Kitakyushu City - Gate of Kyushu region

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The second biggest town of one million population on Kyushu after Fukuoka, it was born in 1963 from a merger of 5 towns: Moji, Kokura, Tobata, Yahata et Wakamatsu.

Moji is the first town you encounter coming from Honshu island. In old days, the crossing of Kanmon strait which separates Kyushu from Honshu had been made only with ships. Now, there are 3 tunnels and one bridge: ordinary railroad, bullet train, express way and ordinary road. The latter is used also by pedestrians and bikes. Kanmon bridge for express way is 1068m long and opened to the public on November 14, 1973. Other routes passing under the sea, it is the unique way to admire Kanmon strait.

Kokura Castle

Kokura castle was built by Hosokawa Tadaoki in 1603. After a transfer of Hosokawa family to Kumamoto, Ogasawara Tadazane occupied it. Since then the town and its castle had been administered by Ogasawara family until 1868. Unfortunately, the castle was burned out during a civil war in 1866.

Since then, the town had transformed itself to a military and industrial site. For this reason, at the end of the second world war, it was target of the second atomic bomb, but escaped from the annihilation, for the town was covered with clouds at the moment of a bomb drop.

After an insistence of inhabitants of Kokura, the castle was restored in 1959. Even if it is replica, you can admire its strange architecture: the 5th floor is larger than the 4th one.

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Last update: May 17, 2003
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