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You are in: Fukuoka: Localities: Chiyo & Yoshizuka Area

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Chiyo & Yoshizuka Area  (Qjmp: 19025)

An older area less affected by modern development.

Where: East of the City

In the area: the main Fukuoka prefecture administrative centre and the Prefectural police headquarters, Kyushu University hospital, Higashi park, the City Public Gym and the Mongol Invasion Museum. Much of this area is of older houses although they are gradually being cleared as modern residential development (boring towerblocks) takes place. Higashii park is a particularly pleasant place to wander around if you spend time here.

Chiyo has a subway station and is not far from JR Yoshizuka station. Rents in this part of the city are generally quite inexpensive and it is just a 15 minute bicycle ride from Tenjin and Hakata.

Yoshizuka means "happy hill" in Japanese - there is no hill in sight but it has a small old-fashioned market, one of the few left in Fukuoka and is hanging on grimly to what used to be considerable charm in the face of bland "modern" development. Close by is a prime example of such - "Pappilon Plaza" - mainly shops, a few chain restaurants and an entertainment arcade. Yoshizuka inhabitants speak a "Hakata-ben" (Hakata dialect) so ripe that it takes even other Fukuokans a while to decipher it.

Many expats have a soft spot in their hearts for Yoshizuka because 10 years ago rents were very low and landlords less choosy than in other parts of the city and a sizeable proportion of the "off the plane with a few hundred pounds and a toothbrush" contingent started out here...

Yoshizuka has/had a slightly racy image as it is alleged to be home to a yakuza group. For the truth of this we cannot vouch - but your correspondent, while on a bicycle, was once chased for 3 miles by a large American car full of punch permed, Italian suited gentlemen. After they finally swerved, horn blaring onto the pavement in front of him to prevent further perspiring flight, 4 sunglasses wearing, rather broad shouldered men with just the CUTEST punchperms leapt menacingly from their car....

.... to return a love letter that had fallen from his pocket at an intersection a mile down the road. "Be careful gaijin-san!"...

And then there was the time an entire gang, including the spherical and perfectly tatooed gang leader got into the sauna with him...

(That's enough colourful third person recollections. Yoshizuka now no longer has any such residents and is rapidly becoming bland and just a little boring. Editor.)

Chiyo has a subway station, Yoshizuka a JR train station.

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First published Mon Sep 04, 2000
    Updated Sun Jul 01, 2001

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