29 August 2023

2023 Japan Adventure - Part 9: Nighttime in Busan

This is finally it, the moment my husband, Sean, and I finally got brave, left the security of guided tours and the familiarity of our cruise ship, and set out to explore the city of Busan on our own! All credit due to Sean--I was so worried about going around in any country without knowing the local language. If I had been traveling alone, I don't know if I would ever have been able to work up the courage. But he convinced me, and I am so grateful because this foray helped us gain the confidence to explore every other port city after this! Our adventure grew twice as epic thanks to Busan!

Click here to read the previous entry featuring our daytime experiences in Busan.

Sunday 19 March 2023 - Nighttime in Busan

First step: take the shuttle from the port to Busan Station!

Although I had technically seen the character before, this was when I started to fall in love with Boogi 😍

Here's a great article about Boogi, Busan's totally adorable, insanely lovable mascot!

We didn't figure out why it's called this, but since I was born in Texas, I loved seeing Texas Street in Busan!

The Rotary symbol, plus the kanji that I can read (most is written in Hangul) suggest this massive monument is celebrating a Rotary Club 100 year anniversary 🎊

Got a can of Korean Gatorade from a vending machine 😄
I love trying foreign versions of familiar drinks~

Busan Station had this cool screen setup (among other interesting monuments and interactive installations) that played a variety of videos tailored to this unique physical format.

We did a lot of exploring inside Busan Station, which is just as much shopping mall as transportation hub. I was on the hunt for this adorable Boogi plushie, which I had seen someone else leaving the station with earlier. My Boogi now lives here in my studio, helping me stay positive and motivated every day 🥰

One of the best interactions I had in Busan was when this shop employee stopped me to make sure I had the QR code necessary to get the English instructions for the card game I bought there 🥰 She totally didn't have to go out of her way to do that for me, so I really appreciated her consideration!

On the shuttle back to the port, ready to call it a night. I loved how colorful and vibrant this bus was 🌈

Waiting for us in our cabin when we got back: immigration papers! We had to follow procedures to enter Korea and then to return to Japan. It makes sense logically, but it still felt weird since we were riding the same cruise ship the whole time 😆

Dreamy big city nighttime vibes 🌆 Goodnight, Busan~

And there you have it, our first true adventure of this trip! While there were some downsides to exploring a massive city in a different country on one's own (the worst experiences were the same ones that have made any trip to Portland, Seattle, or New York City unpleasant, so it must just be a big city thing 😅), we had a great experience overall and it gave us complete confidence to do it again at every port after this. Ironic that the port where we were most out of place and at risk of running into trouble (due to our lack of Korean language skills) was the place that gave us the courage to explore and make the most of our journey!

Thank you for reading the ninth entry in my Japan (and Korea) Adventure series! I'll be back soon with post #10, featuring our second full day at sea as we traveled to Kanazawa. Until then, please stay happy, healthy, and safe!