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Fukuoka Castle

   One of the best parts of living where I do is the proximity to Maizuru Park and the Fukuoka Castle ruins. (I'll write more about the castle and its history at a later time. In the meantime you can learn more here)

   I walk or jog around the ruins several times a week and occasionally play tennis on one of the three clay courts that are located at the foot of the ancient ramparts.

   In mid summer, there is a deafening cacophony of cicada, but by late summer the noise is replaced by the song of bell crickets. From late September to early December, you can enjoy changing colors of autumn. First to go are the first to come: the leaves from the cherry blossom trees. The last tend to be the gingko trees, the leaves of which form a thick, mustard yellow carpet on the ground in December. The moon, which appears so much larger and brighter in autumn, can be seen rising above the eastern mountains early in the evening in autumn. One of the best places to get an unobstructed view is from the highest parts of the castle.

   The winter months tend to be bitterly cold as the wind roars in from the sea. There are, nevertheless, quite a lot of flowers to be seen. Narcissus comes to mind. The umé (plum) blossoms in February are an early harbinger of spring. Soon there after the cherry blossoms bloom and the days grow longer and warmer. Before long, summer comes and the cicada start to kick up a racket again. 

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