Monday, June 20, 2022

Mongolian Wall Remains in Central Fukuoka: Fukuoka City

The Mongolian Wall Remnants in Central Fukuoka are a real find indeed!  You wouldn't expect to be able to find this incredible site and a window to the long and dynamic historical past.  Obviously, the wall is only a fraction of what it was at its peak in the 13th Century but never the less, such a strong impression can be obtained of what the exact situation was with the combative Mongolians and their quest to invade Japan.

The remains are central located near Seinan University and only a 10 minute walk from the nearest subway station, so its a location that isn't too difficult to find let alone enjoy a stroll and feel the historical significance of the area.

Fukuoka Day Tours always includes this location on its full day walking and public transport tours.  You will no be disappointed with the experience.

Please click here to see the Mongolian Wall remains in Central Fukuoka.

Please click on the photos below to enlarge:

Well signposted in English

The wall still remains

Centrally located!

The Mongolians were a real force!

Click on this video below to see the Mongolian Wall remains in Central Fukuoka.

Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Atago Inari Shrine: Fukuoka City

Atago Shrine is one of those places that you hear about a lot but actually never actually get to. It is positioned in an area that has many more famous attractions and thus seems to get left off most agendas and itineraries.

One this fine sunny day, I decided to take the plunge and check it out.  Of course once I got there I was kicking myself, wondering why in the world had I left it too long for a first visit?

Atago Shrine is perched up on a hill with an amazing scenery of the western part of the city with obviously spectacular views of the 2 standout landmarks of the area, namely the Fukuoka Tower and the Fukuoka Dome/ Hilton Seahawk Hotel.  In fact, I am sure that there is no where else in the city that offers these panoramic views.

The shrine itself is nothing special and there are many more important and impressive shrines in and around Fukuoka City but I can tell you this there aren't any with better views than this one. I have been told by a few good friends that the sunsets here are sublime as the sun sets in a westerly direction. Haven't had the chance to be here during that time but it's just another to do, and on the list.  When I finally do, I will post it here.

Please click here to see the Atago Inari Shrine on a map;

Please click on the photos below to enlarge:

Spectacular views

The gate entrance

People come for the view

It's a popular place.

The Shrine itself is non-descript

What a view!

Fukuoka Tower

Need an amulet?

Please click on the videos below to see more of the Atago Inari Shrine.

Monday, May 2, 2022

Sumiyoshi Shrine: Fukuoka City

One of the more popular Shrines in Fukuoka City is Sumiyoshi Shrine which is located within a 1 km  radius of Hakata Station.  Realistically a very close and conveniently located Urban site and quite remarkable that such a quiet and open area can be situated so close to a major Train Station.  You are enclosed in such a nature filled area that you could be confused that you are in the countryside and not a large metropolitan city, such as Fukuoka.

Our walking tours of Fukuoka always includes a Shrine is our travels as it is a great way to connect to Japanese History and Culture.  The Shinto religion encompasses everything Japanese and it is believed that the gods created Japan in its purest form.  Sumo, the National Sport of Japan, was originally performed as a Shinto ritual and the Deity of the Sumiyoshi Shrine worshipped Sumo as a result.

In fact, before the annual Kyushu Basho in Fukuoka every November you can see a Sumo Ceremony at the Sumiyoshi Shrine whereby all the Wrestlers pray for healthy and prosperity for the last tournament of the year.  I haven`t seen this ceremony yet although I have been to many sumo matches in the past.  In the future I will attempt to get some photos and videos of this special and highly respected occasion.

A trip to Sumiyoshi Shrine will be remember for a long time to come.

Check out Sumiyoshi Shrine here on a map:

Please click on the photos below to enlarge:

Picturesque indeed

Photo opportunities galore

Check out these videos below to learn more about Sumiyoshi Shrine in Fukuoka City:

Friday, April 1, 2022

Cherry Blossom Viewing: Nagasaki Prefecture

Cherry Blossom Viewing in Nagasaki is so much more popular than it's plum tree cousins.  In fact, it's more like a religion rather than a casual stroll around a park looking at the beautiful flowers.   It is such a big deal that people plan these days weeks and months in advance even before the Cherry Blossom forecasts have been given by the Japan Meteorological Service, such is the devotion and fanatical feeling towards these inspiring flowers.

Even once the Cherry Blossom Viewing season starts, it's not the lack of places to go (there are cherry trees all over Japan) but the lack of car parking due to the influx of fellow spectators who all have one thing on their mind:  Cherry Blossom Viewing.  I mind admit, when I first came to Japan I wondered out loud what the fuss was and why on earth would someone have to visit 5 different places in one day and take literally 1000 photography of this rather pretty flower?  But, now that I have lived in Japan for a while I have come to realize that Cherry Blossom are so intricately linked to the Japanese psyche and soul that one cannot get enough of this awe inspiring and moving flower.

I guess I have turned Japanese some what because this year I visit 4 different locations, not all in one day mind you so i guess I am still Australian as well.

Viewing Cherry Blossoms will move you as well I am sure.

The pictures I took are from the famous Omura Park and they grab a lot of attention from all over Nagasaki and other areas as well.  The crowds never dispersed all day and even though the weather wasn't the best, this didn't hold anyone back.

Click on the photos below to enlarge.

A time to ponder and stroll around

One of the most popular places in Nagasaki

The social highlight on everyone's calendar

Pretty as a peach

Best time of the year

Please click on the videos below to see Cherry Blossoms as seen from a moving car, another great way to enjoy the beauty of this special event: