Kurume is a city located in the southwest of Fukuoka Prefecture, japan. It is situated on the banks of the Chikugo River and is known for its historical shrines and temples, vibrant azaleas, and local crafts. Kurume was once a castle town and is surrounded by the beautiful Minou Mountain Range. The city is home to several notable temples and shrines, including Suitengu Shrine, Bairinji Temple, and Daihonzan Naritasan Kurume Temple.
One of the main attractions in Kurume is Daihonzan Naritasan Temple. This temple is famous for its 62-meter statue of the Mother Kannon, the bodhisattva of mercy. The statue is a prominent landmark and can be seen from miles away. Visitors can climb to the top of the statue using a spiral staircase and enjoy a breathtaking view of southern Fukuoka Prefecture. The temple is a popular pilgrimage site and attracts visitors from all over Japan.
In addition to its religious sites, Kurume is also known for its natural beauty. The city’s symbolic flower is the azalea, which blooms in abundance from mid-April. The vibrant and colorful azaleas can be seen all over the city, particularly in Kurume Forest Azalea Park and the Kurume World Tsutsuji Center. These places offer a stunning display of azaleas and are a must-visit for nature lovers.
Kurume is also a hub for local crafts. One of the most famous crafts in the area is Kurume kasuri textiles. Kurume kasuri is an indigo-dyed cotton fabric that has been designated as a National Important Intangible Asset and a National Traditional Craft Product. The fabric is made using traditional methods that involve months of labor. It has been used to make various items, including clothing, accessories, and even sneakers. Rantai indigo lacquerware is another traditional craft of Kurume. This bamboo ware is made from locally grown bamboo and coated with lacquer. It is lightweight, sturdy, and perfect for everyday use items such as chopsticks or confectionary utensils.
When it comes to food and drink, Kurume has a lot to offer. The city is known for its sake breweries and is considered one of the three great sake brewing areas in Japan. Kurume boasts a large number of sake breweries and offers a wide variety of sake for visitors to taste and enjoy. Tonkotsu ramen, a type of ramen with pork bone broth, originated in Kurume and is a popular delicacy in the region. The city is also known for its yakitori, grilled skewers of chicken, beef, and pork. The aroma of freshly grilled skewers fills the air and is sure to tantalize your taste buds.
Getting to Kurume is easy as it is well-connected by air and rail. The city can be reached by air from Tokyo, with a flight taking approximately three hours. It is also accessible by bullet train from Fukuoka City, with a travel time of about 17 minutes. Local JR Line and Nishitetsu Line trains also provide convenient transportation options to Kurume.
Overall, Kurume is a city that offers a unique blend of history, nature, and culture. With its historical shrines and temples, vibrant azaleas, and local crafts, the city has something to offer for every traveler. Whether you are interested in exploring religious sites, enjoying the beauty of nature, or experiencing traditional crafts and cuisine, Kurume is a destination that should not be missed.
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