12 Long Weekend Events for Fukuoka (11/2~4)

Stuck for something to do this long weekend? We’ve got you covered with everything from hot air balloons and art festivals to champagne parties, traditional events and more! Here are Fukuoka Now staff’s picks for weekend activities for this Saturday, Sunday and Monday…

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Event 1 ➤Saga International Balloon Fiesta 10/31 (Thu.) ~ 11/4 (Mon.) @ Kase Riversite, Saga
Watch some of the world’s most magnificent hot air balloons float in great flocks above the Kase Riverbank at this unique five day event in the nearby city of Saga. The fiesta, which has been running for 35 years, is the biggest event of its kind in the country. Balloon pilots hailing from Japan, Hungary, Korea, Australia and the UK, among others, will fire up their furnaces for international competitions in the calmer early morning and evening periods, whilst in the afternoons a range of exciting novelty-shaped creations will drift across the sky.
Read more.

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Event 2 ➤Hakushu Festival 11/1 (Fri.) ~ 11/3 (Sun.) @ Yanagawa-bashi Riverside
A celebration of Yanagawa-born tanka poet and children’s songwriter, Hakushu Kitahara, who passed away on Nov. 2, 1942. Around 80 boats decorated with lanterns float down Yanagawa river at night in a tribute to Hakushu, and the sky is illuminated with Autumn fireworks.
Read more.

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Event 3 ➤Beppu Art Month 11/1 (Fri.) ~ 12/1 (Sun.) @ Beppu City
When you hear the word “Beppu”, images of steamy hot onsen immediately come to mind – but did you know that Beppu, Oita is also known for its blooming art and music community? Held every Autumn since 2010, Beppu Art Month is run by the “Mixed Bathing World Association” and takes place at various galleries and locations all over Beppu City. Exhibitions and performances take place between November 1 and December 1, with everything from painting and knitting to body art, yoga-dance and more. Participating artists range in age from young children to the elderly and many in between. Take a look at the full exhibition schedule on the official website and start planning an artsy getaway to Beppu!
Read more.

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Event 4 ➤Karatsu Kunchi 11/2 (Sat.) ~ 11/4 (Mon. Hol.) @ Karatsu City
14 festival floats weighing two to four tons each and adorned with lions, dragons and other symbols are carried through the streets of Karatsu on Nov. 3. This Autumn festival has been held since the late 1500s, and this year around 500,000 people are expected to attend over three days.
Read more.

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Event 5 ➤Myorakuji Light Up Concert 11/2(Sat.) @ Myorakuji
Special live performance at Myorakuji of two popular Japanese musical artists – Asako Toki and Shunsuke Watanabe. Toki is best known as the singer for the pop band Cymbals between 1997-2003. Her songs are often featured on TV commercials. Shunsuke Watanabe plays pop music on the piano, keyboard, organ, synthesizer under the solo project name “Schroeder-Headz”. In this special collaboration performance, they sing at Hakata Light Up Concert.
Read more.

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Event 6 ➤Marinoa City Fukuoka B級 Fair 11/2 (Sat.) ~ 11/4 (Mon.Hol.) @ Marinoa City
Every six months, Marinoa City holds a sale of “B級” (literally B-class) damaged or slightly imperfect but nonetheless brand new items. Missing buttons and other small flaws denote these “B級” goods and big savings! Clothing, furniture and shoes from approximately 90 shops at Marinoa City are discounted up to 90%! Some stores have samples available for shoppers to try on or test the products before buying.
Read more.

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Event 7 ➤JR Kyushu Station Manager’s Recommended Walking Tour 11/3 (Sun.) @ Hakata Station
Held twice a year, in spring and fall, this walking event aims to educate visitors about Fukuoka’s roots. This time, the theme is tracing the history of Kuroda Kanbei – in anticipation of the upcoming 2014 NHK Taiga Drama about Kanbei. The course starts at Hakata Sta., passing through Hakata Folk Museum, Kushida Shrine, Fukuoka Castle Ruins, Ohori Park, and Fukuoka City Museum (reopening Nov. 3 after renewal), finishing at Nishijin Station. Enjoy walking through Fukuoka in the pleasant fall weather.
Read more.

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Event 8 ➤Used Book Market 11/3 (Sun.) @ Keyaki-dori
The main event of Bookuoka, this huge curbside used book market returns for its eighth year running. For one day only, secondhand books from 100 sellers are gathered on Keyaki Dori. You can sell a box full of secondhand books, and there’s a stamp rally for souvenirs too! Apply online if you want to participate as a seller (capacity 100 sellers, ¥1,500 seller fee). This event is part of BOOKUOKA 2013.
Read more.

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Event 9 ➤Mitsuhime Candle Service Event 11/3 (Sun.) at Ennouji
Special nighttime candle illumination event at Ennouji – a temple said to be built by Kuroda Kanbei’s wife Mitsuhime. The event includes a candlelight Buddhist prayer session to Mitsuhime (18:00), a traditional “chikuzen biwa” instrumental recital (18:30), a talk session about Mitsuhime (18:50) and the chance to practice transcribing a Japanese Buddhist manuscript or “sutra” (19:10) with free godofu/black molasses sweets for 50 participants. The event finishes at 21:00.
Read more.

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Event 10 ➤Yamakasa no Chikara 11/3 (Sun.)~12/23 @ Fukuoka City Museum
The influence of Hakata festivals is seen in more than 100 locations in Northern Kyushu, and this influence is described as “Hakatautsushi”. The word indicates that the culture of the of Edo and Kyoto found its way to Hakata, where it evolved and was spread again in Northern Kyushu. Hakata Gion Yamakasa is a fine example of Hakatautsushi, and this exhibition is a great way to understand the history of the vibrant festival which defines Hakata culture. The exhibition celebrates the way in which Yamakasa builds and strengthens bonds between families, locals and society. There are illustrated byobu (folding screen), photos, books and more items on display at the Fukuoka City Museum.
Read more & win free tickets!

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Event 11 ➤2nd Club du Champagne Fukuoka 2013 11/4 (Mon. Hol.) @ Denki Bldg. Mirai Hall
With a great turnout of 800 participants last year, this celebration of the bubbly beverage known as champagne enters its second year. With 42 different varieties of champagne and champagne cocktails available for tasting you’re spoilt for choice. There’s also ¥500 food items, a live stage with jazz and classical performances, champagne lecture by a trained sommelier, and finally screening of funny and interesting French television commercials by Jean-Christian Bouvier from the World CM Festival.
Read more.

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Event 12 ➤Studio Ghibli Layout Designs ~ 1/26 (Sun.) @ Fukuoka Asian Art Museum 7th Floor
See around 1,300 original Studio Ghibli layouts by world famous co-founders Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata – including all 130 films from Nausicaa and the Valley of the Wind (1984) to the latest release. There’s a photo corner, Totoro corner and souvenirs on sale! Check out our full photo report from the opening day!
Read more.

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BONUS! ➤ Koyo Autumn Leaves in Fukuoka
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Koyo refers to the changing autumn colors of deciduous trees in Japan. Leaves turn spectacular shades of red, yellow and brown – depending on species – and before falling to the ground. Fukuoka Now has compiled an online guide to koyo in Fukuoka – complete with links to useful weather resources, photographs, maps, and our pick of twenty spots near Fukuoka to view autumn leaves. Koyo season has started, so plan your long weekend to include some autumn leaf viewing!
Full guide here.

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Don’t forget to check out our full event calendar.
Have a good long weekend!

-FN

P.s. Have any other suggestions for things to do in Fukuoka on the weekend? Please leave your comment below.

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