Monday, July 18, 2011

Mojiko 'retro'

A short way from Kokura is Mojiko, an area that has a number of old buildings in a good state of repair (or nicely faked). This situation has been used skilfully to turn the area into a tourist trap. Old in Japan is often referred to as 'retro'.

The area is close to the Kanmon Bridge linking Kyushu to the main island, and Moji is dotted with wharves and harbours. A triathlon was being held around the little port area.

Some buildings are newer than others, although appearances can be deceptive. The building in the foreground is a reproduction of a building in Dairen, China. It isn't old at all.

Mojiko has some association with bananas. My curiosity didn't extend much beyond snapping this manifestation of the association.

This building is widely touted as being a 'wooden building'. It's doing a very good impression of being a brick and stone building.

Mojiko Station is modelled on a station in Italy. It's a fine, atmospheric place.

This young woman with pigtails sported a sun umbrella, itself a rather retro statement for the young these days. Her high-heeled sandals made an attention-grabbing clatter as she passed beneath the iron-work.

Mojiko has many interesting buildings besides those listed on the tourist maps. This Chinese restaurant gave what seems to me an authentically Chinese impression.

The old Iwata sake shop. The current owners have a marked fondness for the lotus flower.

The Koso Hachiman Shrine proved a good place for eating breakfast. Cool breezes blew off the sea. As I was eating my morning buns, two elderly shrine gentlemen brushed the steps, while several Shintoists arrived in their cars, made their morning obeisances, and drove off.

The Mojiko local beer factory, brewer of Kokura's Sakura beer. I tried the hefeweizen and found it very palatable and nourishing. Some of the triathlon people staggering past looked as though a short weizen rest would have done them good.

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