Going green easy at Fukuoka’s ACROS building

Photos by Yashira M. Rodríguez Sierra
Photos by Yashira M. Rodríguez Sierra

Going green easy at Fukuoka’s ACROS building

by Yashira M. Rodríguez Sierra
Stripes Okinawa

ACROS Fukuoka is an amazing eco-building, integrating nature and architecture. The impressive grey and green building is next to Fukuoka’s Tenjin Central Park. From the grey side, ACROS may look like a normal tall building, but its green side is home to a jaw-dropping 30,000 plants and trees.

The award-winning building was designed by Emilio Ambasz, an Argentinian architect and pioneer in green architecture. The building’s green side is structured into eight scaled levels, often called a “step garden.” This part, plus the park next to it, create a sprawling green space in the center of Fukuoka’s bustling city.

ACROS is not only worth visiting on the outside, as the inside has many shops and restaurants you’ll want to check out. Here, visitors will also find museums, art exhibits and a hall where concerts are held.

On the second floor, I found the Yakumi (Arts and Crafts) Gallery. This is home to a permanent exhibition of the traditional arts of Fukuoka. The prominent art comes from Yame, a small city, but, huge in traditional crafts. The gallery holds demonstrations with artisans working on their art, and also hosts workshops.

When I was there, an artist was painting a lantern with flowers and birds in a Sokubyo, a method of speed drawing which has been employed since the Meiji period (1868-1912). The gallery many souvenirs that would make great gifts, including bamboo crafts, Yame stone garden lanterns, Japanese tops (wakoma), bamboo arrows (archery is very popular in Yame), bamboo screens (sudare), textiles (Kurume kasuri), knives, and more.

 I love Yame Tesuki Washi, handmade paper using fiber from mulberry trees. Artisans use real flowers to add one-of-a-kind-touch to each sheet of washi. On one of my previous trips to Yame City, I had the opportunity to see this papermaking process firsthand, so I could not help but purchase some more washi paper at the gallery.

Another great buy at the gallery store was Yamecha high-grade green tea. This tea is cultivated in the southern part of the Chikugo Plains in Yame City. Whether cold or hot, this tea is one of the best!

After, I stopped at Juliet’s Letters, a whimsical store on the first floor, to add to my postcard collection. The store offers a great variety of handmade goods from wall decorations, pens, wooden toys, paper art, paintings, stationery, and postcards! I was intrigued by the postcards with interesting black and white pictures of Japan.

One collection that caught my eye was from Koji Inoue (1919-1993). Inoue spent his life documenting and photographing the daily life of Japanese people during the Showa Period (1926-1989). The photos reflect old Japan, from what they wore and the types of transportation they took, to the poverty some endured and progress made during the time. Thanks to Inoue, we get glimpse into the past.

After getting my souvenirs, I visited the wonderful ceramic doll and scenes art exhibition. The artist’s name is Akari and she integrates stunning scenes from Japanese daily life from the past and present using only children characters. The scenes include children planting rice, drinking green tea, living in traditional houses, seeing wisteria flowers, eating ramen at a traditional food cart, among others wonderful scenes.

For an escape from the city in the city, ACROS is a must-see spot in Fukuoka!

How to get there:

ACROS Fukuoka
ADDRESS: 1 Chome-1-1 Tenjin, Chuo Ward, Fukuoka Prefecture
* Takumi (Arts and Crafts) Gallery is on the second floor (Acros).
Opening hours: 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Websites:
Yamecha Fukuoka
Ceramic Dolls and scenes
______
Resources:
• Traditional Crafts of Yame booklet
Japan-talk.com
• Fukuoka Prefectural Tourist Souvenirs Association
Japantravelmate.com
Tokyoartbeat.com, “Inoue Koji soundless memories”
Akari-e.com

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

About the writer: Yashira M. Rodríguez Sierra is originally from Caguas, Puerto Rico. She is assigned to Sasebo Naval Base. Rodríguez enjoys nature and moving to Japan was a dream come true. Before joining the Navy she was an artist and journalist.

Subscribe to our Stripes Pacific newsletter and receive amazing travel stories, great event info, cultural information, interesting lifestyle articles and more directly in your inbox!

Follow us on social media!

Facebook: Stars and Stripes Pacific
Flipboard: Stars and Stripes Community Sites

Looking to travel while stationed abroad? Check out our other Pacific community sites!
Stripes Japan
Stripes Korea
Stripes Guam

Related Content

Recommended Content

Around the Web