For many long-term residents of Japan, the novelty of tourist traps, temples, and overcrowded places has long been lost. Even though I was passionate about much of Japan’s unique culture, in recent years, I’m much more interested in the country itself than anything else.
What I mean by this is the unfamiliar and often stunning nature that Japan has to offer when you step of the old beaten path.
As someone from the UK, when I visit one of Japan’s incredible number of parks, I’m always slightly disappointed by the hard, dusty ground where never mind a good picnic spot, it’s hard to even find an adequate patch of grass.
That’s why when I found a quiet paradise not far from where I live (near Hakata in Fukuoka city), I was pleasantly surprised. The nature-preserve is carefully maintained, and depending on the season you can see many of Japans iconic flowers blooming with spectacular views from all around. Unfortunately, though, I was too late for the sakura bloom and too early for the ajisai (hydrangea) bloom.
Here are a few quick pics I took.
Even out here, in what seemed like the middle of nowhere, there was some interesting aspects of Japanese culture that could be seen on a couple of safety signs.
Above is a sign that says “Danger!! No swimming. It is forbidden to swim in the dam”. This is pretty normal, what is interesting is the picture of a kappa (Japanese folklore water demon) pulling someone into the depths. These old signs can be found all over Japan and I’m always fascinated by references to Youkai (Japanese demons).
Below is a sign warning against fires, depicting a sad little bunny that may lose it’s home in a wildfire.