Hakata Akihaku 2012

Hakata Autumn tour – Hakata Akihaku 2012
The Hakata area comes alive in fall, with the Akihaku (Autumn Festa)- a series of colorful events and festivals from October to November. Although some of these events have been running for hundreds of years, 2012 marks the first time for 22 events to be officially grouped together by Hakata Ward as an official “Hakata Akihaku” series.

Hakata Akihaku 2012 features an exceptional variety of colorful, must-see events, ranging from those imbued with historical romance at the shrines and temples of Hakata, to concerts, art exhibits, dramas, walking tours, and lectures. It’s a great chance to deepen your knowledge of Hakata’s history and enjoy the feast of arts, food, and music. You can check the official website for more details here: http://hakatanomiryoku.com/akihaku

In the meantime, Fukuoka Now has selected 14 of the best Akihaku events for you to check out!

NOTE: The information presented here was gathered and summarized by Fukuoka Now staff from many sources and then translated. While we have done our best to check for accuracy there is a possible of error and also event details may change. If you notice any errors or changes please contact us. This report was originally published on Oct. 2, 2012

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1. Hakata Akihaku Stamp Rally
Join in the popular Japanese pastime of a stamp rally! Visit 17 famous Hakata spots, collecting unique stamps along the way. It’s a fun way to see the sights of Hakata and a chance to win prizes too (5 or 15 stamps to qualify)! The stamp rally runs alongside the Hakatan Walk (see event #2 below).

• 10/1 (Mon.)~11/30 (Fri.)
• 17 spots in Hakata area
• Free
• Map avail. at Hakata Station Information Center, Fukuoka City Hall and 100 spots in Hakata area
• 092-432-7088 (Hakata Akihaku Stamp Rally Office)
http://www.hakatamap.jp / www.hakatamap.jp/sp (smart phone site)
※map downloadable at these websites

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2. Hakatan Walk
With sites like JR Hakata Station and Canal City, Hakata is often recognized as a modern town. But there are many famous historical and traditionally beautiful spots throughout the area. Pick up a copy of the “Machiaruki Map” and take your time to stroll through the Hakata area. The booklet marks out different walking routes and includes an event calendar too, so you can plan your journey to intersect with one of the many events happening during the month. The booklet also includes a stamp rally (see event #1 above).

• 10/1(Mon.) ~ 11/19 (Mon.)
• Hakata Area
• Free
• Map avail. at Hakata Station Information Center, Fukuoka City Hall and 100 spots in Hakata area
• Hakata Urban Development Council: 080-8553-8420
http://www.hakatan.jp/walk_2012_10.html / www.hakatamap.jp/sp (smart phone site)

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3. VIVA! Hakata/Wadaiko Festival in Tochoji
Immerse yourself in the rhythms of traditional Japan, as five wadaiko (Japanese drumming) troupes perform at Tochoji temple, known as the oldest power spot in Japan. There’s also balloon animal classes, free caricature, and stalls selling coffee and zenzai (sweetened azuki/red bean soup).

• 10/7 (Sun.) @ Tochoji
• 16:00~20:00
• Free
• 2-4 Gokusho Machi, Hakata-ku, Fukuoka
• 092-282-8189 (Hakata Taihaku-dori Club)

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4. Hakata Historical Tour
The 2,000 year old history of Hakata is a source of pride and interest for local residents and tourists alike. In this two-hour walking tour you’ll visit some of Hakata’s most famous historical sites, led by an informative guide (Japanese and English speaking available – book in advance). Reservation required.

• 10/15 (Mon.)~10/21 (Sun.) and 10/30(Tue.)~11/5(Mon.)
• ¥500~¥11,000 (for fees and & tour courses please check website)
• Fukuoka Tourism Volunteer Association: 080-3370-2759 (10:00 ~ 15:30)
http://hakatanomiryoku.com/akihaku/1090.html

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5. Korean Film Village “Kan no Kaze” at Bayside Place Hakata
Head down to Bayside Place, Hakata Port to experience Korean culture, food stalls and the showing of 4 Korean films inside a mobile movie theatre. The inflatable outdoor theatre, called “MoMo” (Movin’ on Movie Oasis) is famous worldwide and is coming to Fukuoka for the first time!

• 10/17 (Wed.)~10/21 (Sun.)
• Film admission ¥1,000
• Open 12:00~21:00
• Movie showing times: 14:00, 16:30, 19:00 (subject to change)
• Bayside Place Hakata
• 092-281-7701
http://www.baysideplace.jp/event/dtl/20121017_01.php

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6. Fukuoka Oktoberfest 2012
Oktoberfest has become one of the most popular events in Fukuoka’s yearly calendar! This year you can enjoy 20 brands of authentic draft beer, German sausages and other traditional foods and breads, as an authentic German folk band performs in a huge tent. There’s even a classic wooden 1800s-style merry-go-round from Germany! “Prost!”

• 10/19 (Fri.)~10/28 (Sun.)
• Weekdays 16:00 ~ 22:00, Weekend 11:00 ~ 22:00
• Free (charge for foods & drinks)
• Reizen Park (Kamikawabatamachi 7)
• 092-986-3572
http://forcasweb.com/oktoberfest/

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7. Hakata Machiya Autumn Event
Opened in Aug. 1995, Hakata Machiya is a facility devoted to showcasing Hakata culture. The Japanese “machiya” – or merchant townhouse will open its exhibition hall for free during the event, and the approach to Kushida Shrine will be illuminated beautifully. Pick up an event flier to get free green tea too! Discover the life and culture of Hakata at this great Autumn event.

• 10/20 (Sat.), 11/21 (Wed.)~25 (Sun.)
• 10:00 ~ 21:00
• Hakata Machiya
• 092-281-7761
• 6-10 Reizen machi Hakata-ku, Fukuoka
http://www.hakatamachiya.com

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8. Hakata Tomyo Watching 2012
Each October Hakata streets are illuminated with thousands of paper lanterns. Start at Kushida Shrine and stroll through the many narrow side streets to see small and large creative lantern formations plus some foods and drinks stalls too! Feel the cool autumn breeze and enjoy a memorable night in Hakata. There’s a free tour bus and Tomyo maps available at each viewing spot too!

• 10/20 (Sat.)
• 18:00 ~ 21:00
• Hakata Area (Kushida Shrine, Hakata Elementary school, Hakata-Koutougakuen, Shofukuji Temple, Jotenji Temple, Tochoji Temple, Hakata Ekimae Hiroba, Fujita Koen, Bayside Place Hakata area, Hakata Riverain, Ex-Reizen Elementary School)
• Free
• 092-281-2245
http://hakata-toumyou.com/index.html

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9. Hakata Kenjo Dochu
Crowds gather at this annual autumn event to watch the parade of women in traditional kimono. At this year’s parade, 50 women clad in black kimono and Hakata kenjo obi (a traditional local craft) will walk in procession, accompanied by men with flags and lanterns.

• 10/20 (Sat.)
• 17:00 ~ 20:30
• Kawabata Shotengai, JR Hakata, Gokusho Machi, etc
• In case of rain, Kawabata Shotengai only (18:00~)
• Free
• 080-3988-3201
http://hakatanomiryoku.com/akihaku/858.html

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10. Hakata Kunchi
This traditional festival, with 1,200 years of history, gives thanks to the gods for Autumn’s harvest. You can enjoy the traditional “Taisai” festival on Tuesday from the 11:00~ onwards, and then on the 24th from 16:00~ is the main event, the “Gojinko” parade! An ox-drawn carriage pulls an ornate mikoshi (divine palanquin/ portable shrine), while children in traditional kimono, tachi-eboshi (brimless headgear worn by court nobles) and tengan (crown) walk in a parade, starting at Kushida Shrine and weaving around the Hakata area. On both Monday and Tuesday, there will be lanterns illuminating the area in the evening.

• 10/22 (Mon.)~10/24 (Wed.)
• Taisai: 10/23 (Tue.) 11:00~, Gojinko (Children’s Parade): 10/24 (Wed.) 16:00 ~
• Kushida Shrine and Hakata area
• 092-291-2951
http://hakatanomiryoku.com/akihaku/901.html

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11. Nakasu Matsuri
This festival, held in the Nakasu entertainment district features teams of women wearing happi (Japanese classic short coats) and headbands carrying two traditional Japanese floats up and down the main streets of Nakasu. Enjoy festival food stalls, interesting drinking areas and the lively atmosphere!

• 10/25 (Thu.) 26 (Fri.)
• 18:00 ~ 22:00
• Around Nakasu, Hakata-ku
• Free
• 092-272-1440
http://nakasumatsuri.com

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12. Hakata Halloween 2012
Make a creepy or creative costume and enter this yearly Halloween parade and contest in Hakata. Usually, over 400 parents and kids participate! This year the parade runs between Hakata Riverain and Canal City. Apply by 10/17 to join the parade. After the parade, there’s a costume contest with ¥200,000 first prize, ¥100,000 second prize and ¥50,000 “audience’s choice” prize!


Image from Hakata Halloween 2011

• 10/28 (Sun.)
• 13:30 ~ 17:00
• Limit 500 persons
• Application required (before 10/17)
• Hakata Riverain, Eeny Meeny Miny Mo, Canal City Hakata
• 092-282-2525 (Canal City Hakata Information Center)
http://www.canalcity.co.jp/canalhalloween2012/parade/

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13. Hakata Light Up Walk 2012
Eight historical zen temples and gardens all over the Hakata area will be illuminated for this walking event. When lit up, the temples resemble the inside of a traditional, ornate Japanese gift box– a beautiful sight to behold! Whilst wandering from venue to venue, you can enjoy a night market and mini-concerts towards the end of the month! Entry is one ticket per venue. Ticket books can be pre-purchased at convenience stores for discounted price in advance.

• 11/21 (Wed.)~25 (Sun.)
• 18:00~21:00
• Kushida Shrine, Shotenji, Tochoji, Myorakuji, Junshin Zen Temple, Enkaku Zen Temple Seshinin Zen Temple, Hakata Primary School
• Adv.: ¥600 (4 tickets), ¥1,000 (8 tickets) Door: ¥800 (4 tickets), ¥1,200 (8 tickets) Under JHS: Free.
• 092-419-1012
http://hakata-light.jp
*Note: No refunds. Ticket books available at Lawson, Seven 11, and Thanks convenience stores. Information to be updated late October.

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14. Hakata Traditional Craft Space
Hakata’s special crafts are famous Japan-wide. Learn about them for yourself at this special exhibition of Hakata Ori, Hakata dolls, and Hakata Koma. There are also demonstrations and workshops at Hakata Machiya, corresponding with the event.

• 11/21 (Wed.)~25 (Sun.)
• Hakata Machiya, Kushida Shrine, Furusato Kan etc.
• 092-419-1012
• Information to be updated late October.
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You can check the official website for more details here: http://hakatanomiryoku.com/akihaku
NOTE: The information presented here was gathered and summarized by Fukuoka Now staff from many sources and then translated. While we have done our best to check for accuracy there is a possible of error and also event details may change. If you notice any errors or changes please contact us. This report was originally published on Oct. 2, 2012

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