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Guidebook for Chūō-ku, Fukuoka-shi

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Guidebook for Chūō-ku, Fukuoka-shi

Food Scene
Ichiran has been serving noodles for 39 years. Customers eat at individual cubicles, and fill out forms requesting precisely how they want their noodles prepared. Flavour strength, fat content, noodle tenderness, amount of special sauce and garlic content can all be regulated. An English-language request form is also available.
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Ichiran
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Ichiran has been serving noodles for 39 years. Customers eat at individual cubicles, and fill out forms requesting precisely how they want their noodles prepared. Flavour strength, fat content, noodle tenderness, amount of special sauce and garlic content can all be regulated. An English-language request form is also available.
Fish Man's post-industrial vibe has lacquered plywood and big windows, which show off the unconventional presentations of seafood fresh from the Nagahama market across town: kaidan-zushi (sushi served on a wooden spiral staircase), tsubotai no misoyaki (miso-grilled snapper) or a maguro hamburger served on a steel plate.
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FISH MAN
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Fish Man's post-industrial vibe has lacquered plywood and big windows, which show off the unconventional presentations of seafood fresh from the Nagahama market across town: kaidan-zushi (sushi served on a wooden spiral staircase), tsubotai no misoyaki (miso-grilled snapper) or a maguro hamburger served on a steel plate.
Staff equip you with fishing rods, bait and nets to fish your own tai (sea bream), hirame (flounder) and more, from tanks surrounding tables on boat-shaped platforms. When you catch something, they'll bang drums before taking the fish away to prepare to your taste: sashimi, grilled, fried etc. Kitschy, but fun. There are other izakaya-style dishes if fish isn't your thing.
Zauo
Staff equip you with fishing rods, bait and nets to fish your own tai (sea bream), hirame (flounder) and more, from tanks surrounding tables on boat-shaped platforms. When you catch something, they'll bang drums before taking the fish away to prepare to your taste: sashimi, grilled, fried etc. Kitschy, but fun. There are other izakaya-style dishes if fish isn't your thing.
Down the street from the Hakata Machiya Furusato-kan, this lovely eatery makes homemade soba (buckwheat noodles) from the Shinshū area of central Japan (around Nagano), prepared in a variety of ways including kake-soba (in hot broth), zaru-soba (cold with dipping sauce) and oroshi-soba (cold, topped with grated daikon).
Murata
Down the street from the Hakata Machiya Furusato-kan, this lovely eatery makes homemade soba (buckwheat noodles) from the Shinshū area of central Japan (around Nagano), prepared in a variety of ways including kake-soba (in hot broth), zaru-soba (cold with dipping sauce) and oroshi-soba (cold, topped with grated daikon).
This ramen chain has workmanlike and always bustling branches in Tenjin, serving the best-selling Akamaru Modern (with black sesame oil and a fragrant umami-dama, or flavour ball), Shiromaru Classic (with thin noodles) and Karaka (spicy ramen). This branch is in the JR Hakata City shopping centre
Ippudo
This ramen chain has workmanlike and always bustling branches in Tenjin, serving the best-selling Akamaru Modern (with black sesame oil and a fragrant umami-dama, or flavour ball), Shiromaru Classic (with thin noodles) and Karaka (spicy ramen). This branch is in the JR Hakata City shopping centre
An entire floor of ramen outlets, with eight ramen vendors imported from the length and breadth of Japan.
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Ramen Stadium
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An entire floor of ramen outlets, with eight ramen vendors imported from the length and breadth of Japan.
Sightseeing
Spread over three machiya (traditional Japanese townhouses), this folk museum re-creates a Hakata nagare (neighbourhood unit) from the late Meiji era. The replica buildings house historical photos and displays of traditional Hakata culture, festivals, crafts and performing arts, as well as recordings (more like lessons) of impenetrable Hakata-ben (dialect). Artisans are frequently on hand offering demonstrations.
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Hakatamachiya Furusatokan
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Spread over three machiya (traditional Japanese townhouses), this folk museum re-creates a Hakata nagare (neighbourhood unit) from the late Meiji era. The replica buildings house historical photos and displays of traditional Hakata culture, festivals, crafts and performing arts, as well as recordings (more like lessons) of impenetrable Hakata-ben (dialect). Artisans are frequently on hand offering demonstrations.
The intimate Kushida-jinja, municipal Shintō shrine of Hakata, traces its history to AD 757 and sponsors the Hakata Gion Yamakasa Matsuri, in which storeys-high floats make their way through the streets. The shrine has displays of Hakata festival floats on the grounds, and there's one float visible outside for those just wanting to gawk before moving on. A one-room local history museum covers the festival, plus displays swords, ancient pottery and more.
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Kushida Shrine
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The intimate Kushida-jinja, municipal Shintō shrine of Hakata, traces its history to AD 757 and sponsors the Hakata Gion Yamakasa Matsuri, in which storeys-high floats make their way through the streets. The shrine has displays of Hakata festival floats on the grounds, and there's one float visible outside for those just wanting to gawk before moving on. A one-room local history museum covers the festival, plus displays swords, ancient pottery and more.
Delightfully rural, this island has fresh seafood restaurants that line the harbour-side streets. Ferries depart hourly (¥670, 33 minutes) from Bayside Place, along with seasonal sightseeing cruises around Hakata Bay. Shikanoshima also has a fishing shrine (志賀海神社), decorated with deer antlers, and a popular beach about 5km east of the shrine. Note that the shrine requests that those in mourning, pregnant, menstruating, or with a baby 100 days old or less refrain from visiting
Shikanoshima
Delightfully rural, this island has fresh seafood restaurants that line the harbour-side streets. Ferries depart hourly (¥670, 33 minutes) from Bayside Place, along with seasonal sightseeing cruises around Hakata Bay. Shikanoshima also has a fishing shrine (志賀海神社), decorated with deer antlers, and a popular beach about 5km east of the shrine. Note that the shrine requests that those in mourning, pregnant, menstruating, or with a baby 100 days old or less refrain from visiting
Tōchō-ji has Japan's largest wooden Buddha (10.8m high, 30 tonnes, created in 1992) and some impressively carved Kannon (goddess of mercy) statues. The temple is said to date from AD 806 and to have been founded by Kūkai, founder of the Shingon school of Buddhism.
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Tochoji Temple
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Tōchō-ji has Japan's largest wooden Buddha (10.8m high, 30 tonnes, created in 1992) and some impressively carved Kannon (goddess of mercy) statues. The temple is said to date from AD 806 and to have been founded by Kūkai, founder of the Shingon school of Buddhism.
Shōfuku-ji is a Zen temple founded in 1195 by Eisai, who introduced Zen and tea to Japan; the nation's first tea plants are said to have been planted here. Note: its buildings are closed to the public, but tree-lined stone paths make a nice ramble
Shofukuji
Shōfuku-ji is a Zen temple founded in 1195 by Eisai, who introduced Zen and tea to Japan; the nation's first tea plants are said to have been planted here. Note: its buildings are closed to the public, but tree-lined stone paths make a nice ramble
This smart museum displays artefacts from local history and culture. The pride of the collection is an ancient 2.3-sq-cm, 108g golden seal with an inscription proving Japan's historic ties to China.
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Fukuoka City Museum
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This smart museum displays artefacts from local history and culture. The pride of the collection is an ancient 2.3-sq-cm, 108g golden seal with an inscription proving Japan's historic ties to China.
This pretty garden and teahouse, built by a Meiji-era merchant, offers an outdoor tea ceremony.
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Rakusuien
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This pretty garden and teahouse, built by a Meiji-era merchant, offers an outdoor tea ceremony.
Only the walls of Fukuoka-jō (Fukuoka Castle) remain, but the castle's hilltop site (Maizuru-kōen) provides good panoramas of the city and great views of aircraft landing at nearby Fukuoka airport. Ōhori-kōen, an expansive park and pond (once part of the castle's moat system), is adjacent to the castle grounds, and has the traditionally styled Nihon-teien. It's a more recent construction (1984) around a pond with stone gardens and a teahouse.
Ohori Koen(Park)(bus)
Only the walls of Fukuoka-jō (Fukuoka Castle) remain, but the castle's hilltop site (Maizuru-kōen) provides good panoramas of the city and great views of aircraft landing at nearby Fukuoka airport. Ōhori-kōen, an expansive park and pond (once part of the castle's moat system), is adjacent to the castle grounds, and has the traditionally styled Nihon-teien. It's a more recent construction (1984) around a pond with stone gardens and a teahouse.
A 15-minute ferry ride from Fukuoka, pretty Nokonoshima mixes natural and artificial parks. The latter, popular Island Park, has a swimming beach, seasonal wildflower fields, huts selling crafts, and sweeping ocean views. Bicycle rental (¥300/1000 per hour/day) and English maps are available at Noko Market (のこの市) by the ferry dock. Buses 300 and 301 depart frequently from Nishitetsu Tenjin bus terminal (¥360, 20 minutes) for Meinohama Municipal Ferry Port (not to be confused with Meinohama on the subway line.
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Nokonoshima Island
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A 15-minute ferry ride from Fukuoka, pretty Nokonoshima mixes natural and artificial parks. The latter, popular Island Park, has a swimming beach, seasonal wildflower fields, huts selling crafts, and sweeping ocean views. Bicycle rental (¥300/1000 per hour/day) and English maps are available at Noko Market (のこの市) by the ferry dock. Buses 300 and 301 depart frequently from Nishitetsu Tenjin bus terminal (¥360, 20 minutes) for Meinohama Municipal Ferry Port (not to be confused with Meinohama on the subway line.
Standing above the Momochi district is the 234m-tall Fukuoka Tower, a symbol of the city and mostly hollow (its main purpose is as a broadcast tower). There's an observation deck at 123m and a cafe for soaking up the views, especially at dusk. Ask for the foreigner discount. While you're in the area, drop into Robosquare nearby.
Fukuoka Tower(TNC Hoso Kaikan)(bus)
Standing above the Momochi district is the 234m-tall Fukuoka Tower, a symbol of the city and mostly hollow (its main purpose is as a broadcast tower). There's an observation deck at 123m and a cafe for soaking up the views, especially at dusk. Ask for the foreigner discount. While you're in the area, drop into Robosquare nearby.
Couples date here a lot, particularly in spring and summer, when the hills are covered with cosmos or sunflowers. Otherwise, it's a pretty run-of-the-mill place to stroll, though there are nice views of the water and it's certainly a breath of fresh air from the urban landscape of Fukuoka.
Island Park(bus)
Couples date here a lot, particularly in spring and summer, when the hills are covered with cosmos or sunflowers. Otherwise, it's a pretty run-of-the-mill place to stroll, though there are nice views of the water and it's certainly a breath of fresh air from the urban landscape of Fukuoka.
Sumiyoshi-jinja is said to be the original taisha (grand shrine) of Shintō's Sumiyoshi sect. On its north side is Rakusuien, a pretty garden and teahouse built by a Meiji-era merchant, which offers an outdoor tea ceremony
Sumiyoshijinjayoko Parking Lot
Sumiyoshi-jinja is said to be the original taisha (grand shrine) of Shintō's Sumiyoshi sect. On its north side is Rakusuien, a pretty garden and teahouse built by a Meiji-era merchant, which offers an outdoor tea ceremony
This monolithic, retractable-roof stadium is the home field of Fukuoka's much-loved SoftBank Hawks baseball team. Tours (in Japanese) are offered and there's a museum of the life of Oh Sadaharu, the world's all-time home-run king (best for die-hard fans).
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Fukuoka Yafuoku! Dome
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This monolithic, retractable-roof stadium is the home field of Fukuoka's much-loved SoftBank Hawks baseball team. Tours (in Japanese) are offered and there's a museum of the life of Oh Sadaharu, the world's all-time home-run king (best for die-hard fans).
Arts & Culture
On the upper floors of the Hakata Riverain Centre (博多リバレイン), this large museum houses the world-renowned Asia Gallery, and additional galleries for special exhibits (admission fee varies) and artists in residence. Changing exhibits cover contemporary works from 23 countries, from East Asia to Pakistan
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Fukuoka Asian Art Museum
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On the upper floors of the Hakata Riverain Centre (博多リバレイン), this large museum houses the world-renowned Asia Gallery, and additional galleries for special exhibits (admission fee varies) and artists in residence. Changing exhibits cover contemporary works from 23 countries, from East Asia to Pakistan
The Fukuoka Art Museum is currently undergoing renovations and is closed until March 2019
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Fukuoka Art Museum
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The Fukuoka Art Museum is currently undergoing renovations and is closed until March 2019
Everything Else
This large building is good for orientation.
Fukuoka City Hall
This large building is good for orientation.
Shopping
Canal City shopping centre is Fukuoka's biggest mall, boasting an eponymous artificial canal with illuminated fountain symphony, hotels, a multiplex cinema, a playhouse and about 250 boutiques, bars and bistros. It was designed by Jon Jerde, who later created Tokyo's Roppongi Hills.
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Canal City Hakata
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Canal City shopping centre is Fukuoka's biggest mall, boasting an eponymous artificial canal with illuminated fountain symphony, hotels, a multiplex cinema, a playhouse and about 250 boutiques, bars and bistros. It was designed by Jon Jerde, who later created Tokyo's Roppongi Hills.
Near Fukuoka Tower, Robosquare sells robotics and salutes all things cyborg with demonstrations, robot performances and small exhibits of current technology. The latest Roomba, drones, and other hands-on demos are fun. Wilder exhibits are the crib-rocker robot and a robotic seal.
Robosquare
Near Fukuoka Tower, Robosquare sells robotics and salutes all things cyborg with demonstrations, robot performances and small exhibits of current technology. The latest Roomba, drones, and other hands-on demos are fun. Wilder exhibits are the crib-rocker robot and a robotic seal.
Maruzen has a huge selection of Japanese- and English-language books, magazines and DVDs.
MARUZEN 福岡店
Maruzen has a huge selection of Japanese- and English-language books, magazines and DVDs.
A popular store known for its fashion items, beauty products and sales.
TENJIN CORE Building
A popular store known for its fashion items, beauty products and sales.
This subterranean arcade has numerous shops as well as free wi-fi.
2 Chome Tenjin
This subterranean arcade has numerous shops as well as free wi-fi.
Eight-storey shopping building with a Uniqlo and Muji branch
ゼネラルヨガ ユニヴァ mina天神店
Eight-storey shopping building with a Uniqlo and Muji branch
This bookshop sells foreign paperbacks.
JUNKUDO Fukuoka
This bookshop sells foreign paperbacks.
A high-end department store.
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MITSUKOSHI Fukuoka Store
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A high-end department store.
Futuristic fashion complex.
La Soeur AUX BACCHANALES (Tenjin Store)
Futuristic fashion complex.
A popular department store.
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Daimaru Fukuoka Tenjin
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A popular department store.
Drinks & Nightlife
This cosy pub hosts a friendly mix of English-interested locals and expats, and doubles in the day as an English-language learning centre, with classes and some international events
C.C.CAFE
This cosy pub hosts a friendly mix of English-interested locals and expats, and doubles in the day as an English-language learning centre, with classes and some international events
This Morris bar is just down the street from its Red Fox cousin. It's often packed, loud and fun, and may open even later on Friday and Saturday nights, depending on numbers
British Pub MORRIS' BLACK SHEEP(ブリティッシュパブ モーリス ブラックシープ)
This Morris bar is just down the street from its Red Fox cousin. It's often packed, loud and fun, and may open even later on Friday and Saturday nights, depending on numbers
One of the better pub chains in Japan, this bar attracts a nice mix of Japanese and gaijin (foreigners). Begin your evening with happy-hour cocktails (¥250; 5pm to 7pm) on the awesome patio perched high above trendy Daimyō. There's a good beer selection and tasty pub food
BRITISH PUB MORRIS 'RED FOX (ブリティッシュ パブ モーリス レッドフォックス)
One of the better pub chains in Japan, this bar attracts a nice mix of Japanese and gaijin (foreigners). Begin your evening with happy-hour cocktails (¥250; 5pm to 7pm) on the awesome patio perched high above trendy Daimyō. There's a good beer selection and tasty pub food
Enjoy views of Hakata and Canal City across the Naka-gawa through giant windows in this pretty dining bar. With lots of glass and mirrors, it's a flashy spot to make a first impression
Hakata Mitsubachi
Enjoy views of Hakata and Canal City across the Naka-gawa through giant windows in this pretty dining bar. With lots of glass and mirrors, it's a flashy spot to make a first impression
As the name implies, this is one of the original places in Fukuoka for locals and gaijin (foreigners) to connect, in a time warp of red-velvet seating with hip-hop beats
International Bar
As the name implies, this is one of the original places in Fukuoka for locals and gaijin (foreigners) to connect, in a time warp of red-velvet seating with hip-hop beats
This dark, loud, smoke-filled nightclub has a variety of music styles, all designed to get you up and dancing
Fubar
This dark, loud, smoke-filled nightclub has a variety of music styles, all designed to get you up and dancing