Fukuoka · Japan Travel

Family trip, last bits

Been meaning to write this up for a while, and if I don’t now, Rodeo season will devour me before I get to it….

After the trip out of town, we needed a day of rest, so we slept in, and only visited Hakozaki Shrine and Hakata station (including the tiny shrine at the very top, and a delicious yakitori place).

The next day was off to Nagasaki, which I really need to visit more than once a year. We visited the Peace Park, the bomb hypocenter, and then the rebuilt Dejima (the artificial island that housed the Portguese and Dutch before Japan closed its metaphorical doors). I have to applaud the city for what’s been done with Dejima:  there’s a wealth of information available in both Japanese and English (even the videos are subtitled) and it’s a fascinating glimpse into a part of both European and Japanese history I don’t know that well. We spent quite a bit of time wandering through the reconstructed buildings, and had a nice meal of Portuguese soup and meat pie at one of the cafes before hopping the train back to Fukuoka.

Thursday was another quiet day, with just a visit to one of my local parks (Ohori Koen) and the small, but lovely, Japanese garden behind it, where my parents sketched for a while. Friday I was back at work for a day, and then Saturday we first revisited the reclining Buddha at Nanzoin temple and then Kashii shrine, for more sketching. Sunday we followed the samurai parade from Nishi Koen (the other park near me) to Maizuru Koen (the other half of Ohori Koen), not realizing the one of the riders, wearing Kuroda clan insignia, was the mayor of Fukuoka. There weren’t many cherry blossoms out — just two early bloomers — but we enjoyed the festival food and wandered around the castle ruins a bit.

Monday we lunched at Brooklyn Parlor, and then it was time to say good bye. Looking forward to their next visit already!

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