Blog catch up day: In the winter, the wife and I took a road trip to Yanagawa in Fukuoka Prefecture. It's an old town that has done its best to preserve buildings and some of the ways of life from the past. The shot above is near the heart of the tourist area, and the local Information building is near this spot.
The area is noted for the handmade dolls, toys, and decorations you see hanging here in the Information center. They are sold all over the town in small, family-run shops.
We went well before Girls' Day, but the displays were out in many homes. People often open their doors to show off their collections. Be sure to take off your shoes as you enter. ;-)
No matter the size, the proportions of handmaidens, entertainers, guards, lords, and other people related to royalty stay the same.
Along with the crafts from the past, the architecture is maintained as well. The shot above is from a temple around the corner from the Information center.
The canal in the first photo above runs around the entire center of the old area. You can pay a fee and take a ride Venice gondola-style around the canal. The center boat in this shot shows the large blanket you wrap around your legs in the winter to keep warm. You might be able to see one in use in the next shot.
I'm standing on a bridge to take this shot. The master of the boat is about to...
climb out of the boat, run to the other side of the bridge, and
jump back into the boat. It all happened in under 30 seconds. I didn't see any other masters doing that, so perhaps that was his specialty.
The specialty of the area's cuisine is ungagi, or eel. It is grilled and served lathered with a special soy sauce-based sauce and layered over rice. It can be quite tasty, but the wife isn't into unagi, so we went for tempura.
If you're in northern Kyushu, looking for some culture, why not stop by Yanagawa for an afternoon? I had a great time.