July 7th is the day of Tanabata. The origin of the event can be found in an ancient Chinese story, but over time, Tanabata came to symbolize a love story between Orihime (Weaving Princess) and Kengyu (Cowboy) who could meet just once a year on July 7th. Japanese people write down their wishes on thin pieces of paper called Tanzaku and decorate bamboo trees with those Tanzaku. Ogori City, in which the NILS building is located, has a shrine called Tanabata Jinja. The locals call it Tanabata-san, but the formal name is Himekoso Shrine. Here in Tanabata Jinja, the Orihime Gami (Orihime Goddess) is stored, and every year on July 7th, a large number of Tanabata decorations are gathered here.

By the way, the Kengyu (cowboy) is stored in Kengyu-sha across Homangawa (Homan River). This area has suffered floods throughout history, and the people have begun praying for less intense rainfall while also reminiscing about the romance between Orihime and Kengyu. Today, Kengyu is also stored in Oimatsu Shrine nearby.

You can get to Tanabata Shrine on foot from Ogori Station on Nishitetsu Railways. It takes about 30 minutes. To Oimatsu Shrine, it takes 10 minutes from Tanabata Shrine.

*To go to Ogori from Fukuoka, it takes about 35 minutes by train on Nishitsu Railways. Roundtrip fares cost 1,020 yen.