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Hands-on History in Hakata old town

The old town of Hakata has a lot of hands-on experiences to choose from. There are so many ways to go beyond sightseeing and get to know Japanese culture in a deeper way.

【Myorakuji Zen (Meditation)】

Myorakuji was a flourishing hub of exchange between Hakata and China where important negotiations regularly took place. It is also said to be the birthplace of the Japanese confection “wagashi.”

These picturesque grounds could serve as a movie set. The remaining stones and roof tiles that had been damaged by fire during war have been plastered over with a special mud wall called Hakata-bei.

Here at Myorakuji, you can try out Zen meditation. The chance to face yourself and clear your mind and heart is a truly priceless experience.

The head priest will politely and patiently teach you the points of Zen meditation step by step, so even beginners can feel comfortable taking part. Why not spend some undisturbed time learning to focus your mind in a Zen temple, and escape your hectic daily life?

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【Hongakuji Buyo Dance】

Hongakuji is a rare temple in that it was converted from a Nichiren Buddhist temple to a Zen one in a high-stakes game of Go.
※ “Go” is a traditional parlor game played with white and black stones

At this Hongakuji temple, you can learn often-inaccesible things like putting on a kimono, sitting in the traditional “seiza” position on your knees, walking properly, and other points of Japanese etiquette. Not only that, but you can also have a chance to learn a traditional folding fan dance that represents the sakura in full bloom.

Please come and experience, know, and learn the beauty of Japan’s time-honored traditions. You might even find that it improves your own beauty and poise!

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【Kadota Paper Lantern】

Established in 1825, this Kadota Paper Lantern Shop has a nearly 200-year history.

Here at the shop, you can paint whatever text or illustration you would like onto a paper lantern.

Decorated paper lanterns on display

Here I am holding the lantern I made myself while wearing a “happi,” or traditional working smock.

We also got to watch a how a professional paints lanterns.

Why not come and make your very own one-of-a-kind paper lantern?

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【Yoga at Kaigenji Temple】

Two important Buddhist figures venerated at Kaigenji Temple and the sight of them certainly makes an impact. There are two temple halls: one to the judge of the afterlife Yama; which directly faces that of Kuan Yin, the goddess of mercy and compassion.

Kaigenji Temple makes for an exquisitely tranquil space, with the aroma of incense wafting through the silent hall. It is the perfect atmosphere for yoga. Beginners and older yogis can participate comfortably.

Moving your body into various poses while taking deep and gentle breaths can thoroughly center your body and mind.

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Rikshaw ride and Kimono at Mine Cube!
How about changing into a stylish kimono and basking in the historical old town of Hakata in a traditional Japanese human-powered rikshaw?

Put on your kimono at Mine Cube, a historical Fukuoka shop in the Kawabata shopping arcade. Included in the rental fee are the accessories that come with kimono, so you can try it on without feeling the need to bring anything in particular with you. There are also nice trinkets in the store if you would like to do a bit of shopping.

The rikshaw service is run through Hakata Rikshaw and is specifically for sightseeing. It’s quite a pleasant ride and manages to feel fresh and nostalgic at once.

From atop the rikshaw, you can see the contrast between the old townscape and the bustling business district of Hakata. It makes for a really special sort of ambience. You’ll look right at home in the old town of Hakata while wearing your kimono, and the photos and videos you can shoot with the rikshaw will make a great souvenir.

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In this area, you won’t just be a tourist. These experiences really add an extra special something to your travel experience. Come and experience Hakata and create some priceless memories!

A list of experience programs that can be enjoyed in Hakata Old Town is here

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