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I made the trip to Fukuoka for my visa renewal. Everything was planned… I was to leave at 8am from Incheon airport and arrive in Fukuoka around 9:30. I was then to head to the consulate and apply for my visa.

I woke up at 5am, got to the airport around 6:30 or 7. This is where the real story begins.

Apparently I was too late to check in for my flight. After pleading with the nice lady at the desk, she informed me that it was impossible for me to board my flight, even though it had not left. I asked her again and again if there was anything she could do to get me on the flight. She said no, that I had to buy another ticket.

Brace for shitstorm.

I called my recruiter, who is awesome by the way, and she informed me that I do indeed need to buy another ticket, out of pocket. After 450,000 Korean Won (which is like $20 Canadian dollars), I had a new flight to Fukuoka. I also had to stay another night at my hotel, again out of pocket. It cost about 7,500 yen (which is like $25,000 Canadian).

Fine. This is what’s going to have to happen, and there’s nothing I can do about it now, so screw it.

The flight from Seoul was short… only 50 minutes. Apparently if you’re in Pusan, you can take a ferry over to Fukuoka. That’s how close it is.

I arrived at Fukuoka airport, and hopped onto a shuttle bus to the domestic terminal, where I could take the subway to Hakata station. The subway in Fukuoka is ridiculously expensive. It was 250 yen for a two-station trip, which is $3.16 Canadian dollars. In Seoul, that same trip would be 800 Korean won, which is just under 75 cents.

I got to Hakata station, and I was nervous because I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to find my hotel, called Sunlife 2.3 if I am correct. It was actually attached to the station. How convenient.

My room was small, but hey I was only here for 2 days right? The bed was surprisingly comfortable. Firstly, I realized 2 things about Japan. One: It is a VERY clean country. I think I saw one cigarette butt on the ground during my entire time here. Two: It is VERY VERY expensive here. Very expensive. Everything here is at least twice as expensive as in Korea. A bottle of water is about 150 yen, which is over 2,000 Korean won. A bottle of water in Korea is usually 600 won, which is about 50 cents Canadian. So, a 500mL bottle of water in Japan: $1.84. the same bottle in Korea: 50 cents.

I had a chance to walk around and see some restaurants. Everything was at least 1000 yen, which is 13,000 Korean won. I am used to paying 4,500 or 5,000 won for a full meal with a main dish, rice, and usually 3 or 4 side dishes. Needless to say I ate out of convenience stores my whole time here. It’s a shame because I was really looking forward to checking out some real Japanese food.


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  1. By Hiroshima Day 3 « Mike in Korea on 01 Jan 2010 at 6:17 pm

    […] Tomorrow morning, I have to wake up at 5am and catch the first streetcar to Hiroshima Station in order to catch a bus to the airport so I can be early for my 9am flight back to Seoul. I plan on being ridiculously early because I don’t want a repeat of my previous experience. […]

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