Lilypie - First Birthday

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Fukuoka Part II - Japanese Shrines, Ohori Park & Castle Ruins

After Canal City, we went to visit the Kushida Shrine which was just nearby. Actually Fukuoka is kind of a boring old city, there were not many tourist attractions so we could cover nearly all of them in one day. 

The Kushida Shrine is famous for hosting the Yamakasa-gion Festival in mid-July. According to the city website, "hundreds of near naked men clad only in tight loincloths and tighter buttocks vie to carry heavy wooden shrines through the streets over a set route in the fastest times". The portable Yamakasa shrine (山笠) is on the right top of the picture below. 

It was my first time to a Japanese shrine, so it quite fascinated me - the huge red lantern with bold letters dangling at the main entrance, the bright orange gates marked with names of people who donated/enshrined at the temple, the huge golden carps swimming leisurely in the pond, the 1000-year old gingko tree, the small wooden wish-card that people write down their wishes, washing hands with the wooden ladle... I even tried clapping my hands twice and forming them to make a silent prayer.  

Kushida Shrine (櫛田神)

There was also this fortune-telling machine where we could get a fortune slip for 30yen. The machine even had fortune slips in different languages - Japanese, Korean, English, and Chinese. My fortune slip is still stuck to my desk behind a Hawaii magnet, it reads "Lucky - like a leaf falling in the autumn breeze". Hmm... whatever that means... but it didn't sound too lucky to me... hahaha...

Next, we walked to Tochoji Temple which houses the largest wooden Guan Yin statue in Japan and Big Buddha. It is the oldest temple in Fukuoka. This temple looked more serious, zen and less-touristy compared to Kushida Shrine. I only saw the Big Buddha but not the Guan Yin statue...

Tochoji Temple (东长寺)

More photos of Fukuoka along the way...



Gion subway station
One thing we noted was the subway stations were eerily devoid of people and very quiet. Once everybody got out of the train, they would be gone in a flash, leaving us wandering around in the silence..... very different from Korea, Korean subways are more lively... ^^

We took the subway from Gion to Ohori Park. Hmmm... I was feeling very tired at that time... got my leggings dirty and had to go to the toilet to rinse it. Ohori Park was just a normal park with a huge lake.  Something like Titiwangsa Lake or DR Park in Ipoh because of the swan boats. It felt very serene and comfortable and was very green for my eyes cos there's not many big open spaces in Busan. We sat there for a while and walked around the lake to reach the Fukuoka Castle Ruins on the other side.

Ohori Park (大濠公园)








Love the corgi...... it's so fat!!!

Crossed the lake to the other side...


Entrance to the Fukuoka castle ruins... it was really just ruins... piles of rocks... zzzzz... exactly like what we had seen in Suncheon a few weeks back! We spent just a short while there and were eager to leave the place cos it was getting dark and you know what they say about Japanese ghosts.......... x_X

To be continued...

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