(English) Hakata Hanami – Sakura Illumination

(English) Anyone who has passed through JR Hakata Station at night this month has had the pleasure of seeing the sparkling Sakura Illumination outside the station. The 160,000 pink LED lights on the trees and 20m cherry blossom video screen mark the 10th anniversary of the Kyushu Shinkansen, and the 3rd anniversary of JR Hakata City. The display is by Hakata Machizukuri Sushin Kyogikai, and showing from 18:00 to midnight every night until April 20. Source: Nishinippon Shimbun 3/2

Read More 3月. 19, 2014, 16:36

(English) Food Capital Fukuoka Event – This Weekend!


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(English) Ichiran Popular in Hong Kong

(English) More than six months have passed since Ichiran opened its first overseas shop in Hong Kong last July, and its popularity shows no signs of waning. “The taste of the pork bone broth and the atmosphere is like no other,” enthused a twenty-something female patron. The shop averages 1,500 visitors on typical a weekend day, far more than Ichiran’s shops in Japan, and the number of repeat visitors is growing. As opposed to Kyushu, where most people enjoy harder noodles, Hong Kong’s ramen fans like their noodles soft. Slowly but surely, ramen is becoming another mainstay of Japanese cuisine abroad, like sushi. Some Ichiran officials worried that the restaurant’s unique single person seats might not work in Hong Kong, but they tried the Japanese shop layout anyway and it seems to have worked. The company plans to increase seating from 36 to 90 this summer and has an eye on New York City for its second shop overseas. Source: Nishinippon Shimbun 3/18

Read More 10:08

(English) Fukuya Opens Restaurant in Hong Kong

(English) Fukuoka-based spicy mentaiko maker Fukuya has opened a Japanese restaurant specializing in mentaiko dishes in Hong Kong. Called Tararanya, the restaurant is Fukuya’s first overseas. It aims to expand its sales channels while promoting “mentaiko culture”. Located in the bustling Causeway Bay district, the restaurant will be operated by a wholly-owned local subsidiary. Dishes include mentaiko tamagoyaki, sushi and potato salad, and about 40% of the menu contains mentaiko. Fukuya has set a monthly sales target of ¥5.5 million. This is Fukuya’s first foray overseas since it established a subsidiary in Singapore last April to conduct mail order sales of mentaiko. Source: Nishinippon Shimbun 3/13

Read More 3月. 17, 2014, 10:35

(English) Fukuoka to Establish MICE Bureau

(English) This April, Fukuoka City will open a MICE Bureau inside the Fukuoka Convention and Visitors Bureau in an effort to attract more internal conferences and trade fairs. MICE stands for meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions. Last June, Fukuoka was one of five cities selected for Tourism Agency funding to promote efforts to attract international conferences. In 2012, the city hosted 252 international conferences, the most of any designated city in Japan, but the overseas research and sales capacities of the Convention Bureau were insufficient. City Hall decided to open the new MICE Bureau to bolster these efforts. The MICE Bureau will have a staff of around 20, including employees seconded from local tourism companies. The City is also recruiting two new staff members to handle sales.Source: Nishinippon Shimbun 3/14

Read More 10:32

(English) Oto Town Aims to Draw Visitors with Dog Run

(English) Oto Town has announced this it will build a dog run facility on town-owned land in fiscal 2014. The town has budgeted ¥193 million for the facility which will include rehabilitative hot springs and an all-weather dog run. Located next to a Roadside Station on the Oto-Sakura Road, the town hopes people will leave their dogs at the dog run while they go shopping. The town will designate a company to operate the facility, which is expected to attract 70 canine visitors a day. Detailed information, including usage fees, is still under consideration.Source: Nishinippon Shimbun 3/13

Read More 3月. 14, 2014, 17:10

(English) City Zoo Gaining Popularity

(English) The Fukuoka City Zoo has admitted over 880,000 visitors in fiscal 2013 and is fast approaching the 900,000 mark. Coinciding with its 60th anniversary last August, the Zoo opened new leopard and sun bear facilities in September, and these have proven popular. The Zoo is now preparing to accept Chachamaru, a male lion born last May at a zoo in Kitakyushu, and this new addition expected to attract even more visitors. Chachamaru is set to arrive on 3/18 and will be unveiled to the public on 3/21. If the Zoo tops the 900,000 visitor threshold, it would be the first time it has done so since 1993. Source: Nishinippon Shimbun 3/13

Read More 17:08

(English) Happy White Day

(English) March 14, White Day, an oft-queried calendar date, is claimed to have been initiated by popular Hakata confectioner Ishimura Manseido in 1977 by way of suggesting men to give marshmallows in return for the Valentine’s Day chocolates they received the month before. As other confectionary companies joined the bandwagon, the day became known simply as White Day, but it started here in Fukuoka! What do you think about White Day? If you’re a man, will you be giving a White Day gift today? If you’re a woman, did get something nice? Happy White Day from the team at Fukuoka Now! Read more about the origin of White Day (in Japanese)

Read More 11:15

(English) Powerful Earthquake Rattles Kyushu


Read More 7:39

(English) HK Express Announces Fukuoka Flights

(English) Hong Kong’s only low-cost carrier HK Express announced a new flight from Hong Kong to Fukuoka commencing April 10, 2014. They are promoting Fukuoka as an “emerging hotspot on the Asia explorer’s “must-see” destination list”, praising it as a gourmet paradise and a great alternative to Tokyo. Mr. Andrew Cowen, Deputy CEO of HK Express commented, “I have no doubt that Fukuoka, HK Express’ 10th destination, will prove to be an extremely popular destination for Hongkongers.” One-way flights from Hong Kong to Fukuoka will cost around HKD $920 (¥12,800~), not including taxes and other charges. Flight UO636 departs Hong Kong at 13:05 daily, arriving in Fukuoka at 17:25 local time. The return flight UO639 departs Fukuoka at 18:00 daily and arrives in Hong Kong at 20:35. The LCC also announced additional flights to and from Osaka and Seoul each week, due to strong demand, also commencing April 2014. HK Express commenced flights on 27 October 2013 from their home in Hong Kong, as Hong Kong’s only low-fare airline.

Read More 3月. 11, 2014, 17:31
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