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Cool Fukuoka

CoolFukuoka

Bringing you fantastic Fukuoka through the eyes of foreigners living in the Prefecture and the fun places they want their family and friends from throughout the world to come and visit.

Kurume Area

Kurume City is located in the southern region of Fukuoka Prefecture and boasts bountiful nature such as one of Kyushu’s premier rivers, the Chikugo River, and the Mino Mountain Range. During the Edo Period (17C – 19C), Kurume flourished as a large domain of the Kurume Clan, and into the Meiji Era it developed from a Kurume Kasuri woven fabric town to a rubber industrial town, which gave birth to the Bridgestone Company. More recently it has become renowned throughout Japan for B-grade gourmet (cheap yet tasty food casually enjoyed by the locals), such as ramen and yakitori. It is also home of one of the big three fire festivals, the Daizenji Tamataregu Shrine Oniyo Festival, one of the big three plant festivals, the Kurume Tsutsuji (azalea) Festival, and west Japan’s biggest fireworks festival, the Chikugo River Fireworks Festival which boasts 18,000 fireworks.

Naritasan Kurume Temple

62 meters high! The statue of the Buddhist goddess of mercy in the Naritasan Kurume branch temple is the biggest in Japan. The statue has 18 three carat diamonds in the middle of her forehead, and is cradling a 13 meter baby protecting it with a gentle gaze as it also looks after the city. About thirty years ago the mayor of Kurume together with believers collected the two billion yen to construct the statue. Pay the entrance fee is 500 yen and you can enter the goddess of mercy and climb the 284 stairs to the shoulder of the statue and get a birds-eye view of the city.

Cool Fukuoka

Cool Fukuoka
A view from statue

Naritasan Kurume Temple
  1386-22 Kamitsumachi Kurume-shi Tel. 0942-21-7500

The home of tonkotsu (pork soup) ramen

Tonkotsu ramen is now famous the world over. Many people think that tonkotsu ramen is from Hakata, but in fact it has its roots in Kurume. In 1937 a street stall owner from Nagasaki garnered a hint from the then popular champon noodles and shina soba and came up with the dish. These days the ramen is a trendy dish in NY and London, but Kurume can take a bow for bringing it to the world.

Cool Fukuoka

Matsuyama Haze (sumacs) Japan Wax and Japanese Candles

Here is something you will only find in Japan. There are various kinds of waxes around the world, such as resin and beeswax, but sumac wax is found only in Japan. You will find proof of this in an English dictionary where the translation for “Haze (sumacs)” is “Japanese Wax Tree”. The wax from the Japanese Wax Tree is used for making Japanese candles and for setting the sumo wrestler’s “chonmage” hair-style. The main road that stretches along the foot of the Mino Mountain Range (which was once known as Matsuyama) is home to these trees, and the big fruit of these trees were valuable trading items. When the trees bore new leaves the fruit would leave a rash if you touched it. However, after the beautiful autumn leaves the fruit turns yellow and does not leave a rash when harvested. The Japanese candles, which are carefully made by hand from the wax from these trees, are an expensive rarity. The soft elegant glow from the candles makes for a romantic evening.

Cool Fukuoka

The 22nd opening of Jojima sake breweries
Along with Hyogo Prefecture’s Nada District and Kyoto’s Fushimi District, Chikugo’s Jojima is an area well known for its high-quality sake made from pure water and good local rice. The annual opening of the breweries’ new sake is held in February and is the largest such event in Kyushu. People line up in anticipation as they get to taste and compare the new batches of each brewery’s sake at a stand up “kaku-uchi” bar (fees apply). Free shuttle buses will take you around 8 breweries in the area.

【Time/Venue】

February 11 (Sat) to 12 (Sun), 2017
From 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. *Held annually in February.

【Venue】

Chomin-no-mori (734 Naratsu Jojima-machi Kurume-shi), etc.

【Enquiry】

The Organizing Committee for the Opening of Jojima Sake Breweries
(KurumeNanbu Shoukoukai Tel. 0942-64-3649

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