Monday, December 19, 2011

City Hall Illuminations

There's a local monthly newsletter that is produced by the city of Kagoshima, called Update. I've been grabbing a copy from the Kenmin Kaikan (International Exchange Center) whenever it comes out. The only real drawback to it was that the newsletter wouldn't come out until the middle of the month, after half of the listed events had already occurred. But, it has nice pictures, and some background information on the area. Unfortunately, the publishers have decided to discontinue the paper edition as of January, so the only version remaining will be the online one.

The December cover story is on illuminations in the Kagoshima prefectural area. Most of the lighting displays are reachable by car, and in the U.S. I wouldn't hesitate visiting them all. But here, without a car, and not being able to get to most of them by train, I'm only interested in the ones I can easily walk to. There are two within 20 minutes of me - Shiyakusho, and Dolphin Port (as mentioned on Sunday, there's no real illumination at the Chuo train station). "Shiyakusho" translates to "City Hall", and it's on Izuru Douri (Izuru Street), just a couple of blocks from the Kenmin Kaikan. In front of City Hall, facing the bay, is a wide walkway between a couple city streets, and this is where they put up 100,000 LEDs. It's fairly plain compared to the display in Shinjuku, but people in the area do come out to take photos anyway. At 7 PM, 8 PM and 9 PM, the lights are turned off for about a minute, and then turned back on.

At the far end of the walkway, near the entrance to the Sakurajima ferry, one of the hotels put up its own lights.

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