Tourism in Fukuoka City
– atmosphere on the streets
When walking on Fukuoka’s streets one can get a variety of impressions. Depending on the district one will get quite the different views. Nevertheless, they are all a part of Fukuoka and somehow have a similar feeling to them.
Tenjin is a business and shopping district and also hosts a lot of restaurants. The big shopping centers and malls are near the subway station. Solaria Plaza, Iwataya and Tenjin Core are the largest and most famous places. Not to mention Tenjin underground city/chikagai. This large underground shopping mall has hundreds of clothing stores, bakeries and the like and is well connected with the subway and other department stores. Theoretically speaking, you would be able to spent your day inside: shooping for clothes, souvenirs, snacks, books, a lot more and eating at a restaurant. All of that is possible there. If you have finally enough of being underground/inside, you can take a look outside.
Kego Park looks like Solaria Plaza’s backyard. You can replenish your energies there and maybe have a chance to see how radio is made through the glass studio there. After that you can pay Kego shrine a quick visit.
If you walk in front of Iwataya or on the streets between Iwataya, Solaria and Showa-dori street during the day, there is a possibility to see a TV crew at work. Even if not, you will be able to spot interesting things, because a lot of karaoke bars, restaurants, gaming halls and occasionally a pet shop are located here.
You can enjoy Tenjin from morning till nighttime. Yatai stalls open on Showa-dori as soon as the sun starts to set, filling the air with their aroma. This is soon accompanied by laughs and a happy atmosphere.
If you want to see a quieter part of Tenjin: just walk further north. Here are a lot of companies’ offices, but also some temples and shrines that break the ordinary feeling.
Of cause there are a lot of restaurants, especially Izakaya, and cafes, too. There are clubs to party at and restaurants with living fish and small parks to relax.
Personally my attention was drawn in by an ad from a nurse cafe! If nurses aren’t your style there is also a maid cafe.
In conclusion you can say that a variety of people and a variety of places can be found in Tenjin. If you want to feel the heart of Fukuoka you have to take a walk all over Tenjin.
Daimyo is a shopping and restaurant district, too, but hasn’t as much large scale buildings as Tenjin or Hakata. Of cause most of the buildings have at least two stories. Even through Daimyo is next to Tenjin, this district does seems to have more of an happy-go-lucky charm to it. Specialized restaurants or unique clothing stores make up the majority of Daimyo. The sweets and accessories store Alice on Wednesday is very popular with young women.
If you are unlucky you end up on a street with lots of parking lots, but if you are lucky you can enjoy the ever changing sight as you walk. Maybe you even strumple over the Neko (cat) cafe Keurig.
You will pass through Daimyo’s streets if you walk from Tenjin to Akasaka/Ohori, which in itself can be quite enjoyable. Different from Tenjin in Daimyo you can find between the restaurants and shops more classy apartment buildings. One I have seen had some nice water displays.
Nakasu — Hakata
In Fukuoka the place associated with a large-scale-city-feeling is Hakata. The former fisherman and merchant town is now Fukuoka’s shopping and nightlife center. Here, too, a lot of different kinds of restaurants can be found. Here, too, Yatai stalls are popular, and the space is often cramped. Locals and foreigners alike enjoy the Japanese atmosphere while eating.
Canal City is a great place to spend your day shopping, eating and enjoying yourself. Or you can visit many shrines and temples. Japan’s first Zen temple, Shofuku-ji, or Joutenji Temple with its Sennen (1.000 years) gate and beautiful, traditional street are definitly worth visiting.
If you want to enjoy nightlife in Hakata, you can find Bars, Clubs and, if you want to, Host Clubs.
With Hakata Station as its center, quite a few main streets run through Hakata, so Hakata is always buzzing with energy.
The tall buildings along the various streets create the image of a big busy city. Even though Fukuoka is the largest city on Kyushu and has much to offer, Japanese still call it small.
Minamisho, Kotabe and Muromi
These three represent Fukuoka’s suburbs in this article. You will eventually reach them if you walk southwest from Fukuoka Tower or Nishijin.
As these districts are between the Muromi river and some other, smaller rivers, one can have a nice stroll alongside them. Muromi river has wide sidewalks that are partly divided into Bicycles/Runner and slower walkers, giving of a relaxing feeling. It seems that locals like to enjoy a little jog to work out or to stroll with their family here.
If you look to your other side you will see either apartment buildings or sometimes family houses. They give off a nice, clean appearance, but do not seem too expensive.
Minamisho and Kotabe have a lot of kindergardens, elementary and middle schools as well as lots of little and medium sized playgrounds. So, you will most likely see a lot of kids, if you walk through there. You can also catch a glimpse of their baseball training. Alone, with friends, with parents or at school.
The buildings you will see are a mix of smaller apartment buildings, small private (dental) clinics and a lot of different private houses. Lots of houses have quite beautiful gardens often composted of mainly trees.
Since these areas are residence areas, there aren’t many attractions. But they all have one or two streets that are quite busy. Muromi has a street, which the subway station Muromi 5-chome is located on, and Kotabe as a very big street with panchinko places and similar. In Kotabe, near the Muromi river you can also find an onsen called Fukunoya Sawara-ten (ふくの湯早良店).
Some nice restaurants, you could call them hidden gems, can also be found. Most of them give of a cozy feeling even from the outside.
Fukuoka City is very diverse. You can find busy office districts, modern shopping complexes, rural residence areas and unique downtown streets. Fukuoka is a great city to live in and to explore as a traveler.
By Stella (German middle/long-termed tourist in Fukuoka, born in 1998)