If you’ve ever read an article about Fukuoka in a guidebook or magazine, you will be familiar with Fukuoka Tower, the Hilton Fukuoka Sea Hawk Hotel and the Yahoo! Dome. But have you ever actually been up in that neck of the woods?
The area in question, Momochi, has a short history. It was built in 1990 on reclaimed land originally used for the site of the 1989 Asia-Pacific Expo. In addition to the three landmarks mentioned above, it boasts many modern tall office buildings and high class apartment buildings, creating a futuristic landscape.
For great sightseeing spots, look no further than Yahoo! Dome and Fukuoka Tower. Yahoo! Dome is famous as the home of Fukuoka’s pro-baseball team, the Softbank Hawks, and is also the site of numerous events throughout the year. Baseball fans can take a behind-the-scenes look at the stadium on one of the regularly-run tours. Fukuoka Tower, at 234m, is the highest seaside tower in Japan. The viewing room, 123m above ground level, provides great views of Hakata Bay. Take along a Now Map for 20% off the usual ¥800 entry fee.
A man-made beach stretches out along the north side of Momochi. In summer, many people enjoy swimming in the sea and playing volleyball on the beach. The Marizon complex, right in the middle of the beach, has restaurants and a wedding hall. Many of the restaurants also have open terraces, so you can enjoy a wonderful sea view while you eat. From Marizon you can also catch a high-speed ferry across Hakata Bay to the resort area Uminonakamichi which takes just 20 minutes. The dolphin show there is well worth the journey.
With both a resort area and a futuristic cityscape within such easy reach, Momochi will have you coming back for more again and again.
This iconic American-style restaurant stands at the entrance of Hawks Town Mall with an eight meter long guitar-shaped sign and a pink Cadillac sticking out of the front wall. There’s an 11meters long guitar-shaped bar counter and over 300 pieces of musicians’ memorabilia. Their menu includes burgers and chicken wings in large portions.
This cafe features an all-you-can-eat bread bar. The high ceiling space gives it an outdoor and airy feel, even though it is inside and on the first floor of tall office building. They recommend their Hakata Croissant Manju that contains “anko” (sweet beans) and custard cream inside the croissant. Other reommendations include pain de mie using wild yeast and brioche pain de mie. Ideal for take-out on your way to Momochi beach
Enjoy self-service BBQ right on the beach with a view of the Hilton Fukuoka Sea Hawk Hotel and Yahoo! Japan Dome. Their staff prepare all the ingedients including meat and vegetables, beer and charcoal. Otoku Set for 2 ~ 3 people ¥5,000, Mori Mori Set for 3 ~ 4 people ¥7,000.
BQQ number: 092-821-5775
Interested in big buildings and or baseball? consider a behind the scene tours by “Dome Queens” (female staff). There are two tours: The short course visits stand seats and the highest fence in Japan. Standard course tour visits stand seats, bullpen, locker room, bench, field and other facilities inside the dome. Fee: Short course: Over HS ¥700, 4YO ~ MS: ¥300. Standard course: Over HS ¥1,000, 4YO ~ MS: ¥500.
A large shopping mall with a game center that includes a bowling alley and the latest arcade games, a cinema complex with 10 screens including 2 digital 3D screens, and the concert hall “Zepp Fukuoka”. The mall has 18 restaurants and cafes covering many genres like Japanese, Korean, Italian, ramen, fast foods, etc. You can also enjoy shopping at over 40 other shops inside.
WASC (Western Association of Schools and Colleges) registered school and it provides International baccalaureate curriculum from elementary school to high school. Their school festival held once in two years is one of the important event for international communities in Fukuoka.
This museum houses famous “Kinin” (A pure gold stamp that is said to be given by an ancient Chinese dynasty in 1C. It was excavated in Edo period and now assigned to National Treasure). Exhibitions of various genres are held in its six exhibition rooms. Fee for permanent exhibition: Adult ¥200, Univ. & HS ¥150, MS & ES Free. Opening hours 9:30 ~ 17:30 (the entrance hours is extended until 19:00 in Jul. and Aug.) Closed on Mon. (If the Monday is holiday, they will close on next weekday).
This library collects and preserves ancient documents and research items. It also includes United Nations Depository Library where you can read documents of UN. It is one of the 14 UNDL in Japan. Opening hours: Mon. ~ Sat. 10:00 ~ 19:00, Sun & Hol. 10:00 ~ 18:00. Closed on Mon. (If Mon. is Hol., they will close on next weekday).
This movie hall screens precious movies of Asian countries that the library has been collected. They hold monthly program according to different themes, You can borrow video, DC, and cassette tapes at the Video Library and enjoy free movie at Mini Theatre. The fee for monthly program: Adult ¥600, Univ. & HS ¥500, MS & ES ¥400.
You can go to Uminonakamichi area where includes aquarium and seaside park in 20min by taking this ferry. One ferry per hour. Fee: Over MS ¥1,000, ES ¥500.
Long-term residents of Fukuoka will no doubt recall the magnitude 6 earthquake that hit the city in 2005. Natural disasters can strike at any time, so it is important to always be prepared. Momochi is home to the Fukuoka Disaster Prevention Center, a facility where you can experience simulated disasters to learn what to do in such a situation. The earthquake simulator can produce tremors from magnitude 1 to magnitude 7, while the typhoon simulator can create winds up to 30m/s. The facility also houses a real fire-fighting helicopter and a model recreation of the 2005 earthquake. Entry is free. Tel: 092-847-5990