August is a great time to live in Fukuoka! Anyone who lives in Japan knows that the weather during the early part of the summer can make it a joyless place. It’s hot, it’s sticky and it’s really just no fun whatsoever, but as summer continues, everything starts to get better.
In Fukuoka, by August it feels like the humidity has begun to ease off and it finally feels nice to be outside in the open again. This is doubly true of the summer evenings which are cool and welcoming, and where you can walk the streets of the city, take in its buzz and see all that it has to offer.
There is a buzz around the city because it is filled with places and activities, some that are only open during the summer months, which are perfect for the cooler evenings of late August.
1) Fukuoka Night Market
Fukuoka’s Night Market has an alternate, underground vibe that makes it well worth visiting. It is usually made up of lots of arts stalls as well as plenty of places to buy some food and have a drink. The line-up of what is displayed changes from week to week, so describing what you can expect is a challenge.
All I can say is that the last time I visited the night market there were lots of arts stalls selling Japanese and South Asian art, plenty of places to buy yourself a beer or some Kakigori, a DJ playing slow techno music, and a guy with his own paddling pool who said I was very welcome to come and join him in.
Every Saturday until August, 30
17:00 – 23:00
Fuku-haku Deai Bridge area (Tenjin Central Park)
2) Beer Gardens
For me, summer begins and ends in a beer garden and there are many of them in Fukuoka. Almost all of the beer gardens you go to will have a set all you can drink price, along with either all you can eat food or a set course of food. The price will vary depending on where you go but usually it ranges between 4000 to 5000 yen, depending on the venue.
My personal favourite is the Beer Garden at the Agora Hilltop Hotel which has a beautiful view of the city, and Heineken as its beer of choice. Equally impressive is the Cruise on the Mariera, which whilst not technically a beer garden, also has wonderful views of the city as it cruises around the harbour over the course of the evening.
Either way, there is nothing better than drinking a few cold beers after a long summer’s day, and Fukuoka’s Beer Garden’s are the place to do it!
Agora Hilltop Hotel Beer Garden
• July, 11 ~ September 15
• 17:30 ~ 21:30
• 90 min all-you-can-eat and drink
• Adult ¥4,000, JHS~19 years: ¥3,500, 3 years~ES: ¥2,500, Under 3: ¥1,000
• 1-1-33 Terukuni, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka
• June, 1 ~ September, 30 *Reservation required two days in advance
• Twilight Cruise (17:00 ~ 18:30) ¥4,700 / Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays
• Dinner Cruise (19:00 ~ 20:50) : ¥5,500 / Daily
• All-you-can-drink + Steak plate + Side dish plate
• Mariera 3F deck
• Ship departs Bayside Hatakta Futo 13-6 Chikkohonmachi, Hakata-ku, Fukuoka
3) Camping on Nokonoshima Island
Nokonoshima Island is just a 10 minute boat ride from the city and is easily accessible from both Hakata and Tenjin. The island offers a perfect change of pace from the city, and is renowned for the many varieties of flowers that it produces (August is typically Sunflower season).
Best of all there is a camp site near the beach area where you can turn up empty-handed, rent a tent and BBQ and enjoy an evening away from the city. It’s definitely an interesting choice if you are looking for a weekend adventure.
Fukuoka during the summer offers plenty of interesting and fun things for you to try. Whether that’s barbecuing on Nokonoshima, drinking a few ice cold beers at a beer garden or checking out the stalls at the night market, there is something for everyone!