Fukuoka Nightlife – Bars, Clubs, Tips and Tricks
Fukuoka nightlife is notoriously lively. Bars, pubs, clubs, whatever it is, Fukuoka has you covered. Discover the best of it, with us.
Fukuoka has long held the enviable reputation as one of Japan’s coolest cities. Far from the sprawling capital, Fukuoka has been able to build its own distinct identity, to carve its own path. This insistent individualism means Fukuoka is an exciting city, one pulsing with energy and life. This is particularly palpable when sampling the famous Fukuoka nightlife.
Fukuoka nightlife is rich and varied, with something for all tastes and budgets. Clubs, pubs, bars, whatever it is, Fukuoka has you covered. Below, find a full rundown of the best spots to check out when you’re in town, complete with all the information you’ll need to get there and enjoy yourself.
For an overview of the city, take a look at our Fukuoka city guide.
Fukuoka Red Light District: Nakasu
Nakasu is one of Japan’s largest and most famous red light districts, comparable to Tokyo’s Kabukicho in notoriety. Located on an island between the Naka and Hakata rivers in the heart of the city, it’s one of Fukuoka’s top nightlife spots, though is perhaps not for everyone. Nakasu is known for its strip clubs, lounges and cabaret clubs, of which there are thousands, serviced by a massive 30,000 workers. Unsurprisingly, the main customer base of Nakasu is male and many establishments are reluctant to serve foreigners who don’t speak Japanese. However, exploring Nakasu at night can be extremely enjoyable, even if you don’t fancy a strip club. Stroll the neon-lit streets, taking in all the curiosities along the way, then, head to the riverside, where you’ll find a whole host of stalls and small restaurants serving up some of the tastiest food in the city.
Getting to Nakasu is easy, with 18 bridges linking the island to the city. If you’re arriving by train, head to Nakasu Kawabata Station.
Address: Nakasu, Hakata, Fukuoka
Oyafuko-Dori Street, Tenjin
It might not look like much but Oyafuko-Dori, or ‘The Street of Wayward Children’, as it is known to locals, is another of Fukuoka’s most famed nightlife locations. During Japan’s post-war boom, the street’s situation close to two major prep schools, combined with cheap rents, led to it becoming the focal point of Fukuoka’s alternative nightlife scene. Students, hungry for fun, filled the many bars, clubs and cafes that sprung up on the street, giving it a certain bohemianism, as well as its now unshakable nickname. The street also became the first place in the city to cater to Wayward Foreigners, with international bars and foreigner-friendly clubs opening up in the 1980s. Although perhaps Oyafuko-Dori’s glory days are behind it, it remains lively come nightfall and is still one of the city’s most cosmopolitan areas.
A night spent in one of Fukuoka’s open-air food stalls, or yatai , is probably the most authentically Fukuokan nightlife experience you could hope for. Yatai are small, typically seating less than 10 customers, cheap and a lot of fun. Food is simple but tasty – yakitori (skewers), oden (hot-pot), Hakata ramen – and the drinks free-flowing, especially on Fridays and Saturdays.
Although yatai are generally filled with locals, tourists are always welcome. If there’s no English menu, pointing or a little game of charades is sure to suffice if done with a smile. You’ll spot yatai all over the city, but the best places to head are Nakasu, Tenjin and Nagahama. Stalls are generally in operation every day bar one and remain open until the early hours. Perfect for a relaxed night in Fukuoka.
In Japan, any night can be improved by a spot of karaoke. The kitschy interiors, cheap prices and chance to belt out some J-Pop making for a winning combination. In Fukuoka, there’s plenty of karaoke joints to choose from and they’re not easy to miss.
For a bit of advice on how to negotiate the world of Japanese karaoke, check out our survival guide.
Karaoke Big Echo, Hakata
Karaoke Big Echo Hakata is the biggest and best location for karaoke in central Fukuoka. There’s a range of price plans to choose from, including nomihoudai (all-you-can-drink) and daytime plans, meaning there’s something for all budgets. Given the central location, it’s also one of the few karaoke places in Fukuoka where the staff are able to speak a little English.
Mon-Fri 24:00 – 05:00
Sat&Sun 11:00 – 05:00
Fukuoka’s cosmopolitanism has given rise to a healthy bar scene. Trawl the streets and you’re bound to find somewhere that suits. Alternatively, check out our picks of the city’s best, below.
Two Dogs Sports Bar & Grill, Maizuru
A pretty new addition to Oyafuko-Dori, Two Dogs Sports Bar & Grill’s modern interior, great food and impressive drinks list makes it more than welcome. The vibe is more relaxed than most self-proclaimed sports bars, with a mixed clientele of locals, tourists and even families. Handily, the menu comes in English and the staff are more than hospitable.
Sun-Sat 18:00 – 03:00
Off Broadway – A Hometown Bar, Maizuru
Fukuoka’s longest running international bar, Off Broadway is a safe-haven for travel weary tourists in search of a little familiarity. Situated on Oyafuko-Dori, it is a staple of the street’s nightlife. The place is packed most nights, though especially so during happy hour from 19:30 to 21:30 when drinks are just 300 yen a pop. Weekend’s see DJs take to the decks and buoyant, friendly crowds are guaranteed.
Sun-Thu 19:30 – 03:00
Fri&Sat 19:30 – 05:00
Brick Sound Bar, Daimyo
Brick Sound Bar in Daimyo is one of Fukuoka’s hippest hangouts. A relatively small venue with low lights and a dance floor, this place is host to regular local and international DJs, live bands and the occasional art show. Drinks are reasonably priced and the clientele is a mix of local trendsetters and in-the-know tourists.
Sun-Sat 18:00 – 02:00
Three Kings British Pub, Daimyo
Three Kings British Pub is a great British-style pub in Daimyo. The interior and atmosphere are more restrained than a lot of similar joints, recalling an authentic UK pub. The drinks selection is excellent, with a range of weekly-rotated craft beers on tap, and the prices are sensible, ranging from 800 to 1,100 yen. The extremely welcoming staff deserve a mention, too.
Mon-Sat 19:30 – 02:00
Sun 17:00 – 24:00
Nakamura Wine Shop (酒屋ナカムラ), Daimyo
Although designed as more of a shop than a bar, Nakamura Wine Shop still always has a few bottles open and ready to sample. There’s a good range of Japanese and European wine, as well as some premium cheeses and cured meats. Not really a budget option, but if you’re in the market for a bottle of something nice, this is your place.
Tue-Sun 11:00 – 20:00 (Closed on Monday)
Kebab Bar Ampoules, Daimyo
Touting itself as Daimyo’s newest international bar, Kebab Bar Ampoules offers reasonably cheap drinks, a lively crowd and a regular line-up of DJs and live music. Best of all, there’s kebabs.
Sun-Sat 23:30 – 05:00
British Pub Morris
Another foreigner-friendly British-style pub in downtown Fukuoka. English is the main language you’ll overhear in British Pub Morris, though there is normally a smattering of local Japanese as well. Draft beer and bottles are pretty cheap, as are cocktails, and whilst the food is pretty simple, it’s tasty all the same.
Mon-Thu 17:00 – 01:00
Fri-Sun 17:00 – 03:00
International Bar, Tenjin
Still going strong after over 20 years in business, International Bar in central Tenjin is another legendary Fukuoka bar. With a stated aim to bring together Japanese people and foreigners, it is overtly welcoming, budget-friendly and you’re guaranteed to make a friend or two. There’s karaoke, some old-school arcade games and the bar-staff are good for sightseeing tips and tricks.
Mon-Sat 19:00 – Late (Closed on Sunday)
Fireball Cafe (ファイアーボールカフェ), Tenjin
Fireball Cafe bears all the hallmarks of a classic sports bar: memorabilia adorned walls, lots of screens, greasy food and as much beer as you can drink. You can catch all major sporting events here, plus, if you ask nicely, you may be able to request something specific.
Tue-Thu 18:00 – 03:00
Fri-Sun 18:00 – 05:00 (Closed on Monday)
Irish Pub The Hakata Harp
Guinness, Kilkenny, lively atmosphere and pub-grub, The Hakata Harp has it all. Again, foreigners are a mainstay, but the vibe is inclusive and warm. Drinks can be pretty pricey, but head there for happy hour (17:00 – 19:30) and everything is half price.
Sun-Sat 11:30 – 24:00
Goodbeer Faucets, Hakata
Nose-dive into the world of craft beer at Goodbeer Faucets, a craft-beer bar with over 42 brews to choose from. Don’t know where to start? Try a tasting set (1,600 yen) or simply ask the knowledgeable staff for some advice. Pair your beer with something from the extensive menu, all of which is super tasty and freshly prepared.
Mon-Thu 18:30 – 01:30
Fri&Sat 18:30 – 05:00
Sun 16:00 – 23:00
Hard Rock Cafe Fukuoka, Hakata
Recently relocated to Hakata Station, Hard Rock Cafe Fukuoka delivers on all the things you’d expect from the Hard Rock brand: good food, good drinks and a laid back atmosphere. Try the Fukuoka-only Hakata Ramen Burger for something new.
Sun-Sat 11:00 – 24:00
Android Bar (アンドロイド), Hakata
Android Bar’s chilled ambience, original drinks and hip clientele make it one of Hakata’s coolest. Against the backdrop of the bar’s futurist chic, sink a few speciality shots, which should leave you feeling less than robotic.
Gay Bar Glamorous, Hakata
One of Fukuoka’s premier gay bars, Gay Bar Glamorous is famed for its inclusive, friendly atmosphere and its wild weekend parties. Drinks are cheap, the crowd diverse and everyone is up for a good time.
Sun-Sat 21:00 – 05:00
Fukuoka Night Clubs
One Way Salsa Club, Maizuru
A roomy salsa club, always packed with beginners and pros alike. There’s a lounge in which to relax and enjoy a drink and, of course, a dance floor. One Way Salsa Club tends to attract a fairly mature crowd, giving it a more sophisticated atmosphere than other similar places. Day time salsa classes are also available.
Wed 20:00 – 24:00
Thu 20:00 – 22:00
Fri&Sat 19:00 – 01:00 (Closed from Sunday to Tuesday)
Drum Logos Live House, Maizuru
Drum Logos Live House is a great medium-sized venue, specialising predominantly in rock acts from Kyushu and further afield. Prices depend on the act, though they are normally pretty reasonable.
Check Drum Logos’s Schedule
The Voodoo Lounge, Maizuru
A very foreigner-friendly joint in Maizuru. There’s a dance floor as well as a more relaxed bar area, giving you best of both worlds. Music is extremely varied, with live bands, DJs and even a weekly African percussion night.
Club X, Maizuru
One of Fukuoka’s most well-known clubs, this place is always good for a fun evening. Expect chart hits, hip-hop and occasional live sets from local DJs. Entry (1,000 – 2,000 yen) is reasonable and drinks pretty cheap.
Sun-Sat 22:00 – 05:00
Jazz Club “KINGFISH”, Daimyo
A first-rate jazz club, stylishly fitted out, with a great range of drinks and helpful staff. There’s live jazz each night, though performance times are subject to change, so best to ask behind the bar.
Sun-Sat 19:00 – Late
Club Cat’s, Tenjin
Each weekend Club Cat’s fills up with a mixed bag of foreign and local party-goers, all out for a good time. Entrance is fairly cheap, drinks not extortionate and the music varied enough to keep most happy. There’s a pretty strict ID policy on the door so be sure to carry yours.
Sun-Sat 21:00 – Late
Club Infinity Fukuoka, Tenjin
Not as much of a tourist trap as some of Fukuoka’s other clubs and all the better for it. Club Infinity is a small venue which mainly caters to hip-hop fans. Good sound system and reasonably priced.
Sun-Sat 22:00 – Late
Fubar (フーバー), Tenjin
Popular with the local ex-pat community, Fubar is a good place to make some friends. Music is pretty standard but the vibe is always a fun one. Drinks and entrance also reasonably cheap.
21:00 – Late
The Dark Room, Tenjin
This American-owned bar on Oyafuko-Dori is a solid fixture on Fukuoka’s nightlife scene. The alternative music blasting from the speakers is a welcome change of pace, drinks are reasonably priced and the vibe is always a chilled one.
Sun-Sat 20:30 – Late
Club Lab-Z Remix, Tenjin
Club Lab-Z Remix attracts a mostly mature crowd, but is nonetheless a fun option. Wednesday and Thursday see females entering for free (males 1,000 yen) and Saturday is disco night.
Tue-Sun 21:00 – Late (Closed on Monday)
Happy Cock, Tenjin
Happy Cock is a large, foreigner-friendly club that plays a decent mix of mainstream hits and classics. What makes this place stand out though are the nomihoudai (all-you-can-drink) deals. Turn up early on a Thursday and if you’re one of the first 50 people through the door you can enjoy limitless drinking for just 1,200 yen. If you’re there on a Friday or Saturday, nomihoudai for women costs 2,000 yen and for men 3,000 yen. Very reasonable indeed.
Wed, Thu & Sun 21:00 – 03:00
Fri&Sat 19:00 – 05:00 (Closed on Monday and Tuesday)
Anmitsu Hime (あんみつ姫), Tenjin
Anmitsu Hime is hard to put into a box. Part drag show, part comedy routine, what’s for sure is that it’s a lot of fun. Performances take place two or three times nightly, and, although in Japanese, the show’s largely visual nature makes it an enjoyable experience for all.
Tue-Thu 20:00, 22:00
Fri&Sat 19:00, 21:00, 23:00
Sunday 18:00, 20:00, 22:00
Jazz Spot Riverside, Nakasu
Jazz Spot Riverside’s jazz credentials are immaculate. The venue has long acted as an incubator for local talent as well as a performance space for established acts. There’s usually something happening each night of the week so head down if you’re in the area. Riverside’s small size means all performances are very intimate and a lot of fun.
Sun-Sat 19:00 – 24:00
Sunset Live Festival
SunSet Live is Kyushu’s largest summer festival and must rank among Japan’s very best. The whole festival takes place on a beach in Keya, Itoshima, surrounded by mountains but just one hour from the city. Spread over two days (previously three days), the festival attracts over 15,000 revelers each year and can boast a lineup of over 80 local and international acts and six different stages.
Whilst not enjoying the music, attendees can lounge on the beach where pop-up stalls from some of the area’s best restaurants and bars can be found. Art is also one of the festival’s main concerns, with installations integrated into the site, performances and hands-on sessions. Admirably, environmental protection is also high on the agenda, with the aim to make the festival almost completely green and leave no lasting impact on its picturesque setting.
Weekend tickets for Sunset Live begin at around 15,000 yen, whilst day tickets are around half that. If attending both days, a campsite is available with tents and equipment available to hire. If you’d like to attend, ensure you buy tickets well in advance. The easiest was to do this online is by following this link.
Going out and don’t know what to wear? Check out our Year Round Fukuoka Weather and Seasonal Events Guide for some help.
Flying into Fukuoka? Check out our comprehensive guide to Fukuoka Airport (FUK) – Gateway to Hakata and Tenjin and you’ll be out on the town in no time at all.
More Fukuoka Travel Info
Getting from Fukuoka Airport to the city center is super easy, with a direct subway link that takes just 10 minutes. When you’re in the city, getting around is equally easy, especially if you take advantage of the 100-yen loop bus. For more information, check out this map.
Like most Japanese cities, public transport runs from around 5:30 am to around midnight, meaning getting home after sampling the nightlife can be a little tricky. The obvious solution is to stay out until the sun comes up, but if you can’t hack it there are two other options. Either a taxi (notoriously expensive in Japan) or crashing at a capsule hotel or a manga Cafe. For more information about manga cafes, you can check out The Ultimate Guide to Manga Cafes in Japan.
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