Showing posts with label kokura. Show all posts
Showing posts with label kokura. 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.

Sunday, January 15, 2023

Kitakyushu Central Library

Kitakyushu Central Library

Kitakyushu Central Library.

The Kitakyushu Central Library is located in Kokura not far from Kokura Castle.

Scale model.

It is one of those buildings that in model form, or seen from the air, is quite striking, but when viewed from the ground is not so impressive and its form is not so clear.

Kitakyushu Central Library.

However, from the interior, it is all much clearer.

The building also houses the Kitakyushu Museum of Literature.

It opened in 1974 and was designed by prize-winning Kyushu native Arata Isozaki and is often considered one of his most important earlier works.


The interior features pre-cast concrete barrel vaulting and fan vaulting and is said to have been inspired by the 18th-century design for the French national Library by Etienne Louis Boullee.


The building also houses the Kitakyushu Museum of Literature which has changing and permanent exhibits relating to more than 30 writers who have connections with Kitakyushu, including Mori Ogai, and Seicho Matsumoto, who has a whole museum devoted to him nearby.

The building also houses the Kitakyushu Museum of Literature.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Kokura Illuminations

At the end of my sixth day walking the Kyushu Pilgrimage I reached Kanda and took a train back to Kokura where I had a good deal on a hotel room.

It was still early in the new year so the illuminations were still up along the river near the Riverwalk Complex.

And there's not much else left to be said.......

Monday, August 1, 2016

Riverwalk Revisited

My final stop at the end of my fifth day of walking around Kyushu was the Riverwalk complex right next to the castle.

I'd been here several times before but it was such a great place for my kind of photos that I couldn't resist.

Designed by the  American architect Jon Jerde, Riverwalk comprises mostly of shops and offices, though there is also and art gallery and a TV studio.

Kokura is the closest point to Honshu, so I broke my journey here and headed home for a few days to spend the new year with my wife. Early in the new year I would be back for the next leg of my 78 day walk around Kyushu.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Revisiting Kitakyushu International Conference Center

At the end of my fifth day of walking along the Kyushu 108 Sacred Sites Pilgrimage I was in Kokura, somewhere I had visited several times before.

However, it was a different day, a different season, and a different time, so I revisited some of the interesting places to see if I could get some good shots.

In general I quite like the architecture of Arata Isozaki, and being a Kyushu native himself there are several examples in the area, including the Kitakyushu International Conference Center.

Built in 1990, it has a nice combination of curves and non perpendicular angles as well as bright colors.

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.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Torii Tunnels


Lines of red torii placed so close together they form a tunnel are a common sight throughout Japan. The most famous and most photographed are at the Fushimi Inari Shrine near Kyoto, but smaller versions can be found all over at shrines and temples.


They are usually made of wood, occasionally steel, but more often nowadays plastic pipe is being used. Each torii will have been paid for by a donation, and the name of the donor is usually written on each, similar to how some shrines will have lines of more expensive stone lanterns.


The top photo is from the Inari Shrine in the grounds of Suwa Shrine, Nagasaki. The second photo is at Tadaji Temple in Hamada. The third is a small Inari hokora near Kokura Castle.


The photo above is an Inari shrine in the grounds of the Hitomaro Shrine in Masuda.


If the Inari shrine is on a hillside, like at Fushimi, then the torii tunnels will switchback up the hillside like the photo above taken at the Taikodani Inari Shrine in Tsuwano.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Vacation 2011 Day 1: Kokura


After exploring Yahata it was time to head to Fukuoka, but first I spent a quick hour revisiting Kokura. Around the castle moat the cherry blossoms were out so I was able to have a little ohanami before leaving the country.


Below the castle is a branch of Yasaka shrine, and as I have a keen interest in komainu I couldnt resist taking some snaps.


In front of the castle was a small Inari shrine and several buddhist statues clad in gaily colored bibs with offerings of fresh flowers.... the late afternoon sun and shadows made for good pictures.


The main reason to revisit Kokura was to check out Riverwalk, the complex designed by Jerde. Ive posted about it before, but at a different time of the year and a different time of the day, and a new lens, it was possible to take some new shots.


And finally, walking across the river back towards the station the pleasure boats lined up to have their picture taken....


Thursday, February 11, 2010

Asia Pacific Import Mart


The Asia-Pacific Import Mart and West Japan General Exhibition Hall are located just north Of Kokura Station in Kitakyushu and is part of the redevelopment of the old indistrial/port area.


It's part of Kitakyushu's FAZ (Foreign access zone) an attempt, somewhat successful, to forge stronger links between North Kyushu and the mainland of Asia.


It was finished in 1998 and was designed by Nikken Sekkei.


The AIM is home to a variety of restaurants and shops featuring products from the Asia Pacific region.


Thursday, January 21, 2010

Kitakyushu International Conference Center


The Kitakyushu International Conference Center is located in the old port area a 10 minute walk from Kokura train station.


It was opened in 1990 and was designed by Arata Isozaki.


Isozaki was born not far from Kokura in Oita, and at 78 years old is the current grand master of Japanese architecture with prestigous building all over the world.


This is not one of his better known buildings, but I found interesting enough with its combination of curves and angles.