1-2 Sumiyoshi, Hakata-ku, Fukuoka
Yanina Seifermann, Japanese language student and shopper extraordinaire, shares one of her favorite spots for retail therapy…
Canal City is a large shopping mall in Hakata, coloured in red and divided into five sections. People often refer to it as the “city in the city”. It offers a wide range of shops and entertainment that attracts many local and international visitors.
Opened in 1996, it now counts 250 stores, 60 restaurants, two hotels (including the Grand Hyatt hotel), a theater, a cinema, a game centre and also interesting attractions, such as the Ramen Stadium on the 5th floor. Canal City South is an extension to the original design (connected to the first building by a walkway), which houses Desigual, Uniqlo and Shakey’s Pizza.
The name of the mall refers to the artificial canal running through the middle of the complex, which allows the sky to peek through and provides a nice spot for visitors to relax with a cup of coffee and enjoy this mall’s unusual architecture. Fountains are set into the middle of the canal and every 30 minutes they give a beautiful water show, set to a soundtrack of classic movie themes. On weekends you can watch live acts including music, comedy and kids entertainment on the canal-side stage. Visitors will likely get lost in the many, unique stores of Canal City, both Japanese and international.
Shops: 250, 60 restaurants, 2 hotels, 1 theater, 1 cinema.
Size: 5 floors
Target age(s): Any age
Ginren Card: Yes
Duty Free: 114 and one tax return counter
☆ MUJI (3F)
☆ Uniqlo (1F)
☆ ABC-Mart (3F)
☆ MUJI (North Bldg., 3F)
You can find a huge branch of MUJI, the store famous for simple and elegant homeware and clothing, spread over two floors of the North Building. Not only does MUJI offer a wide range of interior design products, but it also has a food shop full of interesting snacks, a cafe and a book store. It’s the best place to look for classy and functional items that will give your home a touch of sophistication.
☆ Donguri Kyowakoku (South Bldg., B1F)
Donguri Kyowakoku is a small store that sells Studio Ghibli-themed items. It’s a great place to shop for cute souvenirs for friends, and, of course, it’s the perfect chance for all you Studio Ghibli fans out there to buy a little something yourself; whether it is a Totoro hand towel or a keychain featuring your favourite Ghibli character.
☆ Francfranc (East Bldg., 4F)
This store holds two floors of elegant and beautiful interior design pieces, ranging from small pieces, such as decorative articles for your bathroom and kitchen supplies, to furniture for your living room or bedroom. If you are looking for unique interior design items to spice up your home, then you’ll want to stop by Francfranc.
☆ Moomin Bakery & Cafe (Center Walk South Side, B1F)
One of the most popular attractions for girls, couples and families is the Moomin Bakery & Cafe. You can share your table with a large Moomin soft toy, surrounded by wall-to-wall Moomin-inspired decoration. Order one of the many cute Moomin themed lunch options or sweet treats.
☆Ramen Stadium (5F)
Ramen Stadium came up with the interesting concept to offer a variety of ramen in one convenient location. There are eight ramen shops serving ramen from different corners of Japan. It’s a great opportunity to try new styles of ramen that you usually wouldn’t find in the same city, let alone within 200 m of each other. Three of the ramen shops are: Kanadaya (try their creamy tonkotsu soup), Kizou (popular for their beef tongue ramen) and Menya Houten (try their black Hakata ramen).
☆ Cold Stone Creamery (1F)
This ice cream shop can be best described as an entertainment ice cream cafe. They offer their customers the chance to choose from a wide range of ice cream flavours and toppings, then mix these together on the “cold stone”. The staff even sings an adorable song for you while preparing your ice cream. If the sheer variety of flavours and toppings is too overwhelming, they have a menu of Signature Creations. Prices range from ¥500 for a regular portion up to ¥960 for a large.
• Wi-fi is available throughout the complex
• 4 ATMs – they accept Visa, Plus, Mastercard, Maestro, Cirrus, Union Pay, JCB, Discover,
Diners Club Int.
• United Cinemas (4F, South Building)
• Canal City Theater (4F, North Building)
• Free rentable stroller (1F information desk, Crystal Canyon)
How to enjoy Canal City?
For Children: Children can play with the cute ALSOK information robot that wanders the floors of Canal City. Canal City also offers a schedule of regularly changing attractions for children, such as water cannons and sprinklers in the hot Fukuoka summer (these are advertised throughout the building). There are three bathrooms specially designed and decorated for children: B1F North bldg., B1F South bldg., and on 3F. There are also nursing corners and changing rooms for mothers that come with a baby.
For Men: There are many shops with men’s fashion, such as Setting Cracks (1F), The North Face (3F), Mind Blow (1F) and Schlussel (1F). Mind Blow in particular has a cool design and sells good quality menswear. Also popular is the game centre Taito Station (4F and 5F), which has over 200 different machines, including virtual games, crane games and many more.
For Women: There are many clothes shops for women in Canal City; the 13 constellations shop (B1F), for example, sells trendy fashion and reasonably priced accessories, Cecil McBee (2F) offers elegant clothing, and Lush (2F) sells organic and handmade cosmetic products. A great place to get a manicure or pedicure is Nails Unique LA (2F). For a fun break from shopping, why not visit the many photo booths in Taito Station (5F), where you can take pictures with friends and edit them straight afterwards on a big touch screen (giving yourself huge eyes or cat ears)? There are also many cafes where one can relax and take a break, great if your arms are straining under the weight of all your new purchases.
Canal City is only a 10~15 minute walk away from either the JR Hakata Station or Tenjin Station. It’s also right around the corner from Nakasu, the famous amusement district. Only a three minute walk away from Canal City is a collection of yatai stalls, which are very popular for dinner. Chat with the locals and look out over the river as the bright lights of the nearby clubs and bars reflect on the water.
Public transportation: ¥100 loop bus from Tenjin or Hakata Station departs every 15 min.
There are 2,500 parking spots in Canal City. For detailed information and parking costs check Canal City’s parking guide here:
Address: 1-2 Sumiyoshi, Hakata-ku, Fukuoka
Open: Opening hours vary (approx.: 10:00~21:00 shops, 11:00~23:00 restaurants)
Official website link: http://canalcity.co.jp.e.jx.hp.transer.com/