This is my very first trip to Japan - and you never know how excited I was. To be honest, it was pity that I didn't have enough time (and finance) to visit major cities in Japan such as Tokyo or Osaka, but Fukuoka trip itself was a big experience for me as a person who is visiting Japan for a first time.
博多港口 (Hakata Port)
When we first got off from the New Camellia (the ship), we got off in a port named '博多港口 (Hakata Port)'. I believe this port is the major port that majority of ship transportation (both industrial and tourism) take place here.
Once we got off from the ship, we honestly did not know what to do - we seriously had no specific plans (plus we didn't know where to get a bus). Hence we decided to just to walk towards the city hoping to enter the urban district of Fukuoka. Luckily at the end, we did end up in the urban district but all the journey was on foot and we were able to completely feel the urban vibe of Fukuoka city.
I also realised that majority of infrastructures, vehicles and objects are very clean and had this sense of minimalism within the objects.
コンビニ (Convenience Store)
Japan has this unique culture where you can almost get everything in Convenience Store (Japanese people call Convenience Store as Conbini due to Japanese pronunciation and short way of saying it). We realised that many people actually buy things from here (especially a quick meal) so we decided to try as well.
While walking a while, we fortunately arrived at a place called '天神 - Tenjin' in Fukuoka City. I realised that Tenjin was the urban district in Fukuoka where majority of big brand names are located. It was a must-go place for people who are fond of shopping spree.
While roaming the street of Tenjin, I was able to find numerous retail shops in Japan and among them were shop called '無印良品(Muji)'. I actually got interested in this shop as I first encountered this shop in a blog minimally minimal by Andrew Kim and actually discovered the retail store in Korea.
Like other clothes shops in Japan, the style of the clothes that the shop offer was very clean and minimal to some sense - I was able to feel a sense of 'urbanism' and 'cosmopolitan' when I saw the clothes.
TSUTAYA 福岡天神 (TSUTAYA Book Store)
I was also able to discover a book store in Tenjin Street, named 'TSUTAYA 福岡天神'. Since I love roaming around book stores, we decided to take a tour. The experience was great - there was also Starbucks integrated with the store, hence there was place for us to sit and relax.
It was (not) my first time in Apple Store. The experience was phenomenal.
I certainly able to understand how Apple respects the user experience starting from pre-purchase stage to experience of the devices. From the exterior of the Apple Store, I was stunned - I could not wait to get inside.
Overall, experience in Fukuoka was great - I was able to feel the urban vibe in Japan and able to experience the unique culture that Japanese culture offered. All the shops that I visited left me very strong impressions in terms of design. Not many cities offers this quality of design inspiration hence, I feel very privileged to be able to experience such high quality design related city. It was a phenomenal experience and I was able to learn so much from that day.