Now Reports

Hakata Akihaku Guide 2016

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The Hakata area comes alive in fall, with the Hakata Akihaku – a series of colorful events and festivals from October to November – some of which have been running for hundreds of years. Hakata Akihaku 2016 will once again feature 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, 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://hakata-akihaku.com/. In the meantime, Fukuoka Now has selected some of the best Akihaku events for you to check out!

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41st Nakasu Matsuri
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Watch as Nakasu becomes a pedestrian paradise, with wagons lining the streets to sell food and stages hosting performances. The main event is the Kunihiro Onna Mikoshi: 300 women carrying a float around the streets wearing happi coats and headbands. Join in a sake-hopping event and the first ever Nakasu Halloween Night!

• 10/27 (Thu.) ~ 10/29 (Sat.) *10/27: sake event only
• 18:00~22:00
• Free
• 1~5 Nakasu area, Hakata-ku

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Hakata Historical Tour
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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 city’s most famous historical sites, led by an informative guide (Japanese and English available – book in advance). Reservations required. The tours take approximately 2 hours and start at Kushida Jinja Shrine, with the exception of one special tour* that starts from Sankoen.

* Special tour (¥13,000 / Nov. 5 (Sat.), Nov. 12 (Sat.) Starts at Sankoen Park). This tour includes a traditional Japanese lunch accompanied by dancing and singing by Hakata geigi. You can also take photos with the geigi!

• 10/26 (Wed.) ~ 10/30 (Sun.), 11/3 (Thu., Hol.) ~ 11/7 (Mon.) (Special course: Nov. 5 (Sat.), Nov. 12 (Sat.))
• Times vary (approx. 2hrs.)
• ¥500~¥1,500 (for fees and tour courses please check website) *Special course ¥13,000
• 080-8397-9256 (Fukuoka Tourism Volunteer Association, 10:00~15:30)
http://www.jyoutyomeguri.com/, http://hakata-akihaku.com/event/2873

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22nd Hakata Tomyo Watching 2016
Tomyo

Expect to see one of Hakata’s finest light shows, as the area’s shrines and temples are lit in spectacular fashion by tens of thousands of lanterns, handmade by the local community. Art installations will be made out of the lanterns and a free bus will run between attractions at Bayside Place Hakata and Tochoji Temple.

• 10/22 (Sat.)
• 18:00~21:00
• Free
• Hakata area (Kushida Jinja Shrine area, Naraya area, Ohama area, Gokusho area, Hakata Riverain, Hakata-ekimae Hiroba, Hakata Sennen no Mon, Tochoji Temple, Bayside Place Hakata ~ Hakata Port International Terminal, etc.)
• Hakata-ku, Fukuoka

What is Tomyo Watching?
Traditionally, tomyo lanterns are illuminated as votive offerings to the gods and Buddha, or at memorial services (供養). The Hakata Tomyo Watching festival started in 1994, inspired by a traditional ceremony called Sentomyo that is held at temples and shrines in Fukuoka and Oita in which 1,000 paper lanterns are lit up. The beautifully illuminated paper lanterns symbolize prayers for good health and the well-being of one’s family.

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Oktoberfest 2016
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Oktoberfest is a staple of German culture. It returns to Fukuoka this year with a huge beer tent, 19 varieties of German Beer, performances by a German folk band and a great selection of German food, from sausages to pretzels. You can also take a spin on a 19th century-style merry-go-round from Germany.

• 10/14 (Fri.) ~ 10/23 (Sun.)
• Mon. ~ Fri: 16:00~22:00, Sat. & Sun.: 11:00~22:00
• Free entry
• Reisen Park
• 7 Kamikawabata-machi, Hakata-ku
http://forcasweb.com/oktoberfest/

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10th Hakata Kenjo Dochu
Kenjo

The Kenjo Dochu celebrates Hakata-ori, used to make obi (traditional belts) and one of Japan’s finest textiles. The procession is led by a Hakata Geigi (geisha). Expect men holding lanterns, women in formal kimono and traditional music played on the shamisen (lute) and fue (flute). It’s the perfect place to wear a yukata!

• 10/22 (Sat.)
• Kawabata Shotengai: 17:20~, JR Hakata Sta. and Hakata-guchi Ekimae Hiroba: 18:20~
• Free
• Kawabata Shotengai, JR Hakata Sta. ~ Gokusho area
• Hakata-ku, Fukuoka

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Hakata Okunchi
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This traditional festival, which is over 1,200 years old, gives thanks to the gods for the autumn’s harvest. On Oct. 24 (Mon.), 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 (crowns) walk in parade, starting at Kushida Shrine and weaving around the Hakata area. There will also be other events held during this period incl.: Sentomyo: Oct. 22 (Sat.) and Oct. 23 (Sun.) late-afternoon ~21:00, free amazake (sweet sake): Oct. 23 (Sun.) at 10:00~16:00 and a sumo competition.

• 10/23 (Sun.) ~ 10/24 (Mon.)
• Autumn Festival: 10/23 11:00~, Parade: 10/24 14:00~
• Free
• Kushida Shrine ~ Hakata area
• 1-41 Kamikawabata-machi, Hakata-ku
• 092-291-2951 (Kushida Jinja Shrine)
http://hakata-akihaku.com/event/2946

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Hakata Halloween Costume Parade and Contest 2016
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Get in the Halloween spirit watching hundreds of participants wearing creepy and creative costumes in the 9th annual parade from Hakata Riverain to Canal City. This is one of the biggest Halloween parades in Kyushu with 500 in attendance. For details, check out the Canal City Hakata’s website. Note: contest application is now closed – you can no longer participate in the parade, but you can view it.

• 10/30 (Sun.)
• Parade: 14:00~, Contest on stage/Awards ceremony: 16:00~
• Free
• Hakata Riverain Mall ~ Kawabata Shotengai ~ Canal City Hakata
• Hakata-ku, Fukuoka
• 092-282-2525 (Canal City Hakata Information Service Center, 10:00~21:00)
http://canalcity.co.jp/, http://hakata-akihaku.com/event/2959

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Hakata-ori Exhibition
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Hakata-ori (woven textile) is a local folk craft with 770 years of tradition. It has been popular for centuries for use in kimono and obi (traditional belts) due to its tensile strength. At this annual event, new pieces of Hakata-ori are displayed inside Jotenji Zen Temple – the birthplace of Hakata-ori. The location itself is a reason for visiting – the inside of Jotenji Temple is not usually open to the public. Enjoy the autumn foliage, and optional tea ceremony (fee: ¥500) in the Japanese Karesansui (rock) garden. This year’s exhibition is the 114th iteration of this popular event and you can join in by voting for your favourite obi

• 11/11 (Fri.) ~ 11/13 (Sun.)
• 10:00~17:00 (11/13: ~15:00)
• Free (not incl. tea ceremony)
• Jotenji Temple
• 1-29-9 Hakata-ekimae, Hakata-ku
• 092-409-5162 (Hakata Textile Manufacturer Association)
http://hakata-akihaku.com/event/2989

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Hakata Light Up Walk 2016
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Thirteen temples, shrines and gardens in the Hakata area are beautifully illuminated for this event, now entering its 11th year. Between venues are areas with mini-concerts and stalls selling food, drinks and goods. Discounted books of tickets can be purchased at convenience stores in advance.

Venues (13 in total)
Kushida Jinja Shrine (1-41 Kamikawabata-machi, Hakata-ku)
Jotenji Temple (1-29-9 Hakataeki-mae, Hakata-ku)
Tochoji Temple (2-4 Gokusho-machi, Hakata-ku)
Myorakuji Temple (13-6 Gokusho-machi, Hakata-ku)
Engakuji Temple (13-11 Gokusho-machi, Hakata-ku)
Myotenji Temple (9-12 Nakagofuku-machi, Hakata-ku)
Hongakuji Temple (14-21 Kamigofuku-machi, Hakata-ku)
Shojoji Temple (10-14 Nakagofuku-machi, Hakata-ku)
Hakata Sennen no Mon (1 Hakataeki-mae, Hakata-ku)
Zendoji Temple (6-24 Nakagofuku-machi, Hakata-ku)
Kaigenji Temple (10-5 Nakagofuku-machi, Hakata-ku)
Ryuguji Temple (4-21 Reisen-machi, Hakata-ku)
Katsuragi Jizou (5-147 Kamigofuku-machi, Hakata-ku)

• 11/23 (Wed., Hol.) ~ 11/27 (Sun.)
• 17:30~21:00 (last entry ~20:45)
• Ticket book (access to all venues) Adv.: ¥1,000, Door: ¥1,300
• Hakata area
• Hakata-ku, Fukuoka
• 080-2754-2631 (Hakata Light Up Walk Committee, Weekdays: 10:00~17:00)
http://hakata-light.jp

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Hakata Traditional Craft Center Autumn Event
hakata-traditional-craft-center-autumn-event

Try your hand at making traditional Hakata crafts at one of the workshops, or sample some delicious organic fare. This festival is a must go! The event is categorized into three themes: see, eat and try.

• 11/12 (Sat.), 11/13 (Sun.)
• 10:00~18:00 (L.I.: 17:30) (11/13: ~16:00 (L.I.: 15:30))
• Free entry
• Hakata Traditional Craft Center
• 6-1 Kamikawabata-machi, Hakata-ku
• 092-409-5450 (Hakata Traditional Craft Center)
<http://hakata-dentou-kougeikan.jp/archives/7566, http://hakata-akihaku.com/event/2998

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Kawakami Otojiro Memorial
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On Nov. 11 every year, you can attend this Buddhist memorial service for Otojiro Kawakami, a 19th century actor and local legend. The memorial service is held by a Buddhist monk. On Nov. 3 and 4, the theater company “Hakata Yokatai” will reenact the life of the actor. Read more about the legend of Otojiro Kawakami in English here.

• 11/11 (Fri.)
• 10:00~11:00
• Free
• Jotenji Temple
• 1-29-9 Hakata-ekimae, Hakata-ku
• 092-281-7761 (Hakata Machiya Folk Museum)
http://hakata-akihaku.com/event/2995

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Tenugui Stamp Rally (*locations selling tenugui)
tenugui-stamp-rally

This year, Akihaku’s annual stamp rally event is themed about the tenugui (Japanese hand towel). Collect stamps from 10 locations around the Hakata area to create your own unique tenugui. Those who collect all 10 stamps will receive a Hakata souvenir and if you fill in a survey, you can win additional prizes prizes!

Stamp locations
• Hakata Machiya Folk Museum (souvenir area 10:00~18:00)*
• Canal City Hakata (1F General Information Center 10:00~21:00)
• Hakata Riverain Mall (beside 2F center escalator 10:30~19:30)
• Kawabata Zenzai Hiroba (Entrance 11:00~18:00)
• Kushida Jinja Shrine (Haiden (shrine front) 4:00~22:00)
• Jotenji Temple (Buddhist sanctum 8:00~16:00)
• Tochoji Temple (beside temple office 9:00~16:45)
• Sumiyoshi Jinja Shrine (shrine counter 6:00~20:00)
• Hakata Traditional Craft Center (Reception: 10:00~17:30 (Closed: Wed., next day if Wed. is Hol.))
• 10F of KITTE Hakata (2F Deck: 10:00~21:00)*

Info
• 9/24 (Sat.) ~ 11/30 (Wed.)
• Times vary depending on location
• Free
• Hakata area
• Hakata-ku, Fukuoka
• 080-2789-0431 (Stamp Rally Committee, Weekdays 10:00~17:00)

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Chikuzen Biwa: Kyokuen Nakamura Exhibition
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Kyokuen Nakamura, owner of a Chikuzen biwa (Japanese lute) that is one of Fukuoka City’s Designated Intangible Cultural Properties, is about to celebrate her 100th birthday! To commemorate this milestone, her biwa as well as photographs will be displayed on the second floor of Hakata Machiya Folk Museum. There will be a biwa performance on Oct. 22 (Sat.) by the chairman of the Chikuzen Biwa Fukuoka Asahi Association (and other members) at 19:00~ and 20:00~.

• 10/1 (Sat.) ~ 10/31 (Mon.)
• 10:00~18:00 (L.I.: 17:30)
• General: ¥200, JHS and under: Free
• Hakata Machiya Folk Museum
• 6-10 Reisen-machi, Hakata-ku
• 092-281-7761 (Hakata Machiya Folk Museum)
http://www.hakatamachiya.com/, http://hakata-akihaku.com/event/2902

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Hakata-ori Traditional Craftsman Exhibition
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Beautiful Hakata-ori obi (traditional belts) and other accessories made by craftsmen will be on display at the Hakata Traditional Craft Center. In the permanent exhibition room on 2F, traditional crafts of Fukuoka/Hakata are exhibited including some incredibly valuable items. The center has a cafe which serves organic coffee and sweets.

• 10/6 (Thu.) ~ 10/11 (Tue.)
• 10:00~18:00 (L.I.: 17:30) (10/11: ~17:30)
• Free entry
• Hakata Traditional Craft Center
• 6-1 Kamikawabata-machi, Hakata-ku
• 092-409-5450 (Hakata Traditional Craft Center)
http://hakata-dentou-kougeikan.jp/, http://hakata-akihaku.com/event/2908

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Fukuoka Fish Festival 2016 in Bayside Place Hakata
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Seafood specialists from across Japan will gather to serve their best dishes made using local ingredients. The menu will be unique to this event and, amongst other things, includes special maguro (tuna) rice bowls and thai green curry made with white sturgeon. Various events will be held on the theme of “fish” including a fish-catching event where you can catch fish with your bare hands and the opportunity to watch a professional cut and prepare maguro. All meals are bought using tokens (each token ¥100, minimum purchase 10 tokens). You can buy a set of 33 tokens (face value ¥3,300) in advance for ¥3,000. Some events change daily and there will be high-quality sake bought in from across Japan – perfect for food pairing!

• 10/7 (Fri.) ~ 10/10 (Mon., Hol.)
• 10/7: 15:00~21:00, 10/8 ~ 10/9: 11:00~21:00, 10/10: 11:00~18:00
• Free entry (Food ticket: Adv.: ¥3,000, Door: ¥1,000 (¥100 x 10 tickets))
• Bayside Place Hakata
• 13-6 Chikkohonmachi, Hakata-ku
• 092-281-7701 (Bayside Place Hakata, 9:00~20:00)
http://www.baysideplace.jp/, http://hakata-akihaku.com/event/2913

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Sumiyoshi Jinja Shrine Festival (Sumo Festival)
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A celebration of sumo! Events include the chigo ceremony (costumed children process around the shrine’s grounds), a children’s sumo competition and yabusame, an event in which skilled archers in period costume hit wooden targets from horseback.

• 10/12 (Wed.), 10/13 (Thu.)
• 10/12: chigo ceremony 16:00~, 10/13: sumo competition 9:00~12:00, Yabusame 12:00~
• Free viewing
• Sumiyoshi Jinja Shrine
• 3-1-51 Sumiyoshi, Hakata-ku
• 092-291-2670 (Sumiyoshi Jinja Shrine)
http://chikuzen-sumiyoshi.or.jp/, http://hakata-akihaku.com/event/2919

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Viva! Hakata Wadaiko Festival in Bayside Place

Picture by Marco Tambara

This iconic wadaiko (Japanese drum) performance was originally held at Tochoji Temple and returns this year for the first time in three years. It is now taking place at its new location in Bayside Place Hakata. It’s bound to be a spectacular performance. Next to some Hakata Tomyo Watching venues.

• 10/22 (Sat.)
• 18:00~20:30
• Free
• Bayside Place Hakata
• 13-6 Chikkohonmachi, Hakata-ku
• 092-409-4882 (Chikuzen Hakata Koma)
http://www.baysideplace.jp/, http://hakata-akihaku.com/event/2942

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Chiharu Irie’s “Lighting Picture”
chiharu-irie

An exhibition of Japanese sculptor Chiharu Irie’s works will fill Hakata Machiya Folk Museum. Irie’s work focuses on sculpting porcelain figurines and using lighting to bringing these figurines to life. Many of her sculptures focus on Hakata-ben, often creating sculptures of children to depicting quotidien, everyday life.

• 11/1 (Tue.) ~ 11/30 (Wed.)
• 10:00~18:00 (Light-up period (11/23 ~ 11/27): ~21:00)
• Free entry
• Hakata Machiya Folk Museum
• 6-10 Reisen-machi, Hakata-ku
• 092-281-7761 (Hakata Machiya Folk Museum)
www.hakatamachiya.com/, http://hakata-akihaku.com/event/2967

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Sumiyoshi Jinja Shrine Yokozuna Dohyo-iri Dedication
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The yokozuna dohyo-iri dedication is a ceremony in which a yokozuna (grand champion of sumo) enters the sumo ring. This is an official event held annually by the Japan Sumo Association before the Kyushu Basho. The event usually attracts upwards of 3,000 visitors and is free to all attendees. Official Dohyo-iri events are held in only 5 locations in Japan.

• 11/2 (Wed.)
• 14:00~
• Free viewing
• Sumiyoshi Jinja Shrine
• 3-1-51 Sumiyoshi, Hakata-ku
• 092-291-2670 (Sumiyoshi Jinja Shrine)
http://chikuzen-sumiyoshi.or.jp/, http://hakata-akihaku.com/event/2970

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Higo Leather Crafts and Folk Handicrafts Exhibition
hakata-traditional-craft-center

Leather crafts and folk handicrafts from Higo, Kumamoto Prefecture will be on display and for sale at Hakata Traditional Craft Center for nine days in November. Crafts include: leather bags, temari (traditional Japanese handballs), etc.

• 11/14 (Mon.) ~ 11/23 (Wed., Hol.)
• 10:00~18:00 (L.I.: 17:30) (11/23: ~15:00)
• Free entry
• Hakata Traditional Craft Center
• 6-1 Kamikawabata-machi, Hakata-ku
• 092-409-5450 (Hakata Traditional Craft Center)
http://hakata-dentou-kougeikan.jp/, http://hakata-akihaku.com/event/3004

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Canal City Hakata Fountain Show
#10 Canal City Hakata 2016 022

The popular fountain show inside Canal City Hakata is back in action after being refurbished! The show will now include projection mapping and an improved light show using new LED lights installed in the nozzles of the fountains. A dynamic fountain show using a 2,500-inch 3D projection mapping screen starts in late-Nov.

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This guide is constantly being updated with more Akihaku events. Check back for more events!

Originally published in Fukuoka Now Magazine (fn214, Oct. 2016)

Category
Others
Hakata
Published: Sep 29, 2016 / Last Updated: Jul 5, 2017

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