About Fukuoka Kimono Walk
Fukuoka Kimono Walk iis a one year photography project : each month, I am introducing a traditionnal place somewhere in Fukuoka city by wearing a kimono which fits the season.
This project is aiming to show a different Fukuoka, far from the big modern city image, while making kimono more accessible.
Most of you probably don't know but since I came to live in Fukuoka, I have the habbit to go every february in Maizuru Park to see plum blossoms. The reason is simple: it is the best place in Fukuoka city to observe the blooming of these pretty flowers that are the first of the year to hatch.
For this second issue of my Fukuoka Kimono Walk project, I take you to Maizuru Park (舞鶴公園)'s plum garden.
Maizuru Park is located in the center of Fukuoka, just next to the big Ohori Park. Previously, it housed Castle Fukuoka, abandoned and dismantled in the 19th century. Today, only the walls and a few buildings remain. For few years, archaeological excavations are ongoing and allowed to update hundreds of objects and foundations: it is thought that the castle was almost as big as Kumamoto's one !
Opinions differ in the city about the castle: should we rebuild it or should we keep the ruins as it is now ? The rebuild would attract more tourists in Fukuoka but that would mean spending a large sum of money for a work that would take years and "sacrifice" a great part of the park. My opinion ? I love Maizuru Park peacefulness and I would hate to share it with hundred of tourists or even have to pay to enter. On the other hand if it can help to make Fukuoka known and attract people it wouldn't be a bad thing. We will see how it turns out, it isn't like my opinion would count anyway.
The appeal of Maizuru is definitly its high walls of stones which coupled with the green grass provide a special atmosphere. It's like to be in a maze: there are paths everywhere and you don't go twice to the same place. It's so nice to get lost in this high walls maze. You discover a hidden path between azaleas bushes here, an old building there or a nice view between trees.
The plum garden is on the second level of the park. There are all varieties of trees offering the whitest flowers to red ones through a wide range of pinks. To have a top view of the garden, you only have to climb a large stone staircase to reach the 3rd level. We even see up to Fukuoka Tower !
The plum blossoms and its sweet scent would perfectly lend themselves to a picnic in the grass if an icy wind wasn't blowing so hard at this time of the year. It will wait a few weeks.
This month, I chose a white kimono with red, pink and green ... cherry blossoms pattern ! Rather than focusing on the pattern, I preferred to think about the colors. I wanted a kimono that comes out well on a stone background, with colors which would reming plum blossoms and this one was the best option. Also, I have already an idea for next month's theme.
Once again I chose items that I wouldn't choose usually like this green obi slash. I never wear green. I don't like this color so I was quite skeptical when kimono rental shop lady suggested me this obi but after looking at the photos, I think it's rather nice and pretty.
This month, no colored tabi but simple white tabi ones with just a small pink floral pattern. I also found the perfect zori sandals. Some flowers in my hair have finished to complete my outfit.
See you next month !
ACCess and useful informations
Maizuru park (舞鶴公園)
812-0018 3-1-51 Sumiyoshi, Hakata-ku, Fukuoka-shi, Fukuoka
4 minutes by foot from Otemon & Heiwadai Rikujou Kyougijo iriguchi (大手門・平和台陸上競技場入口) stop on lines number 3 and 13. it costs 230 yens and takes 25 minutes.
Access by subway from Hakata station :
Take the subway and get off in Akasaka (8 minutes, 260 yens) or Ôhorikôen (10 minute, 260 yens) then 8 minutes by foot.