Overlooking the Chikugo River in the north of Kyushu, Kurume is a picturesque city topped by a towering Kannon statue. It’s home to an active Buddhist training temple and an excellent art museum and is near the Yoshinogari Historical Park.
Things to do in Kurume
Explore the Ishibashi Cultural Center, which includes the Ishibashi Cultural Hall where regular concerts are held and the Ishibashi Museum of Art. Admire works by renowned local artists Aoki Shigeru and Koga Harue, explore the former art studio of Sakamoto Hanjiro, then wander through the Japanese garden and seasonal displays of roses and camellias.
A short drive west of Kurume is the Yoshinogari Historical Park, a large Yayoi archaeological site believed to date back to 400 BC. Wander through the remains of its precincts and view the ancient Yayoi houses being reconstructed, then admire excavated bronze mirrors, coins and iron tools.
You can’t miss Kurume’s giant Jibo Kannon, a 62-metre-tall concrete statue located within the grounds of the Naritasan Temple. Climb the stairs to the top of its whitewashed design to take in the panoramic views of the city and its surrounding landscapes.
Another temple not to miss is Barin-ji, which is nestled on a hill beside the Chikugo River. Dating back to the 17th century, it’s an active training school for monks in the Myoshin-ji school of Rinzai Zen Buddhism and also features a zen garden and orchard of colourful plum trees.
Getting around Kurume
Kurume is around 40 minutes by train from Fukuoka or 50 minutes’ drive from Fukuoka Airport. It’s an easy city to navigate on foot or by bicycle, with buses accessing the surrounding sights.