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Faced with waste in Fukuoka, a giant claw comes to the rescue.

January 29, 2010


The weather has warmed a bit, and the days are longer, so I have continued exploring in earnest. On the 28th I left Hakozaki Campus, crossed the street, and headed for the coast. I watched trains go by and walked by trees, playing fields, and huge apartment buildings, then reached an intersection of massive highway overpasses. I crossed the streets under them and found myself in front of Rinkai Recycle Plaza.

Inspecting something on the tracks.

Apartment buildings around campus.

Highway overpass that goes by my dormitory.

Rinkai Recyle Plaza, in the Fukuoka East Ward.

I wandered around the grounds, and inside, where I discovered you can tour the facilities, so I took the elevator up one floor and started with a cute model of the garbage disposal process explained in kids’ Japanese. ^_^ The first observation window showed where the trucks come in and unload their garbage after being weighed outside.

Unloading area for garbage trucks that come in the middle of the night.

Next, a gigantic computer-controlled claw picks up garbage from a deep pit and drops it into the incinerator. I was the only one there, so I sat and watched it for a while. The pit was too dark to photograph, but trust me, it was deep!

The gigantic computer-controlled claw.

Each of those talons on the claw is taller than me.

Clawing the garbage.

Outside I saw my ideal childhood playground.

Lots of dirt movers and fun things!

The tour then explained the incinerators, where the burnable garbage we sort into the red bags is reduced to ash.

The ash crane, with the pits of incinerated garbage in the background.

The plant can is manned 24/7, and can be run by about 5 people.

The main control room! On the screens you can see the incinerators burning.

I left Rinkai and walked past factories, and then crossed the Tatara River (the same one I photographed in an earlier post, but this photo is aimed in the opposite direction, out to sea).

The Rinkai facility in the distance. The tower is for cleansing emissions.

I walked along the beach, and found the entrance to Najima Shrine.

The entrance to Najima Shrine, looking out on Hakata Bay.

I walked up the old stone steps and turned into the woods to follow this path to a fox shrine.

Ceremonial gates (torii) leading to an Inari Shrine in the Najima Shrine complex.

Bright red Inari Shrine in Najima.

Various offerings were left at the shrine.

I walked through the adjacent smattering of Buddhist statues and small wooden buildings, and then headed home.

In other news, my Japanese written and interview finals for this semester went well! Speaking, especially, was much easier than during the midterm exam. So, my 8:40 AM class is finally over. The day after my exam, I was finally able to achieve my goal of waking up before 8 AM without using an alarm clock. Today I succeeded as well. But now the class is over! 😛 In the mall after my adventure I did some gender observations for my paper, due next Friday.

Today I am going to Tenjin to meet a friend for lunch!

Next time,


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