Showing posts with label kitakyushu. Show all posts
Showing posts with label kitakyushu. Show all posts

Friday, July 21, 2023

Decorative Manholes from Fukuoka, North Kyushu


Giravanz is the local soccer team in Kitakyushu that lay at the stadium in Kokura. Their mascot is a seagull named Wavy.

Matsu Beach is on a long sweeping bay in Okagaki Town in the Onga District. It is known for a long cycle path through the pines that grow along the beach.

Tagawa was a former coal-mining town whose two remaining brick chimneys are symbols of the town.

These last two were  both found in Kokura, though I have seen them popping up all over Japan, manholes depicting characters from Pokemon. I know almost nothing about Pokemon, though I believe these manholes are connected to Pokemn-Go, a smartphone game.

The previous post in the series was Saga Manholes.

Monday, February 13, 2023

Disappeared Japan Part 4 Space World

Space World

Disappeared Japan Part 4 Space World.

Space World was a big amusement park in Kitakyushu built around the theme of space. It opened in 1990 on land that had formerly been part of Nippon Steel.

Space World.

It featured a life-size replica of the space shuttle and its launch rockets, but really the space connection was rather tenuous.

Roller coaster.

The park featured 6 different roller coasters (with suitably space-themed names like Black Hole Scramble, and Titan Max.

Space World.

The 100 meter  high Ferris Wheel named Space Eye was the tallest in Kyushu when first built.

The park closed on 1st January, 2018 and was slowly dismantled and demolished.

The park closed on 1st January, 2018 and was slowly dismantled and demolished.

The park closed on 1st January, 2018 and was slowly dismantled and demolished.

The site is now The Outlets Kitakyushu, a shopping centre that is mostly outlet stores.

The park closed on 1st January, 2018 and was slowly dismantled and demolished.

Previous Disappeared Japan posts include Yukaen Chinese Garden, and Awaji World peace Kannon.

Space World.

Tuesday, January 10, 2023

Arata Isozaki 1933 - 2022

Arata Isozaki 1933 - 2022

The famous Japanese architect Arata Isozaki passed away on December 28th, 2022.

Born in Oita, Kyushu, in 1933, he studied at Tokyo University.

Born in Oita, Kyushu, in 1933, he studied at Tokyo University and then worked under Kenzo Tange for a few years before opening his own office.

He won the RIBA Gold Medal in 1986 and the Pritzker Prize in 2019.

His earliest works seem heavily influenced by Brutalism and Metabolist styles, though his later works utilized many different styles. His works have been built all over Asia, Europe, and the USA.

He won the RIBA Gold Medal in 1986 and the Pritzker Prize in 2019.

He won the RIBA Gold Medal in 1986 and the Pritzker Prize in 2019.

Arata Isozaki 1933 - 2022.

I quite like his work and have seen many of his buildings here in Western Japan.

Born in Oita, Kyushu, in 1933, he studied at Tokyo University.

The top photo is the Kitakyushu City Museum of Art 1972-74. I have visited it several times and will do a post on it soon. The second photo is from his hometown of Oita and was the Oita Prefectural Library which opened in 1966. After closing down it was converted into an arts centre called Art Plaza. I have 2 posts on it, one of the exterior, and a second of the interiors. The Art Plaza contains a gallery of Isozakis architectural drawings and models, so is worth a visit.


The third photo is part of the Kitakyushu International Conference Centre in Kokura, Adjacent to it is an earlier work, the West Japan General Exhibition Centre, a massive building and the photo above shows the structure that holds the roof up. The fourth photo is from the Nagi Museum of Contemporary Art in rural Okayama. Very unusual in that each of the three main buildings were designed in collaboration with artists who created the works within, including Isozaki's own wife. The three buildings I posted earlier are called Sun, Earth, and Moon. The fifth photo is part of the curved roof of the Yamaguchi Centre for Arts & Media. 


The sixth photo is also from Yamaguchi and is part of the very rural Akiyoshidai International Arts Village. I will do a full post on it soon, and I will also do a full post on the Kitakyushu City Central Library, pictured above. The final photo is the JR station at the onsen resort of Yufuin, one of Isozaki's smaller projects.

Arata Isozaki 1933 - 2022.

Monday, April 30, 2018

Kanmon Bridge

The Kanmom Straits, one of the entrances into the Seto Inland Sea, separate Honshu and Kyushu, and at its narrowest is only about 800 meters wide.

The Kanmon Bridge was one of the biggest suspension bridges in the world when it opened in 1973 to carry road traffic across the straits from Shimonoseki to Kitakyushu.

The central span is just over 1,000 meters. Prior to its construction there was a road tunnel beneath the water, as well as a tunnel for trains and even a pedestrian tunnel.

Ferries still connect the two sides as they have for centuries.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

A Walk Around Kyushu Day 5

Following a miserable and rainy fourth day, day 5 was back to glorious weather. I didn't have too far to walk today, just from Yahata to Kokura.

There were 2 pilgrimage temples to visit, and a major shrine which was unexpected. With the afternoon free I visited a few places "on assignment" for Japanvisitor,com.

I took the train out to Mojiko and visited the Kyushu Railway Museum there, and then headed back to Kokura to revisit some architectural sights that interest me.

First up there was the International Conference Center by Arata Isozaki, somewhere I have posted about before

And then through the concrete jungle to the iconic Riverwalk Complex,

It was the 29th of December and so I broke my walk and headed home for a few days to spen new year with my wife before coming back a week later to continue with the next leg of my 2,200 kilometer walk.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Vacation 2011: day 1, Yahata


For this years vacation I flew out of Fukuoka airport so was able to spend the day exploring a bit of Kitakyushu before my flight. First I headed to an area I had not been to before, Yahata.

I wanted to see the Kitakyushu Municipal Museum of Art as it was designed by Arata Isozaki. Later I will do a complete post on it.


From the hill on which the museum is located there are great views over Yahata!!!


Yahata is dominated by a big amusement park, Spaceworld, built around the theme of space. Most visitors to Yahata will be heading there and it even has its own JR station.


Next to Spaceworld is the small Kitakyushu Environment Museum which focuses on the environmental problems created by the areas industrialization and the steps taken to combat pollution both locally and globally. The building itself utilizes various sustainable technologies and while the displays have no english information its worth a visit at 100yen.


Next door is the Kitakyushu Museum of Natural History and Human History which was surprisingly good and large. The main hall has dozens of dinosaur skeletons and there are some quite good historical displays too.


The first steel works in japan were built in Kitakyushu and the first blast furnace, opened in 1901, has been preserved as an open air museum. Its located right next to Spaceworld station.