Omuta City, Fukuoka

Omuta City, where the birth of modernity comes alive and bustling coal-mining town keeps its charm.

From 1721, when coal was first dug up, to 1997, Omuta City has nearly 300-years of history coal-mining. The history of the southern-Fukuoka city is therefore intricately tied to Japan's modernization. This history is still reflected in the architecture of many old buildings, giving certain sections of the town a distinct Meiji-Era flair.

At Omuta City, Daija means "giant snake," and Daijayama Port Festival is an exciting summer festival. 10-meter floats featuring scary dragon-like designs are paraded around Taisho-machi. The main event takes place when two of the giant snake floats shoot sparks and try to outdo each other with an amazing show. The climax comes when the floats are smashed to bits in a ritual said to prevent misfortune.

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