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(English) Sky Aquarium at JR Hakata City

(English) The rooftop garden of JR Hakata City is home to “Sky Aquarium” until the end of August. Originating in Roppongi Hills (Tokyo) this event comes to Fukuoka for the first time. Although the aquarium space isn’t on a large-scale, it’s worth a visit to see a range of incredible sea creatures including the “Banded Houndshark,” “Marbled Cat Shark,” and other 2m-long sharks. Disney/Pixar fans will be excited to see a tank full of “Nemo and Dory” fish from “Finding Nemo”. Roll up your sleeves and prepare to get your hands wet on August 30 (Sat.) and 31 (Sun.), with a touch pool event. The Sky Aquarium is open 10:00~23:00 until the end of the month; it’s ideal for a family outing or a romantic date.

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(English) X On The Beach 2014

(English) On the sandy shores of Jigyohama, Seaside Momochi, this massive DJ beach party will go off on Sunday Aug. 24! Presented by Oyafuki-dori’s Club X, with four special guests: Zeeabra, DJ Stranger Candy, DJ MK Ultra, and DANCER Bass Bot, plus other DABO, BIG RON and HI-D and pole dancers. After-party at Club X includes a foam-party too – wet and wild for summer!

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(English) Japanese Pop Culture at Hakata City

(English) It looks like another rainy summer’s weekend for Fukuoka, but that doesn’t mean you have to stay at home. Japanese pop culture fans could do worse than to check out some of the events at JR Hakata City this weekend. First stop is Hakataekimae Hiroba where you’ll find a huge 9m tall inflated Pikachu bouncy castle. Kids can bounce inside of Pikachu (¥300/5min) or play fun Pokemon-themed games outside like “Fishing Stunfisk” (¥300/game) with cool prizes. Adults can take photos with the huge Pikachu too, on display until Aug. 17 (Sun.). Next stop is the “Nyan Station” cat-themed pop-up shop on Hakata Hankyu’s 8F. You’ll find a selection of cat iPhone cases, bags, accessories, and more, plus booths to make cat toys and pottery from Aug. 17 (Sun.)~19 (Tue.). Miyawaka City’s cute cat-themed mascot “Sakura-chan” makes a special appearance at the “Nyan Station” on Aug. 16 (Sat) and 17 (Sun) too! Finally there’s “Gacha Gacha World”, a collection of 300 capsule-toy vending machines on Hakata Hankyu 7F until Aug. 26 (Tue). Don’t dismiss this as an event for kids only – these toy vending machines have recently been marketed to appeal to adults too. The 300 vending machines are divided by section by gender and age, and range in price from ¥100~¥300. You’ll find funny toys like the “iPhone futon case”, character toys like Mickey Mouse, Rilakkuma, Anpanman and even some nostalgic characters such as “The Very Hungry Caterpillar”! There are also trivia stations where visitors can learn about gacha gacha (capsule toys)! Get your dose of J-pop culture and have a great weekend!

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(English) British Pub Morris Black Sheep 3rd Anniversary DJ Party

(English) British Pub Morris’ Black Sheep turns three this Saturday (8/16), and is celebrating with cheap drinks and good times at their popular anniversary DJ party. Bring your friends and wish them a happy anniversary as you enjoy the following drink specials: from 7pm, a pint of Guinness or Kirin Ichiban is ¥600 (usually ¥880), and the first 100 customers can enjoy a Bluemoon (330ml bottle) for ¥500 (usually ¥750, 100 bottles only, limit one bottle/person 7pm~). Kanpai!

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(English) Chikuzen Nakama River Festival

(English) Held during the Obon season every year on 8/15 (Fri.) and 8/16 (Sat)., this festival includes a fireworks festival and traditional lantern event along the riverbed of Onga River opposite Nakama City Hall. Toronagashi is a memorial event in which participants light lanterns and set them afloat down the river, symbolizing the sending of the spirits of ancestors back to the spirit world on the last day of Obon 8/15 (Fri.). Take part in this Japanese traditional event (floating water lanterns avail. for ¥1,000 on the day). The Obon Dance also happens on 8/15 (Fri.), and the firework finale is on 8/16 (Sat.) with a display of 5,000 fireworks!

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(English) Dukes of Surf – Live at Agora Fukuoka Hilltop Hotel & Spa

(English) Hot News! Honolulu-based surf-rock band “Dukes of Surf” will perform live on Aug. 29 (Fri.) and 30 (Sat.) on the terrace of Agora Fukuoka! Not only can you enjoy their live music, but also the Agora’s special summer Beer Garden service which features a do-it-yourself charcoal BBQ of all-you-can-eat steak, prawns and more from the buffet. All that and the one of the best skyline views of Fukuoka. If you haven’t heard about the “Dukes of Surf” check them out on YouTube now. Their debut single “Waikiki” was one of the top of Japan music charts. In addition, their debut album was nominated for Hawaiian Grammy’s Award “rock album of the year” in 2013. The three members: Fish, JP, and Jimmy, grew up in different beach towns across the USA (Hawaii, New York, and California) but all have the same taste in music and hobbies (surf, beaches, and more). This a rare chance to see them perform live – and at such a cool venue. Highly recommended!

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(English) Fukuoka Now Guides

(English) Here at Fukuoka Now we like to share the best of Fukuoka with the foreign community. Our English seasonal guides are always popular, whether we’re sharing tips on cherry blossom or autumn leaves viewing, giving a rundown on major festivals in Fukuoka, or explaining the ins-and-outs of recreational activities such as motorbiking, hiking or event hunting in Fukuoka! Check out some of the past guides below, and if you have an idea for a guide you’d like to see us make, get in touch at contact@fukuoka-now.com.

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(English) Picture Book Museum 2014

(English) Attracting around 4,000 visitors each year, the Ehon (Picture Book) Museum has been a popular summer for all ages since its launch in 2007. Children love exploring the collection of 1,000 picture books and various activity booths. This year’s theme is “Wonderful Adventure,” and refers to real and imagined journeys made in the past and present. Special contents provided by famous picture book author Taro Miura too! Open everyday between 7/25 ~ 8/17, it’s the perfect opportunity to get immersed in the world of picture books with a little one – or alone (you’re never too old!).

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Treasure of the Walt Disney Archives

(English) Treasure of the Walt Disney Archives

(English) Opening Aug. 6 at Fukuoka Mitsukoshi, this exhibition celebrates the magic of the Walt Disney Company – now almost 90 years old! Learn about the history of Disney from 1923 to 2013 through the display of art, publicity art, costumes, props, and figures from famous movies including “Toy Story,” “Mary Poppins,” “Beauty and the Beast” and more! Limited edition toys and reprinted picture books are on sale too.

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(English) Hakata Port Tower 50th Anniversary Event

(English) Celebrations for the 50th anniversary of Hakata Port Tower started on Aug. 1, including the “Hakata Bay Stamp Rally”. Designed by Tanaka Naito (who later worked on Tokyo Tower and Tsutenkaku) and built in October 1964, the landmark tower stands at 100m tall in the Hakata Bay area. To take part in the Hakata Bay Stamp Rally, collect stamps at ten locations. If you collect more than 3 stamps before Aug. 31, enter the draw to win cool prizes and tickets! The ten locations are Bayside Place, Hakata Futoh 1st Terminal, Hakata Futoh 2nd Terminal, Hakata Futoh Bus Stop, Fukuoka International Center, Fukuoka Sun Palace, Fukuoka International Congress Center, Marine Messe Fukuoka, Hakata Bay International Terminal, and Nanotsu Okan. Other 50th anniversary events include an Anniversary Ceremony, Hakata Bay Photo Contest, 50th Anniversary Sunset Cruise and a Night Cruise.

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