Fukuoka Part III - Skydream Marinoa

Our next destination was Marinoa City, although I didn't quite know what to expect there except for the pier and the giant ferris wheel (Skydream Marinoa). I have this obsession with theme parks and seaside boardwalks... colorful, childlike and romantic fairytale-like... reminds me of carefree summer days, lolling on the beach with my loved one. The best pier I have ever been to is still Santa Monica pier in California, wish I had better camera skills to capture the careless charm of that place.

How we managed to reach there is a blur to me now... I vaguely remember us taking the subway and changing to a bus. One funny thing happened at the subway... I had tried to ask directions from an elderly subway guard but the only Japanese I knew was "xxx doko desuka?" (where is xxx?) I even tried drawing circles in the air to gesture a ferris wheel. The old Japanese man gave me a puzzled look, and  started to follow me by putting his finger in the air to draw a circle too!!! OMG... my friends LOL-ed like crazy.....

It was already dark in the evening when we got off the bus at a big, vacant parking lot. The place was somewhat deserted, like most of the "tourist attractions" in Fukuoka, we continued to feel puzzled about the lack of crowd. But in front of us towered a gigantic white Gothic-style building in the night sky, a castle so big and beautiful, glistening in the moonlight, the three of us girls were drawn to it at first sight. So we walked nearer... 

It turned out to be a five star luxury wedding hall - Notre Dame Marinoa.  From what I experienced in Korea, there are specially-built function halls to hold wedding ceremonies and dinner, quite different from Malaysia where we normally have our wedding dinner in restaurants, hotel ballroom or public-function halls. The strange thing about this place was... you guessed it... again, there was nobody around! Not even a security guard or receptionist in this grand, elegant place. It was starting to feel a little creepy... like the Twilight Zone... but still, being girls, we explored the beautifully decorated lobby and took as many pictures as we could! ^^

Then we walked to the Evergreen Marinoa factory outlets located nearby. Again, there were very few shoppers cos it was a weekday ( I guess...) There was even a Coach outlet!

Next, crossed the road opposite to the Skydream Marinoa Ferris Wheel! It was located by the pier, amongst a row of restaurants and shops selling clothes, soft toys, and Le Creuset cookware... It was so serene and beautiful, looking at the bright neon-colored ferris wheel rotating splendidly in the night sky...

Dinner time! We just randomly picked a restaurant that looked authentic (read: looked affordable) and went in. Good for me the menu had pictures! I didn't wanna risk ordering something that wouldn't turn out as familiar Japanese fare... especially as I was dead hungry. We ordered grilled mackerel, sushi platter and tempura prawn to share amongst overselves... and boy was it AWESOME!!! Much better than any of the Japanese restaurants in Malaysia (and Korea)... hence our conclusion: you can walk into any random shop in Japan and still feel it's so awesome............ really missing the food now... yum yum

Grilled mackerel
Sushi set
Tempura ebi don


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