Now Reports

This Month in Fukuoka – April

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Terumo Jinja Shrine
With 1,300 cherry trees, Nishi Park is one of Fukuoka’s premier hanami spots. At the top of the stairs sits Terumo Jinja Shrine, dedicated to Kanbei Kuroda and his son Nagamasa (the first ruler of the Fukuoka Domain). Its location on a strip of land jutting into Hakata Bay affords wonderful vistas of the ocean and the city. Inside the shrine grounds stands a bronze statue of the famous samurai Tahei Bori holding a giant sake cup. The current shrine was rebuilt in 1966 – including the beautiful crane decoration on the ceiling, which sings when you throw money into the donation box.

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Photo courtesy of Amritendu Maji.

Terumo Jinja Shrine
Address: 13-­1 Nishi-­koen, Chuo-­ku
Tel.: 092­-761-­1807

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Last June, a new gallery/cafe called Sanatorium opened in the subcultural mecca of north Tenjin. It is a branch of the Fushigi Hakubutsukan—a creative space in Nakagawa Town. The white interior features anatomical models, medical devices and the owner’s art. The banana shake, like a barium swallow, comes in a beaker. The sweets change daily and also come in off-the-wall containers. You cannot photograph the nurse uniform-clad staff or some of the exhibits, but this only adds to the cafe’s mystique. The vibe may be weird, but who knows, you might just feel right at home.

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Address: 3-3-23-3F Tenjin, Chuo-ku
Hours: 12:00~22:00
Closed: Wed.
Tel: 092-791-5477

Menu: Daily snack ¥800, daily dish ¥800, drinks (coffee, tea, tomato juice, sake, etc.) ¥600, snack & drink set ¥1,200

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Edo Soba Wabisuke
In the quiet neighborhood of Shirogane, you will find Wabisuke, a soba shop that still grinds its buckwheat by hand with a mortar and pestle. The Yamamotos, the shop’s husband-and-wife owners, buy their high-grade buckwheat direct from the farmers. Some of it is ground by hand for inaka seiro, a special soba made from a mix of buckwheat including crushed whole soba kernels. Only five bowls of this bouncy, hearty soba are available per day. Try a tiny pinch of salt with your first bite to bring out the true flavor. Then continue with salt, or switch to dipping sauce. (Remember: only dip the tips of the noodles; dipping an entire chopstickful is considered gauche.) Soba should be eaten immediately, before it loses its flavor. This is especially true for the sobagaki, a traditional mixture of 100% soba flour and hot water topped with an (sweet bean paste). The owners recommend you savor some sake, graze on a side dish, and then finish off with soba.

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Edo Soba Wabisuke
Address: 1-14-2 Shirogane, Chuo-ku
Hours: 11:30~15:00, 18:00~21:00 (or until soba runs out)
Closed: Tue., irregular
Tel: 092-285-4217

Menu: 100% handmade seiro ¥900, coarse-ground seiro ¥900, kakesoba ¥700, itawasa ¥400, dashimaki tamago ¥650, seasonal tempura ¥1,000, sobagaki zenzai ¥600, soba kaiseki (6 dishes) ¥3,500, sake (180ml) ¥800

Originally published in Fukuoka Now Magazine (fn208, Apr. 2016)

Art & Culture
Fukuoka Prefecture
Published: Mar 28, 2016 / Last Updated: Jun 13, 2017

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