Enjoy the night of Hakata at the famous yatai and on the Hakata Boats
Nakasu has that feeling of an old downtown with its shrines and avenues. Around the year 1600, a delta area was created from the piling of sand and earth in the Naka River to link Hakata and Fukuoka which was the origin of Nakasu. It developed as an entertainment area for Hakata with places like stage theaters and movie houses being built, followed by establishments for drinking and eating to form a large flourishing amusement quarter. Even now, it is a neon-covered area that is the largest entertainment district in Kyushu and is known for the famous Fukuoka yatai streets, so that when night falls, the locals flock to the area to enjoy dishes like ramen and oden at yatai that number in the dozens. The recently popular Nakasu Hakata Boats are tatami-seated Japanese-style yakatabune where you can partake in gorgeous meals using fresh ingredients from the sea while sailing atop the Naka River which cuts through the center of Hakata and getting a 360-degree view of the lovely Nakasu nightscape of neon. The boats operate every day of the year and advance reservations are absolutely required. Also, in Hakata Kawabata Shopping District, which is Fukuoka’s oldest commercial area, Kushida Shrine and shops selling traditional crafts and Japanese confections are all lined up along with trendy fashion outlets, restaurants and cafés to provide a great reason for a walk.
Nakasu and its historic festivals
Nakasu, which is at the heart of Hakata, also holds historic festivals. In May, there is the Hakata Dontaku that has been continuing for 835 years which involves about 20,000 citizens taking part in a parade while doing their own performances. The 750-year-old Hakata Gion Yamakasa is a Prefectural Intangible Folk Cultural Property and a July summer festival with the magnificence of floats decorated with dolls made by master Hakata dollmakers and the spectacle of one-ton floats to be carried called kakiyama. And there is the Nakasu Festival in October that was started to create a more cheerful city to drive away any notion of a bad economy.