Kitakyushu Things to Do

  • The building from the outside.
    The building from the outside.
    by IreneMcKay
  • Ground floor.
    Ground floor.
    by IreneMcKay
  • Bonsai exhibition.
    Bonsai exhibition.
    by IreneMcKay

Most Recent Things to Do in Kitakyushu

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    The Kyushu Railway History Museum.

    by IreneMcKay Updated Jun 24, 2013

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    Railway Museum.

    Open 9am to 5pm. Admission 300 yen. It was shut before we got there. It is near the station, housed in a former railway building and has real locomotives, a driving simulator, a large railway panorama of Kyushu and a track where visitors can drive a small train.

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    • Trains
    • Photography
    • Historical Travel

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    The Mekari Shrine

    by IreneMcKay Updated Jun 24, 2013

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    Dolls at the shrine.
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    This shrine is right under the Kanmon Bridge. On Japanese New Year's Day the priests here gather seaweed - a symbol of long life. The shrine had a collection of dolls near the entrance and an inari fox shrine with red tori. I enjoyed the contrast between the huge modern bridge and the traditional shrine. A good place to watch the busy waterway.

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    • Architecture
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    Commemorative Library of International Friendship.

    by IreneMcKay Updated Jun 24, 2013

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    Rickshaw tour passes building.
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    This building is a replica of the Chinese Eastern Railway Office that the Russians built in Dalian, China. It was built to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the friendship agreement between Kitakyushu and Dalian. There is a restaurant downstairs and a library upstairs. Open 9.30am to 7pm except Mondays. Admission free.

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    • Architecture
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    Mojiko JR Station

    by IreneMcKay Updated Jun 24, 2013

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    My husband in the waiting room.
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    This station opened on February 1st 1914. It is in neo-Renaissance style and has been a designated national cultural property since 1988. The building is currently undergoing renovation, but is still attractive and interesting to explore. Trains from Kokura will drop you here.

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    • Historical Travel
    • Photography
    • Trains

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    Mojiko Harbour.

    by IreneMcKay Written Oct 28, 2012

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    Harbour shop.
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    Mojiko Harbour is very pretty. It has historical buildings, shops, restaurants, even a boat restaurant. Boat trips leave from this harbour. You can sample Mojiko's cheesy baked curry here and try Mojiko Station beer and Mojiko Retro beer from the shops.

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    Kanmon Strait Museum.

    by IreneMcKay Written Oct 28, 2012

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    Kanmon Strait Museum.

    Open from 9am to 5pm. Admission 500 yen. We did not visit this museum - I am not a museum fan, but apparently it houses a retro room which shows Mojiko in the Taicho Period and has exhibits on the history of the Kanmon Strait. The building dates from 2003.

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    • Historical Travel
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    Kanmon Bridge

    by IreneMcKay Written Oct 28, 2012

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    It took us around 20 minutes to walk from Mojiko to the Kanmon Bridge. On weekends and public holidays a steam train runs part of the way. It was a pleasant walk past a busy marina. The bridge connects Kyushu and Honshu. There is a shrine next to the bridge and a pedestrian tunnel - also open to bikes - through which you can walk under the sea to Honshu in around 15 minutes.

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    Old Moji Mitsui Club.

    by IreneMcKay Written Oct 28, 2012

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    The club building.
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    This building was built in 1921 to house important company guests. Einstein and his wife stayed here in 1922. Downstairs is free entry and has a restaurant. The first floor has an entry fee of 100 yen and contains memorial rooms to Einstein and Japanese writer Fumiko Hiyashi. Open 9am to 5pm.

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    Old Mitsui OSK Line Building.

    by IreneMcKay Written Oct 28, 2012

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    The building from the outside.
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    This building was built in 1917. The Kanmon Strait Hall is on the ground floor - it was filled with bonsai during our visit. The Seizo Watase Gallery of the Sea is upstairs. It holds exhibitions and entry to it is 100 yen. This building is open from 9am to 5pm.

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    • Historical Travel
    • Photography
    • Architecture

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    Kokura Castle

    by SallyM Updated May 8, 2011
    Kokura Castle
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    Kokura Castle was built in 1602 by Tadaoki Hosokawa, who had been awarded the Kokura area as a reward for his service in the battle of Sikigahara. Tadaoki encouraged foreign trade and also started the town's Gion Festival.

    The castle was destroyed by fire in 1837. It was rebuilt two years later, without the tower. The tower that can be visited today is a reconstruction built in 1959 from reinforced concrete. The design is unusual in that the fifth level is larger than the fourth level.

    As it is a modern rebuilding, the inside is accessible. There are even stairlifts. After tackling the almost vertical stairs of Matsuyama castle in loose-fitting plastic slippers, this came as a relief.

    Inside are exhibitions and displays which explain what life would have been like in the castle's 17th century heyday.

    Exhibits include a diorama of the castle in the 17th century; a motorised replica of a palanquin in which you an experience what this form of transport would have felt like and a reconstruction of a strategy meeting.

    On the fourth floor is a theatre where animated films about the history of the castle are shown. (Audio available in several languages). One, ‘Express Messenger Mr Gen’s side trip travelogue on Kokura castle town’ lasts about 15 minutes gives an insight into life in the town, including the Gion festival. The other, ‘The Story of Kokura Castle’ stars a time-travelling raccoon family, who learn about the history of the castle itself.

    Admisson: 350 yen adults, concessions (schoolchildren) 200 yen and 100 yen.

    Open daily except 31 December 9.00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m. (Apr to Oct); 9.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. (Nov to March).

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    • Castles and Palaces
    • Historical Travel

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    Eco House

    by SallyM Written May 7, 2011
    Eco House, Kitakyushu

    Next door to the Environment Museum is a show home of an Eco-House. UK fans of 'Grand Designs' - this is your opportunity to play at being Kevin McCloud.

    I found it interesting to feel the heat generated from the solar tubes - even on a day which was not particularly hot and sunny. The house also gets electric power from a wind turbine and hydrogen from the nearby steelworks. The insulating material is derived from volcanic ash.

    The windows have a range of shutters which can be deployed separately depending on whether you wish to have ventilation, insulation, sunlight etc.

    It's definitely worth having a look if you are in the area for Space World, the Natural History Museum or the Environment Museum

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    • Eco-Tourism
    • Architecture

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    Environment Museum

    by SallyM Updated May 7, 2011
    Model Eco House, Kitakyushu Environment Museum
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    I would be the first to admit that this museum does not look too enticing from the outside, and certainly not as exciting as Space World next door. However, it is well worth a visit. It tells the story of the severe pollution problems that the industrial city of Kitakyushu suffered and how the city was cleaned up.

    Particularly interesting are the 'Radiorama' models, with dramatised commentary available in several languages (inc. English) - one is about the effects of air pollution on a school, and another is about how the bay, which had become a 'dead sea' was brought back to life.

    There are also interactive exhibits for children about enviromental matters generally, and a great model of an 'eco-house'.

    There is a full-size eco-house show home next door, which is also worth a visit.

    There is also a library area, and the opportunity to freecycle clothes and books.

    Open 9-5 (except Mondays). Admission is 100 yen (adults) 50 yen children.

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    • Museum Visits
    • Family Travel
    • Eco-Tourism

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    Wakamatsu Port Festival

    by gogonicetrip Written Jul 7, 2008
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    Wakamatsu Port Festival is a summer festival held in Wakamatsu, which used to be Japanfs number one port in terms of the volume of coal being shipped.
    The festival consists of the Dashi - a festival float shaped like a Goheita-fune (a boat used for transporting the coal), and a parade of young ladies wearing Yukata (a festival costume) dancing in rhythm to the Goheita-bayashi (an accompanying song) and Taru-taiko (a barrel drum) as they walk around the Wakamatsu downtown shopping center.
    On the evening of the 3rd day, gHi matsuri gyojih ( a fire festival) is held, an event which is connected to the legend of Kappa (a water imp), and about 2000 people with torches climb Mt. Takato-yama to create an enchanting spectacle.

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    Kurosaki Gion Festival

    by gogonicetrip Written Jul 7, 2008
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    Kurosaki Gion Yamagasa is a summer event which has been held since the 17th century as the festival for Kumate-suga Shrine and Fujita-suga Shrine.
    The theme of this festival is that at first God is welcomed into the Sasa Yamagasa (festival float decorated with bamboo grass). The Sasa Yamagasa is then carried around each town while prayers are said for good health, a plentiful harvest and for the eradication of virulent contagious diseases.
    After the parade in each town, the Sasa Yamagasa is dismantled, and is then refashioned into the Ningyo Yamagasa (Doll Float) which is decorated with beautiful dolls. The colored Ningyo Yamagasa is lit up at night and becomes a vivid spectacle.
    The highlight of the festival is when the illuminated Ningyo Yamagasa gyrates, and the various colors of the dolls mingle and scatter alternately.
    In the climax, the Yamagasa seems to gradually evolve into a dancing object, and this produces great excitement among the spectators.

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    Kokura Castle Japanese Garden

    by gogonicetrip Updated Apr 14, 2008

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    The Kokura Castle Japanese Garden, which features the villa of an Edo-period feudal lord and a serene Japanese style garden.

    Admission fee for an adult is 300 yen.

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    • National/State Park

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