Equipped with a civic hall, meeting rooms and a library, the Minami Civic Center is well known by local residents as a hub for culture and exchange in Minami Ward. It reopened at the end of August 2022 after about a year and a half of major renovation work to address the aging of the facility. In addition to the civic hall, meeting rooms and the Minami Library, which houses 60,000 volumes, the functions of the Minami Civic Center were further enhanced with the integration of the music and drama practice hall and the Children’s Plaza, which used to be located in front of Nishitetsu Ohashi Station.
There are seven civic centers in Fukuoka—one in each ward—that serve as local community centers. Free to citizens of Fukuoka, they offer a variety of courses and lectures and provide a wide array of information. Several other buildings have been renovated in recent years due to their age. Namiki Square, which opened in front of JR Chihaya Station in 2016, is another cultural complex that includes the Higashi Civic Center, Higashi Library and a music and drama practice space.
As the population of Fukuoka City continues to grow and residential areas expand, more and more people are living in areas that are not easily accessible to the civic centers in each ward. Therefore, the City also runs regional community centers in areas that are defined as equivalent to wards to complement the ward-level community functions. As of October 2022, there are four such centers located in Wajiro, Hakata-Minami, Sawara Minami and Saito.
The newest of these is Tomoterasu Sawara (Sawara-Minami Regional Community Center), which opened in November 2021. It has a multipurpose hall that can accommodate up to 300 people, a conference room and a well-soundproofed practice room. The Sawara-Minami Library, which features a wide range of children’s books, is home to many facilities that are perfect for visitors bringing children, including Ohanashi-no-Heya, a room where you can read aloud to your children and a bright and spacious kids’ room.