Fukuoka is a two hour drive from Tsukahara. There are many full service rest areas along the highway. The roundtrip cost to drive on the highway from Yufuin to Fukuoka is about 5000 yen. Considering it would have taken a lot longer on the smaller side roads, it was worth it. The speed limit on the highway is 80kph, but I think the posted speed limit is a mere suggestion. Most of the cars were flying past us. I finally figured out why some Japanese own very expensive sports cars. They like to drive fast on the highways. We were passed by a Lamborghini, Ferrari, Porsches, BMW’s, Jaguar and a Maserati just to name a few. I often see cars like these in Tsukahara, but I couldn’t figure out why. The top speed on our country roads is 60kph. Why would anyone need a car like that to drive so slow? Now, I know the answer.
The parking lot was filled to capacity. I glanced at the license plates and I was amazed at how far people traveled to come to this store. Erika reminded me that only two Costco warehouses exist in Kyushu. “A Disneyland of food,” is how I described Costco to the students before they traveled to Fukuoka. After the trip, I concluded that Costco is like a taste of America without the hassle and cost of jumping on an airplane. I hope our students came away with that impression too. George