Wednesday, June 8, 2011


I've mentioned Tenmonkan a number of times previously. It's a large covered shopping arcade about 6 blocks by 8 blocks, overlapping both sides of Tram Douri (AKA: Street Car Street), and bordering Izuro Douri on the east side. It gets its name from the original sky observatory built in the area at the end of the 1700's (as described by #5 of the bronze statue series; #5 is located in this area). The Animate anime paraphernalia store is on Tram Douri at the west end of the arcade. To get here from Kagoshima-chuo station, just head east diagonally along Tram Douri, or take the street car that stops in front of the station. It's about 1 km. If you keep going past Izuro Douri, it's another 6 blocks to Dolphin Port and the bay in front of Sakura-jima.

Just about anything you could want is in here, from Doutoru, Starbucks, Tully's, MOS Burger, Lotteria Burger and any number of ramen and tempura shops. There's an Aoyama men's business suit outlet, the Maruzen book tower, 3 different 100 Yen shop chains, and several department stores including Maruya Gardens and Yamakataya.

The street light here is decorative only. The glitter balls at the ceiling are right above bronze statue #5, and it kind of looks like the two star observers are pointing right at them.

There's even a pork-butt restaurant.

And a Ryukyu (Okinawan) dance and music studio.

There's also a series of photo-op boards scattered around the complex. I don't think all of them are out at one time. So far, I think I've only seen 4 of them, but I've only been searching half-seriously. Not overly interested in taking pictures of them all, though. #3 is of St. Francis Xavier, the first Jesuit priest to bring Christianity to Japan, having visited Satsuma (present-day Kagoshima) as part of his tour of Kyushu.

#5 commemorates Ryouma Sakamoto's honeymoon trip through Kagoshima, with Takamori Saigo in the background.

#8: Cyber Toshimichi Okubo and Takamori Saigo out dog walking.

From April 29 to May 5th, there was a children's event in the open space next to Lotteria. The symbol on both the banner and the hero's chest is the mark of the Satsuma lords, so I'm thinking this was just a community-sponsored self-promotional event.

It included chances to get your photo with the "Ultra" hero, and being able to ride around on a small electric train.

Behind the wall of the event space, Wagyu-man was taking a nap. Either that, or he'd changed into his "Ultra" form to play with the kids...

A few weeks after the festival I just coincidentally found this photo-op board in front of the WagyuMon (Japanese beef) restaurant at one end of the arcade. Turns out that the WagyuMon mascot really had been running around at the event and I'd just hadn't realized what he was advertising at the time.

Aim High, a punk culture shop at the fringe of Tenmonkan, near the WagyuMon restaurant.

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