Thursday, October 29, 2009
The Rusty Buildings of Makurazaki
Makurazaki is a city of 24,000 on the southern edge of Kyushu. It's the terminus of the Ibuski-Makurazaki line of JR Kyushu, the most southern JR line in Japan. The station, pictured earlier, is tucked behind drug store and some cafes with only the smallest of signs giving direction. Only 6 trains leave from this station daily. I came to this city only because it's the end of the line. My goal was to ride that line from end to end. Besides that, I had no clue what else this city had to offer when I set off on a 2 hour walk around the downtown and harbor area.
Although I'm posting photos of rusty buildings, that doesn't mean I didn't like this town. In fact, I found this sleepy little fishing village to be a very clean and pleasant place with many new roads and nice houses. My eye is just attracted to old buildings and rust. I wouldn't mind living here even though it's super humid and sweaty in the summer and the many typhoons that hit the city. The city's major industry is the fishing and fish processing of katsuo, called bonito or skipjack tuna in English. Katsuo is used mostly in making dashi, soup stock, and katsuobushi, dried fish flakes that are used as a condiment. I stopped by a city run shop that sold locally produced goods and bought some great tea there and found the locals to be very sweet.