Last night, I went to 17th Hakata Toumyou Lantern festival. But it was raining last night, and thus many events are postponed. I enjoyed the festival at Kushida shrine and Hakata Riverain. Because of the heavy rain, many lanterns were burnt out. But the reflection of lanterns, which remained burning, on stone path was so beautiful.
I found another interesting application, ColorSprush, for iPod/iPhone. It was just 85 yen. This application changes a color photo to a black and white photo. Then places where you touch are re-colored. It's fun!
After we had sushi in Shimonoseki, we went back to Fukuoka through Kanmon tunnel. Fukuoka side of the Kanmonkyo bridge is Mojiko Retro, which is a small cozy town with old historical and new buildings.
In the Akama shrine, there is a stature of Hoichi the Earless. According to legend, Hoichi was a blind minstrel (or biwa hoshi) with amazing gifts for the biwa (a loquat-shaped Japanese lute). He was particularly good at performing the Tale of the battle of Dan-no-ura, even ghosts of Taira clan liked it. Hoichi lived in a temple, which is the Akama shrine currently, and a priest of the temple realized that Hoichi had been bewitched by the ghosts. The priest wished to save Hoichi and painted Hoichi's body with the kanji characters for being hidden from the ghosts. But the priest forgot to paint these on ears of Hoichi. Thus, the ghosts only saw Hoichi's ears and took his ears, when they were not able to find Hoichi. Although Hoichi lost his ears, he was released from the ghosts. The legend was famous in Japan.
In the Akama shrine, there is a grave of Taira clan. Since there were seven people who have "mori" in their name in Taira clan, the grave is called seven "mori" grave (nana-mori zuka). This grave was made for comforting spirits of Taira clan by fishermen, who believed that frequent storms during 1781-1789 were caused by ghosts of Taira clans.
We went to Akama shirine in Dan-no-ura. It is dedicated to Antoku, a Japanese emperor who died young in the Battle of Dan-no-Ura (aka Dannoura), which occurred nearby in 1185. Antoku's grandmother, Taira no Tokiko, the widow of Taira no Kiyomori, drowned herself along with the young emperor, because Taira clan was defeated by Genji clan, and so she was despaired by the situation. When she died with the young emperor, she said to him "there is a paradise under the water. This story is very famous even for today's Japanese. The beautiful gate called Suiten gate in above photo was imaged paradise under the water and built for comforting a spirit of the young emperor after the World War II.
If you want to have delicious sushi at Shimonoseki, Karato market or kamon wharf are the places for the purpose. We had delicious sushi and sashimi at Karato market. The sushi and sashimi were not only delicious, but also inexpensive. We were very satisfied, but I completely forgot to take pictures. I took above photos from Kamon wharf.
Shimonoseki side of Kanmonkyo bridge is called Dan-no-ura, the place of the final fight of the Genpei War, which is called battele of Dan-no ura, in 1185. The Genpei War (1180–1185) was a conflict between the Taira and Minamoto clans during the late-Heian period of Japan. It resulted in the fall of the Taira clan and the establishment of the Kamakura shogunate under Minamoto Yoritomo in 1192. This place was also the place of the Battles for Shimonoseki in 1863. Japan fought against the US, the Great Britain, France, the Netherlands, and lost. At that time, Japan was sealed off to the outside world. Gun batteries in the above photos were replicas of gun batteries using for the battle in 1863. This battle was one of many triggers to open Japan to the outside of the world in 1868.
Although we saw beautiful morning glow, it was hazy. I wanted to take beautiful pictures of Kanmonkyo bridge, which links Fukuoka and Yamaguchi, but I barely able to see opposite shore, which was only 1 km away. I took above picture from the car and adjusted contrast using Photoshop. It looks little mysterious, isn't it?
This Monday was a national holiday. I visited Shimonoseki, Yamaguchi, with my friend. Our aim was to eat delicious sushi at Karato market. We left my apartment at 6:00 am and got Shimonoseki at 8:30 am. Sunrise in Fukuoka was 6:19 am that day, so we saw beautiful morning glow during the way to Shimonoseki.
I went to Tsuzura Tanada in Ukiha, Fukuoka. Tanada means terraced rice fields. This tanada was selected for one of top 100 beautiful terraced rice fields in Japan. These fields were built using rocks 400 years ago.