Kokura 小倉

Kokura (小倉?) is an ancient castle town and the center of Kitakyūshū, Japan, guarding, via its suburb Moji, the Straits of Shimonoseki between Honshū and Kyūshū. Kokura is also the name of the penultimate station on the southbound Sanyo Shinkansen line, which is owned by JR Kyūshū and an important part of the company’s rail network. Ferries connect Kokura with Matsuyama on Shikoku, and Busan in Korea.

Kokura had been the primary target of the nuclear weaponFat Man” on August 9, 1945, but on the morning of the raid, the city was obscured by clouds and smoke from an earlier fire-bombing of the neighboring city of Yahata. Since the mission commander Major Charles Sweeney had orders to only drop the bomb if the target was sighted, he ordered the mission to proceed to the secondary target of Nagasaki, where the weapon was dropped. Hence the Japanese talk of the “luck of Kokura”. Kokura had been the secondary target of the “Little Boy” bomb, which had been dropped three days earlier by the Enola Gay on Hiroshima. source: wikipedia.org

After Mojiko, in the afternoon, we went to Kokura, which is only a short journey by train. As a castle town, one of the main attraction is of course the Kokura castle. The castle is about a ten-minute walk from JR Kyushu’s Kokura Station. The North side of the moat is next to the Riverwalk shopping complex

Kokura Castle (小倉城 Kokura-jō?) in Kitakyushu, Japan was built by Hosokawa Tadaoki in 1602. It was the property of the Ogasawara clan (from Harima) between 1632 and 1860. The castle was burnt down in 1865 in the war between the Kokura and Chōshū clans.

Mori Ogai was based at the castle at the turn of the 19th-20th century when it was a military base.

The keep was reconstructed in 1959, and the castle was fully restored in 1990. The Matsumoto Seicho museum and castle garden were opened in 1998. The old Japanese-style pre-Brunton lighthouse from Shirasu is in the castle grounds. source wikipedia.org

Click here for the next part of the journey.

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