Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Last Day in Fukuoka

I was very happy this morning to finally be able to understand our map a bit more, and learn that the folk museum I had been trying to get Ethan and I to that second day is actually within walking distance.  So, after breakfast and some computer play, Doug went to work, and we headed in the direction of what we hoped would lead us to the museum.  

Kushida Shrine was right across the street from our destination, so we stopped here first to explore a little bit.  

I was happy we stopped because it was a very nice Temple.  Paper lanterns covered the ground in a beautiful pattern near the entranceway shortly ahead of a small farmers market on the grounds.  Wouldn't they be pretty to see lit?  I doubt we will get the chance though.  It's raining tonight, and tomorrow morning we leave for Tokyo.

None of the writing within the Temple was in English, so I'm not sure what this was, but it was spectacular nonetheless.  It appears to be some kind of float that would have been carried on long beams by many men.  

This was one character on the piece.

Here is another.

As we continued to wander the grounds, we found lengths of string attached to posts with these stamped writings tied to the lines.  They were delicate and pretty to see.  I'm imagining they are prayers or wishes, but, again, I do not know.  Perhaps Emma will share her knowledge with us.  :-)

These decorated wooden planks also seemed to contain messages. 

We found another fountain with water ladles below.  I loved the cranes.  Our friend Emma shared some information with us on Facebook regarding the lotus flower fountain I posted a day or so ago.  This is what she wrote:
The lotus flower fountain is what you use to cleanse your body of evil spirits before you go into a temple. You use the ladles/cup things by washing your hands, which will cleanse them. Some people pour water into their hands and take a sip, then spit it out. (Of course not back in the fountain!)
Thanks Emma!  I'm glad you mentioned not to spit the water back into the fountain, because I'm embarrassed to admit that I can see myself making that mistake.

Below was another fountain near the front entrance.  There were at least four fountains at this temple.  There were a lot of people too.  At one point we were standing before the largest shrine and we heard the deep sound of a drum, followed by the sound of high pitched wind instruments and then clappers.  Seemingly, a service had begun.  Several men in traditional dress entered the shrine, followed by many elders both men and women.  That was a treat to hear and see.  The clothes were very elaborate.  People were taking pictures of Ethan and I as we watched.  That kind of struck me as humerous.  

On our way out, Ethan stopped at the vending machines.  I liked the label on this drink from Minute Maid.

We crossed the street to go to the Hakata Machiya Folk Museum.  These streets were away from the main roads and were very narrow.  This interesting fish and kettle hung beside one of the doorways.

We went into the first door of the museum and found this woman weaving silk tapestries on a large loom.  You can see the punch hole paper pattern on the left.  

Here is one of her finished pieces hanging nearby.

Across from where she worked was a replica of a room in a traditional Japanese home.  On the low table in the center of were a variety of Japanese toys. 

A very sweet older gentleman showed Ethan how to use this ball and rope toy.  Ethan was very excited and surprised to get it on the second try.  We watched some other men playing with these toys shortly after.  They did something different from what the older gentleman showed us.  They spun the ball, then attempted to spear it on the end of the toy in the hole in the ball.  That looked very tricky, but they were good at it.

The men showed us how some of the other toys were played with.  We didn't speak each other's language much at all, but that didn't seem to matter.  We had fun.

My favourite toy was these stacked men below.  Once the disks were lined up, you removed the mallet and hit the bottom disk such that it shot out but didn't topple the remaining disks on the top.  Each disk was hit this way until only the head remained.  I thought that was a lot of fun.

After trying the games the traditional way, true to Ethan, he proceeded to make up a series of his own games.  

There was an outdoor garden off the replica room.  I liked this wall and roof.

Down the alley from the garden we found an old post box no longer in use.

Inside the next small building was a series of displays of historical significance.  This kinetoscope was sweet.  I would have liked to see this by the side of the road back when they could be found there.  

This is a view of what you can see when you looked through the holes.  Things were animated mechanically, while music and narration played.  They were like miniature puppet shows.

On the second floor we found this station for decorating spinning wooden tops.  Ethan picked up one of these tops to try at home from the shop on our way out.  The base of the top is wrapped with string and then the string is quickly pulled to set the top spinning.  

A replica of a kitchen was in one of the rooms.

I haven't found any real wheelbarrows, Sandra, but I did find this model one.  

And this one illustrated on a wall.  Unfortunately there was a poster in the way on the bottom right.  I'll still keep my eyes peeled for the real thing.

After our explorations we headed over to a small noodle restaurant.  The slurping was very loud which delighted Ethan.  "THAT'S something I love about Japan!" he exclaimed, and proceeded to join the chorus of slurps.  (Actually, he was pretty quiet.)  

Ethan really wanted to visit the beach one last time, so we headed back and played for a couple of hours.  Ethan made evil castles that needed to be leveled while I searched for interesting shells.  Fukuoka tower is in the background.

Colleen and Robbie, we spotted this guy, and thought you might know what kind of bird it is.

And this little fellow too.  

I found this curious oyster shell coated with calcified tubes of some sort.  Creepy, but interesting.

Here is a collection of shells I found too.

After Doug arrived back at the hotel, we headed over to the Hakata Station to explore a bit and to have dinner.  Here's a view of the station in the evening.  It was raining tonight. 

Jill, here's a view from inside the station.  It wasn't too busy tonight.  Maybe tomorrow morning when we leave there will be more people.  The Shinkansen is marked third from the left on the bottom.  That's how we will be traveling.  It will take us about 5 hours to get to Tokyo.

As I mentioned in an earlier blog, everything can be found in the Hakata Station Arcade, including these bikes with the small tires that I have taken a liking to.

And walls of guitars, which made me think of you, Pat.  :-)

We ate a nice dinner in the Station.  Ordering was a bit tricky, but one gentleman spoke a bit of English.  Silent videos from early Hollywood played in the background.

Tomorrow we're up early and on the train.  We should be in Tokyo by dinner time.  I'm looking forward to passing Hiroshima and, as I said earlier, seeing Mt Fuji appear on the horizon.  I'm looking forward to seeing Japan's countryside too.  Ethan's looking forward to riding on one of the fastest trains in the world and eating some sushi.

Sleep well!  Until tomorrow...


  1. Thank you! I've saved the wheelbarrows/handcarts here:

    Your photos are beautiful and your descriptions are wonderful. Thank you for letting people peek at what you're seeing.

    1. Great! The wheelbarrows are replicas from an early period in Hakata district of Fukuoka. I haven't taken much time to read about it yet. I probably will when I get home. Unfortunately, I can't read most of the signs to share more information with you.

      It's interesting though. Ethan has begun to recognize Japanese scripts - he knows two, as do Doug and I thanks to him. Doug was also told that Japanese and Chinese scripts are nearly identical with nearly identical translations, but completely different pronunciations. So, when we recognize scripts in Japan, we are learning scripts from China too. Though not learning anything close to how it would be said in China.

      Thanks for the compliment. :-) And thank you for peeking in. It makes it fun for me too.