Canal City Hakata is a shopping mall in the center of Fukuoka that has done much to reinvigorate the port city. Completed in 1996, Canal City has helped turn the formerly depressed downtown area into a lively and thriving destination.
Design principal Jim Jerde's work includes a Grand Hyatt hotel, a multiplex movie theater, and a "canal" that winds its way through the first level of the shopping and entertainment complex. Within its 2.5 million square feet, you will also find restaurants, cafes, and open performance spaces.
On the third floor there is a "Ramen Stadium," where you can sample most if not all of the varieties of noodles available in Japan. We opted to go local and had a good bowl of Hakata Ramen.
On the day we went, an Italian juggler/performer was holding sway over a large crowd of teenagers and women with young children. The fountains in the canal behind him shot up at intervals and punctuated his attempts.
The design of the building recalls a canyon from the southwest of the US. In both color and curve, Canal City seems like a bit of Arizona transplanted into an urban Japanese setting. The sun slices through the canyon and shimmers off of the Hyatt windows and canal waters.
The Hyatt bar looks out over the fountains and the shoppers, and was the ideal place to take the edge off and assess the damage after an afternoon of shopping.
From the Airport: take the Fukuoka subway to Nakasu Kawabata, Exit 5, and then walk 10 minutes.
From Hakata Station, it is a ten-minute walk; or, from Gate A, Transportation Center 4, a ten-minute bus ride to "Canal City Hakata Mae" stop.
From Tenjin Station, it is a ten-minute walk.
Japanese Art - byobu screens
Japanese Art Books
Japan Canal City Jim Jerde Fukuoka Kyushu
Wednesday, April 18, 2007