Look around the downtown in Kokura
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15 minutes by walk
Kokura Castle was built in 1602 by Hosokawa Tadaoki. This castle’s keep has a distinctive architectural feature called “karazukuri” in which the 5th floor is bigger than the 4th floor; at the time of its construction, it was the only castle of its kind in Japan. In addition, it has a style of stone wall called “nozura-zumi,” which uses natural stone instead of quarried stone, and eight separate gates, such as the Otemon Gate and Keyakimon Gate. There are also many things to see inside the castle itself, including a learning zone with introductions to the history and culture of Kokura Castle, and an observation zone with panoramic views over Kokura. And it is also renowned for its 300 cherry trees, which bloom in spring, and the autumn colors of zelkova and gingko trees.
- April-October: 9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m., November-March: 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Last entry 30 minutes before closing.
10 minutes by walk
Started in the early Taisho era, “Kitakyushu’s Kitchen” boasts over 100 years of history. With a Showa-era atmosphere filling the air, this row of 120 shops overflows with locally sourced marine products, vegetables, side dishes, and more. Along with handmade side dishes, here you can eat local specialty sardines and mackerels simmerd with nukamiso. Recently the unique daigaku donburi rice dish offered by Daigakodo diner has also become a famous local specialty. The system used for this is great fun. Holding your rice bowl in one hand, you can walk around the market, adding only the ingredients you like to your donburi and making a unique creation custom-tailored to your own tastes. The ability to enjoy casual conversation with market staff in a homey atmosphere while enjoying a unique donburi has proven very popular among tourists.
1 minutes by walk
“Let's make a town where it doesn't rain.” With the emergence of this idea in 1952, Uomachi Gintengai became the first arcade shopping district in the country. From Uomachi 1-chome to 3-chome many fine-food stores, general stores, and more are lined up along a 400-meter street that makes its way as far as Tanga Market. Among them can be found well-established tea shops selling green-tea sweets popular among women, local specialty fried udon, and other Kitakyushu specialties. You’ll want to wander the market, enjoying its lively atmosphere. The “ecoroof” that connects Uomachi 1-chome to Uomachi 2,3-chome creates a unique arcade that represents the Environmental City of the Future, Kitakyushu, which employs solar panels and LED lighting. The UFO-like shape looks rather futuristic.
- *Opening hours may differ at each store.
5 minutes by walk
5Ogai Mori Former Residence
Ogai Mori Former Residence
Mori Ogai was one of Japan’s literary greats, and he was posted to Kokura as Surgeon General of the 12th Division of the (former) Japanese Imperial Army. The residence was built around 1897 and is a Japanese style house made up of six rooms. It is believed that Mori Ogai mainly used an 8-mat room and a smaller 4.5-mat room on the south side. Currently an earthen floor room is used as a display space for materials such as his chronicles and other precious materials. The residence appears in the novel Tori (Chickens), and as you view the garden you can conjure up images of that era.
- 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. closed:Mondays (the following day if it falls on a national holiday), national holidays, year-end and New Year holidays
Ogai Mori Former Residence
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