A thorough explanation of Japan’s three major entertainment districts, Fukuoka Nakasu! Introducing how to enjoy food stalls

Now that the coronavirus pandemic is over, I want to enjoy the entertainment district.
Japan’s three major entertainment districts are Kabukicho in Tokyo, Susukino in Sapporo, and Nakasu in Fukuoka in Kyushu.
The most distinctive feature of Nakasu is its street food stalls. There are many other attractions as well.
In this article, in addition to how to enjoy the street food stalls, we will also introduce Nakasu’s highlights, such as the Fukuhaku Encounter Bridge, Riverside Cruise, and the Nakasu Kunihiro Onna Mikoshi.
Let’s enjoy the city of Nakasu with these points in mind.


■What kind of town is Nakasu, one of Japan’s three major entertainment districts?


The long and narrow area surrounded by the Naka and Hakata rivers in Fukuoka is called Nakasu. Nakasu means “a place in a river where sand accumulates and becomes like an island.” The nearest station is Nakasukawabata Station on the Fukuoka City Subway. It can be reached within 10 minutes by subway from Fukuoka Airport, Hakata Station, and the downtown area of Tenjin.

In the first half of the 17th century, the area to the east of the Naka River was the merchant town of Hakata, and the west was the samurai town of Fukuoka. Nakasu developed as an entertainment town after the East-West Nakajima Bridge was built by Kuroda Nagamasa, the first lord of the Fukuoka domain, and is still a cultural center today. Hakata-za, which is directly connected to Nakasu-Kawabata Station, hosts popular stage performances such as Kabuki, Takarazuka, and musicals one after another. The Fukuoka Asian Art Museum is also popular as the only art museum in the world that specializes in modern and contemporary Asian art.

During the day, Nakasu is a vibrant and powerful city filled with entertainment, shopping, and gourmet food. Nakasu at night is a lively town with food stalls and neon lights. The town of Nakasu looks completely different during the day and at night. Nakasu is an attractive town that you can enjoy whenever you visit.


■Access to Fukuoka’s “Nakasu”, one of Japan’s three major entertainment districts

Nakasu in Fukuoka is one of Japan’s three major entertainment districts. How is access to Nakasu?


Access from Hakata Station

Fukuoka’s Shinkansen station is Hakata. When the municipal system was implemented in the Meiji period, Fukuoka, which was a residential area for samurai, and Hakata, which was a residential area for merchants, became one city. At that time, “Fukuoka” was adopted as the city name. Instead of keeping “Fukuoka” as the city name, “Hakata” was left as the railway station name, so the city name and station name are different.

23,810 yen if you purchase a regular seat reservation ticket during the regular season . Please note that reserved seat express fares for the Tokaido/Sanyo Shinkansen vary depending on the peak season, busy season, and off-peak season.

There are two exits from Hakata Station: Hakata Exit and Chikushi Exit. There are taxi stands at both locations, but it is more convenient to use the Hakata exit to go to Nakasu.

If you are aiming for Nakasu from Tokyo, the required time and route are as shown in the table below.


Access from Fukuoka Airport

Fukuoka Airport is unique in that it is very easily accessible from the city, which is unusual for an airport in a large metropolitan area in Japan.

There are many flights from Haneda Airport and Narita Airport to Fukuoka Airport. The fare for standard seat FLEX on ANA flights from Haneda Airport to Fukuoka Airport is 43,100 yen during regular season and 45,200 yen during peak season . There are various discount systems for airline tickets, and it may be cheaper to use an LCC, so please use this as a guide only.

Fukuoka Airport is connected to Fukuoka Airport Subway Station. The fare from Fukuoka Airport Station to Nakasu Kawabata Station is 260 yen.

There are multiple taxi stands at Fukuoka Airport. If you use a taxi, the fare is around 1,870 yen for a regular taxi .

Access from Tokyo is as follows.


■4 Highlights of Fukuoka’s Nakasu, one of Japan’s three major entertainment districts

There are many attractions in Nakasu. This time, we will introduce four of them: the food stall street, the Fukuhaku Encounter Bridge, the river cruise, and the Nakasu Kunihiro Onna Mikoshi.


Speaking of Nakasu, this is it! food stall street

Fukuoka Nakasu is famous for its street food stalls.

Around 5pm, food stalls start appearing one after another on the sidewalk, which is empty during the day.
Food stalls in Fukuoka City are operated on a public recruitment basis based on the Fukuoka City Food Stall Basic Ordinance, and there are actually 36 food stalls registered in Nakasu.

In fact, there are more food stalls registered in Tenjin’s food stall district than in Nakasu. However, it is Nakasu where you can enjoy the atmosphere of “This is a street food street!” with a large concentration of food stalls.
Tenjin’s street food street has many relatively new food stalls called “neo food stalls,” where you can enjoy French cuisine, coffee, and more in addition to standard street food. If you have a chance, please visit both Nakasu’s food stalls and Tenjin’s food stalls and compare them.

Nakasu’s food stall street is very popular as a tourist destination, but there are some rules that you should be aware of.

The food stalls start preparing around 5pm, but the shops actually open from 6:30pm to 7pm.

Also, there are no toilets in the street food street. Please use the restroom before heading out. If you need to go to the restroom on the way, please ask the staff at the store. They will tell you where the nearest toilet is.

And when you go out to the food stalls, try to wear as light clothing as possible. The stalls are small and the customers are crowded together. We recommend leaving your luggage at your hotel or in a coin locker, and keeping your luggage as small as possible. However, food stalls are usually outside, so it can be hot or cold. It is a good idea to wear clothing that allows you to easily regulate your temperature.

The stalls are small and the number of seats is limited. Be willing to compromise by leaving your seat after you finish eating.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask the store owner. In some cases, customers around you may be able to tell you.


A place where you can feel the history! Fukuhiro Encounter Bridge

“Fukuhaku Encounter Bridge” is a bridge with a total length of 78.2 meters that was completed in 1990. The name symbolizes the meeting of two towns separated by the Naka River, the merchant town Hakata to the east and the samurai town Fukuoka to the west.
At night, it is lit up along with the “Former Fukuoka Prefectural Public Hall Kihinkan” in Tenjin Central Park, creating a fantastic scenery. It is also lively with street performers appearing.
There is also a river cruise boarding area nearby, so you can enjoy the Naka River both from the ground and from the river.


The view from the river is spectacular! river cruise

The river cruise is a water bus that departs from in front of the former Fukuoka Prefectural Public Hall Kihinkan, next to the Fukuhaku Encounter Bridge.

“Nakasu Cruise” is an easy and enjoyable course that takes about 30 minutes. We will visit the food stalls lining the Naka River and sightseeing spots such as Canal City Hakata, Red Brick Cultural Center, Hakata Port Tower and Bayside Place Hakata.
While enjoying the pleasant breeze, you can enjoy the vibrant and powerful city of Fukuoka during the day, and the beautiful night view of Nakasu with its neon lights at night.No matter which time you board the ship, you can enjoy the charming scenery of the city of Nakasu.

River cruises can also be reserved for private use. The price is also surprisingly reasonable at 33,000 yen on weekdays and 55,000 yen on holidays for 50 minutes and up to 12 people. Why not celebrate your birthday or anniversary on board? The view of Nakasu seen from the Naka River is a bit different and wonderful.


A big event in Nakasu! Nakasu Kunihiro female mikoshi

When it comes to festivals in Fukuoka, Hakata Dontaku is famous.

Dontaku is a festival for men who run around wildly pulling floats, but Nakasu has a festival for women. That is the Nakasu Kunihiro female mikoshi.

The Nakasu Kunihiro female mikoshi is held as one of the performances at the Nakasu Festival held at the end of October every year. “Nakasu Festival” is a festival that expresses our gratitude to the customers who visit Nakasu, which is a prosperous downtown area, throughout the year. The female mikoshi also travels through various routes throughout the city of Nakasu.
The sight of women gathering together and carrying omikoshi and marching through the streets of Nakasu is a sight to behold.


■Enjoy Fukuoka’s Nakasu, one of Japan’s three major entertainment districts!

So far, we have introduced the charms of Fukuoka Nakasu, a powerful and active city. Nakasu has so much charm that I can’t tell you enough about it. As expected, there are many things that make it one of Japan’s top three entertainment districts.
Please come and visit the town of Nakasu and experience its charm for yourself. I’m sure you’ll fall in love with Nakasu too.



Q. How long does it take to get to Nakasu from the Shinkansen station or airport?
A. It takes about 3 minutes by subway or 10 minutes by taxi from Hakata Station. From Fukuoka Airport, it takes about 9 minutes by subway or 15 minutes by taxi.

Q.What are the highlights of Nakasu?
A. Night food street, Fukuhaku Encounter Bridge, and river cruise. If you have the right time, we also recommend the Nakasu Kunihiro Onna Mikoshi at the Nakasu Festival.