Spring has arrived, and a refreshing breeze is blowing in Seaside Momochi. The “Momochi Now” series is back with monthly interviews with people who live, work, or are otherwise involved with Momochi. Through their stories, we will bring you closer to Momochi now!
Presented by SEAHAWK GALLERIA
Momochi – Ideal for International Families
This month we met Asaf to hear how he and his family enjoy the area of Momochi. But first, let’s meet Asaf. Originally from Tel Aviv, Israel, twenty years ago, he moved to Miyazaki, where he met his wife Misaki, welcomed their daughter Noa, and lived for fifteen years. Life in Miyazaki was comfortable, “maybe too comfortable,” he says with a smile. Considering their daughter’s future, the couple began to consider options. On the advice of a New Zealander friend and long-time resident of Fukuoka, they checked out the Momochi area. They were impressed, and the move happened.
Unable to find a suitable residence in Momochi, they settled on a comfortable spot in Nishijin. Their condo is so close to Momochi though it can be considered the same area. Asaf operates his trading company from his home; as such, commuting isn’t a factor, but Fukuoka Airport is just a 16-minute subway ride away for his business trips. He loves the location. “You’re in the city, but with all the open space and proximity to the sea, it’s very relaxed and just minutes to Tenjin of Hakata.” He likes the aesthetic of Momochi too, “the wide streets, the sidewalks, simple things, but you don’t see them like this often elsewhere in Japan.”
As a visibly foreign national and international family, they stood out in Miyazaki. Here they blend in and always feel comfortable. Perhaps Momochi has a higher than the average number of international residents, or it is the presence of foreign-capitalized business, the international employees working in an office, the Hilton Fukuoka Seahawk Hotel, Seinan University, and the Fukuoka International School, collectively it means seeing foreign-looking faces or hearing other languages is an everyday occurrence in Momochi.
On the topic of foreign languages, one of the family’s favorite spots in Momochi is the Fukuoka City Public Library. The large and modern library has something for dad, mom, and daughter, and they often go there together. Asaf was surprised by the volume of books in the Hebrew section. Now that’s something you are not likely to find in Miyazaki (or 95% of the rest of the country).
Life in cities implies a compromise between convenience and space, shadows and sunshine, but apparently less so in Momochi. The family regularly plays in Momomchi’s Central Park, which has plenty of playground equipment, a sports field, and a grass-covered open area. Even by North American standards, this is a pretty big park. Also, steps away from the library and the park is the Fukuoka City Museum. They regularly enjoy a full range of historical, academic, to popular cultural attractions, including the recent PIXAR and Ghibli exhibitions.
What Momochi doesn’t have is the nightlife. Asaf says he sometimes misses having a local bar to drop into. Instead, he often enjoys sitting out on the terrace of Mamma-mia, an Italian-style restaurant that serves pizza. Right on the boardwalk and part of the Marizon complex, it offers a view of Momochihama’s sandy beach and the sea. That sounds pretty good – almost like Miyazaki? Perhaps Asfa and family have found a perfect balance between the city and beach in Momochi.
Fukuoka City Public Library
The Fukuoka City Public Library carries daily newspapers and magazines from all over the world. The collection numbers around 1.3 million volumes, including 76,000 books and other materials in English, Chinese and Korean.
• 3-7-1 Momochihama, Sawara-ku, Fukuoka
▷ 15 min. On foot from Seahawk Galleria
• Open: 10:00 ~ 20:00 (Tue.~Sat.), 10:00 ~ 19:00 (Sun., hol.)
• Closed: Mon., Dec. 28 ~ Jan. 4
Momochi Central Park
Momochi Central Park, with its huge sliding board and views of nearby Fukuoka Tower, is a popular spot with local kids. There is also a smaller train-shaped sliding board for little kids as well as a sandbox and jungle gym. Kids can use the large field to play soccer or baseball, and benches and toilets are available when you need a break. With nearby parking for cars and bicycles, the park is especially popular on weekends.
• 3-2 Momochihama, Sawara-ku, Fukuoka
▷ 16 min. on foot from Seahawk Galleria
Fukuoka City Museum
The history of Fukuoka and the daily circumstances of its citizens can be seen in permanent exhibitions, including the Gold Seal, a national treasure. Also displays representing Fukuoka’s cultural assets, including a decorative float of the Hakata Gion Yamakasa festival, a symbol of Hakata culture. On April 1, the museum reopened after five months of renovation work.
• 3-1-1 Momochihama, Sawara-ku, Fukuoka
▷ 15 min. on foot from Seahawk Galleria
• Open: 9:30 ~ 17:30 (Last entry 17:00)
• Closed: Mon. (If it’s a hol., the next weekday)
A casual cafe-restaurant popular for its wood-fired Naples-style pizza and BBQ. The wood deck terrace is spacious and cafes the boardwalk and beach – ideal for people watching and catching some sun. It’s located inside Seaside Momochi Park in front of Marizon.
• 2-902-1 Momochihama, Sawara-ku, Fukuoka
▷ 14 min. on foot from Seahawk Galleria
• Lunch 11:30~22:00
• Closed: Tue.
Seahawk Galleria, a shopping arcade with a diverse array of shops such as accessories, fashion, sundries, daily necessities, and souvenirs, is located inside the Hilton Fukuoka Seahawk seaside hotel. There’s also a 24h convenience store that can be accessed next to PayPay Dome too. It’s an ideal spot from which to explore the Momochi area.
• 2-2-3 Jigyohama, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka
• Usually 10:00 ~ 20:00 (FamilyMart / 24h)
*Hours vary for each shop due to COVID-19. (as of the end of Mar. 2021)
This website by Seahawk Galleria offers suggestions for walking tours of the Seaside Momochi area, where many of Fukuoka’s landmarks are located. Check it for information on what’s hot in Momochi now – and for ideas for a path to stroll not found in guidebooks.
Your Guide to The Latest in Momochi – Momochi Now!
Learn about all the attractions in Momochi from the well-known to the newest and lesser known.
▷Back number: https://www.fukuoka-now.com/en/momochi-now/