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Climbing in Fukuoka – Guide

By Oscar Boyd
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May has come and gone, and the beautiful weather that allowed you to fully enjoy Japan’s outdoors is soon to be replaced by sticky humidity and the dreaded rainy season. You still want to stay fit and healthy, but going outdoors has lost some of its appeal, so what do you do? This month’s feature article focuses on the sport of indoor rock climbing, which has taken Japan by storm, with new climbing walls and shops popping up all over the place. Fukuoka Prefecture currently has 15 walls, with half of these within the limits of city and some as central as Daimyo. We’ve listed all of these walls below, with details on facilities, lessons, equipment rental and much more.

Bouldering vs Lead Climbing.
The vast majority of indoor climbing walls in Fukuoka focus around bouldering. Bouldering does not require any knowledge of ropes and allows you to focus on free climbing. Because of a lack of ropes, bouldering walls tend to be lower, usually topping at around 4-5m with hefty mats below them to break your fall. Even with the mats, you should always attempt to climb down from the top of these walls rather than jumping, for both endurance training and safety.

Bouldering - No Equipment Needed

Bouldering – No Equipment Needed

However if you have your sights set higher, two walls in Fukuoka feature lead climbing walls alongside their bouldering walls. Lead climbing involves ropes and harnesses (you can borrow/rent these at the walls) and requires at least two people: the climber and the anchor. The anchor’s job is to feed rope as needed to the climber who will secure themselves by clipping it through carabiners. In the case of a fall, the anchor prevents the rope from running through the carabiner and counterbalances the weight of the climber. This is much more technical than bouldering and you should have lessons before attempting this without an instructor.

Going big on the lead climbing wall in Rally Grass

Going big on the lead climbing wall in Rally Grass

Briefing & Lessons
When starting at any wall, you will be given a briefing on that climbing walls climbing code as well as any safety precautions, such as how many people can be on a section of a wall at any one time. After your briefing, you’ll be left to your own devices to explore the walls (for bouldering at least). If you feel you need more guidance however, lessons can be extremely useful for both learning new techniques as well as how best to use the facilities available. If lessons seem expensive, then turn to the other climbers, watch what they’re doing, ask how they’re doing it and for their recommended routes across the walls. The list below shows which walls have lessons available.

Having a Good Climb
You don’t have to try particularly hard to have a good time climbing, but there are a few things which can help you make the most of it. It is very easy to spend a climbing session just exploring the wall, but if you feel like you’re in a rut with this, try picking a single target for the session, completing a specific route or practicing a technique that you want to learn over a variety of routes.

Remember to stretch

Remember to stretch

Unlike many sports, you don’t necessarily cover a huge amount of distance whilst climbing, making it seem less strenuous at times. However, pulling your own body weight up a vertical face requires both strength and flexibility, and it is important to stretch before you climb to avoid injury. The back is particularly vulnerable to twisting motions, and you’ll find you’ll have a better climb if you are looser and more relaxed.

Equipment:
As with any high adrenaline sport, rock climbing comes with its own set of highly specialised equipment that can soon add up to become mindblowingly expensive. Fear not however, because with indoor climbing, equipment requirements are relatively low. For a start, most things can be rented at shops (check our list online for availability) which means you can try out the sport before making any significant investment. If you do want to start your own collection of gear, we recommend you start with the following:

1. Shoes
Whilst a pair of clean, indoor trainers might suffice for your first few visits, climbing shoes exist for a reason. Climbing shoes are shaped to give the maximum possible grip on any surface, and are pointed and edged to allow you to find even the smallest footholds. Most shops will rent shoes, but buying your own pair is the best way to ensure maximum comfort (or minimum discomfort – climbing shoes are notoriously uncomfortable). Note, climbers tend not to wear socks under their shoes.

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2. Chalk Bag
Through exercise and adrenaline, it is very easy to find your hands unhelpfully sweaty, reducing your grip and leading to an early fall. Chalk solves this by helping to keep your hands dry. It can also be used to mark out routes for yourself and any climbing buddies. Chalk most often comes in powder form, but this can be a problem indoors when there is limited ventilation. Chalk balls are one solution, as the chalk is not in loose powder form. Check with your regular climbing place before you buy.

Chalking it up

Chalking it up

3. Harness
Only necessary if you’re thinking of learning lead climbing or planning on moving to the great outdoors, a harness is one of the most personal pieces of kit as it may one day save your life. Harnesses come in all sorts of varieties depending on what type of climbing/mountaineering your are planning on doing. Research carefully and talk to more experienced people before buying your first harness.

Try before you buy

Try before you buy

Route Grading
Route grading is used to show how difficult a route up a wall is. There are many different methods of grading, but Japanese walls tend to use the U.S system. This starts at the easiest grade (5.1) and goes straight through to grade 5.9. From 5.10 onwards, each grade is split into three (5.10a, 5.10b, 5.10c), all the way up to the hardest grade (5.15a) which should only be attempted by madmen. If you have been climbing using a different grading system and don’t know how it compares to the U.S system, then most walls should have a chart on show somewhere allowing you to compare the U.S grades to the routes you are most familiar with. If you’re confused or want advice on route difficulty, just ask another climber or member of staff.

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Outdoor Climbing
Whilst indoor climbing can be great for fitness and for practicing technique, the end goal is the great outdoors. Fukuoka and Kyushu have numerous outdoor rock climbing spots which can be found with a little research http://www.geocities.jp/k2hut/ekyushusyuuhen.html but indoor climbing centres can be a fantastic place to meet people and groups with outdoor experience who can act as both guides and buddies.

Useful Japanese:
テンションを張る – tension o haru – (more tension)
テンションを緩める – tension o yurumeru – (lessen tension)
登る – noboru – I’m about to climb
下げる – sagete – lower me
降りる – oriru – I’m climbing down
ハーネス – hanesu – harness
ホールド – horudo – a hold

Photos taken at Rally Grass, Fukuoka. On the walls is Roxane Jourdain, Oscar Boyd and Jose Cruz


Climbing Walls in Fukuoka
Check out our complete list of climbing walls in Fukuoka Prefecture with a map of their locations. From Kurume to Kitakyushu, there’s plenty of great climbing to be had!

1. Fukuoka Westside Climbing My Way

Myway

Address: 1-47-15 Yokohama, Nishi-ku
Tel: 092-834-5934
Open: Weekdays 13:00 ~ 23:00 / Saturday 12:00 ~ 20:00 / Sunday & Holidays 10:00 ~ 20:00
Closed: Tue. (if holiday on Tue., closed Wed.)
Price: Registration fee ¥1,000 / 1 day ¥1,600 / 6 tickets pack ¥8,000 / Monthly ¥9,000
Shower: None
Shop: Shoes, chalk, original chalk bag, etc.
Rental: Shoes ¥300
Trial lesson: 2hrs trial ¥2,100 (excl. rental fee)
Outdoor tours: Held on an irregular basis
Foreign language service: Some English speaking staff
Comment: Proud of their friendly atmosphere
Web: http://fukuoka-westside-climbing-myway.com/

2. Bouldering Gym Joy Fukuoka

JoywallFukuok

Address: 2-4-6 Yayoi, Sawara-ku
Tel: 092-775-4311
Open: Tue., Wed. & Fri. 14:00~22:00 / Thu. 18:00~22:00 / Sat., Sun. & Hol. 11:00~20:00
Closed: Mon. (If Mon. is a holiday, closed on Tue.)
Price: Registration fee ¥1,000 / 1 Day ¥1,700 / Monthly ¥9,800 (2nd month ¥8,800)
Shower: None
Shop: Shoes, chalk
Rental: Shoes ¥500
Trial lesson: 2hrs ¥2,700 (Incl. registration fee, rental fees and lecture)
Outdoor tours: Once a month
Foreign language service: Signs in English and some English speaking staff.
Comment: Course laid out for those who enjoy solving mysteries
Web: http://www.joywallclimbing.com/

3. Bravo Climbing

bravo

Address: 1-6-8 Daimyo, Chuo-ku
Tel: 092-718-1222
Open: Weekdays 11:30 ~ 23:00 / Weekends & Holidays 11:00 ~ 21:00
Closed: None
Price: Registration fee ¥1,620 / 1 day ¥1,620 (2.5 hours) / 1 day without registration ¥2,700 (2.5 hours) / Monthly ¥9,720 / 11 ticket pack ¥16,200
Shower: None
Shop: Shoes, chalk, etc.
Rental: Shoes ¥330, chalk ¥110
Trial lesson: One time ¥2,700
Outdoor tours: None
Foreign language service: Some English spoken
Comment: Suitable for beginners to advanced with a convenient Tenjin location.
Web: http://bravoclimbing.com/

4. Big Foot Climbing Fukuoka

bigfootnakasu

Address: 7F Gates Bldg., 3-7-24 Nakasu, Hakata-ku
Tel: 050-5898-8235
Open: Weekdays 14:00~23:00 / Sat., Sun. & Hol. 11:00~21:00
Closed: Irregular
Price: 1st time: Weekdays ¥1,620 / Sat., Sun. & Hol. ¥1,830 (Incl. rental fee)
2nd time~ (1 day): Weekdays ¥1,620 / Sat. & Sun. ¥1,830
*Registration fee ¥1,080
Monthly: Unlimited ¥9,800 / Weekdays (anytime) ¥8,800 / Weekdays (~16:00) ¥6,800
Shower: Yes (for washing feet only)
Shop: None
Rental: Shoes ¥220 / Chalk ¥110
Trial lesson: None
Outdoor tours: Outdoor climbing tours organized upon request.
Foreign language service: Some English speaking staff
Comment: Convenient location directly across from Nakasu-Kawabata Subway Station. Beginner friendly bouldering gym.
Web: http://big-foot.asia/fukuoka/

5. Bouldering Gym Hoa Hoa

hoahoa

Address: 1F 2-19-5 Higashi-hie, Hakata-ku
Tel: 092-473-0339
Open: Tue. ~ Fri. 14:00~22:00 / Sat., Sun. & Hol. / 11:00~20:00
Closed: Mon. (if Mon. is holiday, closed on Tue.)
Price: Registration fee ¥1,620 / 1 day ¥1,620 / 11 ticket pack ¥ 16,200 / Monthly ¥11,340
Shower: None
Shop: Shoes, chalk and mats
Rental: Shoes ¥540, chalk ¥216
Trial lesson: 2hr trial ¥2,700 (incl. rental shoes) / Bouldering lesson for inexperienced (1 day) ¥3,780 (incl. registration fee, starting lesson, rental shoes & chalk)
Outdoor tours: None
Foreign language service: Some English speaking staff
Comment: Seperate walls and waiting spaces for each climber makes it safe. Yoga lessons are held irregularly on Saturday nights.
Web: http://www.hoa-hoa.com/bouldering.html

6. Rally Grass Nagaoka

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Address: 1-4-1 Nagaoka, Minami-ku
Tel: 092-542-6755
Open: Mon. ~ Sat. 13:00~22:00 / Sun. & Hol. 11:00~20:00
Closed: Tue.
Price: 1 day ¥1,080 / Monthly ¥7,560
Shower: None
Shop: General goods for climbing
Rental: Shoes ¥540 / Chalk bag ¥216
Trial lesson: Trial school ¥3,672 (incl. renal and registration fee)
Outdoor tour: None
Foreign language service: None
Comment: Both bouldering and lead climbing available. Low fees.
Web: http://raliguras.com/

7. Lead Climbing Gym

LeadClimbinggym

Address: 4-23-13 Osa, Minami-ku
Tel: 092-986-2539
Open: Weekdays 14:00~23:00 / Sat., Sun. & Hol. 12:00~21:00
Closed: Fri.
Price: Registration fee ¥1,000 / 1 day ¥1,600 / 2hrs ¥1,300 / Monthly ¥9,800 etc.
Shower: None
Shop: Shoes, Chalk, etc
Rental: Shoes ¥300, harness ¥200, rope ¥200, chalk bag ¥100
Trial lesson: Trial (2h) ¥2,500 / Belay lesson: each charge + ¥1,000
Outdoor tours: None
Foreign language service: None
Comment: 6 lead walls which are 8m high with a gradient of 90~130°. Four walls for bouldering too (gradient of 90~135°).
Web: http://ameblo.jp/lead0106/

8. Ziprock Climbing Gym

Ziprock

Address: 443-2 Ae, Kasuya-machi Kasuya-gun
Tel: 080-3121-5385
Open: Weekdays 15:00~23:00 / Sat., Sun. & Hol. 10:00~21:00
Closed: Mon. (if Mon. is holiday, closed Tue.)
Price: Registration fee ¥1,050 / Weekdays ¥1,600 / Weekends and Hol. ¥2,100
Shower: None
Shop: Bouldering gear
Rental: Shoes ¥300, Chalk ¥100
Trial lesson: None
Outdoor tour: None
Foreign language service: None
Comment: The largest bouldering gym in Kyusyu.
Web: http://ziprockclimbinggym.web.fc2.com/

9. Climbing Gym & Shop OD Munakata

odMunakata

Address: 1-2-22 Ishimaru, Munakata
Tel: 0940-51-1997
Open: Weekdays 14:00~23:00 / Sat. 10:00~22:00 / Sun. & Hol. 10:00~20:00
Closed: Fri. (Open if Fri. is a holiday)
Price: 1 day ¥1,500 / Monthly ¥9,000 / 3 month ¥24,000
Shower: None
Shop: Climbing shoes, chalk bag, wear. bag, etc.
Rental: Shoes ¥300, chalk ¥100 (first time free)
Trial lesson: None
Outdoor tour: Rock trail tour (held on an irregular basis)
Foreign language service: Yes
Comment: Large space with many routes for beginners and pros. 5 minute walk from JR Kyoikudai-mae Station. Free parking available.
Web: http://climbing-od.com/

10. Climbing Gym & Shop OD Yahata

odyahata

Address: 2F 1-8-7 Nishihon-machi, Yahatahigashi-ku, Kitakyushu
Tel: 093-883-9122
Open: Weekdays 10:00~23:00 / Sat. 10:00~22:00 / Sun. & Hol. 10:00~20:00
Closed: Never
Price: 1 day ¥1,300 / Monthly ¥9,500 / 3 months ¥22,500
Shower: None
Shop: Climbing shoes, chalk bag, clothing, bags etc.
Rental: Shoes ¥300, chalk ¥100 (free at first time)
Trial lesson: None
Outdoor tour: Rock trail tour (held on an irregular basis)
Foreign language service: Some English speaking staff
Comment: Many routes from novice to pro. Shop has a variety of goods from climbing gear to clothing. 5 minute walk from JR Yahata Station. Free parking available.
Web: http://climbing-od.com/shopinfo/yahata.php

11. Climbing Gym & Shop OD Kokura

odkokura

Address: 1F 1-4-17 Bashaku, Kokurakita-ku, Kitakyushu
Tel: 093-967-8511
Open: Weekdays 10:00~23:00 / Sat. 10:00~22:00 / Sun. & Hol. 10:00~20:00
Closed: Never
Shower: None
Shop: Climbing shoes, chalk bag, clothing, bag etc.
Rental: Shoes ¥300, chalk ¥100 (free at first time)
Trial lesson: None
Outdoor tour: Rock trial tour (held on a irregular basis)
Foreign language service: Yes
Comment: Many routes from novice to pro. Shop has a variety of goods from climbing gear to clothing. 10 minute walk from JR Kokura Station and 3 minute walk from Monorail Tanga Station. Paid parking available.
Web: http://climbing-od.com/

12. Climbing Gym Gravity Research Kokura

bigfootkokura

Address: 1F Sunshine Nangoku Bldg., 1-1 Konya-machi, Kokurakita-ku, Kitakyushu
Tel: 050-5850-4147
Open: Weekdays 14:00~23:00 / Sat., Sun. & Hol. 11:00~23:00
Closed: Irregular
Price: Weekdays: Open~16:00 & 21:00~Close ¥1,200, 16:00~21:00 ¥1,200 / Sat., Sun. & Hol. ¥1,700
Monthly: Unlimited ¥9,800 / Weekdays (anytime) ¥7,800, Weekdays (~16:00) ¥5,800
Shower: Yes (for washing feet only)
Shop: None
Rental: Shoes ¥220, chalk ¥110
Trial lesson: Every Friday at 20:00~ (for beginners only)
Outdoor tours: Outdoor climbing tours by request
Foreign language service: None
Comment: One of the largest climbing gyms in Kyushu with over 200 course – for beginners or experts.
Web: http://www.gravity-research.jp/shop/kokura/

13. Climbing Spot Impact Kurume

impact

Address: 8-5-33 Higashi-aikawa, Kurume
Tel: 0942-27-8838
Open: Weekdays 13:00~22:30 / Sat., Sun. & Hol. 10:30~20:30
Closed: Wed.
Price: Monthly ¥10,000 / Half month ¥5,000 / 1 day ¥2,000 / 2hrs ¥1,600 etc.
Shower: None
Shop: Shoes, chalk, climbing wear, gear, etc.
Rental: Shoes ¥500, chalk ¥300
Trial lesson: Trial lesson ¥3,000 (2hrs including starting lecture / no reservation needed)
Outdoor tours: Rock trail tour (once a month)
Foreign language service: None
Comment: One of the largest walls in Kyushu. Course patterns change monthly! Suitable for beginners and experts alike.
Web: http://www.climbingspot-impact.com/schedule/#anchor859

14. Climbing Gym Joywall Kurume

joywallkurume

Address: 2-3-1 Yamakawaoiwake, Kurume
Tel: 0942-80-8485
Open: Tue., Wed. & Fri. 14:00~23:00 / Thu. 18:00~23:00 / Sat., Sun. & Hol. 11:00~21:00
Closed: Mon. (If Mon. is holiday, Tue. will be closed)
Price: Registration fee ¥1,000 / 1 Day ¥1,700 / Monthly ¥9,200 (2nd month ¥8,100)
Shower: None
Shop: Shoes, chalk
Rental: Shoes ¥500
Trial lesson: ¥3,000 (Incl. registration fee, rental shoes and lecture)
Outdoor tours: Once a month
Foreign language service: None
Comment: Complex routes for those who like enjoy solving puzzles.
Web: http://kurume.joywallclimbing.com/

15. Jungle Gym

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Address: 754-1 Setaka-machi Simonosho, Miyama
Tel: 0944-62-6900
Open: Weekdays 15:00~23:00 / Sat. 11:00~23:00 / Sun. & Hol. 11:00~21:00
Closed: Mon. (If Mon. is holiday, closed on Tue.)
Price: 1 day ¥1,650 / Monthly ¥8,300 / Registration fee ¥1,050
Shower: None
Shop: Yes
Rental: Shoes ¥500, chalk ¥300
Trial lesson: 1h ¥1,050 (incl. rental shoes / for inexperienced only)
Outdoor tours: Possible by request
Foreign language service: None (but they will try with body language)
Comment: Proud of their large bouldering gym.
Web: http://jungleclimb.com/

Category
Others
Fukuoka Prefecture
Published: May 27, 2015 / Last Updated: Jun 26, 2017

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