Friday, April 19, 2019

Shop at Fukuoka's Canal City Hakata and Feel Like a Local - SENSE OF PLACE by URBAN RESEARCH, Canal City Store


Kyushu (九州) is one of Japan's four main islands, tucked away in southwest Japan. The island has tons to offer with its unique history, luxurious natural hot springs, gloriously fresh food, and some of Japan's most friendly people. If you know anything about Japan's famous mascot characters (known here as "yuru-chara"), then you've probably seen Kumamoto Prefecture's Kumamon (くまモン), a big black bear that recently won the title of "Japan's Most Popular Mascot". For many foreign travelers planning a trip to Kyushu, though, only Nagasaki and Beppu (in Oita Prefecture) come to mind. Fukuoka really should not be missed, though, with lots of fun things to do, and some of the best ramen in Japan.

Traveling to Hakata, Fukuoka

When it comes to practicality, you can't beat Fukuoka as a place to start your trip
to Kyushu. Not only are the trains super easy to navigate at Hakata Station (a serious improvement over any major station in Tokyo), Fukuoka International Airport is only 2 miles (4km) away! Hop on the subway at the airport and get to Hakata Station in 11 minutes. Once you're in Hakata, there's plenty to do and see!

Two Things You Have to Eat in Fukuoka

Ichiran Ramen Main Store
Ichiran is one of Japan's most famous ramen chains, but it originates from Hakata! This is your chance to eat a great bowl of ramen at their first location!

Google Maps
💻Official website

串と水炊 博多 松すけ (Kushi to Mizutaki HAKATA Matsusuke)
Japanese people flock to Fukuoka for its famous motsunabe (もつ鍋), a hot pot made with beef or pork guts. But if that sounds a little intimidating, a delicious alternative is mizutaki nabe (水炊き鍋) made with no guts, just chicken.

Canal City B1
⏰ Lunch 11am〜3pm (Last order 2:30pm) / Dinner 5pm〜11pm (Last order 10pm)
💻 Official Instagram

Hakata Shopping Center: Canal City Hakata

After a quick stroll through Fukuoka's Tenjin shopping arcade, you'll soon feel the pull towards the city's largest and most elaborate shopping complex, Canal City Hakata. Called "a city within a city," Canal City has more than 200 shops, numerous restaurants, a performance theater, movie theaters, and hotels. Many of the shops offer tax-free shopping services, but this shopping mall is worth a visit even if you aren't planning on doing much shopping, as it's a nice place to walk around.

★Canal City Hakata
Google Maps
⏰10am〜9pm / Restaurants 11am〜11pm
💻Official website (ENG)

Canal City Hakata even has a panoramic water show, with music and light sculpture, and it's said to be the largest in Japan. The water show can be seen from any angle, from B1 to the 4th floor.

Popular Stores at Canal City

(East Bldg. 1F)
KALDI sells fresh coffee, as its name implies, but also offers an interesting variety of international groceries. The stores are all over Japan, but products vary from one location to another, making each one worth a visit.

(Business Center Bldg. 1F)
This Italian gelato shop has a fun variety of unique flavors featuring Japanese ingredients.

(East Bldg. 1F)

SENSE OF PLACE by URBAN RESEARCH is the place to go if you're curious about popular trends in Japanese fashion.

Stripes are big this spring.
These bags and shoes are both practical and versatile.
The climate of Kyushu is fairly warm compared to the rest of Japan, so this store thinks locally and offers plenty of items that work with the temperature outside. Right now, there's lots of light colors and chiffon in the women's section.

Sale No.1 jacket with floral chiffon skirt, sports hoodie with a girly skirt, and a high waist design with a short top for a more sleek look.

Plaid slip-ons, and plenty of accessories.

Lots of earrings for pierced ears, and also lots for unpierced ears!

Of course, the store also offers a selection of menswear.

To our surprise, it looks like URBAN RESEARCH launched a line of NASA products!

A lightweight CabinZero backpack and FILA fisherman hats.

Japanese Fashion for Spring and Summer!

If you're looking for some fresh new looks to rock over the next few months, or you also live in a warm climate, SENSE OF PLACE by URBAN RESEARCH comes highly recommended.

East Bldg. 1F
💻Official website

Head to Hakata's Famous Food Stalls for Food and Drinks

If you're looking for a fun place to hang out after shopping till you drop, head right over to the yatai (屋台), or food stalls, along the water right next to Canal City. The different stalls offer a variety of different dishes, including oden (somewhat similar to hotpot), yakitori (delicious grilled chicken skewers), and Hakata's famous tonkotsu pork broth ramen! (If you didn't already get enough tonkotsu ramen at Ichiran.) Many of these places offer alcoholic drinks as well, to enjoy with your dinner. It's a great place to hang out after sunset!

Some Other Great Spots in Kyushu

Fukuoka has lots of other places to visit as well, including the popular Dazaifu Shrine (大宰府), Ohori Park (大濠公園), and Shofukuji Temple (聖福寺). If you're looking to get out of Fukuoka Prefecture and travel more around the island, though, here are three places we recommend!

The Hells of Beppu (Jigoku Meguri)

These hot springs aren't any good for bathing, but they're sure fun to look at! Beppu's Jigoku Meguri, or "Hell Tour", has a history of over a thousand years. There are seven different hot spring "hells", perfect for anyone who enjoyed Yellowstone National Park.


Yufuin's hot springs are ranked number three in Japan, right after Beppu and Kusatsu. It's also a great place to rent a car and admire the view of Mt. Yufu!

Ibuki Onsen

Kagoshima is home to Japan's only natural sand hot springs! Immersing yourself in a warm sand bath (with a temperature as high as 176℉ (80℃) helps get rid of toxins, relieves fatigue, and is said to have skin beautifying effects.



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