Yaldā Advent Calendar 2012 – Day 18 – a visit to Chinzei


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Another photo gallery today, from my “research trip” to Kyushu. This time it’s various places that show up in the books from all around the island.

It was a strange feeling, to visit the places I wrote about – still, largely, unchanged and recognizable. There really is a hot spring and guesthouse in front of Aso shrine in Hitoyoshi; the forests around Kirishima Shrine are dark and mysterious; Jochibyo stairs are terrifyingly creepy.

There were a few more monuments of famous persons around: the Japanese love putting bronze statues of anyone even remotely famous. And of course, the entire journey took only a few days on fast trains, instead of walking on foot for weeks 🙂

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Yaldā Advent Calendar 2012 – Day 11 – a visit to Kiyo


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Day 11. Today something a bit different – a photo gallery.

 

 

 

 

This summer I went to Kyushu, Japan, to see how places I’ve written about in “The Shadow of Black Wings” look like today.

Many locations are still standing or are easily identifiable. Naturally, the Suwa Shrine is still sprawling majestically over the city’s northern district, not far from the largely reconstructed Magistrate. The location of the Keisuke house is fictional (although not the family) but the hill district near Sofukuji Temple is still criss-crossed by a labyrinth of indecipherable narrow streets.

The Takashima Residence was, sadly, blown away by the nuclear bomb, and only the foundations remain. The island of Dejima is being painstakingly reconstructed, and you can walk its streets freely – it’s now one of the city’s main tourist attractions. It’s also no longer an island.

Fukusaya Bakery is now a noble institution, with tiny bits of moist cake sold at extortionate prices.