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Published: October 9th 2014
FINALLY…. Sunshine and Fukuoka, Japan
Note: We are at sea and the photos do not want to publish! Will send photos of Fukuoka when we get to shore.
7am in full sunshine, for the first time in more than 2 weeks, we came into the beautiful Port of Hakata in Fukuoka, Japan on the Sea of Japan. If I knew any Japanese at all, I might consider moving here part of the year. It is a city of 1.2 million but feels smaller. The streets are all tree lined with old interspersed with modern high rises. Yes, there are 7-11’s, Kinkos, Mc Donalds and all the things you’d expect to see in any large city but there are also beautiful stores, parks, Shinto Shrines and clean spacious beaches.
The first place we visited this morning was the Fukuoka Tower, the tallest tower in Japan. It was built in 1989 and can withstand magnitude 7 earthquakes. It is 234 meters tall (sorry you’ll have to do the conversion ;-). It takes about 70 seconds for the elevator to reach the observation floor. We went to the 50th
floor for a panoramic view of city. Clear beautiful morning so we could see all the way to the mountains surrounding the city. Then surprisingly 3 floors down was the “Romantic Floor” ;-) This is the floor where sweethearts come to “lock” their love and take pictures in the flower hear Arch and on the Love Benches. LOL It was fun. Everyone taking pictures of everyone else. Not really sure of the significance of this floor but it was definitely pretty with the flowers, love locks and looking out over the city. On the ground floor was… guess what?... a 7-11 ;-) Perfect for picking up a Coke Zero. We walked around the grounds took some pictures and headed back to our bus.
Toured through the city neighborhoods which were leafy, green and spotless. People on the streets were dressed for work and many, many riding bicycles. Lots of young people and business executives-a very thriving, healthy business section in the City. We passed by the Fukuoka Sea Hawk Dome Stadium where the Softbank Hawks play baseball. This team is revered here ;-) It is the only domed stadium in Japan with a roof that opens.
On to the Kushida Shrine which is the guardian shirne of Hakata. Three deities are enshrined at Kushida. The original temple built in 757 was destroyed and in 1588 the people were ordered to rebuild it. Our guide taught us how to pray at the temple. This included cleaning our hands and mouths, learning to bow and the little ceremony that goes with asking for whatever you are wanting (a partner, a new job, good grades on a test, good health etc.). There was also a little garden where people can write their wishes on a little board and then hang it up with other people’s wishes. A beautiful Shrine, peaceful.
Unfortunately our ½ day tour ended all too soon ;-) Back onboard at the port we headed to lunch and watched all the water traffic. Yachts, local ferries, 3 hour ferries to Busan, South Korea, tankers, cargo ships….busy, busy,busy. We left the docks around 5pm and headed out to the Sea of Japan. Would like to stay longer but tonight we are off to… Nagasaki, Japan
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