About Fukuoka Kimono Walk
This project is aiming to show a different Fukuoka, far from the big modern city image, while making kimono more accessible.
In this fourth issue of Fukuoka Kimono Walk, I went to a place that has a special meaning to me : Tocho-ji temple (東長寺). Indeed, this is the first place I visited in Fukuoka, the day after my arrival because it was right next to my hotel. I arrived in the evening and at the time I reach the Toyoko Inn, it was already dark night and I couldn't see the temple. I was surprised to discover the pagoda from my window the next day and I went to visit it before getting my living place keys.
Tocho-ji is one of the most famous temple in Fukuoka. It is located in Hakata district, a 10 minute walk from Hakata Station. It is easily visible from the street due to its elegant 5 floors pagoda and huge cherry tree making it one of the most popular spots in the city to photograph sakura. Some buildings date back to 806, making it the oldest temple of this kind in Kyushu. On the 1st floor, there is the largest wooden Buddha statue of Japan. It measures 10m high and weighs over 30 tons. Normally it is forbidden to photograph it but I got special permission last year when I worked for the city as a translator so I took plenty of pictures. There is a small path behind the Buddha which is plunged into darkness and you have found the brass ring to hope to have good fortune.
Then I went for a walk in the small streets behind the temple which has a multitude of temples such as the majestic Shofuku-ji (聖福寺). i like it for its big park and its many cats that come to play with the people passing through. This temple is the oldest Zen temple in Japan : it was completed in 1195 but despite this there are almost no tourists. If Tochō-ji is not really the place to sit and enjoy the quiet (there are only a few benches and many tourists ), in contrast, to those who would seek a bit of tranquility, Shofuku-ji is perfect. To finish the afternoon, I quickly went to smaller temples such as Junshin-ji (順心寺) and Sesshin-in (節信院), very pleasant with their dry gardens.
About the rental shop, I didn't mentioned it yet but every month I rent my kimono in a shop called Mayu no Kai. Usually this really is a great shop with vendors full of good advice and they are fully aware of my project.
But this time I wasn't happy at all. The dresser chose a autumn leaves pattern kimono underwear and I couldn't chose the sandals too. It's only details but still. Also, the person who dressed only let me chose the obi among only a few ones. usually I can see everything so i was disappointed because I didn't want that pink obi but there was nothing else which matched the kimono.
Finally, she badly knotted my kimono: too tight, she also forgot a clamp on me and failed to tie the obi (another dresser had to do it again afterwards). Usually this shop is really serious and friendly but this time was particular. The dresser wasn't the one I got usually so maybe she wasn't aware but still.. This is a serious project for my blog not just a kimono rental for strolling in the city.
I think next time will be ok again, I hope.
See you next month !
|Tocho-ji temple, Fukuoka|
|Tocho-ji temple, Fukuoka|
|I don't want this picture to be stolen so I had to put a bigger watermark, sorry.|
|Tocho-ji temple's pagoda...|
|and its cherry tree !|
|Cherry blossom doesn't smell anything|
|Shofuku-ji temple, Fukuoka|
|Sandals' pattern are pretty but not appropriate for the season..|
|A walk in kimono at the Shofuku-ji temple in Fukuoka|
|Sesshin-in temple, Fukuoka|
Access and useful informations
Tocho-ji temple (東長寺)
〒812-0037 2-4 Gokusho-machi, Hakata-ku, Fukuoka-shi, Fukuoka
Everyday from 9am to 5pm
Access from Hakata station :
Take bus number 88 or 99 inf ront of the station and get of at Gion-machi (祇園町). It cost 100 yens.
By foot it takes 10 minutes.