April 2014 Fukuoka Now

Finally! The winter is over and it’s time to set sail on Hakata Bay for a fresh air adventure! This month we learn about sailing in Fukuoka from Linda Saza, a long-time Fukuoka resident who brings us up to speed on clubs, schools, how to get a license, and more. We also introduce Fukuoka Sunset Sailing’s skipper Jaap Mulder. He can take you and your friends out on his gorgeous 10.75 meter catamaran for a spectacular sunset in Hakata Bay – or way beyond! Jaap is also the subject of our regular interview column. Learn why he and his wife prefer to live on boat (permanently!) Our restaurant pick this month is also related to the sea; we report on Minato-cafe Breath, a very unique cafe with a view of a shipbuilding yard. Not only a cool location, but tasty food and drinks too! Speaking of food, finding halal or Muslim friendly foods in Fukuoka has never been easy. So we’ve posted a guide to over 20 such establishments. Next, we began a new column called “Fukuoka Kau Kau”. Each month we ask a resident foreigner to select items within a set budget from a shop. This month Ali Khan takes the shopping challenge at Don Quijote Nakasu.

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Fukuoka Kau Kau: Don Quijote

Fukuoka is a compact city bursting with trendy boutiques, big department stores and everything in between; it’s a shopper’s paradise. We gave a foreigner a budget and a number of items to buy. What will he select? What would you select? Fukuoka Shopping Challenge START! 福岡は流行のショップや百貨店がコンパクトな街中にひしめく、ショッピング好きにとっての楽園。NOWの新企画Fukuoka Kau Kauでは、そんな楽園を訪れた外国人が予算内で何を買うか、をレポートします!

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City Bulletin April 2014

Selected news topics by Fukuoka Now from Fukuoka’s Shisei Dayori.

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Jaap Mulder

Jaap Mulder first sailed into Hakata bay with his wife Marijke in 1989, as part of a yacht race during Yokatopia Expo from Auckland, Fukuoka’s sister city in New Zealand. The pair, who have “always been on adventures”, had set off from their home in the Netherlands five years previously on a self-built boat. They have since left Fukuoka three times to travel the world, visiting over 50 countries by sea, yet the pull of “the bay, mountains, seasons, and some good friends” always brings them back for more. Alishan, their current vessel, is now moored in Meinohama port alongside luxury catamaran “Fu Kyo”, which Jaap skippers for Fukuoka Sunset Sailing. When not setting sail with his customers for an evening jaunt, he enjoys running, hiking and fishing, and helps out at the local fish market. Jaap says Japan is a “cruising paradise” as the sailing scene is still relatively quiet, it’s safe and easy to moor a boat and there are many secret spots to discover – starting with the islands around Fukuoka, of course.

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Minato-café Breath

Breath is a hidden gem of a cafe in the labyrinthine back streets of Minato. Seven years ago, the owner fell in love with the old house located next to a shipyard and turned it into a cafe. Everything but the columns and beams had to be renovated, but the steep staircase, creaky floorboards and tables made from recycled wood give the cafe a cozy, nostalgic feel. The best seat in the house is at the 2nd-floor window. Here, you can watch ships being built and gaze out at the Aratsu-Ohashi Bridge on the Urban Expressway. Whether you want to enjoy the scenery, curl up with a book or get some work done (outlets and Wi-Fi are available), Breath is a place where you can make yourself at home any time of the day. You can sample some delectable homemade sweets, have a meal, enjoy a coffee or sip on something a little stronger. On the first floor, there are “rental boxes” where artists and handicrafts makers display and sell their wares. There is also a unique trade-a-book shelf: take whatever you like as long as you leave one of your old books in return.

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Torikai Hachimangu Spring Festival “Hyakka Ryouran”

Here’s an unique way to enjoy the beautiful sakura blossoms. For two days this weekend Torikai Hachimangu holds their Spring Festival combining art, live music, DJs, outdoor dinning, and sakura all within the shrines’ grounds. Also for those looking for some extra luck in marriage or romantic relationships, special Enmusubi (direct translation: love knot) prayer [...]

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Global Village 2014

This four-day international food and cultural festival aims to unite people from the world in Fukuoka. Fill up on world foods, shop at the bazaar, and enjoy folk songs and dances. Participating nations include Iran, Peru and India. Celebrate Baishakhi Mela South Asian new years’ on the 27th.

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Fukuoka International School Spring Festival

A day of international food and fun. Fresh international cuisine, flea market, face painting, lively kids’ games, and entertaining on-stage performances. Big prizes to win in the lucky number raffle. Bring your family, friends and neighbors for a fun-filled day out!

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Sake Hopping Hakata

Although Kyushu residents are faithful to shochu, the popularity of sake is on the rise! Kyushu’s first sake event gathers 9 specialty sake stores, 9 sake breweries and one soy sauce maker. Entry includes a souvenir cup, which you can fill with sake for ¥300. Food from ¥300~ too!

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Art Aquarium

Over 2,500,000 visitors have enjoyed this fishy exhibition across Japan, now it comes to Hakata! Live goldfish swim in tanks, with impressive lighting and video projection creating stunning scenes. Have a drink at the “Night Aquarium” after 6pm, and chill to DJs on weekends.

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