Hakata Old Town area (Merchant District Hakata Traditional Culture Course)
Hakata Old Town ("Kyushigai") is a district within walking distance of Hakata Station that is dotted with shrines and temples and retains many traditional streetscapes. The area west of Taihaku Dori begins with a visit to Kushida Shrine, the chief shrine of Hakata, then takes in a variety of tourist attractions such as the Fukuoka Asian Art Museum and the Hakata Townhouse History Hall. Also enjoy some time on the Kawabata Shopping Arcade.
Birthplace of Otojiro Kawakami
Born in a merchant family in the year of the Meiji Restoration (1864), Otojiro engaged in satire through subversive, pro-democratic amateur theater and the song Oppekepe. His troupe also performed Japanese plays overseas, wrote plays and founded new wave theater. Together with his wife Sadayakko, he left a significant historic legacy in Japanese theater. A statue of Otojiro Kawakami is found at the entrance to the Kawabata Shopping Arcade.
- 3-8 Komondomachi, Hakata-ku, Fukuoka City
Fukuoka Asian Art Museum
You can enjoy looking at contemporary art works from all Asia here at Hakata Riverain! The museum exhibits 2,900 art pieces collected from 23 different countries and regions in Asia. Not only exhibitions but also workshops by the artists invited from Asian countries are held. The souvenir shop at the museum carries a variety of original goods, exhibition related books, attractive Asian accessories and furnishing products.
- Riverain Center bldg. 7 & 8F, 3-1, Shimo Kawabata-machi, Hakata-ku, Fukuoka
Kawabata Shopping Arcade
Hakata’s oldest shopping street has about 130 shops lining a 400-meter long arcade. This is the standard Hakata walking course, featuring gift shops selling traditional Hakata ningyo dolls and other items, shops specialized in Yamakasa goods, stores that offer products from the Genkai-nada sea, and ramen shops. On Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, and other days when special events are held, you can enjoy tasty Kawabata zenzai (redbean soup with mochi) at the arcade’s event space. Get there early, because they sell out by 5:00pm!
- 10, Kamikawabatai, Hakata-ku, Fukuoka
Hakata Traditional Craft and Design Museum
Hakata Traditional Craft Center exhibits the most famous traditional crafts of Fukuoka including Hakataori textile and Hakata dolls. It opened in spring of 2011 as a new tourist spot where you can learn about the culture of Fukuoka.
Hakataori textile and Hakata dolls are the most famous traditional crafts of Fukuoka.
Hakataori textile is especially famous for the one called “Goshokukenjo,” which is colored purple, blue, red, yellow, or mazarine. In the Edo Period, it was chosen by the lord of Kuroda Clan as one of the tribute articles presented to the central government. Hakata dolls are said to have been created by the order of Kuroda Nagamasa, who gathered many doll makers after he took over reign of the Fukuoka area.
Fukuoka also has various other traditional crafts such as Hakata magemono (woodenware), Hakata koma (toy top), and Hakata hariko (paper doll), Hakata Basami (scissors), Chikuzen Hakata Ya (arrows), and Multi-Glass .There are many arts and crafts that created Fukuoka and Hakata for what it is now.
What is the most noteworthy about traditional crafts is the skill of the craft masters! Today we can appreciate the traditional beauty thanks to their efforts to preserve the old traditions and skills. You can get close to such wonderful mastership at Hakata Traditional Craft Center.
- 6-1, Kamikawabata-machi, Hakata-ku, Fukuoka
This grand tutelary shrine of Hakata is widely known and people warmly refer to it as “Okushida-san.”
It is dedicated to the gods of Ohatanushi-no-mikoto, Amaterasu-omikami and Susanowo-no-mikoto. According to tradition, in 757, when Emperor Koken was in the reign and Tairano Kiyomori designated Hakata port as a base of Japan-China trade, the shrine was built on the emperor’s order to share a god with Kushida shrine of Ise province (the present Mie prefecture).
In 1585 during the Hakata restoration, Toyotomi Hideyoshi contributed to rebuild the current main building of the shrine.
Hakata Gion Yamakasa festival, widely known as a summer feature of Hakata, is dedicated to this shrine.
- 1-41, Kamikawabata-machi, Hakata-ku, Fukuoka
Hakata Traditional Performing Arts Centre
Opened November 2017. This is a new tourist spot in front of Hakata's protector, Kushida Shrine, offering hands-on experience of Hakata traditional culture.
The aim of the Center is to promote traditional arts and crafts such as Japanese dance and folk dances, spinning tops and Hakata Niwaka, or impromptu comic talking with masks. It is also used as a training venue for geisha performers.
※No permanent events
- 2-20 Reisenmachi, Hakata-ku, Fukuoka City
Hakata Machiya Folk Museum
If you come to Hakata, why not learning about Hakata culture? This museum shows the old daily life and culture of Fukuoka city in Meiji and Taisho period, focusing especially on urban houses of that period. It is located across from the Kushida-shrine. The exhibition hall features the local tradition of Hakata Gion Yamakasa and such. You can also enjoy Hakata dialect lecture or take a look at a miniature town representing good-old days of Hakata. A demonstration of traditional hand crafting is also on exhibition here.
- 6-10, Reisen-machi, Hakata-ku, Fukuoka