NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

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屋台 Yatai Yatai: Streetside Stalls in Fukuoka

Jp En

At night in Nagahama, lines of some 200 yatai form here and along the Naka River in Nakasu, Tenjin, in Fukuoka.

Yatai such as these first appeared in the mid-Edo period, when politics were stable. As the economy developed, eating out became more common and in big cities, restaurants, selling sushi for example, set up covered stands in front of their premises to sell food to passers-by.

Then, because stands could be moved to places with large crowds, wheeled-stands were used to take the food to where the business was. Customers ranged from merchants, craftsmen, low-class samurais to tramps, and stalls were very casual places to eat in--just  like today's fast-food restaurants.

Fukuoka yatai offer many kinds of foods, such as Chinese noodles in soup, 'oden', grilled chicken on skewers, meat roasted on a hot plate, and fritters. In Tokyo, stalls have the image of more down-at-heel off-street business, but in Fukuoka, many stalls compete with each other and are stars of food culture here.
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友泉亭公園 Yusentei-kouen Yusentei Park and Villa

Jp En

Yusentei Park, located in Jonan-ku, Fukuoka City, is an historical area that includes the former villa of the Chikuzen-Kuroda clan. The villa was originally built in the mid-Edo period (1754) for Tsugitaka Kuroda, the 6th domain head of the Kuroda clan.

Yusentei ('friendly fountain villa') gets its name from a tanka poem written by a later lord, that goes: 'A fountain ('sen') does not know the heat that people cannot endure, The fountain is friendly ('yu') with a hermitage.'

It is wonderful to find such a genuine Japanese garden such as this. It includes a pond, as well as trees and flowers that include maple, beech, camellia and wisteria. The flora vary throughout the seasons. The view of the garden from the main building is splendid. The fall leaves are very beautiful and thousands of carp swim in the pond.

This park is like a sanctuary that calms us in our busy daily lives.
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"Nippon-kichi" leads you to places, people and things that reveal a certain Japanese aesthetic.

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