Nakasu is an artificial island in the middle of two rivers that separate Hakata
), and it is the main nightlife area of Fukuoka city.
Nakasu is a very small island, about 1.5 km long and 250 meters wide, that can be explored entirely on foot. There there isn't any building, monument, park, temple or anything else to visit, yet it is one of most visited places by tourists visiting Fukuoka, for two reasons: It is one of the largest red light districts in all of Japan, and along the river there are some food stalls (yatai
) for which the city is famous all over the country.
Nakasu red light district, Fukuoka
As already mentioned, Nakasu is primarily a red light district, one of the largest in all of Japan. There are about 3500 activities, most of which are restaurants, or more or less explicitly sex-related activities: hostess bars, pink salons, sopalands, and dozens of other kinds of adult places, up to real brothels. During daylight hours it is very quiet (but many places places are already open), at night it gets very busy.
Even if you are not interested in sex, a walk around the area after dark is a must, even just to admire the spectacle of neon lights reflected on the water of the river.
night view of Nakasu
are a symbol of the city of Fukuoka, famous throughout Japan right for this tradition. The term yatai stands for some wooden carts on wheels, equipped with kitchen appliances and seating, used as food stalls located along the streets, cooking and serving a variety of dishes and with very few seats, no more than 7-8. The most common dishes are various skewers, in particular chicken (yakitori
), hot-pot dishes (oden
) and, above all, the famous ramen
of Fukuoka, the so-called Hakata-style ramen
Yatai are typical of Fukuoka and you can find many of these stalls scattered throughout the city. In the island of Nakasu, particularly in the south along the shores of Nakagawa River, there's a place with about 20 yatai, one after another, and this place has become very popular among tourists. Yatai typically open in the late afternoon, around 18, and they close very late, around 2 am. On Friday and Saturday night you might find an incredible crowd, on Sunday evening most of them are closed.
Although it is a very charming experience, this place is now purely for tourists, and even if you will see many Japanese people eating there, most of them will probably be tourists from other parts of the country, and that's why the prices are quite expensive.
on the left yatai in Nakasu
Where to stay, recommended hotels in Nakasu, Fukuoka
Nakasu is perhaps the best place to stay in Nagoya, since it's located at the center of the central area of Fukuoka and in a strategic position to get in a few minutes to both Tenjin and Hakata.
Very cheap accommodation in Nakasu
Well Cabin Nakasu
A highly recommended place if you are looking for a very cheap accommodation. Located in the heart of Nakasu island, in front of a subway station (Nakasu-kawabata), this capsule hotel offers various types of lodging: standard capsule from 2600 yen per night, and other more spacious rooms between 3500 and 5000 yen per night. The bathrooms and the whole hotel in general is very clean and quiet. You can find further information and also book (with discounted rates) directly on their website in English.
Cheap hotels in Nakasu
First Cabin Hakata
This is a "cabin hotel", a middle ground between a capsule and a normal hotel, located in the heart of the nightlife area of Fukuoka, Nakasu island. There are two types of rooms, the standard cabin with just a bed, and the superior cabin, a little more spacious. All rooms are equipped with TV and wifi. The shared bathrooms are spacious and comfortable. An interesting experience that allows you to sleep at only 5,000 yen per night in an area where normal hotels are much more expensive. Perfect for solo travelers.
Mid-range hotels in Nakasu
Hakata Excel Hotel Tokyu
The best hotel located on the island of Nakasu, just 2 minutes from the nearest subway station (Nakasu-Kawabata). Double rooms from 10,500 yen per night, triples from 12,500 yen per night, quadruples from 15,000 yen per night. If you are a family or a group of friends and you want a comfortable, centrally located and upper-middle level hotel without spending a lot, the triple and quadruple rooms of this hotel are among the cheapest in the city.
Hotel Il Palazzo
Wonderful hotel belonging to a renowned international chain (Small Luxury Hotels of the World), located opposite the island of Nakasu and particularly in front of the famous area that in the evening is full of food stalls (yatai). The strong point of this hotel, designed by renowned Italian architect Aldo Rossi, is the extremely modern design and technology that characterizes every place of the structure. The interiors of the rooms are spacious and stylish, with a few particular accessories such as DVD player and Nespresso machine. An "almost 5 stars" hotel. Double rooms from 13,000 yen per night (single use), from 18,000 yen per night for two people. Great breakfast at 1900 yen per person.
Luxury hotels in Nakasu
Hotel Nikko Fukuoka
Top-notch hotel located near Hakata station. Inside the structure there's also a fitness center with a very nice panoramic swimming pool (in the pic on the left, separate admission). In addition to the superior and luxury rooms, with very high prices, this hotel also offers some single "business" rooms, a little less luxurious but still well above the average, at much more affordable prices (from 12,000 yen per night).
Hotel Okura Fukuoka
Very high standard hotel, located within the shopping complex Riverain Hakata, very close to the island of Nakasu and the subway station of Nakasu-Kawabata. Sauna and swimming pool available to all guests. In addition to the superior and luxury rooms, with very high prices, this hotel also offers some single "standard" rooms, a little less luxurious but still well above the average, at much more affordable prices (from 12,000 yen per night).
How to get to Nakasu, Fukuoka
, Hakozaki line
) is located partly on the island of Nakasu and partly on the other side of the river, nearby the complex Hakata Riverain
. The exits to get out directly in Nakasu are the number 1, 2, 3 and 4.
You can reach Nakasu on foot in a few minutes from Tenjin station
) and Tenjin-minami station
), both located approximately 600 meters west.
Alternatively, the 100 yen Loop Bus
, a circular line connecting the stations of Hakata and Tenjin, it makes a stop also nearby the area of yatai in Nakasu.
Map of Nakasu, Fukuoka
Guided tours, activities and other things to do
If you are planning a trip to Japan and you want to do something more than just visiting famous places and monuments, we suggest you to use Govoyagin
How to use Govoyagin
Govoyagin is a very useful website to enrich your travel experience
, especially if you are going solo or it's your first time in Japan.
Because of the language barrier (and more), in Japan it is very difficult to interact with the locals and to get off the tourist track.
Thanks to Govoyagin you can find a lot of interesting and sometimes unique guided tours and activities
all over Japan (and not only in Japan), that you would otherwise never be able to enjoy.
But there's more: on Govoyagin you can also buy tickets
for several famous attractions, events, transportation and other useful services for tourists. Last but not least, you can reserve a table
in hundreds of restaurants.