An Architectural Fantasy
The first thing to stun visitors to Canal City is its unique architecture. On the ground floor, there is a shallow canal whose edge is decorated with plants and benches. Bridges then connect the shopping complex on one side to the hotel, the Grand Hyatt Fukuoka, and its associated upscale restaurants on the other. Wrapping around the canal are several floors of open-air bridges which lead into different buildings of the complex. From each of these bridges, as well as the seating areas on the ground floor, visitors are treated to a once-hourly fountain show set to music, contributing to the fantastical environment. At night, the fountain show is further enhanced by the “Canal Aqua Panorama,” a 3D projection onto the surface of the mall complete with lights and high-quality music.
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For shopping, Canal City is hard to beat! With a wide selection of brands, including Western standards such as Gap, Guess, Zara, and H & M, clothes shopping for men or women is easy. If you are interested in home furnishings, check out the two-floor Muji (which also has a cafe!) or Franc Franc, a Japanese home store that specializes in feminine-style interior goods. Then, check the ground floor for rows of Fukuoka souvenirs—and don’t leave without Hakata Torimon (a small sweet stuffed with white anko paste mixed with cream and butter)!
For recreation, Canal City has a wide range of options. Craving some theater? Movies? Gaming? This center has you covered. In fact, United Cinemas at Canal City is always abuzz with date night activity while the theater often shows crowd-pleasing musicals, such as The Lion King or Mamma Mia. As for gaming, the Taito Game Center here is large and full of fun. It’s open for kids under 15 until 6 p.m.
For food, why not check out Dipper Dan’s crepes on the ground floor while watching a fountain show? If you need a light lunch, you can also check out the Moomin Cafe (also on the ground floor) for freshly baked bread and cute character-themed lunches. If you have more room in your stomach, head to the fifth floor to Ramen Stadium where you can have reasonably priced ramen bowls from eight different stores, mostly from Kyushu but also from as far as Sapporo, Hokkaido! If you’re feeling fancy, check out the Lounge at the Grand Hyatt; they have delicious tea, such as their own special blend of black, sandwiches, and cake sets in a luxe environment.
For kids, Canal City always has plenty of options. As if the fountain shows were not fun enough for little ones, the ground floor also has a huge Hamley’s Toy Store with many model toys for them to play with and displays to be in awe of. There is also a cafe inside with kid-sized portions and interactive tabletop with natural and aquatic themes. Also on the main floor are character goods stores of many of the major kid franchises, like Sanrio, Ghibli, Ultraman, and JUMP while the 2nd floor houses a Disney Store.
Whether you only have a few hours or a whole day to spare at Canal City, you'll have plenty to enjoy from food and entertainment to shopping and its unique architecture. With so many nooks and crannies, visitors will quickly see why it's often called a “city within a city.”