I thought I'd come right out and say it. I'm sure Fukuoka has its own special unique combination of ingredients that only occur in Fukuoka, but each of those ingredients can be found in pretty much any Japanese city. They all contain the same things, just the balance is different. Fukuoka really made me appreciate being in places that are not Fukuoka. I really need to avoid cities from now on. They're terrible places to cycle in. Even 10 kilometers before reaching the city the scenery around you changes to boring suburbs. Then, when you reach the center you're cut off by those horrible annoying buses that overtake you and then cut you off to stop at the next bus stop, then proceed to do the same thing again 50 meters later. Oh, and bicycle commuters are terrible too. They're like a swarm of bees surrounding you. Actually no, a swarm of bees is more orderly and less dangerous than a swarm of bicycle commuters. Guh. No more cities.
After 15 very boring kilometers I finally reached the outskirts of the city. I was waiting to cross the road when a mother approached on a bicycle, carrying her child on a bicycle seat in the back. The child's head fell off and the mother couldn't reach it, so I reached out and picked it up for her. She thanked me and went on. I was still waiting to cross the road when I suddenly heard a car honk loudly, followed by the mother screaming. She almost got hit by a car! I went back to check but it seemed that everything was ok somehow. Scary moment though.
Perhaps it's my annoyance at cycling through Fukuoka, or perhaps the road that I rode just now was just that great, but I feel great. I've never felt so free as today, cycling route 202 towards a city called Karatsu. The road zigzags along the coastline, with a beautiful blue ocean and tiny mountain-like islands on the right-hand side, and a beautiful countryside landscape with rice fields close by and tall mountains far away on the left-hand side. The sun is shining, the temperate is a bit chilly but good for cycling, and I'm listening to relaxing music as I'm cycling towards my randomly chosen destination. This is the true feeling of this trip. I am enjoying myself.
(I'll post some photos later after deciding where to stay tonight!)