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Hakata Gion Yamakasa Guide 2016

You’ve probably already spotted some loincloth-clad men running around town. These men are participants in Fukuoka’s most anticipated annual festival, Hakata Gion Yamakasa. The highlight of the festival kicks off at exactly 4:59am on July 15th when thousands of men from seven districts race through the streets carrying decorative one-ton floats…

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Fukuoka’s Special Sweets

Fukuoka is home to many famous Japanese sweets. During the Edo era, Nagasaki was the only port from which the invaluable commodity of sugar entered Japan. Since the Kuroda Clan of Fukuoka was in charge of protecting Nagasaki, it was granted special permission to purchase sugar directly from the merchants. The popular sweets of this bygone era have undergone a few changes, but the people of today still know and love them…

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Introducing Koharu: A Modern Geisha in Fukuoka

If you thought geisha belonged to Japan’s past, think again. A small but dedicated group of women continue to keep the tradition alive right here in Fukuoka. We met their newest member: an English-speaking, world-traveling geisha who dreams of performing abroad…

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Fukuoka Trivia – 22 Things You’ll Be Surprised to Learn About Fukuoka

Welcome to Fukuoka! You might not know it, but you’re in the city of startups, salons, sci-fi stadiums, strangely large strawberries and, um, snazzy sewage treatment. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a long-time local, there are always more things to discover that make Fukuoka fabulous. Read on for some facts about our fair city that you won’t find in a guidebook….

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Fukuoka is Saba City!

Located on Hakata Bay facing the Genkai Sea, the city of Fukuoka is known throughout Japan for its delicious fish. One of the most loved fishes of local Fukuokans is saba, or mackerel. Packed with fatty acids, saba comes into season in the fall and winter, but Fukuokans enjoy it year-round. Any way you serve it—raw, as sashimi, marinated in dressing or grilled—saba is delicious. In fact, it’s no stretch to consider saba the most popular fish in Fukuoka. So, why do Fukuokans love it so much?

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The latest trends for locals…and visitors too!

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Yanagawa Hina Festival

Every year on Mar. 3, the Hina (Doll) Festival is held to pray for the health of young girls. (It is also known as Momo no Sekku, an auspicious date that traditionally marks the coming of spring.) The custom is said to have begun in the Heian era (794-1185) when people would try to drive away evil spirits by transferring them to dolls. Although the custom varies throughout Japan, families with young girls still display dolls even today. Dolls are set up on Feb. 4, a date known as risshun (“onset of spring”) in the old calendar, and people celebrate by eating three colors of mochi rice cakes—green, pink and white. In Yanagawa, the first Hina Festival for a new baby girl is marked with sagemon—colorful, hanging decorations that each family has passed down for generations.

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Fukuoka Mayor Soichiro Takashima, presents the first applicants for the Startup Visa, Thomas Pouplin and Yasmine Djoudi, with their Confirmation Letters of NBIP.

Startup Visa: Entrepreneurial Incentives for Foreigners in Fukuoka

Got a business idea you want to bring to life? Well, starting a business in Fukuoka just got easier, thanks to the new foreigner-friendly Startup Visa. The visa gives entrepreneurs…

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AIDS Day 2015 in Fukuoka

There were 1,091 cases of HIV infection and 455 cases of AIDS reported for the year 2014 – a combined total of 1,546 cases. For the past 11 years, the number of cases of HIV and AIDS has been over 1,000 each year. In Fukuoka City, there were…

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Hojoya Guide 2015

Hojoya is one of Hakata’s big three festivals and it is believed to have been celebrated for over a thousand years. It is held every year from September 12 to the 18th., and it marks the beginning of autumn. Hojoya invites us to be thankful for life, our own and others’. The one kilometer path to the shrine is lined with seven hundred stalls, and every other year special processions are held…

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