Sunday, October 18, 2009



"Fukuoka is like being in another country where they happen to understand Japanese.", Komori-sensei

While I won't go as far as my wise Reading teacher (who used to live in Tokyo), it is true that for someone used to living in Tokyo, Fukuoka is really different. Two consecutive discoveries did disappoint me. Especially as they relate to things very dear to me. One was being all happy because the release of the two annual Kindaichi Shounen no Jikenbo books was this Friday, only to hear from a bookclerk that "Well.... Fukuoka is kinda far from Tokyo, so we always get our books late. If it says the 16th, expect it to arrive around the 20th." Then she apologized, but I didn't really listen as I was still in utter shock. At such times, even if Fukuoka is the largest city in Kyuushuu, it feels like I am in the boondocks or something.

And the second discovery, or rather observation, is gyouza - related. Having already experienced the extreme shock of realizing people here don't use the triforce of soy sauce, vinegar and something spicy to accompany the gyouza, I could not have foreseen that, that wasn't the greatest surprise behind gyouza here. For the real horrible secret is that gyouza here always seem to be quite small. Of course I am still looking for shops proving me otherwise, and I am not expecting to find jumbo gyouza everywhere, nor even Ekoda's Tokyo Ramen sized gyouza, but I keep getting across shops that only have hitokuchi gyouza, bite size gyouza.

And with bite size, I mean you could eat 3 of them with just one bite. So that's kinda disappointing here, foodwise. Though there is this delicious gyouza restaurant called Ni no Ni (written very archaic as 「弐ノ弐」, originally a Kumamoto restaurant), which serves great and very cheap gyouza (even though they are likewise quite small).

Despite their size, Ni no Ni's soup and water gyouza are a must-eat when in Fukuoka. And Ni no Ni happens to be right next door to Ippudo, so you can begin diner with some gyouza and finish off with Ippudo's awesome ramen.

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