Fukuoka City Zoo to Remodel in 20 Year Plan
Originally opened in 1953, Fukuoka City Zoological Garden is starting to show its age. The facility, along with the Fukuoka City Botanical Garden (opened in 1980), is proceeding with a 20-year remodeling plan to be implemented in stages that will convert the zoo into a facility more amenable for animals and people. Last year, the zoo opened a house for Asian elephants, and this year opened an area with multiple facilities from tropical regions in Asia. It envisions an Asian canyon, and enables visitors to observe the mode of life of the creatures in an environment closer to nature. The zoo will be the first to try to raise orangutans and the Lar gibbon together.
Purse Snatching Alert
A total of 500 cases recognized as purse-snatching were reported from January to October 2012, a 51% year-on-year increase. The surge in incidents was particularly noticeable in October. Most of the incidents occur from early evening to night, and most of the victims are women. The perpetrators often use small motorbikes, which leads to the following precautions: (1) Be careful of dark streets and people approaching from behind. It’s a good idea to stop using cell phones or listening to music while walking. (2) Hold your bags and purses on the side farthest away from the street. (3) Place an anti-theft net on bicycle baskets.
Hakata Station Pedestrian Bridge to Open
A pedestrian bridge enabling ease of access to Hakata Station will open on December 20. The bridge connects the second floors of JR Hakata City and the Hakata Bus Terminal to improve the convenience for transfers between buses and trains, reduce congestion, and improve safety. The bridge has a roof, as well as an elevator and escalator. Hakata Station is Kyushu’s largest and busiest station since the opening of the Kyushu Shinkansen lines, and the new bridge aims to make the station more easily accessible for passengers.
Redesigned Kego Park to Reopen
Kego Park, a recreational space that opened in the Tenjin district in 1951, has been closed since June for redesign and rebuilding. Plans call for reopening the park on December 1. The views have been improved to promote public safety at night in the area, and the space has a more open feeling. Sidewalks have been widened and benches and flower beds installed in the park and the surrounding area to encourage visitors to come. The restroom facilities have also been remodeled to make them brighter.
Lights and Skating Rink
The Tenjin district has been illuminated with LEDs to make walking more enjoyable. In addition to the lighting from December 1~January 14 (except Dec.31 and Jan.1) at Kego Park, which has been named Tenjin Hikari Square, there is a merry-go-round (Adult: ¥300, Child (E.S or younger): ¥150 *not fixed) and an outdoor skating rink without ice (Adult: ¥500, Child (E.S or younger): ¥250 *not fixed). It is open from 12:00~22:00.
Concert with Citizen Participation
The district around the Hakata Station is decorated with over 1,000,000 white LEDs, including the commercial facilities and trees. The Hakata Music Ribbon, a free concert featuring the performances of local brass bands, gospel singers, and other musicians, will be held in the plaza in front of Hakata Station starting in the evening on Saturday, December 15. The area will be illuminated until January 15.
For more Information
Fukuoka City Bulletin
Fukuoka Shisei Dayori is City Hall’s official magazine published bi-weekly on 1st and 15th of each month 23 times per year. It’s available in Japanese online too. Consider using it for Japanese study! ふくおか市政だより Website: www.city.fukuoka.lg.jp/shisei/kouhou-hodo/shiseidayori/
Originally published in Fukuoka Now Magazine (fn168, Dec. 2012)