Tenjin (天神) is Fukuoka's largest shopping district. You can find here, designer stores housed in towering retail blocks such as Tenjin Core, IMS, Vivre to the east, and Solaria Plaza Vioro to the west. There are also several large department stores, Iwataya, Daimaru and Mitsukoshi (all with food available.) Also, there are boutique areas, including Tenjin Chikagai, housed in a pleasant underground area adjacent to the Tenjin subway station and under Watanabe street. Nishi-Dori and Oyafuko-Dori (actually the same street, separated by Showa-Dori) contains a multitude of stores and restaurants, both mainstream and independent.
The Shotengai or shopping arcades are also good places to shop. In Tenjin, to the west of Solaria Stage you can find a shotengai with great deals and a used kimono store. Near Nakasu, across from Eeny Meeny Miny Mo (a large mall), you can find the Nakasu-Kawabata shopping arcade. Here you can find traditional paper goods, Noren curtains and inexpensive bakeries.
Over the past few years, the main shopping, eating and drinking area has been moving away from north Tenjin and the Oyafuko-dori street south towards Daimyo, Kego and Imaizumi. With a different feel to the commercial district of Tenjin, just to the west (past Nishi-dori) is Daimyo, an area filled with small, mostly independent shops, bars and restaurants. Plan on staying all day; for daytime shopping and eating dinner. On Sundays, this area is full of young people out shopping. For a similar feeling area, check out Kego and Imaizumi, two upcoming areas to the south.
A uniquely designed mall called Canal City, which houses clothing stores, restaurants, rare character shops - including a Studio Ghibli goods shop - and even a well-appointed theatre, is located midway between Tenjin and Hakata, next to the Nakasu entertainment district. If you have time, be sure to catch one of the hourly fountain shows held in the centre of the bowl-shaped complex.
Another large shopping area is the recently renovated Hakata Station area, called Hakata City.
It includes over 230 shops, restaurant floor, and roof observation deck. With regards to gift-giving, if you're pressed for time, take a quick look around the craft and boutique stores in Hakata Station before leaving. Many carry the white clay Hakata dolls that are unique to Fukuoka. Prices range from under ¥1,000 and up. Prices comparable to those found in Tenjin.
In case you are into cameras, computers or other electronics, you can find a huge Yodobashi Camera store right outside of Hakata station. Go out to the eastern side of the JR station (Chikushi Gate), go down 2 blocks and it will be on your right.
The latest large shopping area to open is Kanoha Mall Hashimoto, at the Hashimoto Station which ends
the Nanakuma subway line. While perhaps not worth a special trip all the way there, it's worth a look if you happen to be anywhere near the area.
Don't miss out on the ¥100 shop. A great place to shop for souvenirs (although many items are made in China), dishes, toys and everything else you didn't think you needed. There is one located in the bus centre building next to Hakata Station. Another is in Daiei, in Tenjin behind the MINA building.
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