|Located on Kyushu Island, the south of Japan, Fukuoka is usually warm but sometimes gets cold with the sea breeze from the Japan Sea and occasionally sees snowfalls.
From late November to Christmas, Fukuoka will become filled with festive mood, with the Tenjin area, Canal City Hakata and the Hakata Station area all decorated with beautiful lights!
Come new years day, until about the 3rd of January, a lot of people will pay visit to shrines and pray for the good fortune in the new year.
From the 2nd of January, the shops and stores in Tenjin, Hakata and many other areas in the city will have new year’s bargain sales. This is the best time of the year to purchase clothes and other items for more reasonable prices. (Please note that many shops and public facilities are closed from the 1st to 3rd of January. It is recommended to confirm in advance if the places you are visiting are open.)
Tokaebisu Festival is held in January and Setsubun Festival in February. You will surely be able to enjoy these Japanese traditional festivals!
Visit Yokanavi.com for winter sightseeing information of Fukuoka
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The whole city of Fukuoka will be decorated with Christmas lights from late November. The popular tourist spot, Canal City Hakata and other commercial facilities in the city will be dressed up with a variety of illuminated trees and ornaments, and Christmas cakes and gifts will hit the shop shelves.
- Christmas in Fukuoka: all over the city from late November to Christmas day
Among other spots, Kego Park in this season is especially worth visiting. The whole park will glitter with lights and also host Christmas events.
At Canal City Hakata, you will be able to see “Chandelier of Woods” (seen in the cover photograph of this issue) and many more.
At the Seaside Momochi area, Fukuoka Tower, the symbol of Fukuoka, will be decorated with 108 meter-long Christmas lights, and blue lights twinkle in the surrounding area.
Uminonakamichi Seaside Park, Marine World Uminonakamichi (aquarium) will also hold Christmas events.
http://www.city.fukuoka.lg.jp/showcase/english/theme/db_object_15.html(The pictures are downloadable)
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For tourists who want to enjoy shopping, new year’s bargains are the ones not to miss.
- New Year’s Bargains: in January all around Fukuoka City
New year’s bargains usually start on the 2nd of January. Some shops will start as early as the 1st of January.
At new year’s bargains, many people rush to the shops, trying to get their “Fukubukuro (lucky bags).” Canal City and Marinoa City start bargain sales on the 1st of January, and the shopping district of Tenjin area usually starts on the 2nd. After that, from January to February, many shops will sell items at a discount of 10 to 50 percent. This is a great chance for you to buy your long-wanted items.
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New years day is an important time of the year for Japanese people. From around the midnight on new year’s day until about the 3rd of January, people go out with families and friends to visit a shrine and pray for the good fortune of the new year.
Popular shrines in Fukuoka include Sumiyoshi Shrine, Kushida Shrine and Hakozaki Shrine. Sumiyoshi Shrine is located within 10 minute-walk from JR Hakata Station and here you can try lottery with the help of Fukumusume (literally, good fortune girls) and may be able to win a prize that brings you a good fortune. Kushida Shrine is in the vicinity of the popular tourist spot, Canal City Hakata. It is dedicated to the god of commerce and attracts a lot of visitors during new year’s holidays.
Hakozaki Shrine is known for its dedication to the god who drives away bad fortunes and bring victory. Professional baseball team and soccer team of Fukuoka also pay visit to this shrine in new year’s holidays. From 1 p.m. on the 3rd of January, a ritual festival called Tamaseseri will be held at the shrine. Men in loincloths fighting in groups to get a wooden ball makes a great scene that you cannot miss!
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The new year’s event of Tokaebisu Shrine will be held from the 8th to 11th of January. Everyday during the period, the shrine never ceases to attract visitors. One of the greatest moments in the period comes around 3 p.m. on the 9th when you can see many Geisha performers in formal kimono dress pay visit to the shrine (event called Kachimairi).
Tokaebisu Shrine: 7-1, Higashikoen, Hakata-ku, Fukuoka City
website : http://www.tooka-ebisu.or.jp/
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The 3rd of February is called Setsubun and marks the end of winter according to the lunar calendar. Every year on the day since Edo Period, Kushida Shrine has traditionally held a festival to pray for the eviction of bad fortunes. If you walk through the mouth of the Japan’s biggest mask of Otafuku (a women of good fortune), which will be set up under the shrine gate for the day, you will be able to see a bean throwing ritual, dance of devils and monsters disguising themselves to pay visit to the shrine. Besides these, a lottery event and street stalls will create a great festive mood.
Tochoji Temple located within 3 to 5 minute-walk from Kushida Shrine will also hold Setsubun Festival.
There will be a special stage set up in front of the main hall of the temple, where gods of good fortunes will appear and cheerfully scatter beans to bring in good fortunes and kick away the bad ones. They sometimes scatter not only beans but sweets, rice cakes and fruits! If you want to scatter beans from the special stage, you can apply with the donation of 5000 yen. Also at the festival, the statue of a multi-armed Buddhist deity, which is designated as an important national cultural property and become open to public only three times a year (Feb. 3rd, Jun 15th, Oct. 20th), will be exhibited.
[Kushida Shrine] 1-41, Kamikawabata-machi, Hakata-ku, Fukuoka City
[Toshoji Temple] 2-4, Gokusho-machi, Hakata-ku, Fukuoka City
http://www.city.fukuoka.lg.jp/showcase/theme/db_object_44.html(The pictures are downloadable)
http://www.city.fukuoka.lg.jp/showcase/english/theme/db_object_44.html(The pictures are downloadable)
http://www.city.fukuoka.lg.jp/showcase/korea/theme/db_object_44.html(The pictures are downloadable)
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