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So here are some photos of my time in Fukuoka.  Studio Kura is actually not located in Fukuoka city, but outside in Itoshima (the combined name of two different cities, Ito and Shima).  One day, Hiro-san took me to a nearby Buddhist temple. There, we were treated to a lovely tour of the ancient temple (established 1000 years ago, so yes, ancient is the word).  The priest served us delicious tea and sweets and told us about the concerts they sponsor there twice a year.  I was immediately drawn to the little girl who lives there.  Totally adorable.

Later that day, I took a walk around the Studio Kura and found a small beach. At first, I was delighted…I consider the ocean my home.  But then, I was distraught to see all the garbage.  So you get to see a glimpse of what arrives on this shore.  Deciding I wanted to go up the mountains instead, I followed the red Torii gates up to the top where a lovely little shrine sits with cow, horse, Fudo-Myoo, and other residents…

After my concert, my new friend Peter Krauss took me to another nearby shrine overlooking the Itoshima area.  Later, he and his lovely girlfriend, Keiko drove me around, leaving Fukuoka prefecture and entering into the Saga Prefecture.  There, they showed me ancient islands off the coast (not far from South Korea), and the Karatsu castle.  Keiko and I roamed around a hauntingly beautiful forest by the beach. It was a perfect setting for a mysterious story… Afterwards, we all enjoyed refreshing ourselves in what they defined as the “jungle onsen”, which was indeed gorgeous:  sitting in the steamy water, on large rocks and amidst foliage and trees.  Here, you can also see the beginnings of the cherry blossoms… Really lovely…

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