It was Labor Day weekend in Korea which meant a long weekend. Instead of doing the American traditional events like beer, BBQ, and swim, I decided to do something completely different. I booked a 4-day / 3-night cruise. When I think of cruises I think the Caribbean or Mediterranean, not Asia. To my surprise, there were multiple cruises to chose from. The best deal and aligned with my short planning was with Royal Caribbean. Thankfully, we did not have to fly anywhere first to make it to the departure port, which saved us hundreds of dollars.
We drove a short distance to the port of Busan. The parking was free and super easy access to the boat.
We sailed to Fukuoka and Nagasaki after departing China.
1st Stop: Nagasaki
The trip was going great until we got to Nagasaki. Our tour was to the Nagasaki Atomic Bomb museum. It was a somber tour. To see history from the other side and see the photos, walk the grounds, see the statues dedicated to peace was a very emotional visit. The children said it was the most depressing place that they have ever been. I am thankful we went, because it is a part of history and I believe it is so important for the next generation to learn from prior events. To make the event full circle, a few years later, my oldest was able to visit the USS Arizona located at Pearl Harbor, HI. To me, that is learning, that is experiencing life, those are the lessons that will not be forgotten. In a not so serious note, my middle daughter made it relational when later in the Wolverine movie reference to Nagasaki.
2nd Stop: Fukuoka
Fukuoka was a extremely clean city and orderly. The tour started off at Kashii-gu, which is a Shinto shrine. Then lead into a self guided tour of Ohori Park which was peaceful and full of nature in the heart of the city. The last stop was to go to the top of Fukuoka Tower.
Japan was over all very expensive compared to what we were use to in Korea. We raided the local 7-11 and spent over $50 dollar in junk food and cool looking snacks. In Korea or the US I would not have spent more then $15 on the same items. We waited till we were back on the boat to eat.
As we departed, a group of taiko drummers played as we boarded the boat and began sailing back to Korea.