It goes without saying that you can pick up a wide variety of designer goods in Tenjin, Kyushu’s leading shopping district. However, if you’re after something a little more unique, try taking a short stroll south to the Imaizumi area.
In the past, the area was known as a residential district, but in the latter half of the 1990s, numerous small, chic boutiques began sprouting up, attracting young shoppers. That trend has continued and, today, Imaizumi boasts an impressive array of independent clothing stores. If you’re looking for fashionable items exclusive to Imaizumi, try DICE & DICE, naif and CURVE, which have long been a popular place for fashion-conscious locals to pick up distinctive threads and accessories. For a break, pull up a seat at Cafe de H’s outdoor patio and take a peak inside the adjoining gallery.
Feel like a new haircut to complete your new look? Head on over to the REVOLUCIA hair salon, which is open 24 hours a day and located next to Imaizumi Park. The award-winning Toki Rikyu complex is home to a number of stores, including a made-to-order furniture store and a gourmet steak house. With magnolias and sal trees growing in the grounds, the complex is a green oasis in the heart of the city.
Shounin-bashi-dori (Priest Bridge Road) is the street that separates Imaizumi and Kego. Its name comes from the Edo Period, when a feudal lord is said to have built a bridge in order to play go with a priest on the other side. Even now, the Choenji and Koshoji temples can be seen alongside the clothes stores, izakaya and yakiniku restaurants – as can the long-standing and much-loved tempura restaurant Sakau, which hasn’t changed much since it was established in 1930.
It is this mix of the old and the new, the Japanese and the Western, that is perhaps Imaizumi’s greatest charm. With bars, nightclubs, recording studios, public baths, temples, graveyards and state-of-the-art love hotels all sharing the same space, a stroll through its streets is sure to lead to an interesting discovery.