Today I’m going to put the spotlight on my neighbourhood. I live in the Kamitsu area of Kurume, which is a mixed residential and commercial area, like most neighbourhoods in Japan. On the surface it’s nothing special, but it has its own charms.
The most obvious thing that you see when you come to this area is Narita-san, a temple area with a giant bodhisatva statue flanked by a building that looks like it belongs in India or Thailand. You can climb the statue from the inside, and apparently the view is pretty cool. I was also told that women climb it to ask for blessings of fertility. It’s on my wife’s list of things to do while we’re here. You can read more about the temple at this link. Narita-san is also in the vicinity of Urayama Park, a wide oasis in the middle of dense housing and narrow streets that contains lots of trails and playgrounds and all that fun urban outdoorsy stuff.
In the middle of Kamitsu is the Kamitsu Bypass, a stretch of road that has such awesomeness as Daiso, Uniqlo, Starbucks, famous ramen shops, the best yakiniku and yakitori places, cool second-hand stores (lots of camera equipment), and a Taiko no Tatsujin arcade machine, which is my favourite in Japan. These stores are staples of any city in Japan, but at least in this part of Kurume, it’s pretty convenient that they’re within biking distance.
The neighbourhood is a mix of old and new houses, usually surrounded by rice fields or small parcels of land for growing vegetables. There are also small factories here and there. It’s a good example of mixed land use that North America can learn from. This is as suburban as Japan gets.
These photos were taken over the course of a few months, arranged from morning to night. Have a good one!