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Hakata Akihaku 2015

Hakata Autumn tour – Hakata Akihaku 2015
The Hakata area comes alive in fall, with the Hakata Akihaku (Autumn Festa) – a series of colorful events and festivals from October to November – some of which have been running for hundreds of years. Hakata Akihaku 2015 will once again feature an exceptional variety of colorful, must-see events, ranging from those imbued with historical romance at the shrines and temples of Hakata, to concerts, art, dramas, walking tours, and lectures. It’s a great chance to deepen your knowledge of Hakata’s history and enjoy the feast of arts, food, and music. You can check the official website for more details here:
In the meantime, Fukuoka Now has selected 19 of the best Akihaku events for you to check out!


Screen Shot 2015-10-05 at 9.53.35 AM
1. Hakata Akihaku Photo Contest
Think of yourself as a budding photographer? Snap photos at any Akihaku 2015 event and submit them to the official “Autumn in Hakata” photo contest. All camera formats accepted, including photographs taken by mobile phones or even tablets. Winners will be announced at the end of Jan. 2016 in the Nishinippon Shimbun and Hakata Ward website, with gift certificates for the top 10 photographs! The first prize is a gift certificate valued at ¥30,000, second~fourth prizes are ¥10,000 each, and fifth~tenth prizes are ¥3,000 each. Limit of three photos per person, and all submissions must arrive by 11 Dec. 2015 (Fri.). Digital data submissions must be jpeg data, below 2MB and sent by email, or saved on CD-R and sent by post with accompanying note. Printed data submissions must be 203mm x 305mm, or A4 size and sent by post. To enter your photographs by mail (address below), include the following details on the back of each photo: 1. your name, 2. home address, 3. contact number, 4. title of the photo, 5. date the photo was taken, 6. name of the Akihaku event where the photo was taken. If applying by email, include the same details 1. ~ 6. in the body of your email. All photos submitted to the contest may be used in next year’s promotion of Akihaku. Good luck!

1_Hakata Photo Contest in Autumn(Best record)_1


• 10/1 (Thu.) ~ 11/30 (Mon.)
• Free
• Apply by post ( 1-4-1 Tenjin, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka City 810-8721, Akihaku Photo Contest Secretariat.) or email (

2. Hakata Akihaku Stamp Rally
Join in the popular Japanese pastime of a stamp rally! Visit up to 17 famous Hakata spots such as temples and commercial facilities, collecting unique stamps along the way. It’s a fun way to see the sights of Hakata and a chance to win a prize too. If you collect more than 5 stamps, go to the Hakata Machiya Folk Museum or to the Hakata Traditional Craft Center for a chance to win!

2_Hakata Akihaku Stamprally

• 10/1 (Thu.)~11/30 (Mon.)
• Hakata area
• Free
• If you collect 15 stamps or more: you can win a pair of tickets to an onsen recommended by JR Kyushu Station Master; 5 stamps or more: ¥5,000 gift certificate to use in Canal City (for 4 persons), etc.
• 080-8564-5475 (10/1 ~ 11/30 Hakata Yugaku Project)

3. Nakasu Matsuri
The 40th annual Nakasu district festival features a famous float carried by about 500 women wearing happi coats and headbands. Don’t miss the bar-hopping event on 10/8 – a great chance to enjoy Nakasu bars on the cheap! (Adv.: ¥3,000 for 3 places.)

3_Nakasu Matsuri

• 10/8 (Thu.) ~ 10/9 (Fri.) 18:00~22:00
• Nakasu area
• Free (bar-hopping not incl.)
• 092-272-1440 (10:00~17:00),

4. Hakata Historical Tour
The 2000 year old history of Hakata is a source of pride and interest for local residents and tourists alike. In this two-hour walking tour you’ll visit some of city’s most famous historical sites, led by an informative guide (Japanese and English speaking available – book in advance). Reservation required.
* Special course (¥12,000 / Oct. 18, Nov. 14, 12:00 start) including traditional Japanese lunch at restaurant Sankoen, while enjoying the dance and songs of Hakata geisha. Also you can take photos with the geisha!

4_Hakata Historical Tour

• 10/13 (Tue.) ~ 10/19 (Mon.), 10/28 (Wed.) ~ 11/3 (Tue.)
• 10:00~, 13:30~
※Special course10/18 (Sun.),11/14 (Sat.)
• 12:00~
• ¥500~¥1,700 (for fees and tour courses please check website) *Special course ¥12,000
• Fukuoka Tourism Volunteer Association: 080-8397-9256 (10:00 ~ 15:30),

5. Fukuoka Oktoberfest 2015
Oktoberfest has become one of the most popular annual events in Fukuoka. This year enjoy 16 brands of authentic draft beer, German sausages and other traditional foods and breads, as an authentic German folk band performs in a huge tent. There’s even a classic wooden 1800s-style merry-go-round from Germany! “Prost!”

5_Oktoberfest 2015

• 10/16 (Fri.) ~ 10/25 (Sun.)
• 16:00 ~ 22:00 (Mon. ~ Fri.), 11:00 ~ 22:00 (Sat. ~ Sun.)
• Free (charge for foods & drinks)
• Reisen Park (Kamikawabatamachi 7, Hakata-ku)
• 080-4695-3572,

6. Hakata Tomyo Watching 2015
Each October, Hakata streets are illuminated with tens of thousands of paper lanterns. Stroll through the many narrow side streets to see small and large creative lantern formations plus some foods and drinks stalls too. This event, organized by local families, children and others, has become a major event, synonymous with autumn in Hakata. Free (if you show the official flier) shuttle buses link seven sites and free maps are available at each viewing spot!

6_Tomyo Watching 2015

• 10/17 (Sat.)
• 18:00~21:00
• Free
• JR Hakata Station, Gokusho area, Tochoji Temple, Ohama Park, Hakata Elementary School, Naraya area, around Kushida Shrine, Hakata Riverain, Hakata Wharf area, Bayside Place Hakata, Hakata Sennenmon, etc. Map.
• Free
• 092-281-5512

What is Tomyo Watching? 灯明ウォッチングとは?
Traditionally, “tomyo” lanterns are illuminated as votive offerings to the gods and Buddha, or at memorial services (供養). The Hakata Tomyo Watching festival started in 1994, inspired from a traditional ceremony called Sentomyo that is held at temples and shrines in Fukuoka and Oita in which 1,000 paper lanterns are lit up. The beautifully illuminated paper lanterns symbolize prayers for good health and the well-being of one’s family.

7. Hakata Kenjo Dochu
Crowds gather at this annual autumn event to watch the parade of women in traditional kimono. At this year’s parade, women clad in black kimono and Hakata kenjo obi (a traditional local craft) will walk in procession, accompanied by men with flags and lanterns.

7_Hakata Kenjo Dochu

• 10/17 (Sat.)
• 17:20 ~ 20:00
• 17:00~ Kawabata Shotengai, 18:30~ Hakataekimae Hiroba→ 18:50 Tochoji→ 19:10 Shofukuji→ 19:20 Jotenji→19:30 Hakata Sennenno Mon
• In case of rain, Kawabata Shotengai only (18:00~)
• Free
• 080-3988-3201,!2013/c1l1t,

8. Hakata Okunchi
This traditional festival, with 1,200 years of history, gives thanks to the gods for autumn’s harvest. An ox-drawn carriage pulls an ornate mikoshi (divine palanquin/portable shrine), while children in traditional kimono, tachi-eboshi (brimless headgear worn by court nobles) and tengan (crowns) walk in a parade, starting at Kushida Shrine and weaving around the Hakata area.


• 10/23 (Fri.) ~ 10/24 (Sat.)
• Autumn Festival: 11:00~ (Fri.), Parade: 14:00~ (Sat.)
• Kushida Shrine and Hakata area
• 092-291-2951 (Kushida Shrine)

9. BeerFes Kyushu 2015 “Bayside Market 2015”
A big beer event comes to Fukuoka’s waterfront area venue, Bayside Place Hakata. There will be 20 breweries and more than 50 brands of beer!
On Oct 3 (Sat.), there will be a beer tasting seminar.

9&10_BeerFes& Antiquing (Bayside)

• 10/3, 10/4
• 12:00 ~ 16:00 (Sat.), 12:00~16:00 (Sun.)
• Chuo Futo Event yard (7-1 Okihamamachi, Hakata-ku) next to Marine Messe
• Free
• 092-281-7701 (Bayside Place Hakata),

10. Antiquing in Hakata / Bayside Theater “Bayside Market 2015”
Antique dealers come from all over Japan to take part in this stylish, nostalgia-filled antique market. For two days, browse their selection of antique furniture and vintage goods. You’re sure to find some fascinating items! Also, you can enjoy the outdoor cinema screenings of movies from the 80s from 19:00

• 10/10 (Sat.), 10/11 (Sun.)
• Chuo Futo Event yard (7-1 Okihamamachi, Hakata-ku) next to Marine Messe
• Free
• 092-281-7701 (Bayside Place Hakata)

11. Hakata Halloween Costume Parade and Contest 2015
Get in the Halloween spirit watching hundreds of participants wearing creepy and creative costumes in the 9th annual parade from Hakata Riverain to Canal City. This is one of the biggest Halloween parades in Kyushu with 500 in attendance. All participants are awarded a small souvenir gift, and best dressers are awarded big prizes after the parade – first prize is ¥150,000! Register by Oct. 18 to take part in the parade and costume contest. Entries can be submitted from Sep 18 (Fri.), check out the details on Canal City Hakata’s website.

11_Hakata Halloween Costume Parade and Contest 2015

• 10/25 (Sun.)
• Parade starts: 14:00, Contest on stage: 16:00 (Canal City B1F)
• Hakata Riverain, Eeny Meeny Miny Mo, Canal City Hakata
• Free
• 092-282-2525(10:00 ~ 21:00),

12. Hakata Ori Exhibition
Hakata ori (woven textile) is a local folk craft with 770 years of tradition. It has been popular for centuries for use in kimono and obi as a silk textile due to its tensility and thickness of the fabric. At this annual event, new pieces of Hakata ori are displayed inside Jotenji Zen Temple – the birthplace of Hakata ori. The location itself is a reason for visiting – the inside of Jotenji is not usually open to the public. Enjoy the autumn foliage, and optional tea ceremony (fee req.) in the Japanese Karesansui (rock) garden. Attend wearing kimono to receive a small gift!

12_Hakata Ori Exhibition

• 11/13 (Fri.) ~ 11/15 (Sun.)
• 10:00~17:00 (Fri ~ Sat), 10:00~15:00 (Sun.)
• Jotenji Temple (1-29-9 Hakataekimae, Hakata-ku)
• Free (not incl. tea ceremony)
• 092-472-0761 (Hakata Textile Manufacturer Association)

13. Hakata Light Up Walk 2015
Winner of the Lighting Conference Lighting Design Award and registered as a Japan Heritage Night View in July. Historical temples, shrines and gardens in the Hakata area are beautifully illuminated for this event. In between venues there are areas with mini-concerts and stalls selling food, drinks and items. It’s a lot of fun just to wander around! You can enter eight sites with one day free pass.

13_Hakata Light Up Walk 2015

• 11/19 (Thu.) ~ 11/23 (Mon., Hol.)
• 17:30~21:00 (last entry ~20:45)
• • 10 sites: Kushida Shrine, Jotenji Temple, Tochoji Temple, Myorakuji Temple, Enkakuji Temple, Myotenji Temple, Hongakuji Temple, Shoujouji Temple, Hakata Sennenmon, Jotenji-dori.
• Map in PDF:
• 1 day free pass: Adult Adv. ¥1,000, Door ¥1,300, Younger than JHS: Free
*buy 2 or more tickets on the door and pay only ¥1,200 each
• 092-419-1012 (Hakata Ward Office / 9:00 ~ 18:00), 080-8385-1091 (Hakata Light Up Walk Organization Committee),

14. Oishi “Autumn” Machi-aruki
This walking tours focuses on the tastes of Hakata. This city tour not only gives you the chance to hear about the city, but also to visit several shops tasting a particular foodstuff (choose between mentaiko, sake and sweets). There will also be the opportunity to hear from the chefs who laboured over these tasty treats.


• 10/26 (Mon.) ~ 10/28 (Wed.): Learn More About Mentaiko
• 11/18 (Wed.) ~ 11/20 (Fri.): Sumiyoshi Shrine and Japanese Sake Tasting – SOLD OUT!
• 11/27 (Fri.) ~ 11/29 (Sun.): Traditional Sweets – SOLD OUT!
• 13:30~15:30 (Please arrive at 13:15)
• 1 event: ¥1,600 (Adv., /per person)
• 092-419-1012 (Hakata Planning Promotion Division)
Click here to see their flyer.

15. ”HAKATA・TENJIN rakugo festival”
The 9th annual “Hakata/Tenjin Rakugo festival” It’s the biggest festival dedicated to rakugo (traditional Japanese comic storytelling) in Japan, produced by Enraku Sanyutei over three days.

15_Hakata Tenjin Rakugo festival

• 10/30 (Fri.) 1st show: 14:00, 2nd show:18:30
• 10/31 (Sat.) 1st show: 12:00, 2nd show: 16:30
• 11/1 (Sun.) 1st show: 12:00, 2nd show: 16:30
• ¥5,400
• 092-714-0159 (Kyodo-west)

16.Hakata Traditional Craft and Design Museum Autumn Event
Try your hand at making traditional Hakata crafts at one of the workshops, or sample some delicious organic fare. This festival is a must do!

17_Hakata Traditional Craft and Design Museum Autumn Event

• 11/14 (Sat.) ~ 15 (Sun.): Hakata Traditional Craft and Design Museum Autumn Festival (Hakata Shoten)
• 10/1 (Thu.) ~ 10/13 (Tue.): Hakata Traditional Craftsmanship Exhibition
• 10/15 (Thu.) ~ 10/27 (Tue.): New Hakata Ningyou (doll) Exhibition in Hakata
• 10/29 (Thu.) ~ 11/10 (Tue.): Bamboo Crafts and Toys of Higo Exhibition
• 11/17 (Tue.) ~ 11/24 (Tue.): Gathering celebration of Hakata – Iwai Uta!!
• 11/26 (Thu.) ~ 12/8 (Tue.): Hakata Ningyou & Eto Ningyo (Chinese animal dolls) exhibition
• Hakata Traditional Craft and Design Museum (1-6 Kamikawabata-machi, Hakata-ku)
• 092-409-5450

17.Kawakami Otojiro Memorial
On Nov 11 (Wed.) every year, you can experience this Buddhist memorial service for Otojiro Kawakami held by a Buddhist monk.

Find out more about Otojiro Kawakami here.

18_Kawakami Otojiro Memorial

• 11/11 (Wed.)
• 10:00~13:00
• Jotenji Temple (1-29-9 Hakataekimae, Hakata-ku)
• 092-281-7761 (“Hakata-machiya” Furusato kan)

Originally written in Oct. 2015.
Copyright Fukuoka Now – including all text, photos and illustrations. Permission required to re-use in any form. Meanwhile, feel free to link to to this page.

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 Oct. 2015.

Art & Culture
Published: Oct 5, 2015 / Last Updated: Apr 12, 2016