The LaLaport Fukuoka shopping park, which will open in April, is LaLaport’s first large-scale commercial facility in Kyushu. It is located in Hakata Ward on the former site of the Fukuoka City Wholesale Produce Market, which was relocated to Island City. The shopping park, which has been generating a buzz even before its opening, will have many facilities that are new to Kyushu, such as KidZania Fukuoka, where children can role-play various jobs, and the Fukuoka Toy Museum, where visitors can play with many toys.
Another thing that has been attracting a lot of attention is the life-size Gundam statue in the central square. The huge Gundam, which seemingly appeared out of nowhere in the middle of the city can be seen from a distance, and even though it is still under construction, many people have come to check it out. The first life-size Gundam statue was erected in Odaiba in Tokyo in 2009. It was the talk of the town, and Gundam statues have since been erected in other places like Yokohama and Shanghai, China. The statue in Fukuoka is the first in western Japan.
“Mobile Suit Gundam” started as an animated TV series in 1979, and many subsequent series have been produced since then. The popularity of Gundam is not limited to Japan, but has spread to other countries around the world where the anime was broadcast. “Gunpla,” the plastic models of the mobile suits (robots) that appeared in the anime, are also very popular with Gundam fans of all ages.
LaLaport Fukuoka will also feature an entertainment facility called Gundam Park Fukuoka where visitors can experience the world of Gundam. Carrying on the legacy of the wholesale produce market that once stood in the same place, there will also be a food market that emphasizes the connection to local production areas and producers. Other tenants include a sports facility with an athletic track and tennis courts and a cinema complex. People can hardly wait for this large-scale commercial facility filled with many firsts for Kyushu.
New Gundam Statue Unveiled at LaLaport Fukuoka – The Tallest Gundam! (Youtube @kyushulive)