Wednesday, June 01, 2011

New Places

We are very lucky in that my New Zealand family often comes to visit. It is always great to have them come and stay and it is a great excuse to explore a few new places each time they come. My father came for two weeks in May and we managed quite a few new places - I'll try to introduce some of them over the next few days. Most of them were places that we drive past often, but have just never bothered to stop at.
The first "new place" was Dazaifu - just out of Fukuoka City. Every time we go to Fukuoka airport to collect people we get off the highway at the Dazaifu exit, but have never bothered to actually go to the central area. It turns out it is a pretty amazing area. Firstly there is the Kyushu National Museum, one of four national museums in Japan. The building itself is pretty impressive, and the displays inside are well worth a look - especially as there is more than adequate English available.
A quick walk through a multi-coloured walkway takes you into a completely different world. A shrine constructed in 1591 where people from all around the area crowd to over the New Year period to pray for a good year and an amazingly peaceful garden at Komyozenji Temple. We were there in the rain, which in a way made it even more beautiful. Of course we were there at a time when there were very few people too which made it a great experience. Talking to the people in the restaurant where we stopped for a coffee we were definitely there at the quiet time... they were preparing for about 300 lunches that day, but on the busy days I think they said they would do up to a thousand!
Well worth the visit and a nice, quiet way to start the trip. For anyone that wants more details about this area, this link: Dazaifu Travel Guide, has some good basic information.
I had quite a few photos, but they seem to have disappeared... Dad - if you have the photos from this day that I took on my camera could you put them on a disc for me at some stage... thanks!


  1. The first picture. That building is pretty huge, I was looking at it and comparing it to the cars in the parking lot. Wow! I bet it was equally impressive inside. : )

    I'm so glad your family comes to visit often. My dad visits me often as well. And I know how important it is to spend time with family especially with us living so far away. : )

    I am enjoying these posts of your dad's visit very much.

    Also picture #4, such a nice picture and lovely place. I was attracted by the greenery in that particular picture.

  2. Dazaifu was one of the very first places that I visited when I came to Japan. The thing that I remember most was chatting to an elderly woman and her daughter about different arrangements of flowers in the Ikebana show that was being held. Noone seemed to be in a hurry, it was like time stood still.