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Fukuoka 福岡

August 8, 2008

I had been to Fukuoka only once and that was only for an evening as I waited to catch a plane the next morning.  Walking around Fukuoka, it reminds me of a smaller version of Osaka.  I felt at home.

Unfortunately, on a more historic cultural note, I was a bit disappointed.  I guess I’ve been completely spoiled by the cultural diversity of the Kansai area – the history of Kyoto, Nara, Wakayama and various other spots within the area are many.  In Kyushu, not so much.  I went to a few of the more noted temples in Fukuoka but found them oddly deserted.

On the other end of the spectrum was Dazaifu – an ancient city just outside of Fukuoka.  It was packed with Korean tourists around the main shrine.  I guess with South Korea being only 200 km away from this part of Japan, Fukuoka is a popular tourist destination.

I love Japanese pottery, specifically the Bizenyaki that comes from Okayama prefecture.  However, the Japanese have a saying regarding pottery for the tea ceremony – First, Raku, second, Hagi, third, Karatsu.  Since Karatsu is so close to Fukuoka, I had to visit and of course pick up a wee tea cup to add to my collection.

I had been toying with the idea of heading to Hiroshima and Miyajima for a day but decided not to since I had been there before and the cheapest round trip cost on the shinkansen (bullet train) would have cost me 16,000 yen (about $160 Cdn).  Instead, the plan was to do the circuit from my hotel to Yanagibashi seafood market and back.  Along the way, I stopped off in Sumiyoshi shrine. It just so happened that the shrine was host to a sword purification ceremony that day.  Now this is why I walk when I’m in a new place – to find things by chance.  Suddenly, missing out on Itsukushima shrine at Miyajima didn’t seem so bad.
福岡いる時、広島と厳島神社に行きたかったですが一番安い往復切符の値段は16000円です。高い!7年前、行きましたので大丈夫でした。代わりに徒歩でホテールから柳橋魚市場まで行くつもりでした。道すがら、住吉神社に止まりました。びっくりした! 刀禊をしていました。端無くものことが大好きですよ。

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