Fukuoka 福岡県, the capital city of Fukuoka Prefecture, Kyushu’s largest city, the final destination of our road trip in Kyushu. Fukuoka is a fusion of two cities, the port city of Hakata and the former castle town of Fukuoka. Hakata remains the name of one of Fukuoka’s central districts where the main railway station and big shopping mall and entertainment complex are located. Due to its closeness to the Asian mainland, there are a lot of tourists and visitors from Korea, China and Taiwan and not forgetting Singaporeans like myself.
From Nakatsu, we continued our drive to Fukuoka. After we dropped off our luggage at the hotel, we returned our rental car and started the Fukuoka city tour – Shopping.
Canal City Hakata 博多
The first place to go was none other than the Canal City, about ten minutes walk from the hotel that we put up for two nights.
Canal City Hakata 博多 is a large shopping and entertainment complex, calling itself a “city within the city”. Attractions include about 250 shops, cafes and restaurants, a theatre, game centre, cinemas, two hotels and an artificial canal running through the middle of the five-floor entertainment complex, creating a lot of open space.
At the centre of the canal, there is a fountain with water shows at an interval of every thirty minutes from ten in the morning till ten in the night.
On weekends, there are live performances at the area in front of the fountain. Glad we managed to catch a gig by a local boy band.
Fukuoka’s open-air food stands, Yatai 屋台, are possibly the city’s best-known symbol. Yatai, or portable food stalls, are scattered across Fukuoka but the best place to find them is on the southern end of Nakasu Island, right behind Canal City. Yatai is typically open from around six in the evening till around two in the next morning and closed when the weather is bad.
One Yatai can generally seat about seven to eight people, providing an atmospheric outdoor experience to enjoy various foods like grilled chicken skewers(yakitori), hot pot (oden) and most famously Ramen in a pork bone based soup (tonkotsu).
After checking out the row of Yatai, we decided to settle at one of the Yatai for a bowl of ramen and yakitori. The food is tasty and the price is about the same as eating at the eateries in the mall.
After a satisfying meal, we continued to explore the area and saw a performance, though we could not figure out what the performance was about.
We spent our last day at Fukuoka for more shopping. The weather was good and the sky was cloudy.
As we made our way to the shopping street, we saw the Yatai neatly parked next to the car park.
Tenjin Chikagai (Underground Shopping Mall)
After exploring the shopping street behind the Canal City, we made our way to Tenjin Chikagai, the Underground Shopping Mall, located at the Tenjin Intersection’s basement at its center, connected to Tenjin Subway Station. Tenjin Chikagai is connected to 20 nearby buildings and shopping zones making it the ideal place to shop especially on rainy days.
There are all kinds of shops from retailing clothing, shoes, bags, cosmetics, skincare, stationery, electronic, cafes, etc. The place is so huge, I think we barely covered half of the Underground Shopping Mall.
After spending half a day at the Underground Shopping Mall, we got back to the street level and look for a place for dinner. We chanced upon a shopping mall and decided to have dinner at the top floor of the Mall. We planned to check out the Mall after having Korean barbeque for dinner. At half past seven, there was an announcement that the Mall will be closed for the business day in half an hour. It dawned on us that most of the Malls close at eight in the evening, unlike Singapore where the Malls typically close at half past nine in the evening.
Since the Mall was closing, we decided to take our time to enjoy our dinner and rest our feet. After dinner, we took a stroll back to our hotel.
Kyushu, it was great to see. Till we meet again…
Canal City Hakata
How to get there – Short ride by the 100 yen loop bus from Hakata Station or Tenjin Station (100 yen, departures every 5-10 minutes). Alternatively, walk there in about 15 minutes from Hakata Station or in about 20 minutes from Tenjin Station.
Tenjin Chikagai (Underground Shopping Mall)
How to get there – Located at 〒810-0001 Tenjin, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka-shi, Fukuoka and accessible by subway, directly outside of Tenjin Station on Fukuoka City Subway’s Kuko Line
For more information, go to www.welcomekyushu.com.
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