My last night in Fukuoka I met up with the German guys again, Jonas and Juius and we went to Matsuya for cheap dinner before going to the Aussie bar again. It was a really fun nigt and we celebrated my last day in Japan and also counted down until midnight for my birthday. Even Hidemizu my friend from Couchsurfing came along for the night.
The next morning I woke up early, a little hungover but excited to get to Korea. At 7am I left the guesthouse and caught the subway towards the Ferry terminal for my 9am boat. The nearest station was still about 2km’s walk from the ferry so that was fun with my heavy pack.
I arrived at the terminal about 8am, paid for the ticket (expensive, 13,000 yen!) and waited for immigration to open. In the meantime I exchanged all my Japanese yen for South Korean won. In immigration I told the customs officer that I was leaving, and not coming back, so he cut up my ‘Gaijin Card’ and that was the end of it.
The boat itself was a pretty easy ride, the water was like glass and I managed to sleep for 1.5 of the 3 hours. We were instructed to basically follow aeroplane etiquette and remain seated so there wasn’t much else to do, no walking around or anything like that. But we arrived on time in Korea around midday, and it was a bit of a shock for me.
Having spent 8 months in Japan and picking up enough of the language to get by, it was now essentially useless, and I wished I had learnt some Korean basics before arriving. I asked at the information counter about transport cards, picked up the card from the 7/11 and then asked directions again to the nearest subway. Again, 2km’s away.
Once I reached the subway it was a bit confusing at first, because a different layout to Japan’s typical subway. Some old Korean guy yelled at me ‘where you go?!’ I replied with ‘Be-om-nae-gol’, he said ‘I don’t know!’ so i said ‘Busan station’ (same direction) and he gestured for me to follow.
From there it was smooth sailing, I arrived at Beomnaegol and from there it was a short walk to my guesthouse.
As I later learned, Korean language (Hangul) it based on syllables. So in Korea writing system, Beomnaegol has three characters (Beom-Nae-Goel), so three syllables, thats why he didn’t understand, because I was reading and saying it with four.