Spotlight on Japan: Hakata Harkens

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Richard K

Spotlight on Japan: Hakata Harkens

A Short two hour flight from Narita Airport in Tokyo will take one to a pulsing heart filled with shopping, entertainment, sophistication and fun in the center of the lowest Japanese Island, Kyushu: Hakata.

Hakata has some of the best value hotels in the world, because the comfort to price and convenience ratio is right on the dot. By Japanese and global standards, hotel rooms in Hakata are larger than most for the price and location, and have more amenities based on cost. Several room offers include buffet breakfasts with one’s stay. Looking on-line for deals is easy and will save one’s wallet a ton. It is not hard to find a well-located hotel with good amenities, close transit facilities and included breakfast for $140 – $180 per night.

Canal City is what the world thinks of when it hears Hakata. It is a mall, full of restaurants, entertaining water shows and arcades, food courts and restaurants, and of course stunning areas in which to sit and relax. It is like going to a resort without paying the overnight resort price. There are also over 250 stores to visit and purchase items from!

Canal City also hosts free concerts from Japanese superstars. Although their names and songs will mean little to most westerners, the Japanese fan girls are insane, creating an experience in themselves, and will queue for miles just for a hug and a signature from the seemingly unheard-of artist. Water fountain shows are every thirty minutes, and are spectacularly cued to music in the day and in the night, providing a uniquely enjoyable experience all day long.

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Canal City is a theme-park-like mall with its amazing shopping and entertainment value. As cliché is it sounds, there really is something for everybody!

The food in Hakata, as a general statement, is exquisite. It is of the highest quality and priced excellently. When it comes to Japan as a whole, food is always made fresh and in a safe fashion, because people and honest and the authorities are strict. If one is still unsure, see if the local population is eating there. If it is popular with the native people, it is good enough for one to eat.

Hakata has so many things on offer. Sometimes one needs some contrast from Tokyo, and Hakata does not cheat visitors of the price, convenience and enjoyment to be had in other Japanese cities.

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