Fukuoka- Ohori Park and cafe

My favourite place to dine is really a cafe, alfresco preferably. A light atmosphere with simple unpretentious food coupled with cool weather and a bit of sun- a combination of factors that I can only dream of experiencing in Singapore (but don’t misunderstand, I won’t want to call any other place in the world my home besides Singapore. It’s just the humidity that is annoying, haha). You don’t have to go very far to experience this in Fukuoka, just head down to the park!

One of my favourite ways of destressing is running, and looking at these kids run made me jealous. There was the biting wind and all but looking at their estatic expressions and pink cheeks I bet they were having the time of their lives! This 2.2km running path encircles an artificial lake that was once part of a moat of Fufuoka Castle.

Cute cartoons on the track itself to encourage you

Ohori Koen has lots of empty space, a nice respite from the concrete jungle in Tenjin (where all the major departmental stores and the underground shopping are). There is something really therapeutic about looking at water and well, empty space.

Fukuoka has not escaped the claws of one of our favourite brands that symbolises globalisation- Starbucks. I think I would study so much better here, with the full length windows facing a lake and a good cuppa especially in chilly weather.

There is a famous French Restaurant here called Hana no ki but we missed its lunch hour. Fortunately, we still had the option of eating in the casual cafe located just behind it.

It serves a japanese interpretation of of simple western fare- sandwiches, pastas, soups, grilled dishes and desserts. White-wash tabletops and natural light flooding in from the windows, perfect for photography.

Look at the view!

While admiring the beautiful view, my pumpkin soup came with a small bowl of salad. Sweet, slightly creamy but not too watered down, this was good ol’ comfort food for the tum in the cold weather.

A simple chicken sandwich for dad.

Mum’s soup was served in a bread bowl which she did finish despite a heavy breakfast. It was that good.

My grilled selection of fresh seafood and vegetables. Light and delicious.

Given a choice of rice and japanese bread, choosing the latter over the former was a no-brainer. Warm buns that with the signature fluffiness, these were a joy to tear and chew on. Writing this reminds me of the lovely raisin bread that I toasted for breakfast in our hotel clubroom ❤

A small cup of strawberry custard covered with strawberry coulis came with my set. Smooth custard served slightly chilled was given that sourish and sweetish twang from the coulis. Simple, but no less enjoyable.

I didn’t know I was going to get a dessert from my set at first so I ordered the parfait ( no complaints about extra dessert though 😉 )

The combination of green tea gelato, tender mochi covered in kinako, red beans and cornflakes is a winner, always. The cream you see was scraped off as usual, not a fan of cream 😛

Ohori Park is a must-visit in Fukuoka, and also everything else around it. There are Fukuoka Castle ruins, the museum and the Noh theatre all located nearby. Do note that during winter the castle and the theatre are closed. We were not entirely disappointed because of the generous hospitality at the Noh theatre, whereby the staff there gave us a mini introduction of the place despite not being open.

This is a replica of the outdoor settings for Noh Plays. It used to be an open-air affair in the past but I think it’s way more comfortable now for both the audience and the performers!

We didn’t manage to enter to see the castle ruins. Apparently there isn’t much to see anyway because it was never completed.

Take some time to appreciate traditional and modern japanese art in Fukuoka Art Museum.

It was fun- despite the rough and chilly winds- to walk around the entire area with the feeling that you have all the time in the world. There isn’t much to see in Fukuoka, but that’s good in a way because there is no mad rush to see all the touristy must-see attractions.

The next few posts will explore the more traditional eats and the short trip we made down to Nagasaki. Stay tuned!