Route 202 runs from Fukuoka all the way to Nagasaki. The part connecting Hakata and Tenjin is called Kokutai-doro and is one of Fukuoka’s busiest thoroughfares. Continue on towards Kego, though, and the road changes into a quieter, more upscale street. The name also changes, to Keyaki-dori.
Keyaki-dori has wide sidewalks lined with trees that filter the sunlight on a hot day, making it a pleasant place for a stroll. Along each side of the street you can find chic apartment buildings, apparel and jewelry stores, fashionable hair salons, innovative restaurants, art galleries and more. The area has a distinctive high-class feel, but at the same time part of its appeal is that it also has the feel of a place where people go about their daily lives. You can easily pick up something tasty for dinner at a Japanese food store or Italian deli, or take care of some errands at a florist, bicycle shop or electrical goods store.
There are also a large number of restaurants and cafés, ranging from genuine Thai food to Japanese homecooking to long-established cafés. Wander off the main street for some more unconventional offerings; you shouldn’t have to walk far to find an interesting place. Bakery & Café Papparayray, for example, is housed in a renovated traditional old building that was formerly a draper’s shop. Kira Kira Café Tonerico, meanwhile, is hidden at the end of a street that passes under a car park. Both have a welcoming, hand-crafted feel.
Keyaki-dori is only 800 meters long, running from Kego intersection to Akasaka 3-chome intersection, but it packs a lot of charm into that seemingly short distance. More than just a fashionable street, take a stroll along it once and you are sure to want to come back again and again.
A Sri Lankan restaurant on the second floor above Mos Burger at the beginning of Keyaki-dori. Serving addictively spicy curries topped with chicken, vegetables and beans.
Bar Rosa Rosa
A Spanish cafe and bar, located at the back of florist’s Cerise. Examples of their delicious tapas can be seen in the long glass case extending from the entrance to the interior of the bar.
Italian Deli Gashiyo
A counter-style delicatessen that also offers a delivery service. Genuine Italian snacks, antipasti, main courses and desserts, with no artificial flavorings.
Kira Kira Café Tonerico
At the end of a small side road off Keyaki-dori you will find the white, tunnel-like entrance to this well-hidden café. Their menu focuses on healthy and delicious food made with locally grown organic vegetables.
The gelato at this store is freshly made every morning. Nine flavors are available, including both perennial favorites such as milk and pistachio and seasonal variations.
This small, but well stocked indie bookstore sells wide range of novels and magazines. They are also the organizers of a popular annual event called “Bookuoka” that includes reading sessions and a sidewalk flee market for used books. Pretty much everything in Japanese, but still worth a look.
RESTAURANTS & CAFES
Here’s a real gem of place. Only problem is the word has gotten out and so it’s hard to get a seat at peak days. This small cafe-style restaurant specializes in “omurice” (omelet rice). The egg topping is incredibly light and fluffy, and we don’t why, but it is and it is delicious! More of a ladies spot than for the men, but there are other dishes and desserts too.
Bakery & Cafe Papparayray
Located one street in from Keyaki-dori this is definitely off the beaten track but well worth finding. It’s a cafe and bakery inside a beautifully renovated old Japanese house. The garden is lovely too. The lunch menu features plenty of vegetables and of course their homemade breads and sweets. Not only that, but they roast their own coffee.
Sala Rim Naam
This well established restaurant serves Thai dishes cooked by Thai chefs. The interior is very Thai too with a resort feel to it. The restaurants’ name translates to “resting spot beside the River Menam”.
Bimi is a very well established and respected cafe and roaster in Fukuoka. They sell coffee beans and take-out drip coffee on the first floor. On the second floor you can enjoy an aromatic cup and relax on your way to or from Ohori Park.
One of the Fukuoka’s major shrines whose history goes back to 1869. Tall green trees line the approach to the shrine. It’s an ideal place for families rest under the shady leaves. It’s often referred to as an oasis within the city. Great place to grab some quiet quality time.
A gallery named after French philosopher Michel Foucault and the inventor of “Foucault’s pendulum” Leon Foucault. They exhibit and sell daily items made of glass, cloths, wood and earth.
Taguchi Shoten Keyaki, near to Kego intersection, is a secondhand record shop that has been open for more than 40 years. During that time, records have been replaced by CDs, which in turn are increasingly being replaced by downloads, but Taguchi Shoten has steadfastedly refused to move with the times and stepping through the door here is like stepping back half a century in time. Around 30,000 records and CDs are on sale, including many rare seven-inch EPs, from genres ranging from old-school Japanese pop to classical. The 1960s Japanese record covers displayed on the walls give the shop a kitsch ambience. Tel: 092-716-0087
Kokutai-doro is one of Fukuoka’s busiest thoroughfares. Continue on towards Kego, though, and the road changes into a quieter, more upscale street. The name also changes, to Keyaki-dori. Keyaki-dori has wide sidewalks lined with trees that filter the sunlight on a hot day, making it a pleasant place for a stroll. Along each side of the street you can find chic apartment buildings, apparel and jewelry stores, fashionable hair salons, innovative restaurants, art galleries and more.
より大きな地図で Fukuoka Now Around Town “Keyaki-dori” を表示
Originally published in Fukuoka Now magazine (fn151, Jul. 2011)