Wednesday morning I woke up, got some coffee & a donut, & headed to the Tenjin Station of the Fukuoka subway. After a confusing time with the maps, schedules, and ticket vending machines, I figured it out & rode to Ohori-Koen Station to try and find the Fukuoka Art Museum, and see the park. It is a huge park, mostly a lake, with a walking/jogging/bicycling path running around the perimeter of the lake. It is a very popular place to walk your dog, so these cartoon signs are posted to remind people to clean up their dog's mess. I didn't see any dog-doo in my afternoon at the park.
While I was getting the photo of the sign, I was keeping one eye on a middle aged Japanese man who was playing with a cat near the path. I was wondering if the cat was a stray that lived in the park, or if it belonged to the man, or what.
I finally went over & greeted him, and asked if I could take a picture of his cat. The cat was happy & well groomed (it didn't look like a stray) & rolled around in the dirt while I petted it. The man asked me a few basic questions, but we couldn't really talk. He laughed at me & the cat, and after I left, I heard him talking to the cat, for a long time. As I slowly wandered towards the lake I kept listening & looking back to this happy guy playing with his cat in the park, talking to it & laughing the whole time.
There were more cute little dogs than I could possibly take pictures of, all getting some sunshine & meeting new dog friends.
I came to the park to visit the Fukuoka Art Museum
, which was great, but no photos were allowed. There was a good collection of modern art (including a Dali, a Miro, & a Warhol), featuring many Japanese artists that I was unfamiliar with until now. There was an exhibit of Asian textiles, and a beautiful selection of Japanese ceramics. A group of Buddhist guardian statues (2 sets of 12 for the zodiac animals, plus two large gate guardians) were displayed along with 2 large Buddhas (one standing, one sitting), all carved from cypress wood in the 12th century, and saved from a temple in the area. There was a remarkable smell of ancient wood in the room.
Outside the building were several sculptures, including this bronze nude by a Japanese sculptor whose name I didn't write down. There were several benches, & relaxed there for awhile after eating lunch at the museum restaurant.
This giant pumpkin (by a recent Japanese sculptor) was pretty funny looking and an eye catching landmark for finding the museum in the park.
There is a long stretch of island running through the middle of the lake. This photo is taken from a small pagoda right off the island, looking at the walking bridge to the island from the shore.
I walked around & looked at ducks, seagulls and a lot of other birds before heading out to explore the neighborhood.