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Miyawaka-shi

at a glance

A town of about 21,000 people, many of whom are employed by Toyota, which has a factory here. Incorporates former Wakamiya and Miyata-machi and was once home to a POW camp that was disbanded at the end of the WWII. It`s also famous for the Gojinko Festival, which is held once every two years.

festivals

Gojinko Matsuri

Early October (Biennial)

getting there

Take the #10 bus from the Nogata Bus Center to Miyawaka Shiyakusho (¥510, about 45 minutes); the nearest highway bus stop from Kokura or Tenjin is Wakamiya IC, then take a taxi to the city center.

points of interest

Gojinko Festival is held once every two years. During the festival Tenshogu Shrine is alive with street stalls, sumo matches, a children’s festival band and an ikebana exhibition. The highlight of the festival is the Gojinko ritual (God procession) that has been practiced for more than 700 years. In the ritual 300 representatives, carrying lanterns and ritual instruments, quietly march in a parade to Hiyoshi Shrine, leading the yamakasa float decorated with lights. Tenshogu Shrine is in the Isomitsu area, east of Miyawaka on Route 461.

Hachimangu Shrine 岩宮八幡宮 was constructed in the early days of the Edo Period but may’ve been founded earlier. Inside are the portraits of 36 Tanka poets created by artist Iwasa Matabe (1578-1650). Located north of town between the expressway and the shinkansen line, it’s best to take a taxi from the Wakamiya IC, 岩宮IC bus stop. 395 Mizuhara. Call first to check hours • 0949-52-1337

Sengoku Park 千石公園 is ideal for viewing sakura trees during the cherry blossom-viewing season, camping or just relaxing with friends and family. From the JR Shin-Iizuka Station take a twenty-five minute bus towards the park and get off at Sengokukyo iriguchi (千石峡入口). From the bus stop follow the signs; it’s a twenty-minute walk.

Takehara Kofun 竹原古墳 This cave fresco, rendered in black and cinnabar red and dating from the late sixth century, is a designated national historical site. Get off at JR Nogata Station and hop on a JR Kyushu bus for Fukumaru (福丸). From Fukumaru bus stop it’s a 20-minute walk; follow the signs. Admission 210. Oaza Takehara, Kurate-gun. 9am-4:30pm Tue-Sun • 0949-52-0859

Yunozen no Sato 湯の禅里offers relaxation in abundance for just 600 yen. Towels or other necessary items can be hired at reception for a few hundred yen. Located in the Wakita area to the south-west of the town center, it’s a ten-minute drive from the nearest highway bus stop, Wakamiya IC. 507 Wakita. 10am-10pm (call first as closed on different days each month) • 0949-54-0123

eating and drinking

Okonomiyaki Haru お好み焼きはる is a small restaurant well known by the locals for its tasty okonomiyaki that you can make by yourself if you desire. Located directly across the street from the ALT apartments in Honjou. Get on the red bus labeled Miyata ?? from the bus center on the left side when coming out of the JR Nogata Station (don’t confuse it with the Nogata Bus Center!) and get off one stop after Honjou (本城).  Haru is on the other side of the street. 544-1 Honjou. 5pm-9pm, Mon-Sat • 0949-32-8576 •