People sit and drink casually with delicious food at Yatai.
Do you know what “Yatai” is?
“Yatai” is a small, simple food stall that can be packed up and changed its locations.
The stall is set up in the early evening on pedestrian walkways and removed late at night or in the early morning hours before commuters begin to fill the streets.
They are typically serving ramen or other Japanese simple food with beer, sake and shochu.
Many businessmen can be seen at Yatai relaxing with their colleagues over dinner and drinks on his way home from work.
Fukuoka, a prefecture in very western part of Japan, is well-known for having many yatai.
This time, I would introduce 4 points how to enjoy Yatai in Fukuoka.
The more you know about Yatai, the more fun you will.
[Point 1] Where do the yatai gather?
Yatai area in Nakasu.
Nakasu is the largest red-light district in the western Japan area next to Osaka, and is one of the most famous area known as Yatai in Japan.
The landscape scene of yatai stretching along the Naka River is one of the attractions of Fukuoka. It’s a lively area with food barkers calling back and forth.
Tenjin Yatai area in front of the department stores.
Tenjin is a popular area as a fashion capital and various styles of shopping spot. Some big buildings of Japanese major department store stands both side of the main street, and between them, the Yatai line extends on pedestrian walkways. Many businessmen and store clerks stop by to drink a glass of beer.
Nagahama Area is close to fish market district.
Nagahama is located in northern end of Fukuoka city along to the fish market which is actually the kitchen of the city.
You can savor Tonkotsu(pork bone) soup with ultra-thin noodles, which name of “Nagahama Ramen” is originated from this area.
[Point 2] What time is the best?
Yatai usually open at around 6:00 pm, when it’s getting dark. It’s best to go before 9:00 pm, after which yatai areas become crowded.
[Point 3] What kinds of dishes do they have?
Actually their offerings differ at each yatai. Usually they serve just simple food, including ramen(noodle), oden(stew with soy flavor), gyoza, and tempura.
[Point 4] What should be noted?
● Closed when bad weather
Because of their nature, yatai may be closed without notice due to heavy rain or wind. Many yatai remain open when it drizzles.
● When the price of a dish that you wish is not on the menu, ask about it before ordering.
The price can vary with the yatai. Confirm the price before ordering.
● “One Person One Dish” is the rule
Basically, it’s not acceptable for two or more people to order only one dish and share it. Order at least one dish per person.
● Communication with other customers is a must!
People in Fukuoka are very friendly and casual. It’s great fun to spend time with the other customers and cooks in the intimate yatai.
● No lavatory. Use nearby public lavatory.
I would recommend you to go to the restroom beforehand. When necessary, use a nearby public ones.
Friendly staff smiles and talks to you 🙂
Now we have seen about Japanese Yatai. What do you think?
I believe that there are more fun and interesting faces at Yatai, so I would recommend you to go there when you visit Fukuoka.
I would be grateful if you ask any questions about Yatai 😉
This is JAPAN Style!