Comfort Hotel Hakata
Phone: (81) 92 431-1211
Fax: (81) 92 431-8015
Arts & Museums
Although founded in 806 by the scholar-priest Taishi Kobo, giving it the longest history of any temple in Fukuoka, the Tochoji Temple is housed in mostly modern buildings and gives the impression of being a place of active worship. Inside the main hall, you will find an 11-meter, 30-ton daibutsu (Buddha statue). Other noteworthy objects include the tombstones of the lords of the Kuroda clan, examples of calligraphy by the artist-priest Sendai, a thousand-handed statue of the goddess of mercy (designated an important cultural asset), and the calligraphy of the temple's founder, Taishi Kobo.
Tucked away deep in the heart of Nakasu-kawabata, this small museum dedicated to a fleeting age in Japanese history is a great destination for history buffs. The building itself is one of the few structures in Fukuoka that survives from the Meiji era (1868-1912). Inside, visitors can steal a glimpse of what life might have been like during this tumultuous era of modernization. Local crafts are showcased as well, including some live craftsmen. Visitors with some Japanese ability will find the audio-exhibits devoted to the local dialect particularly interesting. An attached souvenir store sells every craft ever produced in Fukuoka.
This unique museum is anything but dull and stuffy; it is a testimony to the most brilliant contemporary artists in Asia, who deserve as much attention as Euro-American greats. Featuring a wide variety of works from photography to painting to sculpture, the museum also has interactive and media-related exhibits. Many of the pieces on display reflect the social realities of poorer Asian countries with tremendous impact. During certain times, you can even watch artists at work in the open studio. The museum shop contains mainly Asian artifacts, with some reproductions of work on display also available. Admission is JPY200 for adults, JPY150 for high school students, and JPY100 for children.
This gallery is small and not very well known, meaning there are few people in it. That is not to say that the items on display are not worth your appreciation. Takumi Gallery has different exhibitions from month to month, but all of them feature the work of local and regional artists. Sculpture, pottery and other handcrafted works are common. The artists themselves are also frequently present to answer questions (or maybe cut a deal on a piece of artwork). If you are in the ACROS Fukuoka building with some time to spare, do drop by.
One of the premier art galleries in the city, the Mitsubishi-Jisho ARTIUM was opened in 1989 as a cultural initiative by Mitsubishi-Jisho. Since then, the gallery has garnered an esteemed reputation in the art circles of the city, having presented the works of artists of national as well as international repute. Focusing entirely on Contemporary Art, this gallery strives to display various genres of art, thus creating a platform for a comprehensive artistic exchange. The gallery also features a Corner Shop, selling stationery, postcards, accessories and more. See the website for further information.
The museum sits in a quiet corner of Ohori Park. The first floor is devoted to pre-modern Japanese and Asian works--including sculpture, painting, tea ceremony objects, and calligraphy--and also houses lecture and reading rooms. The second floor deals mainly with modern art and has galleries devoted to 20th century artistic trends, local artists, and modern Japanese-style paintings. Important works in the modern collection include those by Andy Warhol, Joan Miro, Marc Chagall, and local artists Shigeru Aoki and Hanjiro Sakamoto.
While this center is actually designed for Japanese-speaking residents, visitors will find some of the activities rather fun (besides educational) and not to be found elsewhere. In unique simulation rooms, you can experience just how jolting a level-7 earthquake is, or see how well you stand up to typhoon-force gales. For children, the experience may be unforgettable--can't you remember when you were taught to "stop, drop, and roll" if you are on fire?
Located in the beautiful Momochi District, this architecturally exquisite museum houses an impressive collection of artifacts, both ancient and new, from Japan and Asia. There are also a number of educational facilities, including an information service center, an Asian experience room, and a reading room. Admission is only JPY200 for adults, JPY150 for students, and JPY100 for children. Group rates available for parties over 20.
This small showroom by the Fukuoka Tower features hundreds of dolls and figurines made in the region. There is a JPY300 charge to enter. Although there are a number of styles to speak of, the most important are the Hakata dolls. Hakata dolls are unique to Fukuoka, and make great gifts. Unlike porcelain dolls that you see elsewhere, these are fired in a kiln. While more elaborate dolls can put you back several hundred thousand yen, smaller ones may only cost you a few hundred yen. The history of these dolls dates back to 1600, when, in commemoration of the completion of Maizuru Castle in Fukuoka, a local slate-maker offered to Nagamasa Kuroda, the ruling lord, a doll made of the same material with which he worked. A number of refinements were introduced over the years, and the doll eventually received its name in 1890, at a doll show in Tokyo. In 1976, the government designated the Hakata Doll as a traditional national art.