After all the chaos from the Balls was over and done with, Jeremy and I escaped the base and traveled south to Fukuoka. Ever since we arrived in Iwakuni, I had wanted to go see the German Christmas Markets in Fukuoka but never had the chance to see it the previous Christmases. There are two Christmas Markets in Fukuoka, one at Hakata Station and one at Tenjin Station. Since the one at Hakata Station was bigger we decided to go to that one. Jeremy and I like to travel cheap so we took the back roads from Iwakuni to Fukuoka and it took 8 hours to get to Fukuoka. Had we taken the Sanyo Expressway, it would have only taken 3.5 hours but it would have cost us $60 one way. The drive was nice though and we only got stuck in traffic once.
The day after I purchased my camera, Jeremy and I traveled down to Yuda Onsen for the Byakko Festival. It was only about two hours from base. The festival is based on a legend that 800 years ago a monk happened to witness an injured white fox dipping his hurt paw into a puddle. When the monk dug into where the puddle was, he unearthed a golden Buddha and a hot spring started to bubble up. The white fox is the symbol of the city.