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Kyushu Travel Guide

About Japan

Japan is a destination like no other and has fascinating and unique culture.

Onsen Resort (温泉) 
There are many volcanoes around Japan especially Kyushu 
region, and therefore many Onsen resorts have been made.
Each Onsen is said to have its own healing property.
Onsen resorts or hotels either use water from an actual spring 
or they boil mineral water.

Foot bath in Beppu (足湯)
Foot bath is called Ashiyu in Japanese and is a public bath 
in which people can bath their feet.
Ashiyu in Beppu set up 
at Kannawa Onsen. You can easily enjoy it without having 
to remove all your clothing, only the feet and leg up to the
knee are immersed. 

Japanese castle (日本の城) 

Castle is called Shiro in Japanese and were originally military fortifications designed to keep the enemy out.
In the Sengoku (civil war) period from 15th to 16th century, 
territorial warlords competed in building castles in 
mountainous areas across the country. more

Japanese religion (日本の宗教) 

Why is Japanese religious orientation eclectic?
Japanese indigenous religion, Shinto, has no founder or written
doctrine and places a great
emphasis on ancestor and nature 
worship.  more 

Torii (鳥居) 
Torii is a gate-like structure placed at key point in the path 
leading to the Shinto shrine.

It is very unique for the vermilion torii gate of
Itsukushima Shrine to stand in the sea.

Inari Shrine 
The shrine is dedicated to Inari, the god of rice.

They can be recognized by fox statues at entrance, 
which are considered the messenger of Inari.

What is jizo? (地蔵) 
Jizo is a statue of Buddhist saint, the Bodhisattva generally 
standing by the country roadside. Jizo is considered as 
guardian deities of children who can protect children from 
demons of hell. more

Tobata Gion Yamagasa (戸畑祇園山笠)
Float Festivals including Tobata Gion Yamagasa inscribed 
on UNESCO Intangible Heritage List in 2016.
The festival has a lot of energy and is very dynamic as is the 
case with festivals such as the Hakata Gion Yamagasa,
carrying the Yamagasa (festival float) and walking around 
the town shouting  “yoitosa yoitosa”. more

Martial art, Karate (空手)
Karate is a martial art developed in the Okinawa, Kyushu, 
and is art of self-defense that use no weapons and relies 
instead on three main techniques; arm strike, thrusts and 
kicks.  more

What is jizo?

Jizo is a statue of Buddhist saint, the Bodhisattva generally 
standing by the country roadside. 
Jizo is considered as guardian deities of children who can 
protect children from demons of hell.
Most jizo shave their heads and often wear red apron.



Kunisaki Peninsula listed on the World Agricultural Heritage

Kunisaki Peninsula, began to develop 1,300 years ago as a sacred religious 
ground influenced by mountain and nature worship, Buddhism, and Usa shrine 
rising in the region.
Here remains in Bungotakada city the historical background for “home of prayer” 
consecrating en mass the Shinto deity, Buddha, and ancestral spirit.
And one of major industry is agriculyure and all area is listed on the World Agricultural Heritage.  

 Unique mountain at Onieno sato     Kumano Magaibutu                Buddha statue at Makino-odo

                 World Agricultural Heritage

       Cape of Flower, Nagasaki-bana, seasonal flower can be enjoyed

               Fukiji Tempel, the oldest wooden main hall building in entire Kyushu    

   Futagoji Temple, located in the center of Kunisaki Peninsula and the headquarters of Rokugo Manzan

Japanese religion (日本の宗教)

Why is Japanese religious orientation eclectic?
Japanese indigenous religion, Shinto, has no founder or written doctrine 
and places a great
emphasis on ancestor and nature worship.
Japanese with no strong religious beliefs as traditional customs handed 
down from our ancestors,
This has developed great tolerance for other 
The other Japanese major religion, Buddhism, has founder, but he was a 
human, not the absolute, almighty god as that of Christianity or Islam.
This has also contributed to Japanese tolerance toward other religions. 
Those are the reasons why Japanese religious orientation is eclectic.

Buckwheat noodle (そば)

Buckwheat noodle is long, thin brownish noodle made 
from buckwheat flour to which is added wheat flour, egg, and 
sometimes yam starch.
It is eaten either in hot soup, “Kakesoba” or as a cold dish, “Morisoba”.
In Morisoba, noodle is piled up on small flat bascket. It is served together 
with a tiny dish of condiments and cup of dip made from soy sauce and 
fish broth.

Minced green onions, red pepper and other spices are used as 
The dish is eaten by dipping the noodle in the sauce with 
the condiments mixed in it.
It is sometimes eaten with Tempura, egg, or other foods.

Udon, Wheat Noodle (うどん)

Udon is a very popular cuisine among Japanese people.
It is noodle from wheat flour, and is a little thicker than 
Soba noodle.
Udon is eaten either from bowls filled with hot soup, or by dipping it into 
special soup as in the case of Soba.
Of these two, former is much more common.
Japanese people like to put minced green onion and red paper in the soup 
as spice. 
In Japan, if it is not impolite to make natural noises when you slurp up 
the noodles.

The recipe is that the flour is kneaded for some time, and then rolled out and cut 
into long strips. 
The noodle is finished by boiling them in hot water.

Ohagi (おはぎ), traditional Japanese sweet

Ohagi is a traditional Japanese sweet, made from boiled glutinous rice coated 
with a red-bean jam, sweetened soy bean powder, or sweet sesame paste.

Traditionally Ohagi is eaten only on special days set aside for Buddhist service, 
the Vernal Equinox Day and Autumnal quinox Day, when pious Buddhists pay 
homage to their ancestors and offer Ohagi to them.

Torii Shinto Shrine gate (鳥居)

Is there any special meaning in the Torii Shinto Shrine gate?

Torii is a gate-like structure placed at key point in the path leading to 
the Shinto shrine.
It is very unique for the vermilion torii gate of Itsukushima Shrine to 
stand in the sea.
Itsukushima Shrine                     Nakatsu Shrine at Oshima
It consists of two standing pillars, with two horizontal beams, one a little 
above the other.
It symbolically separates the holy world inside from the 
secular world outside.
            Miyajidake Shrine                  Usa Shrine
The torii is derived from its homophone “tori” which means bird flying in the sky.
It is said to have originated as a perch for sacred birds within the shrine precincts.

                 厳島神社                   宗像大社

Breakfast today (今日の朝食)

I took a typical Japanese breakfast today consist of steamed rice, 
soybean soup with asari clams, tsukune (chicken meatloaf with egg, 
dried laver seaweed, natto ( fermented soybeans) and raw egg mixed 
with steamed rice.


Dango-jiru (だんご汁)

Dango-jiru is one of my favorite local specialty in Oita.

It is made by boiling flat noodles made from wheat flour together 
with ingredients such as radishes, carrots, burdock roots, aroids, 
and shiitake mushrooms in miso flavored dashi (broth).
Farmers who were busy with farm work invented the dish because they 
could cook it easily and eat it quickly.