If you bring up Fukuoka as a topic among Japanese people, you will more likely hear the word “yatai”. It translates into “food stalls” and specifically refers to those here in the city.
They host less than 10 people sitting very close side by side sort of forcing them to get to know each other and start chit-chat. That’s what happened in my case even with my limited Japanese. I strolled along the river searching for one food stall I’d like to sit at, but I soon found out they all cooked pretty much the same food. I randomly picked one, which had a free seat and joined the company.
It wasn’t long before I was noticed. They slightly squeezed to make room for me and then asked for my name, native language and got praised for my ability to speak a bit of Japanese. Another moment has passed and I was given a full portion of cow’s tongue just because someone had ordered too much food and was nice to share. Skipping all those beers that I was given, I ordered a bowl of ramen and local dish called おでん or oden consisting of several ingredients such as boiled eggs, daikon, konjac, and processed fishcakes stewed in a light, soy-flavoured broth.
Had a really great time. I even received a business card from a vice chairman in Japanese Council of Senior Citizens Welfare Service. Not sure what for, but would be rude to decline 😛