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St. Patrick’s Day 2019 in Fukuoka

March 17th is fast approaching and that means one thing, folks – it’s time to get your party hats on! Even for those who don’t have the good fortune to hail from the Emerald Isle, the Irish national holiday is, as the slogan goes, “a lovely day for a Guinness” (or ten) and a good excuse to celebrate the advent of spring. So don some green (or risk being pinched) and hit the town!

Fukuoka Now has listed a few of the best places to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in Fukuoka this year. Bottom’s up!

Irish Pub The Hakata Harp

Hotel Eclair, 1-1 Susaki-machi, Hakata-ku, Fukuoka
• Tel.: 092-283-6446
• Open: Mon. ~ Sun. 11:30~24:00 (L.O. 23:30)

♣St. Patrick’s Day Offer♣
3/17 (Sun.) 17:00~19:00: Live Irish music, 15:00~22:00: all drinks including Guinness and Kilkenny ¥500 (tax incl.)

The Ship Public House

3-4 Gion-machi, Hakata-ku, Fukuoka
• Tel.: 092-271-5678
• Open: 17:00~3:00 (L.O. 2:30), Sun. & hol. 18:00~3:00 (L.O. 2:30)

♣St. Patrick’s Day Offer♣
3/17 (Sun.): 14:00~ Live Irish music. Guinness (pint size) ¥500 (tax excl.), Kirin Ichiban Shibori (reg. size) ¥500 (tax excl.)

Irish Cafe Pub The Celts

1F Shoninbashi-dori Kikue Bldg., 1-1-23 Kego, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka
• Tel.: 092-714-0112
• Open: Mon. ~ Sun. 19:00~2:00 (L.O. 1:30)

♣St. Patrick’s Day Offer♣
3/16 (Sat.): St. Patrick’s Eve Festival 19:00~, 3/17 (Sun.): Guinness ¥500

A&K Beer & Food Station

10F JR Hakata City AMU Plaza, 1-1-1 Hakataeki-chuogai, Hakata-ku, Fukuoka
• Tel.: 092-415-1190
• Open: Mon. ~ Sun. 11:00~23:00 (L.O. 22:00)

♣St. Patrick’s Day Offer♣
3/17 (Sun.): Mention “Fukuoka Now” for ¥500 pints of Guinness (half pints ¥390) *tax incl.

Irish Pub Half Penny Chikushiguchi

B1F Honey Bldg., 2-2-2 Hakataeki-higashi, Hakata-ku
• Tel.: 092-414-1267
• Open: Mon. ~ Sun. 18:00~1:30

♣St. Patrick’s Day Offer♣
3/17 (Sun.): Cocktails and beer ¥600 (tax excl.)

Irish Pub Half Penny Daimyo

B1F KI Bldg., 1-10-10 Daimyo, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka
• Tel.: 092-713-6668
• Open: Mon. ~ Sun. 18:00~2:30

♣St. Patrick’s Day Offer♣
3/17 (Sun.): Cocktails and beer ¥600 (tax excl.)

Irish Pub Half Penny Hakataguchi

B1F Daini Okabe Bldg., 3-27-25 Hakata-ekimae, Hakata-ku, Fukuoka
• Tel.:092-474-1833
• Open: Mon. ~ Sun. 18:00~2:00

♣St. Patrick’s Day Offer♣
3/17 (Sun.): Cocktails and beer ¥600 (tax excl.)

Gastro Pub Ales

1-3-14 Maizuru, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka
• Tel.: 092-722-0600
• Open: Mon. ~ Sat. 15:00~1:00 (L.O. 23:30, Sat. L.O. 1:30)
• Closed: Sun.

♣St. Patrick’s Day Offer♣
3/15 (Fri.), 3/16 (Sat.) 15:00~21:00: Guinness ¥500/pint (tax excl.)

British Pub Morris Black Sheep

2-1-20 Daimyo, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka
• Tel.: 092-725-8773
• Open: Mon. ~ Thu., Sun.: 17:00~1:00, Fri. ~ Sat & day before hol.: 17:00~3:00

♣St. Patrick’s Day Offer♣
3/16 (Sat.), 3/17 (Sun.): Kirin Lager & Guinness ¥600/pint (tax incl.), Jameson ¥300 (tax incl.)

British Pub Morris Crafty Bear

RJR Precia Hakata 103, 1-1-9 Sumiyoshi, Hakata-ku, Fukuoka
• Tel.: 092-272-4678
• Open: Mon. ~ Thu. & Sun. 12:00~1:00, Fri. ~ Sat & before hol. 12:00~3:00

♣St. Patrick’s Day Offer♣
3/16 (Sat.), 3/17 (Sun.): Kirin Lager & Guinness ¥600/pint (tax incl.), Jameson ¥300 (tax incl.)

British Pub Morris Hippo

Hakata Riverain, 3-1 Shimokawabata, Hakata-ku, Fukuoka
• Tel.: 092-282-3912
• Open: Mon. ~ Thu. & Sun. 11:00~1:00, Fri., Sat & day before hol. 11:00~2:00
• Closed: Jan. 1

♣St. Patrick’s Day Offer♣
3/16 (Sat.), 3/17 (Sun.): Kirin Lager & Guinness ¥600/pint (tax incl.), Jameson ¥300 (tax incl.)

British Pub Morris Red Fox

7F Stage 1 Nishidori Bldg., 2-1-4 Daimyo, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka
• Tel.: 092-771-4774
• Open: Mon. ~ Thu. 17:00~1:00, Fri., Sat. & day before hol. 17:00~4:00, Sun. 17:00~24:00

♣St. Patrick’s Day Offer♣
3/16 (Sat.), 3/17 (Sun.): Kirin Lager & Guinness ¥600/pint (tax incl.), Jameson ¥300 (tax incl.)

The Craic and Porter

2F Kusano Bldg., 3-5-16 Tenjin, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka
• Tel.: 090-4514-9516
• Open: Mon. ~ Sun. 18:00~3:00

♣St. Patrick’s Day Offer♣
3/15 (Fri.) & 3/16 (Sat.) 18:00~4:00, 3/17 (Sun.) 15:30~2:00. Traditional Irish music, free shots of Jameson’s and Baileys and discounts on beer with pints from ¥500 ~ ¥800!

St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Fukuoka

St. Patrick’s Day (Mar. 17) is a day for fans of Irish music, dance, beer and spirits to get together. To celebrate, parades are held in Ireland and all over the world on or around Mar. 17. Since 2014 Fukuoka has celebrated St. Patrick’s Day with a parade inside the Shintencho shopping arcade. Wear something green, the Irish color, or come in fairy costume if you’re feeling creative for the costume contest! There will be lucky draws too, and a pub crawl after the parade. Soak up Irish culture with music and dance!

• 3/17 (Sun.)
• Parade: 13:30~ (reception: 13:00), Irish music and dance: 14:00~15:00, pub crawl: 17:00~
• Shintencho Shopping Arcade
2-9 Tenjin, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka

St. Patrick – Unraveling the Man from the Myth

Who was St. Patrick? His name is more closely associated with Ireland than even that of Bono, the charismatic front man of the country’s most famous rock band, U2. Indeed, an old wives’ tale has it that while Christ will judge all nations on judgement day, St. Patrick will be the judge of the Irish. For all that, the man remains an enigma and his life shrouded in mystery.


What we do have is a general idea of his early life, the details of which have come straight from the horse’s mouth in his letter, the Confessio (Declaration). The Confessio is one of only two surviving Latin letters written by Patrick and gives a short account of his life and mission. In it, he states that he was born to wealthy parents in Roman Britain (around the beginning of the 5th century A.D.) and that his father was a Christian deacon. At sixteen, he was kidnapped by Irish marauders and spent six years enslaved as a shepherd in Ireland. It was this time in captivity that awoke his religious calling, rather than any family influence (ironically, it has been suggested that his father’s vocation had more to do with tax incentives than piety). Lonely and isolated, tending sheep on the mountains under a cruel master, he turned to God for comfort. After six years, he received a vision from God telling him to flee Ireland.

A few years after returning home to Britain, he writes that he experienced a second dream in which the voice of the Irish implored him to return to their shores. He underwent years of religious training and is said to have returned to Ireland as a missionary in 432 A.D. (a date which should be imprinted in the memory of any Irish person worth their salt!).

From this point on, the details of Patrick’s life become engulfed in a melting pot of fact and fiction. The most famous of Ireland’s three patron saints (the other two are Brigid and Columba) is somewhat of a legendary figure. St. Patrick has been credited with introducing Christianity to Ireland, using the three-leaved shamrock in his teachings of the Christian dogma of the Holy Trinity (three divine beings in one God). Legend also has it that he banished snakes from the island.

So where does the myth end and the man begin? Apart from Patrick’s own writings, most of what we know of him comes from biographies written almost two centuries after his death, or from stories passed down the generations through word of mouth. Understandably, then, closer inspection pokes holes in many of the accounts of his achievements.

One influential theory holds that there had in fact been two “Patricks”: Patrick and Palladius. T.F. O’Rahilly created uproar in 1942 when he suggested that much of what has traditionally been associated with Patrick in fact relates to Palladius, another Christian missionary of the time. For instance, St. Patrick could not have introduced Christianity to Ireland because Palladius had been preaching there before him. Further shattering the myth, it is claimed that there was already a Christian community in Ireland when Palladius arrived, and that his mission was more concerned with ministering to its members than converting pagans.

Nonetheless, by Patrick’s own admission in the Confessio, he “baptized thousands of people”. Although it is possible that he used the shamrock in his evangelical teachings, it does not appear in his writings. There is, however, evidence to suggest that Patrick converted the Irish with the help of the symbols and rituals of their prior nature-based pagan religion.

He was, by all accounts, a man of the people and the owner of an unusually winning personality. Rather than alienate the Irish by denouncing their pagan practices, he incorporated some of them into his preaching. In a nod to their sun worship, he superimposed a sun onto the Christian cross – creating what is now called the Celtic cross. Indeed, he even went so far as to hijack the pagan sun festival “Bealtaine” (Byowl-tin-a), when the High King traditionally lit the first fire of spring on Slane hill. In a bold show of defiance that earned him the respect of the people, Patrick lit the fire himself, in honor of the Christian feast of Easter rather than Bealtaine.

Finally, while the absence of snakes in Ireland is held up by many as proof that St. Patrick did indeed banish those unpopular creatures from the shores of the Emerald Isle, the truth is that post-glacial Ireland never had snakes! It seems more likely that this particular legend is metaphorical in nature, referring to the serpent symbolism of the Druids (the pre-Christian ‘priests’).

So, although many of the life achievements attributed to the saint may in fact be tall tales, perhaps Patrick’s greatest accomplishment has been posthumous – the commemoration of his death date brings joy of a distinctly green hue into the lives of people across the world every March 17th.

Symbols of Ireland

Flag: The national flag of Ireland is a vertical tricolor of green, white and orange. It is held that the green represents the Catholic majority and the orange the Protestant minority, with the white symbolizing peace between them. Green has long been identified with Ireland and its nationalist movements. Stemming from their historical support of King William of Orange, the color orange is emblematic of the Protestant community that is loyal to the British crown. The flag was allegedly inspired by the tricolors of France and Newfoundland.

The Harp: From ancient times right up to the present day, the harp has been the foremost emblem of the Emerald Isle. Featuring on Irish coins since the Middle Ages, it is also emblazoned on the Presidential flag, as well as on passports and all official documents. An age-old musical tradition in Ireland, the harp is said to have attained its status as a national symbol during the reign of Brian Boru, High King of Ireland from 1002-1014, who played the harp. In Celtic society, each clan had a residential harp player who wrote songs in honor of the leader and often accompanied bardic poets.


The Shamrock: The shamrock is a three-leaved clover. Its name is an anglicized version of the Gaelic diminutive word for clover, “seamróg”. The shamrock is a registered trademark of the Irish government and an instantly recognizable emblem of Ireland around the world. It is often placed in an Irish bride’s bouquet and groom’s boutonniere for good luck. Legend has it that St. Patrick used the shamrock to explain the Holy Trinity of Christianity to the pagan Irish. It is traditionally worn on March 17th and is dropped into the last pint of the day as part of the custom of ‘drowning the shamrock’.


The Irish in Japan

Lafcadio Hearn (1850-1904): Hearn was influential in spreading knowledge of Japanese culture to the English-speaking world in the nineteenth century. He came to Japan late in 1890 and spent his remaining years here, eventually marrying and adopting the Japanese name of Koizumi Yakumo. His best-known works are his collections of Japanese fairy tales and ghost stories (see “Kaidan”: Stories and Studies of Strange Things).

Thomas James Waters (1842-1898): After a catastrophic fire in 1872, the governor of Tokyo commissioned Waters to redesign Ginza, the city’s famous shopping district. The sturdy, brick buildings he designed made Ginza a symbol of Japan’s rapid modernization and his grid-like street plan remains to this day.

John William Fenton (1828-1890): In addition to composing the original version of Japan’s national anthem, Kimi Ga Yo, Fenton is regarded as the father of brass band music in the country. His legacy lives on, then, in the daily sufferings of countless tuba-wielding high school students.


St. Patrick’s Day Around the World

• The first ever St. Patrick’s Day parade took place not in Ireland but in Boston, USA, in 1737.
• Every year, the Chicago River is colored green with forty pounds of vegetable dye in honor of St. Patrick’s Day. The tradition dates back to 1961, when sewer workers discovered that the dye they used to detect leaks into the river was the perfect “Irish” shade.
• Boulder, Colorado, is thought to have the shortest St. Patrick’s Day parade – stretching only half a city block.
• St. Patrick is also the patron saint of Nigeria, and students are typically given the day off on March 17th. Irish missionaries were the principal evangelizers of Nigeria, which is now home to about 20 million Roman Catholics (14% of the population).
• In Japan, parades take place in nine different locations across the country, including Tokyo, Kyoto and, in Kyushu, Kumamoto.

Chicago River dyed green for St. Patrick’s Day.

Irish Eats

Breakfast: The “Full Irish” or “fry”. True to its name, the fry is a diet disaster comprised of several fried foods including; bacon rashers, sausages, fried eggs, black pudding (blood sausage), white pudding (type of sausage made with oatmeal), fried tomato, baked beans, and sautéed mushrooms.

Lunch: Smoked salmon on buttered brown soda bread. With supple, translucent flesh and a smoky aftertaste, Irish smoked salmon is a delicacy. Cold smoking at 37° C does not cook the fish, giving it its unique texture. Sliced and served on moist, nutty brown bread, there is nothing better for a rumbling tummy!


Dinner: Irish stew. A traditional stew often includes Guinness, in addition to lamb, potatoes, carrots, onion, celery, herbs, and lamb or beef stock. All the ingredients are chucked into a pot and simmered for several hours, ensuring rich flavors and melt-in-the-mouth tender meat. It simply can’t be beaten for its heart-warming properties!

©Jenny Mealing

Irish Drinks

Irish Stout: Irish stouts tend to be drier and have a richer, more toasted flavor than their international counterparts. Guinness is, of course, the most iconic (and delicious) but there are a number of other fine examples, including Beamish and Murphy’s.


Whiskey: The word ‘whiskey’ comes from the Gaelic “uisce beatha”, which means ‘water of life’ (draw your own conclusions about the national drinking habit there). There are literally too many excellent varieties to mention here but beginners are advised to kick off with Redbreast 12 Year Old, straight, no ice.


Poitín: Like some types of shochu, this “Irish moonshine” is often distilled from potatoes. With alcohol by volume rates as high as 95%, it’s no surprise that Poitín was outlawed in Ireland until as recently as 1997. Thankfully, the brands available legally today (try Knockeen Hills or Bunratty) are unlikely to blind or kill you.

Fifteen Things You Didn’t Know About Ireland

1. Contrary to popular belief, the Irish are not the world’s top beer drinkers. Nonetheless, with an annual per capita consumption of 131.1 liters, they are in second position, pipped only by the Czechs who guzzle an astonishing 156.9 liters per person.
2. The most popular Irish drink may well be non-alcoholic! The Irish drink more tea per capita than any other nation in the world. Three quarters of the population are tea drinkers, with an average consumption of 4-6 cups per day.
3. In contrast to the stereotype, Ireland is not home to the highest percentage of redheads in the world. They are in fact most common in Scotland (13% of the population), followed closely by Ireland at 10%.
4. Arthur Guinness started the first Guinness Brewery in Dublin in a property he leased for 9,000 years at a perpetual rate of 45 Irish pounds per year.
5. It is said that the Irish saint Brendan discovered America 1,000 years before Columbus.
6. Muhammed Ali’s great-grandfather, Abe Grady, was born in Ennis, County Clare and emigrated to Kentucky in the 1860′s.
7. A traditional Irish hangover cure was to be buried up to the neck in moist river sand.
8. The “Oscar” statuette of the Academy Awards was designed by Cedric Gibbons, who was born in Dublin in 1823. One of MGM’s top set designers of the 20th century, Mr. Gibbons went on to win a dozen of them himself.
9. Bram Stoker was working as a civil servant in Dublin when he wrote Dracula in 1897.
10. The original White House in Washington was designed by Kilkenny-born architect James Hoban after he won a competition sponsored by President George Washington and Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson in 1792.
11. The island of Montserrat is known as “The Emerald Isle of the Caribbean”. There is a shamrock carved above the door of the governor’s home and many place names and family names on the island are Irish. This is because the island was originally settled in 1633 by Irish Catholics, who came from the nearby island of St. Kitts.
12. Gulliver’s Travels writer Jonathan Swift is buried in St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin.
13. Scenes in the 1956 movie Moby Dick that took place in New Bedford, Massachusetts were actually filmed in Youghal, County Cork.
14. US President Barack Obama’s maternal great, great, great grandfather Fulmuth Kearney came from Moneygall, in County Offaly. Mr. Kearney emigrated to America in 1850.
15. It is tradition in the US to eat corned beef and cabbage on St. Patrick’s Day. However, the custom is not, in fact, Irish. Corned beef was substituted for the bacon of the traditional Irish dish by Irish American immigrants in the late 1800′s. Irish immigrants living in New York City’s Lower East Side learned about this cheaper alternative to bacon from their Jewish neighbors.

Originally written in Feb. 2010. Updated in Mar. 2019.
Copyright Fukuoka Now – including all text, photos and illustrations. Permission required to re-use in any form. Meanwhile, feel free to link to to this page.

NOTE: The information presented here was gathered and summarized by the Fukuoka Now staff. While we have done our best to check for accuracy, there might be errors and details may have changed. If you notice any errors or changes, please contact us. This report was updated in Feb. 2018.

Original guide published in Fukuoka Now Magazine (fn135, Mar. 2010).

Fukuoka City
Published: Mar 8, 2019 / Last Updated: Mar 15, 2019

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