Finding a kebab in Fukuoka has never been easier! In late July Yukihisa “Yuki” Abe a former professional soccer player in Spain, France and Australia opened the cute and compact take-out Guru Guru Chicken shop in Daimyo and already has a growing legion of repeat customers. Yuki specializes in juicy chicken kebabs made with all handmade and selected imported ingredients. Choose between three sauces Tomato, Yogurt, or his original Sesame and enjoy! Well portioned and only Y500 each, but so tasty you might want one more!
Save Money On Ramen!
Two things. First – we hope you have picked up a copy of the NEW Summer edition of that wonderful and practical map of Fukuoka City – “Now Map”. If you haven’t, well, what are you waiting for? Do you know how to get to the Asahi Beer Factory for their free tours and free samples of beer? Well, you would if you had a Now Map in your bag!
Next – in the summer edition there’s a Y200 off coupon for ramen at “Ramen Stadium” inside Canal City. Try some of the best ramen from all over Japan – and save Y200. Details inside the map. Get your “Now Map” at JR Hakata Sta. Info Desk, the Info Desk next to the police box near Mitsukoshi Dept., Rainbow Plaza, or Kokusai Hiroba.
By Any Means – In Kyushu
Charley Boorman, actor, adventurer, and all-around fun guy swept through Kyushu for two days beginning on July 30. Long-time Fukuoka resident Humphrey Smith and motorcycle aficionado extraordinaire was asked to co-ordinate Charley’s journey through Kyushu for the filming of “By Any Means 2″ an upcoming BBC TV series and DVD. In the series Charley uses any and every mode of transport to get from Sydney to Tokyo. In the original “By Any Means“ (between Ireland and Sydney) Charley used no less than 112 modes of transport! In 2004 he and actor Ewan McGregor traveled 20,000 miles on motorcycles for a 10-part TV series ”Long Way Round” and then a similar in “Long Way Down” which took the duo from Europe to South Africa.
Humphrey’s son Tarquin escorted Charley from Kagoshima to Kumamoto by three different kinds of train. Then from Kumamoto to Beppu Charley doubled Tarquin on the back of Emiko’s Moto Guzzi V7 Classic, while Humphrey doubled the cameraman Claudio aboard his majestic Hesketh V1000. Nick Szasz rode solo on his Moto Guzzi Griso 8v. Charley loved the winding country roads in Aso, but found Mt. Aso’s volcanic sulphuric fumes a bit too floral for his senses. More photos and some videos posted on the Fukuoka Now blog at http://fukuokanow.wordpress.com
Vroooooooom – it’s Rally Time!
Calling all motorcyclists in Kyuhsu! Join us on Oct. 11 between 11:00 and 16:00 at Asobo no Sato Kugino in Minami Aso for a casual get together. We have a gorgeous location with a killer view of Mt. Aso reserved. It’s ideal for a picnic, and there is both food and drinks available. No reservations, no fees, just show up! It’s called the “Kyushu Moto Guzzi Rally”, so we expect a good number of older and some newer Guzzis to show up, but all brands of bikes are welcomed – except noisy and obnoxious kind, and no alcohol, and no littering please! More information access: http://tinyurl.com/mg-kyushu
Isla de Salsa 2009
The sun shinned on “Isla de Salsa” the annual border-less music festival held on Jigyohama Beach. It was two full days of non-stop live entertainment on a huge stage on a sandy beach. Truly an idyllic setting! Lots of oishii food, drinks, dancing and smiling faces. The climax was Juan Luis Guerra performance before a crowd of over 2,500 on Sunday night. Check out our gallery of 175 photos on our website: www.fukuoka-now.com/gallery
Fukuoka Now also took memorial photos of 140 festival attendees – check them out too!
The next time you are near Kawabata Shopping Arcade, consider stopping by the Hasegawa shop near the Meiji-dori entrance. Their main business is selling Buddhist altars for Japanese homes, but they also have many small items rich in Japanese culture that make great gift ideas and souvenirs. For example: incense, Buddhist prayer beads and figurines. Browse the display of altars; they range from simplistic to ornate. Be sure to take the elevator to the third floor where they have some very special museum pieces and the famous platinum-leafed tea room! It’s open every day between 10:00 ～ 20:00. Tel: 092-271-0275
Recipes of Fukuoka
Here’s some oishii joho for foreigners interested in Fukuoka’s local cuisine. Akiko Tsuda (PhD Cultural studies MEd TESOL), Norio Matsukuma (National Registered Dietitian, Licenced Cook), and Thomas (Tom) Caton (MA TEFL) – all of Nakamura Jr. College teamed up to publish what is believed to be the first cook book focused on recipes particular to Fukuoka. The 80-page book is divided by season and also contains information on how to prepare some basics of Japanese cooking and a useful glossary. The photos are excellent too. The book sells for Y1,575 and is available at all major book stores. Tom, originally from Dorset, U.K. has lived in Fukuoka since 1995 and enjoys cooking, especially nabe dishes (hot pots) and anything with oysters!
New Jets Land
Another marking of summer is the arrival of the “freshies” otherwise known as the new JETs. This year 42 brave souls have been dispatched to the front lines (public schools) around Fukuoka Prefecture to teach foreign languages and to entertain the natives. Pictured here, the rookies are, in a tradition dating back nearly eight years, are fed meat and beer before heading off on their missions. Fighto! Fighto! Gambare Gaikokujin!
More photos online! www.fukuoka-now.com/gallery
Summer Yukata Party 2009
Nearly 350 people attended Fukuoka Now’s Summer Yukata Party at La Boheme Qualita. This year even more guests wore either yukata or jinbei. First prize (bottle of Mums Champagne) for our summer fashion contest went to a surprise entry, while the second and third was awarded to some pretty women in pretty yukata – so no surprises there! Be sure to join next this event next year – and check out the photos in our gallery www.fukuoka-now.com/gallery