101011Another perfect morning.

The beach that we’d parked next to turned out to be quite nice.  Not nice enough to make me want to swim in it, even though it was certainly hot enough to.

We’re not sure on how much time/money we have left, so we’re now racing to get to Okinawa as fast as we can, and then we’ll see sights on the way back money/time willing.

It was a long day of driving, at first following the coast but eventually migrating to the faster roads inland.

After a few hours of solid driving (at reasonable speeds for once) we arrived at Shimanoseki, the end of the road in Honshu.  The area is famous for fugu (puffer fish, though you should know that from The Simpsons), so we thought we’d try some deep-fried puffer fish.  The first restaurant that we found (which was a nightmare to get to) was quite upmarket, well beyond our budget so we went somewhere a little less classy (which happened to be in a rest stop on the side of the highway).

shimanoseki shimanosekiFor ¥500 we were treated to 6 or 7 small puffer fish fried whole.  The fish were more reminiscent of the annoying fish that hang around a jetty than the balloon-like ones that come to mind when you think of puffer fish.  It was tasty enough.

There is normally a tunnel (and a bridge) that link Honshu to Kyushu, but at the moment the tunnel is shut for maintenance.  The tunnel was only ¥150, so we were disappointed that we were going to have pay a fortune to use the bridge.  Pleasant surprise, they’d lowered the price to ¥150 also while the tunnel is being repaired!  Yush!

We kept driving through Kitakyushu City towards Fukuoka City, stopping at a (rather large) michi-no-eki­­­­­ nice and early to have a relaxing evening.