Fukuoka Nightlife: 5 Places to Practice Your Japanese on a Friday Night

Fukuoka is one of Japan’s most vibrant cities. While not as overwhelming as Tokyo or Osaka, it still ranks in the top 10 Japanese cities by size (No. 6 to be exact), and in recent years it has expanded into a world-class destination with features like being home to Japan’s third busiest airport and offering the lowest food prices of the country’s top 20 cities.

(Image Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Fukuoka’s nightlife is just as vibrant; brimming with opportunities for Japanese language students to practice what they’ve learned outside of class or reconnect with a more Western atmosphere. There are too many clubs, bars, and pubs in Fukuoka to name (and half the fun is finding them yourself), however, here is our lists of five popular establishments that provide a fun, open place for locals and foreigners to meet and mingle.

The Happy Cock

Considered to be the most popular “hip” night spot in Fukuoka for both Japanese and foreigners is The Happy Cock. Like many night venues in Fukuoka, it offers nomihodai, which can be translated as “all you can drink.” It normally costs 3,000 yen for men and 2,000 yen for women, but on Thursdays you can buy in for as little as 1,000 yen whether you’re a guy or a gal. They also have a buffet on special occasions, a dance area, and a standard cover entrance of 1,500 yen that includes two drinks. Expect heavy crowds and loud music on Fridays and Saturdays, which has become part of its attraction as the hottest place in town.

Address: 9F Neo Palace ll Bldg., 2-1-51 Daimyo, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka

Hours: 7:00–


Fubar is a small, foreign-owned nightclub for the young and foreign. Most of the customers are foreigners living in the area although locals are very welcome as well. Part of Fubar’s charm is its manager, Jody Archer, who has a remarkable memory for remembering customers and their favorite drink. Jody has another bar that he has set up with Ryan LaFrance of the Infinity Club. This new joint is called Two Dogs Sports Bar & Grill which seats 65 people and has standing space for an additional 100. So if Fubar is full and you’re looking for something similar, head on over to this new club with its lovable dog mascot called Rody.

Address: 4F Tenjin Okabe Bldg. II, 3-6-12 Tenjin, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka

Hours: 9:00–

International Bar

International Bar has the distinction of being Fukuoka’s oldest international bar having opened in 1986. It is known by many as the first bar of choice for travelers and foreign students because the ever-reliable staff is always willing to dish out tips on where to stay and the best ways to enjoy Fukuoka. They have a karaoke room that is free for customers to try out on weeknights but costs 2,000 yen/hour on Fridays and Saturdays.

Address: 4F Urashima Bldg., 3-1-13 Tenjin, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka

Hours: 7 pm–

The Dark Room

For excellent food and music, The Dark Room is the place to go where the music library consists of more than 50,000 songs. Practice your Japanese with the English-speaking Japanese staff while classic, nostalgic, or alternative rock music plays in the background. Moses, the American owner offers special food which he personally prepares to serve every Thursday through Saturday. There is also a ladies night on Mondays, nomihodai on Fridays and Saturdays, and special after parties on Saturdays.

Address: 8F Tenjin Bacchus Bldg., 3-4-15 Tenjin, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka

Hours: 6 pm–2am

Pub Morris

Another great night spot is Pub Morris, which features traditional British fare in three locations. It is popular among Japanese locals, so finding someone to chat with who understands both Japanese and English is relatively easy. Try stopping by for the happy hour or enjoy the free Internet and computers as you sip on your favorite drink. If you have a craving for a complete meal, try their signature dish, fish-and-chips, with a draught of Old Speckled Hen.

Address (Main Location): 7F Stage 1 Bldg., 2-1-4 Daimyo, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka

Hours: 5 pm–

Yatai Stalls in the Nakasu District

If you aren’t quite ready for the night to end, head over to the outdoor food stalls called Yatai in the Nakasu district. Here you can sample some of the best yakitori, oden, and ramen to be found in western Japan—best of all its always fresh, clean, and cheap.

(Image Source: Wikimedia Commons)

While the yatai stalls are definitely worth your time, it must be noted that the clubs and bars in this area should be approached with caution. Most establishments discourage foreigners from even entering as their primary clientele are Japanese business men.