From the moment you walk in The Lively—right into the open bar with a DJ—you’ll realize it’s not your typical hotel. A mix between posh and luxury with a sleek vibe that’s like IKEA on steroids is probably the best way to describe this tech-savvy hotel, located in Fukuoka Prefecture’s laid-back capital city of the same name.
A good choice for young solo travelers looking to mingle.
On Japan’s southwestern island of Kyushu, three hours away from Hiroshima, the coastal prefecture of Fukuoka serves as an international gateway due to its close proximity to other countries like South Korea and Taiwan.
It’s in the heart of Fukuoka city’s downtown Hakata district where you’ll find The Lively, opened in July of 2019 with the goal of giving travelers a place to interact with locals in a relaxed and affordable setting. Even if you don’t choose to stay here on your trip to the region, it’s also simply a great place to have a drink and chill.
A highlight feature? The first-floor bar
The Lively Bar on the first floor serves creative cocktails like shochu with a sweet potato foam that gets lit on fire!
If that’s too fancy for you, just grab a beer instead—it’s free from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Nobody will judge you for taking full advantage of the free-flowing brews.
In keeping with their high-tech theme, there’s a tablet for you to use to check-in instead of your typical boring front desk. The tablet can be used in a variety of languages, but multilingual staff are nearby to help you out if you get stuck.
Artsy but unpretentious
The rooms have a hipster, retro-pop design but don’t feel pretentious like other brands touting “luxury.”
A lot of The Lively’s funky atmosphere can be attributed to its homage to the local culture. The decor is scattered with graffiti-inspired art pieces and furnishings that were commissioned by local artists.
Notice the steel, factory-looking plates on the wall in your room? Those are a salute to Fukuoka city’s famed yatai food culture.
These night-time street food stalls serving chicken skewers and ramen can be found all over Fukuoka, and are a great way to experience the city like a local. The steel plates are the same as those used in the yatai.
Due to the hotel’s prime location near Fukuoka’s entertainment district, yatai are only a few steps away. Many girls bars and hostess clubs are also around the corner, so be mindful where you stumble off to after a few drinks!
Choose from a full-sized room or capsule pod
For the budget-conscious traveler who doesn’t want to stay in a dusty business hotel, The Lively even has a floor of affordable capsule rooms.
The high-tech “smart pods” set guests up with an iPod to control their bed position, temperature, and lights. A stay in the mixed-gender dorm will find you surrounded by walls covered with murals—though we’re not sure how we’d feel about staying in the pod with underwear-clad girls painted on the ceiling.
Don’t worry, even though the bathrooms for capsule pod guests are shared, they’re well-equipped and squeaky clean.
After making new friends or potential lovers at the bar, sleep it off in The Lively’s plump beds, and wake up to a Japanese-Italian fusion breakfast buffet. Couple your morning matcha latte with creamy sauteed mushrooms and black-colored charcoal pancakes. Trendy and delicious.
Book your stay at The Lively Hakata
The Lively is a great choice for everyone from young solo travelers looking to mingle, to business travelers in town for meetings, to families taking in the city sights.
Global Agents, the hotel’s real-estate developer, has nine hotels across Japan including their capsule “smart pod” brand The Millennials. However, we reckon the Fukuoka location just might be their coolest so far. The company is planning on opening a new location under The Lively brand in Osaka later this month, but Fukuoka’s lively atmosphere and chic design will be hard to beat. Stay tuned for the upcoming review!