The opportunities for gift-giving will increase with Christmas and New Year’s approaching. Happily, several new shopping spots perfect for gift selection have opened their doors in Fukuoka. The new East Building for Canal City Hakata debuted in September with many shops catering to the young by offering fast fashions and other casual wear, as well the first Kyushu outlet of Sweden’s H&M. The site has been packed with shoppers since the day it opened.
For a more adult look, there’s Barney’s New York, which opened the same month in Tenjin. This upscale department store was established in 1923 in New York, and is renowned for its selection of refined merchandise. The Fukuoka store is its fifth in Japan, and the entire store is decorated as if it were a work of art. It has a luxurious feel that makes shopping a delight. Their extensive selection of items for men also makes it the perfect place for gift shopping.
The Tenjin district has many department stores and shopping buildings, and a new shopping facility opened this spring in the Hakata Station building. That means you’ll never be at a loss for places to shop in Fukuoka. Another convenient aspect is that you can visit several shops in one day. The Tenjin district and Hakata station are separated by just a few minutes by subway or bus.
In contrast, Tokyo has many shops that sell a wide variety of merchandise, but it takes time to go from shop to shop. Because the stores in Fukuoka are concentrated in a relatively smaller area, shoppers can enjoy going from place to place in a short amount of time. It’s often said that Fukuoka’s urban functions are contained within a compact space, and that strength is clearly demonstrated in its shopping areas. That’s another of the many appealing features of the very livable Fukuoka.
Originally published online for Fukuoka Now magazine (Dec. 2011)