The essential difference between izakaya and yatai is the camaraderie that is so unavoidable in the latter. With up to 15 people crammed in around what amounts to something no bigger than an office desk, you are forced to share more than eye contact with your new acquaintances.
The tight-fitting box carts of Fukuoka grew out of the ashes of world war two. At a time when people were under-nourished and in desperate need of the warmth of other human beings, the yatai trundled out of the rubble, lit their red lanterns and welcomed in the neighborhood. They've been there ever since.
The Nakagawa district has been operating yatai for 32 years and you would be hard pressed to find a
more picturesque scene, with the lantern and neon lights introducing past to present in the river below. Try the Maruju Stall for exquisite chashumen noodles that melt on impact.
Five minutes walk from Nakasu-Nakagawa Station
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