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Fukuoka’s Nightlife : Check Out These Six Areas after the Sun Sets

From wherever you look at it, Fukuoka is a colourful coastal city. At night, this vibrant town turns up its hues, offering a few different facets and entertainment options. Fukuoka’s nightlife is centred in Nakasu Island, and spills out to nearby areas both in Hakata Ward and Tenjin.

CONTENTS

  • Nakasu Island

  • Haruyoshi, Nishi-Nakasu and Watanabedori

  • Daimyo

  • Imaizumi and Kego

  • Akasaka

  • Hakata Area

  • Nakasu Island

    Nakasu Island

    Nakasu Island

    The streets of Nakasu glow neon, leading to a bustling bar district. If that’s what you’re down for, check out one of the superclubs like the mighty Bijou. And here is as good a spot as any to add this reminder: like anywhere else, watch out for scams and look after yourself—if a helpful gentleman or young woman approaches you on the street in a bar district, consider that their advice might not be trustworthy.

    Nakasu Island

    Nakasu Island

    Also on this island but hidden in its backstreets is Ningyo Shoji bar alley. This maze of narrow streets is packed with old-fashioned bars each one with its own unique personality. You can hop in and out of places with ease, and get a good taste of the local vibe.
    Another popular entertainment option is heading to the Yatai stalls along the river and having a few drinks while rubbing elbows with local salarymen and other locals. In fact, having more than one drink means being allowed to stick around longer at the stalls.

  • Haruyoshi, Nishi-Nakasu and Watanabedori

    If you strolled through Haruyoshi in the morning to visit Yanagibashi Rengo Market, or visited Nishi-Nakasu on the way to Tenjin Central Park, you might have noticed the shuttered nighttime spots and restaurants that dot these neighborhoods along the river. The vibe is more restrained than Nakasu and the demographics skew a bit older than Daimyo; the scene here is izakaya and small pubs and bars. Carib Soul is a perfect example of what’s on offer here: at this tiny bar in an unassuming building, there’s a steady flow of reggae, rocksteady and jazz to accompany the drinks and conversation. Not far away, to the west, the Watanabedori neighborhood continues the theme, with small pubs and restaurants lining a handful of entertainment blocks, as well as smaller shops like Yumekichi, a comfortable wine bar.

    Carib Soul

    Carib Soul

    Carib Soul

    Run by Masa-san on the 2nd floor of what at first seems like an abandoned building, this bar specializes in Reggae music and latin jazz. The entrance is on a side street with a fluorescent sign guiding visitors up a short set of stairs. Here it feels more like approaching someone’s apartment, but don’t worry, just open the door and join Masa-san and his eclectic friends for a drink, good conversation, and chilled music.

    Lohas Beach Bar

    Lohas Beach Bar

    Lohas Beach Bar

    About three blocks down the street from Carib Soul, Mio-san, an upbeat woman from Okinawa, runs Lohas Beach. Also on a 2nd floor, this bar is full of good vibes and a very sociable crowd. As soon as you open the door, you are greeted with a joyful cheer. The interaction with the host and those sitting next to you will tempt you to spend a few hours here. The music selection is eclectic here and the staff are open to requests from the crowd.

    Yumekichi

    Yumekichi

    Yumekichi

    With a view out onto the canal, Yumekichi feels as if it could have been transplanted from Amsterdam, and the Northern European vibe continues inside, extending to a cellar of natural wine. Crack a bottle of Ribolla Radikon or another obscure natural or orange wine (the shop staff can recommend a few glasses to start with, if you’re a natural wine neophyte), enjoy some small plates from the menu, and soak up the atmosphere.

  • Daimyo

    Daimyo

    Daimyo

    Daimyo is the aging hipster that’s recently given up writing chapbooks in a tiny apartment in Flatbush to take a job in advertising and get an apartment in SoHo: the neighborhood is still cool but a giant Apple store has landed, and there’s the requisite Supreme and Bape shops, as well; the neighborhood retains Old Fukuoka charms, still has plenty of Bohemian cachet, and boasts a number of live houses, bars and art spaces. Stop at Craft Beer Brim, a good example of a Daimyo neighborhood spot, with plenty of interesting brews on tap, and then wander for live music or a DJ night at Brick, Queblick, Rooms, or any of the dozens of local venues.

    Coyote Ugly

    Coyote Ugly

    Coyote Ugly

    In a country where Zima is still on the menu and pop culture seized up around the time the Bubble burst, it makes sense that there’s a home in Fukuoka’s Daimyo neighborhood for an outlet of Coyote Ugly, a bar chain banking on the success of the 2000 film of the same name, featuring LeAnn Rimes and Tyra Banks (and the original Lower East Side bar). Waitresses and amateurs hop up on the bar to grind to early-2000s alt-rock bangers, cranking up the PG-13 fun until 3am.

    Desiderata

    Desiderata

    Desiderata

    Imaizumi, to the south of Daimyo, is the younger brother of that rapidly gentrifying neighborhood, with shops like Desiderata giving the live houses and pubs in Daimyo a run for their money. The proprietor of Desiderata is arrival from Tokyo several years ago, who has built a mellow hotspot with the best local and out-of-town DJs coming through and a deep collection of vinyl and mezcal.

    Morris' Black Sheep

    Morris' Black Sheep

    Morris' Black Sheep

    The British (or Irish) pub in Japan is a genre unto itself, when done right approaching authenticity but with some elements of Japanese drinking culture maintained. Morris' Black Sheep in the fashionable neighborhood of Daimyo is part of a miniature empire that includes Morris' Red Fox, Morris' Hippo, and Crafty Beer. On most nights, the chatter in the pub will be mostly in English, but there’s a fair share of locals, as well. If you want to make some new friends over a pint of cider and a plate of fish and chips, you’re not going to find a better option.

  • Imaizumi and Kego

    Imaizumi and Kego

    Imaizumi and Kego

    Two central neighborhoods, Kego and Imaizumi are popular with locals; Kego is quieter, with a handful of cocktail bars and narrow pubs hidden in multi-tenant buildings, while Imaizumi catches the spillover from the Daimyo crowd with its live houses and hip bars. Recommended in Kego is Caveman, a dark, masculine room that serves beer in steins and its bar snacks in neanderthal-approved sizes.

    Caveman

    Caveman

    Caveman

    Caveman

    Caveman

    The Kego neighborhood has its fair share of miniature pubs and snack bars hidden away in nondescript buildings, but before you start exploring, hit a sure thing: Caveman. The atmosphere is heavy on dark wood and brass, evoking a 19th century Mitteleuropean tavern. Apart from the deep menu of whiskey by the glass and a good selection of craft beer on tap, the kitchen turns out hefty orders of curry rice, roasted pork and small plates. Caveman is a great place to mix it up with locals, and maybe even get an invitation on to the next spot.

    Santeria Cafe and Diner

    Santeria Cafe and Diner

    Santeria Cafe and Diner

    In Imazumi we recommend Santeria Cafe and Diner, specially when looking for dinner and drinks in a western-style atmosphere. Open till midnight, "Santeria" offers an all you can drink option of Ebisu Meister draft beer that goes well with the wagyu dishes.

  • Akasaka

    Akasaka

    Akasaka

    The Akasaka neighborhood feels upscale and hidden, with tall trees sheltering the streets below. Yorozu Bar off Keyaki-dori maintains the atmosphere, serving tea and cocktails in an austerely beautiful space that marries Japanese esthetics and avant-garde design.

    Yorozu Bar

    Yorozu Bar

    Yorozu Bar

    Yorozu is known for tea and Japanese confections. When night comes, the handsome building opens out onto a quiet street and the sound of cicadas and the distant shush of traffic meets the soundtrack and chit-chat along the bar. A fine place for conversation and cocktails in Akasaka.

  • Hakata Area

    The Life Hostel Bar & Lounge

    The Life Hostel Bar & Lounge

    If you are in Hakata and looking for an international vibe, you must add The Life Hostel Bar & Lounge to your list of night entertainment. The young bilingual staff behind the bar will be happy to serve you a pint of Blue Moon beer or any cocktail of your choice, while spinning records in between. This bar is also frequented by locals looking to interact with foreigners and it’s highly likely you’ll be drinking well into the night while making new connections.

    Santeria
    Address
    Fukuoka Pref. Fukuokashichuouku Imaizumi 1-14-20 Eagle 71F
    Phone
    0927911186
    The Life Hostel Bar & Lounge
    Address
    Fukuoka Fukuoka Hakata Gionmachi 8-13
    Phone
    0922921070
    Desiderata
    Address
    Fukuoka Pref. Fukuokashichuouku Imaizumi 1-13-53F
    Phone
  • COYOTE UGLY SALOON FUKUOKA
    Address
    Fukuoka Fukuoka Chuo Daimyo 2-1-5 SG Building 4F
    Phone
    0927343030
    Address
    福岡県福岡市中央区赤坂2-3-32 赤坂MOKUZO1F
    Phone
    092-724-7880
    YUMEKICHI WINE
    Address
    Fukuoka Fukuoka Chuo Watanabe-dori 5-2-15
    Phone
    0927357117
    The Life Hostel Bar & Lounge
    Address
    Fukuoka Fukuoka Hakata Gionmachi 8-13
    Phone
    0922921070
    Santeria
    Address
    Fukuoka Pref. Fukuokashichuouku Imaizumi 1-14-20 Eagle 71F
    Phone
    0927911186
  • Dining bar Lohas Beach
    Address
    福岡県福岡市中央区春吉3-22-29 Zビル2F
    Phone
    092-726-6522
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