Comfort Hotel Saga
Phone: (81) 952-36 6311
Fax: (81) 952-36 6312
1-14-38 Ekimae-chuo, Saga, JP, 840-0801
- Phone: (81) 952-36 6311
- Fax: (81) 952-36 6312
This elegant Noh theatre (could Noh theatres be anything but?) is not hard to find. Overhead road signs direct you there from Meiji-dori, and it occupies a prominent position in Ohori Park. It only seats a few hundred, making it much smaller than Hakata-za, but many of the performances here are free to the public! Since Noh is usually over 10,000 yen, this is quite a generous treat, and the drama is always performed quite professionally. Perhaps it is a sad comment on the lack of interest many Japanese take in their own cultural treasures, but there are usually more seats open then occupied, even for free shows. The Rainbow Plaza newsletter is the best place to check for a schedule.
With a history that dates back to the 14th century, this colorful festival involves giant parades around the city. There are traditional performances and folk songs being played at huge sets that are specially erected for the event. With about 2 million spectators and participants in attendance, this is an immensely popular festival and is eagerly awaited every year. Definitely a must visit.
Located in the Hawks Town, Wonder Park is where you might want to head for some fun on a rainy day. Its facilities include a bowling alley, batting cages, billiard tables, karaoke rooms, and all the latest in Japanese video game machines. They even sell Zima beer inside the video-game room for YEN300! You can even reserve a billiard table.
With 10 screens, this new mega-theatre complex is expected to compete against AMC Canal City 13. Located in the popular Hawks Town which sees thousands of visitors everyday, AMC has reason for concern. This theatre will likely draw citizens in the west-end who do not want to go into the downtown area to see a movie. Parking is also free here within a 2-hour period.
This new concert hall is located in Hawks Town and tends to host Japanese acts that are not big enough to fill an arena. Some foreign acts, like Beck for example, have been known to do shows here as well. Zepp Fukuoka can accommodate several thousand guests depending on whether the show is general admission or assigned seating, and can even be rented for private parties, such as those for weddings. A bar inside sells a variety of drinks for 500 yen, and soft drinks for 300 yen. Other items like shirts and hats are on sale as well. Many concert-goers will be relieved to know that there are 1,260 coin lockers present.
Sponsored by Tiempo Iberoamericano, an organization promoting exchange between Japan and Ibero-America, Isla de Salsa is Japan's largest Latin festival. Now in its seventh year, the festival invites Latin musicians both local and world-famous. There is also a Latin dance show and contest, ethnic food stalls, and art displays. As the event is held by the beach on Nokonoshima, clothing requirements are minimal. Tickets are available at Ticket Pia, any Lawson convenience store, or at the Play Guide in Daimaru.
This cinema located in the Solaria shopping complex only has three screens (with seating for 377, 136, and 100 people respectively), but it is one of the nicer theaters in Tenjin, and will frequently sell out tickets. It would be wise to arrive here early for recent releases.
As at other Blue Note chains in Japan and America, the acts that play here are jazz and blues oriented, the service and atmosphere is luxurious, and the cost for tickets can seem exorbitant at times. The lights are usually dimmed, the food is good, and the music should create the right mood for a great date. But bring a thick wallet. Even after buying a ticket, you will still be spending some money. If you care to dine while enjoying the music, you can order snack dishes like chocolate or cheese. Heavier fare, like the spaghetti choices are available as well, along with beer and cocktails also. CDs of the performing artists are available at the counter.
Graf in Tenjin is popular among the metal and punk rock fans. Equipped with a stage, good system and eclectic lighting, minimal decor is crammed with revelers when the performances are going on. Serving drinks while the concerts are on, this hidden gem is a must visit for if you are a alternative music enthusiast. Some of their previous listings are Defeated Sanity, Kakaklysm and Nightrage.
This small concert hall faces Nagahama Park and can accommodate only a few hundred fans. But the fans this place attracts carry the energy of a few thousand. Most of the acts that play here are smaller, more intimate ones with die-hard fans. More famous overseas act who do not have a concert-arena-sized following in Japan (yet), like Phish, Ben Harper, and Radio Head to name a few, often schedule a tour-stop here. The inside is all black with a grungy general admission floor and a small balcony. There is a bar in the back from which you will get at least one drink, as the venue requires you to purchase a JPY500 drink ticket when you come in. Security may half-heartedly check your bags at the door, but is in general fairly lax, making drugs and/or cameras somewhat common depending on the act.
Fukuoka Symphony Hall is not only one of Fukuoka's greatest classical concert venues; it is also one of Japan's finest. The list of esteemed musicians worldwide who have played here is endless. The 3-story interior was desgined by Toru Yasunaga, concert master of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, and can accommodate 1,871 people, including four seats for the disabled (1667 when the orchestra pit is being used). Scheduling information is available on pamphlets outside the hall or through the website (note that there is an English version of the page at the bottom).
There are several transvestite bars and performances in Fukuoka City, but this place is perhaps the most well known (and perhaps its performers the most talented). You will never forget the evening you spent here. Inspite of the price, and its location along Oyafuko-dori, the place draws older, well-dressed clientele. VIPs, such as sumo wrestlers visiting for the Fukuoka tournament, frequently drop in.