There is a lot to see and do in Fukuoka Prefecture, but if you are just interested in a day trip, Canal City Hakata (Fukuoka City) is a great place to pass the day. Historically, Hakata and Fukuoka were two separate cities separated by a river, but as the two cities grew and developed they were merged into the one, Fukuoka City. Hakata-ku is now merely one ward of Fukuoka City and most Japanese refer to Fukuoka as Hakata. Canal City is an enormous shopping and entertainment complex, which bills itself as a city within a city. There are approximately 250 shops, cafes, restaurants, a theater, a game center, two hotels and a canal, which runs through the complex.
Located within a 10 to 15-minute walk from either Hakata Station or Tenjin Station, it is the largest private development in the history of Japan ($1.4 billion for 234,460 m2). Its design utilizes unique colors and shapes to create a spacious atmosphere. The main feature of the complex is an artificial canal, which runs from one end to the other. There is a fountain situated at the center of the canal, where water displays are presented every 30 minutes between the hours of 10:00 AM and 10:00 PM.
The complex is divided into five areas: Sea Court, Earth Walk, Sun Plaza Stage, Moon Walk and Star Court. The Sun Plaza Stage located in the center of the complex offers a variety of performances. The stores include traditional Japanese companies like Uniqlo as well as American chains such as GAP and Timberland. The restaurants range from fast food to fine dining. The fifth floor houses the Ramen Stadium with eight ramen shops serving noodle dishes from all over Japan including the local specialty, Hakata ramen.
The theater incorporates 13 screens including an IMAX screen and is the perfect place to catch the latest releases. The Canal City Theater (http://www.canalcitygekijo.com/) located on the fourth floor runs various plays and musicals, but only in Japanese.
There are several duty-free shops and international ATMs within the facility, which make it attractive to foreign visitors.
Address: 1-2, Sumiyoshi, Hakata-ku, Fukuoka-shi, Fukuoka