Travelling to Fukuoka, Japan?

Top night time activities in downtown Fukuoka

Office workers returning home after a day in Fukuoka’s Central Business District.

Did you know that Fukuoka is one of Japan’s 10 largest cities? It is the most populous on the island of Kyushu, and is geographically closer to Seoul than Tokyo. 

As the sun sets, there are plenty of sights and activities to include in your itinerary. The cuisine is highlighted by ramen, yatai stalls, and seafood (for solo dining options, see my article here). The nightlife buzzes in the areas of Tenjin and Daimyo.  

If you are looking for recommendations in Fukuoka, feel free to message me on Instagram or e-mail me.

Walk around Ohori Park

〒810-0051 Fukuoka, Chuo Ward, Ohorikoen
Google Map link

Whether you’re in Fukuoka for 1-day or 10-days, Ohori Park is a must-visit. Cyclists, walkers and joggers exercise in a long path around a vast oval lake. You can walk across the centre of the lake through the Satsuki and Kangetsu bridges. In the centre of the lake is Nakanoshima Island, where you can hire boats, appreciate ethereal scenery, and capture stunning photography. Ukimi-do Pavilion will be where a beautiful Instagram picture can be taken.

If there ever was the perfect definition of an “urban oasis”, Ohori Park is close to it.

Enjoy a Yatai stall or a bowl of ramen

Yatai stalls are found on Nakasu Island.

Open air food stalls, or Yatai (屋台), are one of the symbols of Fukuoka. Each stall seats 7-8 diners, with 2-3 operators in the middle cooking up simple and satisfying food. Dishes include Grilled chicken skewers (“yakitori”), Hot pot (“oden”) and “Motsunabe” (a type of Japanese stew made from offal and vegetables). Alcohol is commonly served, making Yatai stalls great venues to clink a beer with a local or a fellow traveller.

Hakata Ramen, or more widely known as Tonkotsu Ramen, is as special to Fukuoka as Dwaeji Gukbap is to Busan. The noodles are relatively thin and the soup is made from simmering pork bones for a significant amount of time (the result is creamy and super tasty). In many restaurants, you can choose the firmness of the noodles. I would recommend a medium firmness, where the middle is kept with a bit of bite.

I can recommend “Ganso Akanoren Setchan Ramen” (pictured) in Daimyo. The interior is humble, the service is brisk, and the menu is only in Japanese. Use the camera function of Google Translate and you’ll be able to decipher what to order 😉 Otherwise, message me.

Visit a bar inside a building or on top of one

The area of “Tenjin” has many bars with a younger crowd.

Between the subway stops of “Tenjin” and “Akasaka”, there is “Daimyo“. By day it’s a small and compact area with a hipster vibe, boutique shops, and trendy cafes. By night it’s alive with craft beer venues and backstreet bars. 

With three friends who I met at HafH THE LIFE, we ventured into a building near Nishitetsu Grand Hotel one night. Part of the fun is finding the bar, and I remember walking out of the elevator into a silent white corridor that would have looked residential had it not been for little signs introducing each small business. Opening the door to Barr Nowhere, we were immersed into a very little space with rock music memorabilia everywhere. The owner, who was also the bartender and host, played guitar for us the whole time and warmly shared drink and stories with us.

In the “Imaizumi” neighbourhood, I visited “lyf Tenjin Fukuoka“, a unique hotel blending comfortable accomodation for long-term stays with a co-living style of space. With amenities including shared working spaces and a community kitchen, it’s a hotel suitable for digital nomads. At the rooftop, a chic bar called DREIECK PARK SÜD is where you can enjoy an intimate conversation while looking at Fukuoka’s glowing downtown.

Shopping and eating at Canal City

4-229 Kamikawabatamachi, Hakata Ward, Fukuoka, 812-0026
Google Map link

In one of Fukuoka’s premier entertainment and shopping precincts, you’ll find a 180-metre long canal. Along the water, mesmerising fountain shows are surrounded by tall, curvy buildings. Step into the mall at anytime to find a cinema, around 250 shops, and a dining scene with international flavour. To note, there is a “Ramen Stadium” on the 5th level with 8 restaurants – the creamy, tonkotsu-flavoured “Hakata” ramen is a must-try.

Early in the night in Nakasu

Nakasu is an interesting island in the centre of the city. It’s bordered by Nakagawa River (to the west) and Hakatagawa River (to the east), and densely populated with bars and restaurants. Ramen Unari and Kawatoro are highlights. You can easily walk to Nakasu from “Kushida Shrine” subway station or Canal City Hakata.

Around 6pm every night, yatai stalls start serving Fukuoka’s famous street food along the edge of Nakagawa river. It’s a great opportunity to grab a drink, eat, and chat with a local in a convivial way. Take a romantic stroll along the water after you’re finished and listen to music performers.

Later in the night at Nakasu

A walk down any of Nakasu’s streets from 9pm will make you understand why this area has the nickname of Fukuoka’s “amusement” destination. Many venues were not obvious in their red-light nature (the windows are tinted), and I was intrigued by the “Information Centres” that were seemingly ever-present. I did venture inside one and discovered that these indeed provided information on certain … services. There were also many bars that offered a set period of time where you could have unlimited drinks while talking to a female bartender. I was most surprised when I was walking and saw many women who simply stood on the pavement. Each had a sign around their neck with a per hour price. I assume this is for drinking with her.  

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My name is Garry Ho, I’m the founder.
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It takes just a minute 🙏

My name is Garry Ho, I’m the founder.
If you have enjoyed our content and found it helpful, please consider supporting us.
All major cards are accepted.

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