Heartland Kurashiki

While wandering through Kurashiki city (倉敷市) and reminiscing about the fun time we had at Tivoli Park, a copy of a famous amusement park in Copenhagen (Denmark) build in 1843, we stumbled on the “Bikan Historical Quarter”. Named like this because history and tradition continue to thrive in this part of the city. In 1979 it became an official treasure and as such all the houses remain in the old style and design.

While enjoying the sights and sounds (and the food) we noticed that beside the riverbank several candles in glasses where being lit. This sparked our interest and in broken Japanese we inquired what the purpose was of lighting these candles.

It seems we were in luck because a festival was just starting (2-4 may each year). That being the case we decided to stick around in one of the many old fashioned restaurants near the riverbank. We tried to get more information at the “Local Information Center” but it seems they didn’t expect any foreigners to visit this beautiful spot of Japanese culture so no English pamphlets could be found.

Still curious about this festival we took our chances and started wandering. And there it started… a registration table, a little bit of paper with a map on it and a lampoon (battery powered). The scavenger quest for hiragana characters around the canal had started. The route was made perfectly so you would see all the interesting events and display’s that were available at this festival.

These three girls played the whole evening entertaining all who took the time to stand still and listen.

At the end of the scavenger hunt we received to our delight a price. Two scented candles.

The boat at night with lit lampions along the Kurashiki river. A truly nice view reinforced by the numurous little lights along the canal.
Many paper umbrellas in different colours and design where placed and lighted from behind. An effect that unfortunatly the foto’s can partly display. Big trees, small entrances, all played with the light. Not only the main street but also the small alley’s where decorated with different light arrangements.

More information :

* Canal Area (Bikan Historical Quarter)
* Wiki Travel : Kurashiki
* Tivoli Park in Kurashiki
I was saddened to read that Tivoli Park in Kurashiki has been closed down since 31 december 2008 so I will only have my foto’s and memories to remember it by.

* Kurashiki * Tourism Website (Japanese)

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