Poagao's Journal

Absolutely Not Your Monkey

May 02 2017

From Fukuoka

We got up and checked out of our hotel in Fukuoka around 8:30 this morning, walking to the nearest subway station, where a room full of identically dressed Japanese businessmen smoked in unison. We took a train to Hakata Station, where we boarded a JR train bound for Mojiko, at the top end of Kyushu Island. The weather was cloudy when we exited the construction site that is the current state of the old train station there, but I was just happy to see the town of Shimanoseki across the strait, including the impressive bridge between the two islands. On a whim, we took a small boat to the island in the middle of the two islands where two famous samurai duked it out in the 1600s. The one who won, named Musashi, retired from duelling and went on to write the famous Book of Five Rings, which I read as a teenager.

We took another boat over to Shimanoseki, and on the way one of the crew thanked us for Taiwan’s aid to Japan after the last big earthquake. He even bowed.

In Shimanoseki we bought some delicious caramel ice cream and strolled around the fish market. I’d guess the sushi there is really good, but we didn’t have time to try anything as we were on a schedule. We browsed a couple of historic buildings, but we had to get on a ferry back to Mojiko. Chenbl spent most of the afternoon Facetiming various relatives.

Back in Mojiko we caught a train to Shimanoseki (again), and then on through lovely countryside to Asa Station, a small town, where we were met by my friend and fellow Burn My Eye photographer Junku Nishimura. We went shopping and then out to Junku’s rice fields, where he and his father repaired an old red tractor while Chenbl and I dared each other to touch the electric fencing (we didn’t). All around us was a symphony of frogs.

We sat by the field chatting as dusk fell, talking of wild boars and photography, and then drove back to Junku’s family’s house, where a delicious dinner was waiting. We ate, drank plum wine, played with cats, rocked out to vinyl hip-hop hits from Junku’s extensive collection, looked over photobooks, and generally had a great time.

posted by Poagao at 10:48 pm  

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