Tuesday, 10 April 2012

At The Station : Hakata Station

Japan = rail travel. Rail travel = train stations. For us, at least.

Spending a fair bit of time at the train stations is inevitable in Japan. Thus, there will be a series of "At The Station" posts coming up soon.

First : Hakata Station.

When we first ccame to Fukuoka in 2007 & 2008, the station was still undergoing a massive renovation.
In 2011, we arrived to a spacious, modern, clean and overall spanking new looking train station. The JR counters here are very foreign-tourists friendly, and by foreign tourist, I don't mean only for English speaking tourists. There are a LOT of Chinese and Korean speaking tourists in Kyushu, you know. Much more noticeable than at other parts of Japan, that I noticed.
It's always fun to be on the platform. Looking at fellow commuters either rushing to their destination after alighting the train or patiently waiting for the train to come.
Can't help myself taking a shot at this lady. Despite plenty of empty benches on the platform, she chose to squat there, eating her breakfast (of porridge/soup with a teeny weeny spoon). Of course, it was only me who took interest. Nobody else even look twice at her!
Then, there are the trains. It's always fun for us to watch trains arriving to the platform. You bet we had a ball of time running everywhere taking train photos! I mentioned this before. Once, I got so excited taking photos, I made the whole group missed our train!
Come nighttime, you'd see photographers taking their spot trying to capture the illumination set in front of Hakata Station. Christmas illumination in Japan is a BIG thing, it seems.

Like most big stations in Japan, one doesn't need to travel far to shop. Shopping malls are integrated within/around train stations! So convenient!

32 comments:

  1. Oh, my how can that lady be comfortable! makes my knees hurt just to look at her! :)

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    1. LOL

      Actually it can be comfy; squatting I mean. Us Asians do it quite a bit. xD

      Delete
  2. I love trains! As much as, if not more, than Sky Tree!

    Ummm. OK, as much as. :D

    Oh, that squatting thing. Japanese people seem to have an inborn ability to squat. I've seen women squat while wearing 6-inch heels. I'd tumble bum first onto the train tracks if I tried that. Though, on second thoughts, it might be easier to squat in high heels because it throws your weight forward? What thinks you?

    Great station, great Xmas lights. Happy.

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    1. What? Squat with 6 inch heels? That would be, like, taking my life when I wanted to get up! LOL! No way I would squat with 6 inch heels. 1 inch probably still workable :p

      And if I had my miniskirt on + 6 inch heels + 10 shopping bags + squatting position...., please, any gentleman, do help me up, ok?

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    2. I stand in awe of Japanese women. They walk, run, squat, cycle and drive a car in platforms with 6-inch heels. They do that in miniskirts with shopping bags plus full make-up in 40 degrees Celsius with 80 percent humidity.

      I'm a bare-footed jungle woman: I fall off anything with a heel and break my neck.

      PS: Lina is watching Korean dramas and isn't participating in this conversation yet. :D

      Delete
    3. @Rurousha,
      I love trains and I love Sky Tree too! There are a gazillion photos of trains in my archive and about the same amount of Sky Tree. xD

      I've never tried squatting while wearing a six inch heels yet. Should I try? For research purpose? kakaka

      @Yvonne,
      I bet if you squat while wearing mini skirt, a lot of guys will be interested in you at the opposite platform! Wakaka

      Heels - I went to see my doctor yesterday about some knee issues. She looked at my heels and told me that those heels can't be good for me after all the running I've done! I tld her vanity is as important as my own health! @.@

      No! I wasn't watching Korean dramas (I only watched 1 episode late last night). Got distracted by the Runner's Handbook I just got. Remember? That, and wasting way too much time re-arranging my training runs. xD

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    4. p.s. I told that good doctor of mine, the only flat footed shoes that I own are my running shoes. hihi

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    5. p.s No wonder Japanese girls walk weird though. After a few hours in that high heels, running around town - I'd be walking weird too! ;p

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    6. No, you should not research this, at least not until you've finished that 10 km race. ^^

      Aaah. The cause of the silence was a book about running! Now I understand.

      PS: You have my endless respect for being a Woman Who Runs With Wolves In Stilettos. :D

      Delete
    7. Actually, there'll be a 15.5K then a 10K, then 21K then a 16.8K (in that order). xD

      I'm trying to be less distracted so that I don't neglect my own blogs. Hard when there are few books and magazines I'm reading... about running, now. Hu~

      p.s I thought you are the one running with wolves. How high is your stilettos? ;p

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    8. Girls wear high heels from Junior High over here, maybe even younger :P

      The strange walk is sometimes considered cute. I think it is bad for them though. If they walk properly and cycle in those high heels, all the more to them. Hopefully they don't develop bad leg problems.

      As for squatting, I find it easier if you do it with "heels". Never had heels myself :P but I can squat a lot easier if I am on my toes. Flat foot squatting like that? Never. Although it is terrible on the knees. I'll stick to my seiza training for now (sitting on your legs on the tatami).

      Delete
    9. Oh yeah, cycling in heels. Impossibly high heels. Much respect to them but like you said, I hope they don't develop leg problems afterwards!

      The things considered cute in Japan sometimes boggles the mind. @.@

      True. Flat-footed squatting is harder. Those with less flexibility and tight muscles might not be able to do it. So I was informed while checking the proper shoes for me at Mizuno. xD

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    10. p.s. I can never sit that way on tatami. Not for longer than 1 second! That kind pf sitting is torture, Dru!

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    11. Woman Who Runs With Wolves?? In Stilettos?

      Lina, since when you've become Princess Momonoke in high heels?

      Then you've elongate your title to "Princess First Lady Momonoke" Lina, hihihi~

      Delete
    12. "Seiza", so that is how it called. Count me out, I can't sit that way. It would be a physical and mental torture for me, Dru.

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    13. Princess Momonoke is Rurousha lah, not me. See her avatar? Mine is Ultraman, what! kakaka

      Aiya! Better don't mention more nicknames. Later SK, Jedi TM & Dart Vader KF read your comment, they all decide to use it how? ;p

      I would rather squat than sitting "seiza" style myself. @.@

      Delete
  3. No better way to travel than on a train and Japan has some of the best train transport in the world along with great modern train stations. The modern stations in Japan are more like entertainment complex's than actual stations with shopping malls, restaurants, department stores and even hotels :)

    Japan Australia

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    Replies
    1. That's so true!

      One need not step out of the train station to get anything and everything!

      Delete
  4. I think Christmas Decorations everywhere is kinda a big thing.. Haha since I have my BAC, I lug it everywhere and take photos of everything! :D

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    1. Xmas is so commercialised, that's why.

      So you have tons of photos to share with us now! Right? :)

      Delete
  5. Malaysian style.... if got empty seats around, hog every single of them. But that Japanese lady chose to squat and enjoyed her breakfast despite the luxury of sitting. That would never happened here. Period.

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    1. I totally agree with you on that!

      But then, if no seats, we just make ourselves comfy sitting on the floor. I've seen that a lot at Komuter stations. Squatting is hard work! kakaka

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    2. Maybe she was squatting in order to get a seat on the train itself. :)

      Oh, if you are a foreigner on the train, you probably won't have anyone sit next to you. Even in rush hour! I heard many stories of people avoiding friends of mine because they are white or black... ... I blend in well enough I don't have to worry. ;)

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    3. I guess. Don't want to relinquish the first spot standing to board the train. ;p

      I heard about that! Japanese avoiding foreigners. Never seen it myself. Of course, won't ever happen to me since I think people would think I'm a local unless I open my mouth. xD

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  6. Shops in stations are really convenient. We call it, "Ekinaka." which means "in the station." :)

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    1. I learn a new word today. :)
      Thanks.

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  7. This New Year vacation,W went to Hakata railroad station.I had no chance to look this station carefully. Looking your photos, I could see I could see this station became very clean by the renovation.

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    1. It is very clean and very organised.

      Delete
  8. Thanks for the blog post idea. ;)

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    1. Errr... welcome?

      But what idea? ;p

      Delete
  9. Love the night view outside the station! :D That's beautiful with those Christmas lights on!

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    1. It was magical! I wish I can capture the illumination better.

      Christmas illuminations around Japan were a sight to see. ^^

      Delete

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