Kushida Shrine was the first place we feasted eyes upon in Japan, after being whisked there by a local television crew, they shot us on location and gave us a fantastic tour with a camera in our face.
I couldn’t help but reminisce the soundtrack from the SEGA Dreamcast, Shenmue gently playing in my ears as I slowly walked through the shrine, taking in the sights and sounds.
Do you really need five reasons to visit this place?!
I thought not, but here goes…
1. It’s So Peaceful
Considering that Kushida Shrine is located in the heart of the city, you would expect a lot of noise, however, that is not the case. The shrine seems to bring a natural ambience whether it is day or night.
From the sounding of the bell or the claps before a precession, the shrine just oozes calm.
I love the fact that the shrine is so well-kept, however, that isn’t really surprising considering we’re in Japan, silly me.
Once a year in Fukuoka city during the month of July, the festival of Hakata Gion Yamakasa takes place from the 1st to the 15th July. The festival kicks off from the shrine itself and individual “teams” carry the floats or “Kakiyama” all around the city with chanting which is very unique.
Have a look at my shaky video below, I am snooping around a Kakiyama talking rubbish.
3. Beautiful Architecture
Although Kushida Shrine is small, there is so much to stare at. It’s such a relaxing place and the detail on some of the statues is really something.
Places like the one below are off-limits to visitors, but they still a joy to look at.
I also love the hues and colours of each piece which obviously have a deeper meaning.
I’m looking forward to learning more about all of them.
Setsubin brings out the largest otabuku mask in Japan, this mask is placed onto a Torii gate. Walking through it brings good luck and fortune, so let’s get walking.
Held at the beginning of February, this festival marks the beginning of Spring and also a day dedicated to warding off evil spirits with the throwing of dry beans. This event is called “Mame Maki“.
Here is a photo of the TV presenter of the show we were featured on being pelted with dry beans, apparently he is “evil”. Haha.
5. This Fox (Or Is It a Cat?!)
My main man, Mr. Fox was well worth the visit alone, I mean come on, how cool does he look, I want his robe thingy as well to wear on the winter nights…
Whatever the species, it’s lovely nevertheless, I love the pose and the carvings.