If you are planning a trip to Fukuoka in Japan, and belong to the Millennial or Generation Z category, then Daimyo should be the number one place on your list to visit. This super cool, hip and trendy place has made a name for itself and is often compared as the Harajuku of Fukuoka.
Daimyo is also located very near the Tenjin District of Fukuoka, and is almost in the centre of the city, meaning to get here, it will be really easy from anywhere in Fukuoka. Without fail, hoards of visitors will surely find their way to Daimyo due to its popularity.
What makes this place extra special is that the entire shopping area is well mixed with food and beverage outlets, providing equally trendy cafes, bars and restaurants. With a good mix of retail, food and entertainment, Daimyo has become of the most popular places in Fukuoka.
The crowds that come here are usually in the 20 – 35 years old bracket, hence you will not be seeing elderly people walking around. Unless they are young tourist bringing their parents to places like this, which is a total fail for the millennial group. In general, more trendy locals and visitors are seen dominating the area.
One of the quirky and trendy retail shops found in Daimyo.
So, what can you expect in Daimyo?
One thing for sure is that you won’t come across your regular high street fashion brands like Gucci, LV and so on, but you may encounter some popular international brands like Nike and so on, just like in any other city area.
But this is not what people come here for, as they are coming here mainly for the unique, obscure, trendy, hip and underground brands and labels that are not mainstream, just like in Harajuku. If you know Japanese fashion, then this is what you will be expecting here.
Supreme shop in Daimyo, Fukuoka.
So, if you are those commercial shoppers who love the general shopping mall brands, this is clearly not the place for you. Places like Mitsukoshi, Iwataya, Daimaru and Parco should be on your list instead, and the good news is that you can also find these places around Fukuoka.
Over in Daimyo, the twenty plus audience will be a common sight around here, unlike in Tokyo’s Harajuku where you tend to see more teens there. Simply said, the crowd that frequents this place is considered a little more mature but still trendsetters or followers who just want to be different from the normal. Expect more of a vintage, hipster and hip hop culture to dominate this place, versus cute and kawaii Japanese teenagers.
Inside the Alice on Wednesday shop at Daimyo.
For Shopping – You need to really explore Daimyo, especially the smaller lanes that at times don’t appeal to visitors. Not to worry as Fukuoka is very safe, hence exploring will be quite fun when you wind through alleys and lanes, only to discover more smaller shops in there.
The thrill about seeking these smaller unknown retail shops are because of the unique and different fashion styles they carry. You can expect more non-commercial fashion, quirky designs and even out-of-this-world trends. My recommendation is to look for some of the vintage stores as you can find some real and authentic European vintage clothing. One place which is a must visit here is a store called Alice on Wednesday, and this place will surely excite you.
Some of the more quirky shops along Konya-Machi shopping street. Photo Fukuoka Now.
For Window Shopping – Apart from the trendy fashion retail outlets, there are many other kinds of unique shops in the area. Unique home decoration, toys, music, hobby and antique shops tend to attract visitors due to their collection or selections that are different from what you usually see. As they say, curiosity killed the cat, hence you will surely be lured into one of these kinds of shops. One area to explore here is also the Konya-machi shopping street.
For Coffee – Daimyo also has a cafe culture, which is often compared with those in Europe, where customers sit outside, have coffee and drinks, chat and watching the world go by. They are easily found around the district, and you can choose any of them. Please note that not all of the staff speak English, hence you should be prepared.
One of the cafes in Daimyo.
For Eating – Just like any other Japanese city, there will always be a good choice of Izakaya, cafes and restaurants available. However, if you are in this area, I would highly recommend you head towards the Nakasu area by the river and try the ever popular Yatai or local street food stalls.
For Bar Hopping and Clubbing – Because of the trendsetting culture here, there are also many bars and clubs found around Daimyo, and namely at the Oyafuko-Dori or Oyafuko Street. There are many local and also western themed bars for those who prefer to have a drink. Choose from American, British or even traditional European bars here.
A map of the Fukuoka Subway system for your exploration. Photo by Fukuoka Subway.
How To Get To Daimyo District?
Basically, you can just take the Fukuoka Subway to get here if you are staying out of the city area, or a little further than the core city. For those who are staying in the main city, you can either walk to Daimyo or take a quick subway ride here.
If you take the train, get off at Tenjin stop, and walk from there. If you want to explore the western side of Daimyo, then get off as the Akasaka Station, which is the next smaller station, where Tenjin is the main interchange subway station.
Shopping in Fukuoka is a slightly different experience compared to other places in Japan.
The best time to visit Daimyo is generally any time, but the ultimate would be over the weekend when the places come extremely alive. If you dislike crowds or crowded places, then I would suggest you visit Daimyo in the late mornings or afternoons, and on weekdays.
For the first timer who plans to explore Fukuoka, you should consider allocating at least half a day to explore this interesting and fascinating lifestyle destination. Who knows as you may even come back again for a second or third visit, simply due to the culture shock, and highly recommend this place to your friends back home.