Yanagawa : Venice in Fukuoka, a place you can enjoy rafting and having Japanese steamed eel
Hello, I’m a third year undergraduate student in Kyushu University from Dalian, China. My name is Yuening. I am the representative of International Student Association of Fukuoka County. Here I published an article of the travel experience to Yanagawa City.
“I go to the water whenever I think of you when I weave a wreath. In the distance, the misty mountains, the ancient walls, the entrance to the forest, the elegant silence and profundity, and the blue sky also look very clear.” In his work, the famous Japanese poet Kitahara Hakushu deeply missed his hometown Yanagawa.
Yanagawa is located in the southernmost part of Fukuoka, not only not far from the downtown area of Fukuoka and the airport of Saga but also can experience the unique local sightseeing boat and enjoy the antique street view along Yanagawa. It is said that it has produced the first bowl of Japanese eel rice, so you can also enjoy the famous Japanese traditional steamed eel rice here.
At the end of spring and the beginning of summer, I went to Yanagawa by train from Tenjin station with the international student organization.
At this time period, the willows dance in the breeze everywhere in the city. On the moat of the Edo era, a small wooden boat full of tourists is cruising; the boat passes through the narrow watergate and the river in all directions. The boss of the boat is singing the local ditty Yanagawa people call this way of traveling Yanagawa “White water rafting “. Yanagawa is surrounded by several man-made rivers. It takes about 70 minutes to take a ride around with the “Donkou boat”.
Although the 70-minute cruise is very long, it is not boring at all, because the boatman’s all kinds of unique skills will surprise you all the time. In addition to chatting with you in a simple foreign language, you will sing along with the atmosphere. Even the boatman will perform stunts, jump on the bridge directly, run to the front, wait for the boat to approach, and then jump back to the boat! In the Japanese style water town, with the boatman’s going deep and shallow, you can see the remains of the vassal government era at a close distance.
We cannot wait until the noontime to taste the famous Yanagawa food – steamed eel rice. The difference between rice and common eel is that it is cooked by steaming in a steamer (seiromushi). Because eel meat is steamed, it feels softer than usual, with a little taste of charcoal baking. Rice permeates the flavor of the sauce. Eating it together with egg skin can not only relieve greasiness, but also light fragrance. Then, with a cup of traditional Japanese hot tea, this delicious, let me never forget today’s food feast.
I think Yanagawa is a necessary place for tourists to come to Japan. It is the water town of Kyushu, a good place with beautiful water and scenery. In May, you can take the Japanese version of Venice’s phoenix tail boat to watch the beautiful purple sunflowers and the blooming calamus flowers in early summer and start a beautiful water journey. Of course, in different seasons, there are always flowers and trees in full bloom on both banks of the river, such as cherry blossom in April, azalea in May, and Hydrangea in June. Every season has its characteristics, so please come to Yanagawa to enjoy the charm of different seasons.
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