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Really great pics, you captured the atmosphere of Kitakyushu perfectly: dreary and a bit foreboding. As sunny and bright as next-door Fukuoka is, Kitakyushu gets crapped on by the rest of Japan for being essentially one giant, super-polluted Super Fund site. This city was the heart of Japan's "Industrial South", kind of like a cross between Detroit and Pittsburgh. And just like these two American cities, Kitakyushu has seen a steady loss of manufacturing jobs from its 1960s heydays. Unlike these two cities though, Kitakyushu has slowly kept growing, with just under 1 million people now.
Little known fact: this was the original target for the Nagasaki nuclear bomb, but after a few flyovers was abandoned because the target was obscured from a previous firebombing raid.