dazaifu close to the school. Though even if you just buy it at the airport or out shopping, it will be good!
Would you like to go to Tenmangu after class or on the weekend to the home of umegaemochi to try it? It only takes 20 to 30 minutes to get there. Please ask your teacher for more information.