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You are in: Fukuoka: Localities: Maizuru & Oyafuko Dori



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Maizuru & Oyafuko Dori  (Qjmp: 19004)

"Parent's Sadness Street"


Tenjin is home to the undeservedly notorious "Oyafuko-dori" a magnet for the city's youth. Oyafuko-dori means, literally "parent's sadness street" and got its name from the number of (expensive) cram schools in which weak students attempted to remedy previous examination failures. The name is still entirely apposite, though the cram schools have gone, to be replaced by bars, clubs and restaurants. Some of the most exotic of Fukuoka's youthful flora and fauna can be found here. The local police requested that the name be changed as they felt it sends the wrong signal to unformed minds. They succeeded, officially, but woe!, alas! and alack! have been entirely ignored - and unformed minds are still at peril of inexpensive food, an energetic atmosphere and some of the world's most god-awful busking.

Friday nights sees the local youth driving their carefully polished custom cars up and down and gaggles of kids in their late teens and early twenties, usually in single sex groups. Despite drinking laws forbidding the sale of alcohol to people under 20, you will also find numerous slumped figures surrounded by concerned friends in only marginally better condition. Since some of your correspondents best memories of Japan (and some nights entirely unavailable to recollection of any kind) happened around this street, we will say no more. Of late though a more serious threat to Oyafuko has emerged - the downturn in the economy and, perhaps, a shift in the the tastes of the young have lead to difficult trading conditions in the area and Oyafuko ain't quite what it used to be.

Walk down to the end of Oyafuko and you will come to Nagahama park with a small "mushroom" police station on the corner. (You are right, they don't call it the "mushroom" police station, but this is a familty site....) This is all reclaimed land - Fukuoka's older residents can remember swimming here as children.

Oyafuko dori is entirely safe. Just crowded.









Head towards Show dori from the central Tenjin area, and turn left. It is a largish street on the right, 150 metres up....



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First published Sat Sep 02, 2000
    Updated Sun Jul 01, 2001


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