Many people flock to Ohori Park from morning till night to enjoy jogging, walking, cycling and other activities at their own pace. Other people choose to live by the sea where they can enjoy surfing, SUPing or taking walks along the beach before going to work.
The average one-way commute time in Fukuoka City is about 35 minutes. With all its urban functions, the city center allows business travelers to easily access Tokyo, other major cities in Japan and cities in East Asia, and there are many nature spots nearby where you can go to recharge your batteries. What’s more, the cost of living is one of the lowest in Japan, while the cost of food is the lowest among 21 major cities in Japan due to the city’s proximity to producing regions.
Reference: Regional Difference Index of Consumer Prices for Major Cities (Designated Cities and the 23 Wards of Tokyo), 2020
* Lowest overall cost of living: No. 1: Okayama City, No. 2: Fukuoka City
* Lowest food cost: No. 1: Fukuoka City
In this day and age, people can communicate without being bound by time or space, so an increasing number of people are choosing to live in multiple locations. This has led to an uptick in people choosing Fukuoka City as one of their bases of operations.
Physical proximity provides more free time while lowering costs and providing more space.
One of the symbols of this Fukuoka-style of living is hashigo, or visiting a number of restaurants and bars in one night. During a typical night in Fukuoka, you might meet someone for a quick drink at a bar or kakuuchi (standing bar) before heading out for a meal, and then you’d finish your night with a bowl of ramen at a yatai (food stall) or ramen joint.
What makes a yatai great is not just the food, it’s getting to enjoy casual conversation with the other customers who happen to be there. If you mention that you are visiting Fukuoka on vacation, many people are sure to chime in and tell you about their favorite places and foods.
Fukuoka City Yatai Ordinance
Yatai began in Edo (old Tokyo) during the Edo period (1603-1868) to provide people with easy access to food. After the war, these food stalls spread throughout the country as a means to keep people fed, but as urbanization progressed, road use and sanitation became major issues, and the number of stalls in Fukuoka, which exceeded 400 at its peak, began to decline gradually from the 1970s onward. Fukuoka City began conducting a survey of yatai in 1996, and recognizing them as a symbol of Fukuoka’s character, it enacted the Yatai Ordinance in 2013 as a means to enforce proper operation and ensure the survival of the stalls. City Hall now accepts yatai applications through a public offering system, and the stalls even act as launchpads for startups in the food sector.
Although it depends on the operators, yatai are typically open from 18:00 to 3:00 the following morning. There are currently 100 food stalls operating in the city at predetermined locations in Nakasu, Tenjin, Nagahama and elsewhere.
Hashigo culture meets artisanship
Fukuoka is also home to numerous coffee shops and cafes, and the owners of many of these shops use them as vehicles for expressing their creativity. Cafe crawling is a popular activity for both domestic and international visitors, not only for sampling the food and drink on offer, but also for enjoying the design and atmosphere of the shops. These shops, whose owners can be considered artisans in their own right, include the following:
• Brasileiro: The oldest cafe in Fukuoka. Originally opened in 1934 by the state of São Paulo to promote Brazilian coffee.
• Coffee House Noda: Founded in 1966. Baristas wearing crisp white uniforms stand behind a stately counter making coffee using siphons.
• Coffee Bimi: Opened in 1977. Recognized nationwide for its unique style of nel drip brewing.
• Roaster’s Coffee Baisenya: A coffee bean specialty shop that opened in 1988.
From around 2000, coffee stores from Seattle that used espresso arrived in Fukuoka, bringing coffee, once considered an adult drink, closer to youth culture. Riding this wave, several independent coffee shops began to open, including Manu Coffee in 2003 and Manly Coffee, Rec Coffee and Tokado Coffee in 2008.
Some of these artisans have honed their skills to a world-class level. In 2013, Naoki Goto of Tokado Coffee won the World Coffee Roasting Championship in 2013, a competition for roasting techniques. The following year, Hidenori Izaki, a family member of the owner of Honey Coffee, one of the first entrants into Fukuoka’s specialty coffee shop scene, won the World Barista Championship. He was the first Asian to win the accolade. Their successes have changed the world view of the coffee industry, and now many young people see coffee as a gateway to the wider world. In 2016, Yoshikazu Iwase of Rec Coffee, which started as a coffee truck and now has 10 shops in Fukuoka, Tokyo and Taichung (Taiwan), won second place at the World Barista Championship.
Given Fukuoka’s hashigo culture, the city’s coffee drinkers are also quite knowledgeable, so for both the artisans and their customers, coffee has become an enjoyable part of their lifestyle. What’s more, Oslo, Norway-based Fuglen, a leading proponent of cafe culture whose flagship shop in Japan is located in Tomigaya in Tokyo, opened a shop in Hakata this past September.
When you stay in Fukuoka, you can enjoy strolling the city and visiting independent stores, cafes and food stalls where you can get a firsthand sense of the owner’s personality, not to mention making chance encounters and discoveries along the way.
Whether you are a first-time visitor or a resident of Fukuoka, we recommend that you make time to visit these unique spaces where you can get up close and personal with the city.
Start up Cafe
Pre-and post-startup consultations, support, entrepreneurial community, and co-working space.
Consultation for engineers and aspiring engineers, co-working space, and provides interaction space with other engineers.
Artist Cafe Fukuoka
Artist start-up support, artist-in-residence base, gallery, and co-working space.
Fukuoka City, as a municipality, has been promoting specific projects such as “Fukuoka Art Next,” a project to support the growth of artists by increasing opportunities for people to experience art in their daily lives, and providing artists with opportunities to present their work in open spaces and cultural and entertainment facilities in the city. As well as “Fukuoka Music Month” which promotes Fukuoka as a “music city” through music events while creating a lively atmosphere in the city and promoting its music industry. Fukuoka City, as a municipality, aims to create a colorful city through projects of art, music, and greenery, in addition to the redevelopment of the urban area.
• Fukuoka City – Right Time, Right Place
• Fukuoka: City of Growth and Dynamic Vision
• Choosing to live in Fukuoka means choosing well-being
• Living for what you love (this page)
• What’s Fukuoka City Really Like?
Fukuoka City x Fukuoka Now