Kitakyushu is an important urban center in Fukuoka Prefecture on the island of Kyushu, located in the southwestern part of Japan. There are plenty of unique places to visit and things to buy in this beautiful subtropical Japanese city, which is, in fact, the largest in entire Kyushu in terms of area. If you are visiting Kitakyushu, check out some of the things that you can buy – from food to anime-related things!
Kitakyushu and the Kanmon Straits area are famous for matcha or Japanese green tea which is highly consumed. There are many popular delicacies made from green tea and you need to try them when you are in Kitakyushu. The best place to buy them is the Uomachi Gintengai street where many tea shops and restaurants are present. It is one of the best places to shop in the entire city of Kitakyushu.
You might have already tasted the famous Japanese red bean jam called “ogura-an,” which is used quite extensively in Japanese baked items. It is actually from Ogurayama in Kyoto, but there are many local varieties such as the Kitakyushu one that you need to buy. You can walk into any pastry shop in the city to get ogura-an-pan (bread with red bean jam) or a packet of the jam itself.
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Mascot dolls are a great way to remember visiting a Japanese city as every city in Japan has a mascot representative. Jimo-kun hails from the Moji Ward in Kitakyushu and is a funny-looking mascot wearing a hat. There are many department stores, such as Izutsuya, and gift shops in the area of Uomachi where you can find little dolls of Jimo-kun, imprinted t-shirts, and other merchandise which you can take home.
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If you are a fan of Japanese anime or manga, there is a mall called ARUARU City in Kitakyushu with plenty of anime/manga shops. Some of the famous stores where you can buy figurines are Animate, Rashinban, Robot Robot, and others. If you want to buy something other than figurines and toys, there are stores like Mandarake and Melonbooks where you can find exciting books and magazines.
Card games are a great way to spend an evening with your friends at a cafe or garden. If you are specifically looking for a place where you can find a wide range of card games – from anime, manga, to Western-themed – there are many stores in Kitakyushu such as C-labo where you can buy collectibles or trading games.
Treat yourself with the very famous Korean dish, namely bibimbap, which contains rice, steamed vegetables, spices, beef, soy, and much more. Kitakyushu is one of the best places to try this dish as you can find many variations of it here.
There are a few local markets where you can find fresh fish, fruits, and vegetables in Kitakyushu such as the Tanga Market. It is an old Taisho era market where you can find a lot of stuff that you can take home, and it is often referred to as the “Kitchen of Kitakyushu.”
Every year, there are many trade shows that happen in Kitakyushu with displays of handicrafts, ceramics, glassware, cutlery, furniture, etc. One such show is the West Ceramics Festa which is going to take place at the West Japan General Exhibition Center from September 14 to 18, 2017.
These are just some of the many things you can buy in different areas of Kitakyushu. There are a lot of markets, shopping malls, and so on in the city where you can shop all day long.