Hallo zusammen! Nun gibts einen kleinen aber feinen Beitrag zu Karatsu, bevor ich dann nächste Woche gegen Donnerstag den zusammenfassenden Beitrag zu Beppu online stellen werde. bis dann!
Goodbye Nagasaki! It was enjoyable with you and I will see you again! But for now I am heading to Karatsu in Saga prefecture. Huh? Karatsu? Where is that? What is that and why are you going there?
Well, long story short: Before I came to Fukuoka, I looked for a couch on couchsurfing.com and made a public request. Unfotunately I wasn’t able to find someone who would host me, except Shingo from Karatsu. Karatsu is about 1 hour southwest of Fukuoka and located in Saga-prefecture. For someone who just arrived during the middle of the night in Fukuoka it would have been unwise to hop into the next train to Karatsu, furthermore did I want to see Fukuoka first. Hence I thanked Shingo for his kind offer and postponed the meeting for another time. During my time in Kyushu I needed to postpone it again and again until I managed to settle for a date, directly after my stay in Nagasaki. When you’re on a journey it’s always hard to plan ahead or make fixed appointments. Fortunately is Shingo a really relaxed guy, so that it was no problem to rearrange the schedules.
We met at the Bus station, and after his work at 6 pm we went together with 5 of his workmates to a BBQ-Restaurant. All of them were very nice but except of Shingo, no one speaks english. However, did we had quite a feast with thin sliced meat which we would put onto a grill located in the middle of our table. If you have time in Japan (and especially enough money) you should definietly try it, not alone, but with friends! In total they paid around 40.000 Yen (which equals around 325 Euro!) through 7 people it was 5.500 Yen each. It was a horrendous sum for me, almost my budget for 1,5 days. But fortunately I was invited, hence I didn’t need to pay anything at all^^“.
On the next day Shingo and I planned to go fishing on the open sea, together with a friend of his, who had a boat =). It was the second fishing trip for me, but the first on the sea, so that I could really be called a beginner. And you know what always happens with a beginner? Right, the beginners luck =). In the beginning I wasn’t lucky at all, though Shingo and his friend were. But than my beginners luck stroke and I was able to catch quite a big one! Shingo told me that this fish would be worth 10.000 Yen on the free market. I already began to get little Yen Symbols in my eyes, because 10.000 Yen is what I could need right now, or money in general… However wasn’t it possible to sell it, so we continued. A bit later a second one knocked on my rod! Yihaa :D. Two big ones in a row and a jealous Shingo too :D. Well can’t be helped buddy^^. However did we continue and catched some more smaller ones, and I another bigger one. With all of them together, we had some nice fish for supper and the next day.
Back home, Shingo showed me how to prepare a fish and make filets out of them. First time for me and not as good as Shingo, but in the end, it was a good experience and I would like to do more to properly clean up fish. Later that night, we went to a older couple/friends of Shingo, who would prepare the Fish for Dinner. Once more I was warmly welcomed in a japanese household and as I wanted to help preparing (as we Germans usually do), I was stopped by Shingo who told me that guests never help to prepare but just wait and sit until the food is finished =). A first hand experience in japanese hierarchy. I felt a bit uneasy. But the result was awesome and we had a good and interesting time. The couple showed real interest in me and we had some good conversations. In the end the wife also made some green tea for me with a tea ceremony. They were quite surprised as I followed the etiquette and knew the „rules“ as how to drink the tea =).
The last day we spent with sightseeing in Karatsu. Hence we visited the Karatsu castle, from which’s top one has a great view around the bays and the city (which is actually quite large). But the highlight for me was definetly the Udon-Restaurant we went to afterwards. This Restaurant makes selfmade noodles, what you also are able to see, at least when they’re about to prepare them. And honestly, they were really delicious. Beside the mandatory Udon I also ate some Katsudon, which was great as well. Man, I love japanese food! I just don’t get enough!
Next day was departing day, and I wanted to hitchhike to Oguni, to my host family, with whom I spent 1 month with. I worked quite wlel, after 1 hour of waiting I got to Saga, from there on, to Kurume after 5 minutes wait, than to Hita after, 30 minutes wait, and after another 45 min to Oguni, the last stop. It was really nice and I got some more courage to try to hitchhike to Tokyo at the end of the month. So let’s see how it goes =). Pictures from Karatsu you may find here =).