Wednesday, December 8, 2021

A Brief Guide to Kurume

I must admit I had never heard of Kurume and knew nothing about it when I visited in the latter stages of my first walk around Kyushu, however, I ended up spending a bit of time there as a base for several legs of the pilgrimage.

It is located on the banks of the Chikugo River which runs through the large Tsukushi Plain of northern Kyushu. It was a castle town, important I believe as a crossroads of several major transportation routes through Kyushu.

There seems to be little of the old left standing. Kurume did get bombed a little at the end of the war, but most destruction has been at the hands of construction companies and developers. The top photo shows a view looking down on Kurume from Kora Shrine, a mountaintop shrine that has an old approach,.

Not sure what the store in the second photo was selling, but the frontage impressed me.The third picture is a Science Museum, and the 4th is an Art Museum that had a fine garden in its grounds.

Near the Science Museum was another park that included a small Chinese-style garden. Other notable gardens include the riverside one featuring plum trees at the monastery of Bairinji, and Henshoin, a modern creation to honour a samurai political hero.

There were several more shrines in the town, and plenty more temples, but probably the main tourist attraction is a little outside the town. The Giant Kannon statue, one of the biggest in the world, is at a branch of the Naritasan Temple.

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