Now Reports

Golden Week in Fukuoka 2019 Event Guide

No plans for spending Golden Week in Fukuoka? Well never fear, because the Fukuoka Now staff have selected the best events and activities for Golden Week this year. Stay tuned for more Golden Week articles this week, including a rundown on Fukuoka’s biggest festival of the year – Dontaku!

Photo provided by the City of Fukuoka

The Ghibli Expo

Meet some of Studio Ghibli’s best-loved characters at this large scale exhibition. Totoro will be on hand to meet visitors at the entrance of the venue! This special event traces the progress of Ghibli over the past 30 years and provides a unique insight into the studio’s creative processes. Posters, unpublished material, and promotional materials will be featured in this special retrospective.

©Studio Ghibli

The Ghibli Expo (From Nausicaä to Marnie)
• 3/15 (Fri.) ~ 6/23 (Sun.)
• 9:30~17:30 (last entry 17:00)
• Closed: Mon., except 4/29 (Mon., hol.), 5/6 (Mon., hol.), and closed on 5/7 (Tue.)
• Adults: ¥1,400, HS & MS: ¥1,000, 4 y.o. to ES: ¥600 (¥200 off for adv. tickets or same day upon presenting a foreign passport or residence card)
• Fukuoka City Museum
3-1-1 Momochihama, Sawara-ku, Fukuoka

Family Flower Festival

Tulips, narcissus, nemophila and 19 other kinds of seasonal flowers 150,000 strong will herald the coming shift in season by taking a splash of color to Green Park. There’s also a children’s playground as well as a petting and feeding area with toucans and capybaras. Browse and shop at the flea market too. And this Golden Week there’ll be a BMX and running bike workshop, special acrobatics show and live performances.

• 3/21 (Thu.) ~ 5/6 (Mon.)
• 9:00~17:00
• Closed: Tue. (open on 4/30)
• Adult: ¥150, ES and JHS: ¥70, over 60 with ID from Kitakyushu City, Fukuoka City, Shimonoseki City, Kagoshima City and Kumamoto City: ¥40, pre-school: free
• Hibikinada Green Park
1006 Takenami, Wakamatsu-ku, Kitakyushu City, Fukuoka

Uminonakamichi Flower Picnic 2019

Head to Uminonakamichi to behold approximately three million blooming spring flowers of 1,000 varieties including nemophilas, tulips, hyacinths, daisies and more! The annual ‘Flower Picnic’ takes place between March 21 to May 6 this year. Various events and activities take place including an animal petting zoo (weekends only) as well as lots of family-friendly workshops such as bicycle lessons for children, outdoor cooking, tree climbing and more. During Golden Week (4/27 ~ 4/29) enjoy yummy eats from Kyushu and Shikoku at the “Kyushu vs Shikoku Food Fight” food fair. Guided tours and live performances too.

Photo: 海の中道海浜公園 Uminonakamichi Seaside Park

• 3/21 (Thu., hol.) ~ 5/6 (Mon., hol.)
• 9:30~17:30 (last entry 16:30)
• Regular entry fees: Adult ¥450, 65 y.o. and above ¥210, JHS and under free
• Uminonakamichi Seaside Park
18-25 Saitozaki, Higashi-ku, Fukuoka

62nd Kurume Azalea Festival

Now in its 62nd year, the Kurume Azalea Festival is said to be one of Japan’s three biggest plant fairs (the other two are held in Kumamoto and Tochigi prefectures). Admire 150 varieties of 300,000 azalea (tsutsuji in Japanese) on display as well as a model garden and bonsai exhibitions. Browse the flower, plant and bonsai markets, join lectures on plants, or ask advice from plant specialists. There will also be special taiko drum performances on weekends and holidays (canceled in case of rain). Local Kurume food and drink on offer too.


• 4/5 (Fri.) ~ 5/5 (Sun., hol.)
• 9:00~17:00
• Free
• Kurume Hyakunen Park
2432-1 Hyakunenkoen, Kurume City, Fukuoka
0942-47-1875 (during event period: 0942-33-8316)

Real Escape Game: Escape From The Ultimate Weapon Factory

Real Escape Game™ is an interactive puzzle event in which you and a group must solve a series of mysteries in order to ‘escape’ a room. In the not too distant future, the ultimate weapon, made in secret, threatens to destroy the world. With armor that tanks can barely scratch and a burning electric hatred, in one hour mankind will face the biggest bipedal disaster in its history – unless you can stop it! You play as one of a group of special forces operatives tasked with destroying the robot. Using objects hidden around the factory, you have 60 minutes to shut off the robot’s power supply – good luck! Solo puzzlers will be assigned to teams.

• 4/5 (Fri.) ~ 6/9 (Sun.)
• Fri.: 18:30, 21:00, Sat.: 11:00, 14:00, 17:00, 19:30, Sun. & hol.: 11:00, 14:00, 17:00
• Adv.: adult ¥3,000, student ¥2,500, group ¥17,400, Door: ¥3,500
• Ajito of Scrap Fukuoka Tenjin
4F Joji Bldg., 1-13-20 Imaizumi, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka
092-707-2610 (opening hours only)

City Hiking – Let’s Climb Mt. ACROS!

This Golden Week get set to challenge one of Fukuoka’s most beloved landmarks, ACROS Fukuoka’s Step Garden! Lovingly known as Mt. ACROS, brilliant greens from hundreds of different trees line the tourist spot and visitors will have the opportunity to hike to the top. Try your hand at mountain climbing right in the middle of the city and if you get to the summit you’ll get a certificate!

• 4/6 (Sat.) ~ 5/26 (Sun.)
• 10:00~ 16:00
• Free
• ACROS Fukuoka
1-1-1 Tenjin, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka

Yame Kurogi Wisteria Festival 2019

Kurogi in Yame is known for its thousands of beautiful wisteria, which create gorgeous purple curtains of flowers. Susano Shrine, where the festival will be held, boasts of wisteria approximately 620 years old. These wisteria are designated a natural monument of Japan. Browse stalls selling local products and stay until evening for the wisteria light up (18:30~22:00).

For more details, click here for our Fukuoka Wisteria Guide 2019.

• 4/16 (Tue.) ~ 5/6 (Mon., hol.)
• Free entry
• Susano Shrine
5-2 Kurogi-machi Kurogi, Yame City, Fukuoka
0943-42-9190 (Kurogi Tourism Association)

Inside the Walt Disney Archives – From Mickey Mouse to Forever After

The Walt Disney Archives collects and stores a wide selection of materials connected to the company. The records are a real treasure-trove and provide unique insight into Disney’s creative process. This exhibition brings the wonder of the archives to Japan and is a unique chance to discover Disney-related gems from the last century. Check out the items on display or chat with the staff on hand to find out more about Disney’s history in Japan!

• 4/19 (Fri.) ~ 6/16 (Sun.)
• 10:00~18:00 (last entry: 30 min. before closing), 5/25 (Sat.): ~20:00
• Adv. (available at Ticket Pia, Lawson Ticket, E Plus): adult ¥1,300, HS and college student ¥1,000, 4 y.o. to JHS ¥700, Door: adult ¥1,500, HS and college student ¥2,000, 4 y.o. to JHS ¥800, 3 y.o. and under: free
*ES and below must be accompanied by a guardian
• Fukuoka Prefectural Museum of Art
5-2-1 Tenjin, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka
092-715-3551 (9:00~17:00)

100 Years of Chihiro Iwasaki

Admire 200 works of Chihiro Iwasaki, an artist known for her nostalgic watercolor illustrations themed “peace and happiness of children”. The exhibit marks the 100th year of Iwasaki’s birth. Paintings, kamishibai (paper plays), and never-before-seen works will be on display, as well as the stories behind her artwork.

Iwasaki Chihiro “Sunflower and Baby” (1971)

• 4/20 (Sat.) ~ 5/26 (Sun.)
• 10:00~20:00 (last entry: 19:30), 5/26: 10:00~18:00 (last entry: 17:30)
• Adv. (until 4/19 at Ticket Pia, Lawson Ticket, 7-Eleven & more): Gen. ¥1,100, HS & college student ¥800, ES & JHS ¥400, Door: Gen. ¥1,300, HS & college student ¥1,000, ES & JHS ¥600
• Closed: Wed. (except 5/1)
• 7F Fukuoka Asian Art Museum
3-1 Shimokawabata-machi, Hakata-ku, Fukuoka

Where’s Wally? Exhibition in Fukuoka

Global sensation Wally is coming to Fukuoka! From his birth in 1987, the iconic red and white clad character’s book series has been a worldwide bestseller, with a total of 65 million picture books sold in 38 different countries in 30 different languages. To celebrate the 30th anniversary of the seminal series an original picture exhibition will be held, inviting fans from all over Japan to come and attend. This Golden Week let’s look for Wally together!

• 4/22 (Mon.) ~ 5/9 (Thu.)
• Mon. ~ Fri.: 10:00~ 17:30, Sat.: 10:00~ 18:30
• Adv.: adult ¥800, university/high school student ¥600, junior high student or below ¥300
• Door: adult ¥1000, university/high school student ¥800, junior high student or below ¥400
• Purchase from: 7-ticket (7-code 072-413), ticket peer (P-code 769-540), lawson ticket (L-code 819)
• JR Kyushu Hall (JR Hakata City)
1-1 Hakataekichuogai, Hakata-ku, Fukuoka

The Buddhist Sculptures of Daihō’onji Temple, Kyoto Masterpieces by Kaikei and Jōkei

Founded by the Buddist monk Giku in 1220, Daihō’onji, also known as ‘Senbon Shakadō’, is a temple in Kyoto built during the Kamakura era and home to a number of masterworks of Buddist sculpture. Holding the works of such prominent figures as Kaikei, Gyōkai and Higo Jōkei, this exhibition marks the first time that the works of all three figures have been shown out of Daihō’onji together, and aims to give a glimpse into the artistic world of the generation of Keiha School Buddhist sculptors after Kaikei and Unkei. Kaikei’s ‘Ten Major Disciples of Buddha’, Gyōkai’s ‘Shaka Nyorai’ and Higo Jōkei’s ‘Six Manifestations of Avalokitesvara’ will all be on 360-degree displays, so feel free to peruse these culturally important properties at your own speed.


• 4/23 (Tue.) ~ 6/16 (Sun.)
• Sun., Tue. ~ Thu.: 9:30~17:00 (last entry 16:30), Fri. & Sat. (Night Museum): 9:30~ 20:00 (last entry 19:30)
• Closed: Mon., 5/7 (*open on 4/29 and 5/6)
• Adv.: adult ¥1,400, HS and college student ¥800, ES and JHS ¥400, Door: adult ¥1,600, HS and college student ¥1,000, ES and JHS ¥600, Night Museum (sold on the day from 17:00): adult ¥1,400, HS and college student ¥800, ES and JHS ¥400
• Kyushu National Museum
4-7-2 Ishizaka, Dazaifu City, Fukuoka

46th Aganoyaki Spring Ceramic Festival

Be sure to check out this year’s Aganoyaki Ceramics Festival for a great family day out. A huge selection of discounted pottery will be on sale in the ceramics museum and at various kilns dotted around Fukuchi Town at the end of April. Collect stamps and you will be sure to take home a prize. An exhibition will also be held to showcase some of the local pottery that is currently being produced. A free bus service will be running to help visitors get around. The festival is a great opportunity to purchase Agano ware​ ceramics at a bargain price. The Fureai-shi store is located right next to the ceramics museum and sells a range of delicious regional food. Enjoy a stroll around the local area as you explore an array of top quality ceramic creations!

Photo: Fukuchi Town

• 4/26 (Fri.) ~ 4/29 (Mon., hol.)
• 9:00~17:00
• Free entry
• From 4/27 (Sat., hol.) ~ 4/29 (Mon., hol.) there will be free shuttle buses from Akaike Sta. as well as shuttle buses that will go around Aganoyaki no Sato. Click here for a detailed bus schedule.
• Aganoyaki no Sato Fureai Exchange Center incl. 13 Aganoyaki kilns
2811 Agano, Fukuchi, Tagawa, Fukuoka
0947-28-5864 (Aganoyaki Cooperative)

Itoshima Handmade Carnival 2019

Approximately 150 artists sell their creative items at this annual spring event, including natural sundries, accessories, bags, clothing and leather items. Hungry? Delicious eats made with Itoshima produce will be on offer at food and drink booths. There are workshops which you can participate in too, and look forward to the lucky draw which will give away over 200 prizes!

• 4/26 (Fri.) ~ 4/28 (Sun.)
• 10:00~16:00 (4/27: ~20:00)
• Free entry
• Shima Chuo Park
1 Shima-hatsu, Itoshima City, Fukuoka

Kyushu Beer Festival 2019 in Fukuoka Castle & Super Curry Grand Prix

Enjoy 19 kinds of craft beers from six breweries (three from Kyushu, others as far as Hokkaido) in one of Kyushu’s biggest craft beer festivals. This year the event is joined by the Super Curry Grand Prix in collaboration with Fukuoka’s own primetime show “Mentai Wide”. Over 20 unique and characterful curries from all over Japan will be on offer, and visitors can vote on the best one. The food stalls will change over at the halfway point so keep your eyes peeled for any new delights you haven’t tried yet! Enjoy the food and try to keep your drink from spilling at the stand-up comedy stage situated nearby as well. So come and enjoy some of the best craft beer Japan has to offer away from the hustle and bustle of the city at Maizuru Park!

• 4/26 (Fri.) ~ 5/6 (Mon., hol.)
• 4/26: 15:00~21:00, 4/27 ~ 5/5: 11:00~21:00, 5/6: 11:00~19:00
• Adv. ¥5,000 (10 drinking tickets), door ¥5,500 (10 drinking tickets), additional ticket ¥600
• Nishi Hiroba, Maizuru Park
2-2 Jonai, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka
092-841-6336 (K’s Brewing Company)

Kokura Oktoberfest 2019

It’s not October, but it’s still a nice time to enjoy delicious beers! During the gentle climes of Golden Week, beer and food will flow at Kokura Oktoberfest – all food and drink lovingly shipped in straight from Germany. Enjoy draft beer, sausages, pizza and sweets by the live stage, listening to tunes of the Bavarian Alps. Let the sweet late spring breeze take you away to the lush green lands of Europe this year, beer in hand of course!

• 4/26 (Fri.) ~ 5/6 (Mon.)
• 11:00~ 21:00 (Last Orders 21:00, First Day 4/26 16:00~ 21:00)
• Free Entry
• Katsuyama Park
3 Jonai, Kokurakita-ku, Kitakyushu City

Kamome no Grill

Over 30 stalls sell food from local restaurants, miscellaneous goods, knick-knacks, and fresh organic produce at Kamome Hiroba. Watch stage performances, admire the beautiful port scenery or have a picnic on the grass while munching on yummy eats. Kids and adults alike can kick back and relax by the port.

• 4/27 (Sat.) ~ 4/29 (Mon., hol.)
• 11:00~18:00
• Free entry
• Kamome Hiroba
2 Minato, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka

Chicken Festival 2019

This mouthwatering festival is a testament to how much Fukuokans love chicken! Over 25 stalls will sell yakitori, karaage, and a range of delicious dishes from Kyushu as well as parts of Japan. For dessert, try the chicken-flavored soft ice cream available only at the event! Song and dance performances too.

• 4/27 (Sat.) ~ 4/29 (Mon., hol.)
• 11:00~20:00
• Free entry
• Tenjin Chuo Park
1-1 Tenjin, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka

Fukuoka Freedom Night Market in Marinoa City Fukuoka

The popular market “Fukuoka Freedom Night Market” moves to Marinoa City Fukuoka for a special Golden Week edition. And not just at night, but in the daytime too! It’s a place for young and old to enjoy an Asian-style night market. The Golden Week version features a festival theme with popular arcade-style stalls such as shooting galleries, goldfish scooping and cotton candy. Browse a variety of booths offering food and drink from popular Fukuoka and Kyushu restaurants, as well as booths offering accessories, fortune telling, and more. Check out the stage events too. Booths change daily, so why not go twice! There will also be “Marinoa Familia” made of 2,000 building blocks assembled by visitors.

• 4/27 (Sat.) ~ 5/6 (Mon.)
• 12:00~21:00
• Free entry
• Marinoa City Fukuoka (near Bldg. # 3)
2-12-30 Odo, Nishi-ku, Fukuoka
• Facebook:

Yamame Salmon Catching at Shiraito Falls

Enjoy yamame (Japanese salmon) fishing in Itoshima this Golden Week! Visitors can rent a fishing net for ¥2,000 and catch up to four fish. Even guests that do not manage hook one will still receive three fish. The trick is to make it look like your bait is swimming downstream! Shiyoaki (salt-grilled) salmon will also be available for ¥100. Grilled fish tastes even better when it has been hand-caught! Enjoy delicious salmon dishes, soba noodles, and somen nagashi (noodle catching) at the Shiki Chaya restaurant, which is located inside the grounds of the Shiraito Falls.

Photo: Itoshima City

• 4/27 (Sat.) ~ 5/6 (Mon., hol.)
• 9:00~17:00
• Free entry
• Shiraito Falls Fureai no Sato
460-6 Shiraito, Itoshima City, Fukuoka

Pia Film Festival in Fukuoka

Calling all film lovers! Fukuoka City Public Library’s movie hall Cine-la is set to host this year’s annual Pia Film Festival. The independent film festival, which has been running since 1977, will show the hottest young talent in the independent film business, with this year’s theme ‘to nurture’. Numerous films chosen for the prestigious 40th PFF awards are also on show, so tune in for a real treat.

Orphan’s Blues (2018)

• 4/27 (Sat.) ~ 4/30 (Tue., hol.)
• Times vary (check the Cine-la website for screening schedules)
• Adult: ¥600, College & HS: ¥500, JHS & ES: ¥400 *student ID req.
• Movie Hall Cine-la, Fukuoka City Public Library
3-7-1 Momochihama, Sawara-ku, Fukuoka

Bayside Easter Tamago Festa

A festival for egg lovers takes place at Bayside Hakata to celebrate Easter! All kinds of delicious egg dishes will be on sale during this year’s Tamago Festa. Visitors will be able to sample everything from chicken eggs to salmon roe. International residents will be running some of the food stalls at the venue, providing a great platform for cultural exchange. Be sure to check-out the egg hunt and Easter crafts table at this family friendly event!

• 4/27 (Sat.) ~ 5/6 (Mon., hol.)
• 11:00~20:00 (or until sold out)
• Free entry, food and drink voucher: ¥500
• Bayside Place Hakata
13-6 Chikkohonmachi, Hakata-ku, Fukuoka
092-281-7701 (Bayside Place Hakata)

Kyushu Flea Market

This year’s Kyushu Flea Market will see a wide selection of shops and eateries set up stalls in the Kumamoto Country Park grounds. Visitors will be able to find everything from small accessories to furniture at this two-day outdoor event. Enjoy the chilled atmosphere and sample some of the delicious breads and sweets on offer. You are sure to find some great bargains during your visit!

• 4/27 (Sat.), 4/28 (Sun.) *rain or shine
• 9:00~16:00
• Entrance fee: adult ¥300, HS and under free
• Kumamoto Agricultural Park
3802-4 Sakae, Koshi City, Kumamoto

Ishibashi Bunka Center Spring Rose Fair 2019

The Ishibashi Bunka Center has the largest rose garden in Fukuoka. The peak season lasts for about a month starting in early May with 2,600 roses of over 400 varieties. Look forward to the various events on 5/3 (Fri., hol.) ~ 5/6 (Mon., hol.) including live music performances, rose workshops (pressed flower making, perfume making, rose accessory making and more), displays of rose arrangements and kiribana (flower cutting). You can also buy rose seedlings and watch a potting demonstration. There will be a market where you can browse and shop for various rose-themed items, and a cafe for refreshments.

• 4/28 (Sun.) ~ 5/19 (Sun.)
• 10:00~17:00
• Closed: Mon. (*garden is open whole-year round)
• Free entry
• Ishibashi Bunka Center
1015 Nonaka-machi, Kurume City, Fukuoka

Sanix World Rugby Youth Tournament 2019

This prestigious international rugby tournament for high school students is held in Fukuoka every year during Golden Week. Schools from overseas are invited to represent their country in this competition, and usually each team is among the five top-ranked high school teams in their country. Keep an eye out for the current champions of the Japan High School Rugby Tournament, Osaka Toin High School! The venue is open to everyone! There will be free bus service between JR Akama Station and Global Arena every 30 min. from 8:30. Watch men’s and women’s rugby matches and cheer for your favorites. Children and adults alike can dive, tackle, and do other rugby moves at the Rugby Park. Don’t miss the bagpipe performances of the George Watson’s College Pipe Band from Scotland. Stalls by Munakata shops and restaurants will serve karaage, yakisoba, curry rice, and more.

Photo: SANIX World Rugby Youth Tournament

• 4/28 (Sun.) ~ 5/5 (Sun., hol.)
• 10:00~ (game times vary)
• Free entry
• Global Arena
46-1 Yoshidome, Munakata City, Fukuoka
0940-33-8400 (Global Arena)

Kyushu Vegan Fes Vol. 2

This event sets out to prove veganism is fun! Refraining from the use of animal products does not have to be a chore! Visitors will get a chance to enjoy a more carefree, relaxed side of veganism. There will be activities and events such as workshops, stage events, body massages, and vegan art displays. Check out the stalls selling various vegan goods including vegan cosmetics, yummy vegan eats and more. Make sure to take your own cutlery to avoid waste!

• 4/28 (Sun.)
• 10:00~16:00
• Korokan Hiroba, Maizuru Park
1 Jonai, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka
• Facebook:

Imari Spring Ceramic Festival

The Okawamachiyama area in Imari City, Saga Prefecture, is known for its steep inclines where approximately 30 potters use their ceramic making techniques dating back to the Edo period. Enjoy the Imari spring scenery as you visit each of the potters! People from afar attend this festival to take advantage of bargain prices of the beautiful ceramic pieces. An exhibition with local and international ceramic art is also on display at the Imari and Aritayaki Traditional Industry Hall (Dento Sangyo Kaikan).

• 4/29 (Mon., hol.) ~ 5/5 (Sun., hol.)
• 8:30~17:00
• Free entry
• Okawachiyama Pottery District (map)
Okawachi-cho, Imari City, Saga
• 0955-23-7293
• Map:

116th Arita Ceramic Fair

Over one million people visit this annual festival in Arita, a town renowned for ceramics and porcelain known as aritayaki. Some 500 stalls and shops line the streets between Kami-arita and Arita stations, selling discounted items. Line up at 6 am for okayu (¥500) and receive a Year of the Boar ceramic bowl!

• 4/29 (Mon., hol.) ~ 5/5 (Sun., hol.)
• 8:00~17:00 (varies by shop)
Arita-cho area, Nishi-matsuura, Saga

Marine World Golden Week “Night Aquarium”

It’s the 20th year of Marine World’s “Night Aquarium” and this time it’s open for ten nights over the Golden Week period, until 21:30! Observe the activities of the fish and other sea creatures at night, and enjoy a nighttime dolphin show against the backdrop of Hakata Bay!

Photo: マリンワールド海の中道

• 4/27 (Sat.) ~ 5/6 (Mon., hol.)
• 9:00~21:30 (illumination: 18:00~)
• Adult ¥2,300, JHS ¥1,200, ES ¥1,000, under ES ¥600
• Marine World Uminonakamichi
18-28 Saitozaki, Higashi-ku, Fukuoka

Karatsu Yakimon Ceramic Festival

The eighth incarnation of this ceramic fair, which celebrates Karatsuyaki (a local style of ceramics which is over 400 years old), is centered around the theme ochoko (small sake cups). Discover the other ways ochoko can be used aside from sake drinking! Works by both master craftsmen and new talent will be available to view and buy. There will also be special events held by local standing bars (kaku uchi) and talks in which you can enjoy sipping sake together with the craftsmen. Don’t miss a demonstration of the Karatsu Kunchi festival on May 5 too.

• 4/29 (Mon., hol.) ~ 5/5 (Sun., hol.)
• Free
• Karatsu City center area
Karatsu City, Saga
• Facebook:

Hasami Ceramic Festival

Approximately 150 potters and manufacturers will gather to celebrate the 60th anniversary of this festival. Expect to find a range of items on display, from everyday tableware decorated with modern designs to unique ceramic gems. This is a real must for pottery fans out there!

• 4/29 (Sun.) ~ 5/5 (Sat., hol.)
• Yakimono Koen Hiroba (main venue), Hasami-Arita Inter Hiroba (2nd venue)
2255-2 Isekigo, Hasami-cho, Higashisonogi-gun, Nagasaki (free shuttle bus available 9:00~17:00)

Direct Ferry Service Between Hakata and Nokonoshima for Golden Week

Nokonoshima becomes more accessible during Golden Week. For three days during Golden Week, a special ferry will operate between Nokonoshima and Hakata Port to lessen the traffic around Meinohama Port. Four runs will be operated daily with 100 seats available on each.

• 4/29 (Mon.), 5/1 (Wed.), 5/3 (Fri.)
• Hakata Port Terminal 1 (Bayside Place Hakata) to Nokonoshima
• Depart from Hakata: 9:35, 11:05, 14:40, 16:35, Depart from Nokonoshima: 10:15, 11:45, 15:45, 17:45 (*Shipping of vehicles is not offered)
• Tickets for the one-way trip: Adults: ¥500, child: ¥250
• Phone reservation required: 092-291-1085 (9:00~17:00)

Hakata Dontaku 2019

Dontaku, derived from the Dutch word Zondag (holiday) is one of the largest festivals in Japan attracting two million spectators. On May 3 & 4, the parades begin with the Hakata Matsubayashi procession, which has celebrated the new year for the last 840 years. There will be food stalls, daytime performances on around 34 stages, and, in the evening, illuminated “Flower Cars” (decorated vehicles) roll through the streets. Spectators are also invited to jump in and join the So Odori communal dance as the May 4 parade comes to a climax!

For more information, check out our Hakata Dontaku 2019 Guide.

• 5/3 (Fri., hol.), 5/4 (Sat., hol)
• Parade times: 5/3 13:00~19:00, 5/4 15:00~20:00
• Free
• Around central Fukuoka City (the parade is along Meiji Dori Ave. ~ Tenjin)

Moji Strait Festa 2019

One of Japan’s three biggest port festas. On May 3 enjoy watching a “banana auction” which is said to have originated at Moji Port, and on May 4 watch a parade of Genji and Heike clan warriors (in costume only!), art performances and more. Don’t miss the taiko drum and yosakoi dance performances at Chuo Hiroba, and feast on local Moji food such as yakikare too. Stay until 20:00 on May 4 for the annual fireworks.

• 5/3 (Fri., hol.), 5/4 (Sat., hol.)
• 5/3: 11:40~17:35, 5/4: 11:40~20:10
• Free
• Mojiko Retro Chuo Hiroba
9-11 Minato-machi, Moji-ku, Kitakyushu City, Fukuoka
093-332-0106 (Mojiko Retro Club)

Koishiwara Spring Ceramic Festival

Koishiwara is surrounded by beautiful nature and is famous for its ceramic kilns and artists. Fifty kilns participate in this festival in which you browse and shop for Koishiwara ware and Takatori ware with discounts of 20% or more. You can also chat with the potters and see their new works. See rhododendrons and azaleas in bloom too! Free shuttle bus from JR Soeda Station.

• 5/3 (Fri., hol.) ~ 5/5 (Sun., hol.)
• 9:00~17:00
• Free entry
• Koishiwarayaki Ceramics Museum
730-9 Koishiwara, Toho-mura, Asakura, Fukuoka

Gohan to Otomo x Hightide Store Onigiri Stand

Coming to Hightide Store this Golden Week is the incredibly popular onigiri store ‘Gohan to Otomo’ (Rice and Friends). The creative duo of Hashimoto and Takuma have served these delectable rice balls to over 30,000 people, and now they’ve brought specially-selected Japanese rice with them to serve up something special just for you! There is a limit of 200 a day so don’t be late!

• 5/3 (Thu., hol.) ~ 5/5 (Sun., hol.)
• 11:00~19:00 (or until sold out)
• Hightide Store
• Limit 200 onigiri per day (two onigiri/person only)
1-8-28 Shirogane, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka

Okinawa in Bayside Vol. 7

Feel the heat this Golden Week in a rush of song, sea and drink at Okinawa in Bayside among May’s cool heat. Sit by the stage with an Orion beer, or maybe some awamori (Okinawan rice whiskey) if you’re feeling adventurous, and take in sanshin (Okinawan three-stringed guitar) and eisa (an Okinawan folk dance) performances across the promenade. Get a feel for this fun-loving archipelago by the beach and spend Golden Week right!

• 5/4 (Sat., hol.), 5/5 (Sun., hol.)
• 11:00~19:00
• Free entry
• Bayside Place Hakata
13-6 Chikkohonmachi, Hakata-ku, Fukuoka

Kitsuki Castle Festival

This is the biggest festival of the year in Kitsuki, Oita Prefecture, a town which is referred to locally as little Kyoto. Don a kimono (rentals available) and join in the activities held all over the town including a ninja booth and more. Don’t miss the procession of oiran clad in vibrantly colored kimono at night! Travel back in time to the Edo period in this picturesque town.

Photo: 杵築散歩プロジェクト Let’s walk around in Kitsuki city

• 5/4 (Sat., hol.), 5/5 (Sun.)
• 10:00~
• Free
• Jokamachi area
Jokamachi, Kitsuki City, Oita
0978-63-0100 (Kitsuki Tourism Organization)

Friendship Day 2019

Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni takes pleasure in announcing their joint open house, JMSDF/MCAS Iwakuni Friendship Day. This year marks the 43rd U.S.-Japan Friendship Day and combines both the Fleet Air Wing 31 annual Base Festival and the traditional MCAS Iwakuni Friendship Day in one exciting, fun-filled event that will include both static displays and aerial performances. Traditional American favorites will be on sale including pizza, steak sandwiches, hamburgers, hot dogs and their famous turkey legs. Japanese food vendors will also visit the air station with delicious food-stand favorites. Friendship Day is fun for the kids, too! They will have a full day’s worth of exciting slides, ball pits, mazes, and more to keep them entertained. To increase the security and safety of everyone, all adult visitors to the air station are asked to bring a form of identification. Failure to bring identification could result in delays entering due to security screening. Visitors who are not Japanese citizens are required to bring either their alien registration card or passport and to fill a simple questionnaire prior to entry. All visitors to the air station will pass through a security screening checkpoint prior to entry. Click here for details on identification information, security policy, and more.


• 5/5 (Sun., hol.)
• 7:00~16:30 (last entry 14:00), air show: 10:00~16:00 *for details, check the official website
• Free entry
• MCAS Iwakuni
Misumi-machi, Iwakuni City, Yamaguchi

Fukuoka International Women’s Tennis Cup 2019

About 60 pros, including WTA top 100 players and JTA top ten singles players, compete in singles and doubles matches. Watch qualifying rounds for free (5/6 , 5/7), or buy a 6-day pass including the main tournament (5/8 ~ 5/13). On 5/6 and 5/12 there will be tennis classes for children (¥500) and new tennis racket model trials, and veteran classes for seniors (¥1,000) and friendship matches (¥1,000) on 5/10. Watch the Junior & Senior Cups on 5/11 and 5/12 too.

• 5/6 (Mon., hol.): qualifying rounds, 5/7 (Tue.) ~ 5/12 (Sun.): main tournament
• 10:00~
• Qualifying rounds: free, 6-day pass: adv. ¥800, door ¥1,000, HS and under: free
• Hakata no Mori Tennis Court
1-1-1 Higashihiraokoen, Hakata-ku, Fukuoka
092-722-1605 (during event period: 092-292-3962)

Originally written in April 2016, updated April 2019.
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NOTE: The information presented here was gathered and summarized by the Fukuoka Now staff. While we have done our best to check for accuracy, there might be errors and details may have changed. If you notice any errors or changes, please contact us. This report was originally written in Apr. 2016.

Fukuoka Prefecture
Published: Apr 24, 2019 / Last Updated: May 8, 2019