FEATURE

Ohori Park - An Oasis of Greenery in Fukuoka

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Ohori Park is a place of recreation and relaxation for Fukuoka locals. It is the venue for the Nishinippon Ohori fireworks display held in August every year.

Ohori Park has become a popular relaxation spot, which is easily accessible by subway and bus from city centers such as Hakata and Tenjin. A lake occupies almost a half of the park, and around the lake is a walking path about 2 kilometers in circumference.

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When you walk in the park, you will see people enjoying activities such as chatting with their friends, reading, jogging, and dog walking.

First, let’s looking back at the history of the park!

 

The park makes use of the old moat of Fukuoka Castle

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Ukimido pavilion on the island in the middle of the lake

This place is used to be the outer moat of Fukuoka Castle. After the castle was abandoned, the government proposed a renovation plan in which the moat would be filled in. However, they ultimately decided to develop the area into a park and incorporating the moat. The park opened in 1929. The park is said to have modeled on the West Lake of China, a famous sightseeing spot in Zhejiang Province.

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The on-site map showing the features of the park

The park includes a variety of places to enjoy, including a Children’s park, a Japanese garden and a Noh theater. There is also a series of islands in the middle of the lake connected by four bridges, where there is a small pavilion.

There are also many sites of interest on the periphery of the park, such as the Fukuoka Castle ruins, Maizuru Park, Korokan Historical Museum and Fukuoka Art Museum.

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The path is divided into three sections designated for bikes, joggers and pedestrians.

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There is also exercise equipment located throughout the park.

As you walk here, you can enjoy the soothing breeze from the lake and the energy of the nature in the park.

 

A paradise for wild birds

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Look! A grey heron standing on a pole!

Ohori Park, with its bountiful natural resources, is also a place where you can see many wild birds. Migratory birds often gather at the park during their long journeys. As they travel from one wilderness to the next, the oasis of Ohori Park is the perfect spot for them to rest.

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Ducks relaxing in the shade.

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The islands that span the middle of the lake feature Ukimido pavilion and provide a shortcut for crossing the park.

 

Look for the Manyo Kahi

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Manyo Kahi stone monument inscribed with poetry of “Aratsunohama”

When you cross a bridge onto Matsushima island on the lake, you will find a stone monument called the Manyo Kahi sitting amongst the pine trees.

The poem inscribed on the stone says, “I know I’m going to miss you, so I rented a room near Aratsunohama beach for one night.”

The surrounding area of the park used to be an ocean inlet with many ships coming and going. The poem was said to be made by a person on their way to Kyoto or an officer dispatched to Korea. It is the kind of message sent when one has to say good-bye to the person seeing them off. You can take in the scenery while imagining times gone by and the romantic scene described in the poem.

 

Recharge your spirits with a boat ride or a waterfront snack

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One of the best features of Ohori Park is its many benches, all facing the lake. You will have no problem finding a place to sit in the park.

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You can even see far-off Fukuoka Tower!

The restaurant space Boat House Ohori Park reopened in February, 2015 after renovations. The building adds a sophisticated atmosphere to the park. Boat rides are a popular pastime, or you can enjoy a snack while looking over the water.

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Boat House Ohori Park includes boat rentals and a restaurant

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Swan-shaped paddle boats and rowboats are available for rental.

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The Royal Garden Cafe is on the 1st floor, and Hananoki, a famous French restaurant, is on the 2nd floor.

A walk around the entire park takes about 40 minutes. If you have time, visit the Japanese garden or Fukuoka Castle ruins for further rest and relaxation. Ohori Park, an oasis of greenery in Fukuoka, will surely refresh your spirits.

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