Hakata, Nakasu, Tenjin and Fukuoka are packed full of varied nightlife spots. The city of Fukuoka is popular with tourists from all over the world, and here you'll find convenient options such as tickets for food stall tours and taxis that provide Hakata ramen tours. There are lots of great clubs too, making Fukuoka an ideal destination if you want to dance the night away. If you're more of a coffee drinker, check out the night cafés that stay open until the wee hours. For an unforgettable experience, head to Fukuoka Tower and take in the sweeping night view with a glass of wine. Looking at the Hakata district from an open-top bus or cruise ship gives yet another pespective on this fascinating place. Here we take a deep dive into the essential night attractions of Fukuoka and its Hakata ward.

    1

    Fukuoka Tower

    Selected as one of Japan's "100 Greatest Night Views", Fukuoka Tower is the leading seaside tower in Japan, giving a panoramic view of Fukuoka from 123 metres above the ground. There are plenty of attractions inside. At the "Sky Illuminations" area on the 3rd floor, phosphorescent stones scattered on the floor sparkle like stars at night. And at Refuge Sky Café & Dining on the 2nd floor, you can enjoy cocktails and wine while watching the evening and night views from a completely glass-sided space. At night, Fukuoka Tower is lit up with seasonal illuminations. From illuminations taking inspiration from Valentine's Day and cherry blossoms through to the Milky Way, Halloween, and Christmas, there's always something spectacular to see here.

    Location: 2-3-26 Momochihama, Sawara-ku, Fukuoka 814-0001, Japan

    Open: Open from 9.30 am to 10 pm

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    2

    Tour of food stalls in Nakasu

    At night, the activity in Hakata is all about the Nakasu food stalls. These stalls used to have a bad reputation for their unclear and often expensive billing practices. But these days, with the increase in international tourists and the popularity of smartphone payment services, even some of the oldest stalls are willing to accept payment by PayPay or credit card. One such stall is Hakata Nakasu Yatai Koryu, which you'll find at the entrance to Nakasu. It specialises in white oden, Hakata Mizutaki (foods boiled in water or dashi), and Yaki-chanpon (a dish of grilled noodles, seafood and vegetables). Other excellent food stalls include the likes of Hakata Yatai Nakashu Juban, Yatai Daifuku, and Nasuno Daihachi. For details, check the official food stall map of Fukuoka City, which covers all the food stalls in the city.

    Location: 4-1 Nakasu, Hakata-ku, Fukuoka City, Fukuoka Prefecture 810-0801, Japan

    Open: Open Monday—Saturday from 7 pm to 2 am Closed on Sundays

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    photo by Ethan Kan (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified

    3

    Use the Food Stall Ticket to tour stalls in Tenjin and Yakuin

    If you're new to food stalls, it's a good idea to buy one of the Food Stall Tickets sold by NPO Idea Kyushu. This single ticket can be used at any of 12 affiliated food stalls in the Tenjin-Yakuin area, with a ticket entitling you to 1 drink and 1 recommended dish. Naka-chan in Tenjin offers a dish of Tonpei-yaki and a glass of beer, while at Hakatakko Junjo Yatai Kiyanagi one ticket gets you a drink and a half-portion of doughy gyoza dumplings or ramen. You'll also find food stalls serving Okinawan menus, French food, freshly-fried crispy tempura and much more besides. Food Stall Tickets are sold at the Fukuoka City Tourist Information Centre and Tenjin Tourist Information Centre.

    Location: 1-2-1004 Tenjin, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka 810-0001, Japan

    Open: Naka-chan Open from 7 pm to 2 am Irregular holidays

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    photo by Thomas Au (CC BY 2.0) modified

    4

    Tour Hakata ramen shops with a "Ramen Taxi"

    Hakata ramen is the quintessential Hakata specialty. Thin, chewy noodles are served in a cloudy tonkotsu (pork-based) soup, and you can typically get extra portions of noodles to soak up any leftover soup in your bowl. Ramen began life as a dish that would quickly satisfy the appetites of workers in the market, and if you want to tour a number of different ramen shops the best option is to take a ride in a "Ramen Taxi". This service involves a local taxi driver carefully selecting shops for you to visit from among the many ramen shops in Fukuoka City. In the evening, you can rent a taxi for 2-hour slots between 4 pm and 8 pm to visit several ramen shops in the area around Fukuoka City Hall. If you're planning to sample ramen at a few different places in quick succession, it's a good idea to ask for ramen shops that offer half-bowls.

    Location: 1-8-1 Tenjin, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka 810-0001, Japan

    Open: Open from 4 pm to 8 pm

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    5

    Fukuoka Open Top Busf

    The Open Top Bus tours major sightseeing spots in Fukuoka City. The "Fukuoka Kirameki (Fukuoka Tower) Course" starts at 8 pm in front of Fukuoka City Hall, and takes in sites such as Kushida Shrine, Hakata Port Tower, Aratsu Ohashi, Fukuoka PayPay Dome, and Fukuoka Tower. The view from the city highway on the open-top bus is worth the ticket alone. This is a great way to enjoy evening and night views of Fukuoka. The journey takes 80 minutes. In summertime there's also a 70-minute tour around Fukuoka Airport that offers impressive views of planes taking off and landing.

    Location: 1-8-1 Tenjin, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka 810-0001, Japan

    Open: Kyushu Bus Center Open from 8 am to 7 pm

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    photo by Tokage854611 (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified

    6

    Night cafés

    If you're more of a coffee lover than a boozer, make sure you check out Hakata's night cafés. The area is full of cafés that roast their own beans and stay open until late at night. SHIROUZU COFFEE ROASTER is one such café located on the Kego-hondori street right in the middle of Fukuoka. It stays open until midnight on weekends, so you can always stop by after dinner and enjoy some siphon coffee and homemade cakes. At Manu Coffee, a chain that has a few shops in Chuo-ku, make sure you check out the stylish interiors and beautiful latte art. There's also a decaf menu, so can still enjoy a cup even if caffeine keeps you awake. Other noteworthy Hakata cafés include Corduroy Café and REC Coffee. Take a tour, sample the coffee, and find your favourite place.

    Location: 2-15-10 Kego, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka 810-0023, Japan

    Open: Open from 8 am to midnight Irregular holidays

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    7

    Tour of bars in Nakasu

    Hakata really comes to life at night. The area is well known not only for its food stalls, but also for its many excellent bars. A tour of the bars in Hakata and Nakasu will give you a night to remember. A good starting point is the famous Mitsubachi Hakata bar, which pretty much everyone here in Hakata is familiar with. Its popularity is thanks in part to 30-metre-long river view bar from which you can see the lights of the streets and food stalls of Nakasu reflected on the river surface. Why not try a cocktail together with a trendy food option such as Bagna càuda made with sun-grown vegetables? Then you can go on to have drink at unique bars such as Bar Higuchi, an authentic bar with cigars and 1,200 bottles, and NIKKA BAR Nanashima, which was founded in 1958 and is still manned by the same famous bartender who is now more than 80 years old.

    Location: 1F 5th Hotel EAST, 3-4-6 Haruyoshi, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka 810-0003, Japan

    Open: Hakata Mitsubachi Open from 6 pm to 4 am Closed over New Year holidays

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    8

    Nakagawa Water Bus

    Hakata is a waterside harbour town, so what better place to view it at night than from a boat? On the 30-minute "Nakasu Cruise" you can enjoy views of the lively cityscape from the Nakagawa River. You'll depart from Fukuhiro Deai Bridge (Tenjin Central Park Platform) and view the downtown area of Nakasu, the stalls along the riverside, and Canal City Hakata. There are also on-board performances of singing and dancing. The water bus runs daily from 4 pm to 10 pm. The 45-minute "Hakata Bay Cruise" departs from Tenjin Central Park at 7 pm and heads for Hakata Bay. This cruise gives brilliant night views of Fukuoka Tower, Fukuoka PayPay Dome, Hakata Bayside, and other sights.

    Location: 6-6 Nishinakasu, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka 810-0002, Japan

    Open: Please check the official website for cruise details.

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    photo by そらみみ (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified

    9

    Hakata Meibutsu Umakamon-dori

    Hakata's famous Umakamon-dori is a foodie spot that the locals love, but it's something of a well-kept secret. In fact, it's a back alley that runs parallel to Suikyo Tenmangu Shrine in the Tenjin area of Fukuoka's Chuo Ward. The street is lined with unique eateries such as authentic Indian curry shops, places to drink where you can also enjoy seasonal tempura, Italian bar-restaurants, yakitori restaurants, and art gallery cafés. One of the must-try lunch options is the mackerel restaurant Makoto, which is famous for its single grilled mackerel. In the daytime there's only a set meal of salted mackerel, but in the evening you can sake, and sweet potato shochu while snacking on seasonal sashimi and blue mackerel. This back alley is the playground of Hakata gastronauts, so it's definitely worth exploring. To get here, take the subway train to Nakasu-Kawabata Station and then walk for about 5 minutes.

    Location: 1-15-3 Tenjin, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka 810-0001, Japan

    Open: Open from 11 am to 1.45 pm Open from 5 pm to 10.30 pm Closed on Sundays and holidays

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    10

    Clubbing

    Hakata in Fukuoka is a city of music and has produced countless popular musicians. Some say there's no better place for clubbing than Fukuoka. Ibiza Fukuoka is the most popular new club in Hakata. This vast club located on Tenjin Nishi-dori has a floor area in excess of 750 square metres. Each floor plays a different style of music, so you can take your choice. In summertime there's also a VIP space with terrace seats. It is also possible to move freely between Ibiza Fukuoka and the Cat's club on Oyafuko-dori. Other top clubs include the relaxed, grown-up CLIPS and the more energetic CLUB INFINITY FUKUOKA. Hakata is one of the best places in Japan to dance the night away.

    Location: 6F THE SHOPS, 1-12-56 Daimyo, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka 810-0041, Japan

    Open: Hours vary by venue. Please check the official websites for details.

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    Attractions and experiences recommended in our guides may be affected. Please check local guidance before you travel.

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