일요일, 12월 17, 2006

Random Fukuoka

Here are the last of the photos from my short trip to Japan.
I was sitting on a bench, checking my xeroxed map, and when I got up & turned around, I was staring at this sign.

Bee & flowers

Beer, whiskey & wine available from this vending machine, and this nice painting was above it on the storefront.

Bar Higuchi, Italian Food (with question mark crossed out?); this was a steel sign with hanging light bulb & empty coffee cans on the sidewalk. It did not look like a bar or restaurant.

Raccoon family

bong grafitti

This appeared to be a bank.

토요일, 12월 16, 2006

Fukuoka Xmas

This xmas light Miffy was one of many displays at this shopping center park. Live music & lots of shoppers wandering & getting photos taken with Santa.

This pet store had a monkey in the display window. I took this photo & was told "no", so I couldn't get a better one.

수요일, 12월 13, 2006

Tenjin buildings

Black Shark live rock metal & Green Peas drugs & cosmetics.

Magic Square. I don't know what this building is, and it was back down an alley with lots of clothes drying & bicycles, so I didn't go much closer, I didn't want to get caught in someone's backyard.

Mandarake, Fukuoka store. Four floors of manga, anime, and related toys. I spent a lot of time here, & got flush with comic collecting fever. A lot of great stuff I've never seen before, plus old Godzilla monster dolls.

A funky looking bar. Nice hand painted signs & old neon.


This weird skull balcony was the second floor of a crazy bulding that continues this psychedelic skeleton motif up several stories. There were dozens of bicycles locked up in front.

화요일, 12월 12, 2006

Temple in Tenjin

These big wooden guardians stood on either side of the gate to this Buddhist temple, I'm pretty sure it was named Shorin-ji.

There are a number of Buddhist temples & shrines in the Tenjin neighborhood, where my hotel was located. I saw a cat in one of the temple courtyards, & tried to get a picture, but he ran past me, across the street and into an alley. Too fast.

This little shrine was on a street corner near my hotel, between convenience stores & apartment buildings.

토요일, 12월 09, 2006

Ohori Park

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.

Crazy eye!

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.

No fishing.
I walked around & looked at ducks, seagulls and a lot of other birds before heading out to explore the neighborhood.

금요일, 12월 08, 2006

Trip to Fukuoka

I took a boat to Japan last week. It was exciting and expensive, and I didn't take a lot of photos. I will be posting more in the next few days. These are a few random guys to start off with.

cat stamp shop

tiny squirrel truck

aqua parking concrete guard

cute sushi

a popular elephant mascot

일요일, 12월 03, 2006

gate view

I have been walking by this gate several times a week since we have been in Gwangju (it is right outside the pedestrian underpass on the way to Home Plus) and have marvelled at the multiple cords & chains & rope used to fasten all these random materials together, and I have planned on getting a photo of it. Last week I walked by and the gate itself was gone! This is the fence where the gate was attached. The garden behind the fence has been levelled, and construction is beginning.