Oct 23, 2016
The 22nd annual "Hakata Toumyou Watching " or Lantern Arts Festival in Hakata was unfortunately rained out for the most part this year. In several locations in Fukuoka (Hakata-ku), we can see Halloween-style temporary lights: usually tealights nestled in sand in a colored paper bag. These are arranged into beautiful designs that can best be seen from above. The images from last year were great. Too bad about half of the participants canceled because of rain this year.
We were able to see the set up and lit design at Hakata Station as it was done under a covered area. From there, the paper bags were lined up like a yellow brick road to lead us to the nearest watching location. Even outside in the light rain, the lanterns held up alright but stopped short of the next participating location: Tounagaji.
There were different lanterns lighting the path to Tounagaji temple and yatai selling some snacks, but we didn't see an arranged lantern design there. Instead, they had a handmade lantern contest. We were given ballots to vote for our top three lanterns out of the twelve original designs. They were dimly lit so the photos aren't great.
After this we called it a night, although there may have been a couple other locations still participating. We hope to have good weather and go again next year.