Nakasu (中洲) is the red-light district which exists between the sandbank of the Naka River (那珂川 Nakagawa) and the Hakata River (博多川 Hakatagawa) in Fukuoka City, Fukuoka Prefecture, Japan. It is named after a popular, but very short-lived, entertainment quarter of Edo, which existed in the late 18th century. The name "Nakasu" can be translated as "the island in the middle" as Nakasu is an island between two rivers.
Nakasu is the largest red-light district in the western Japan area after Osaka. The number of restaurants and stores, including adult-entertainment establishments, is approximately 3,500; and over 60,000 people visit Nakasu every night. Also, Nakasu is the home to a number of fashionable restaurants. Notable features in Nakasu includes the view of neon signs from the Fukuhaku Deai Bridge (福博であい橋), and Yatai stalls along the Naka River. Once, fans of the local baseball team, Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks, dove from the Fukuhaku Deai Bridge into the river after the team won the championship. The nearest subway station from Nakasu is the Nakasu-Kawabata Station of the Fukuoka City Subway.
In 1600, Kuroda Nagamasa, a daimyo of the Fukuoka-Han at that time, created Nakasu to connect between current Chūō-ku and Hakata-ku by building two bridges over the rivers at the sandbank: Higashi Nakajima Bridge and Nishi Nakajima Bridge (currently is Shōwa Street). Present day of Nakasu has 18 bridges in total, 7 of them are built at the side of the Chūō-ku, and 11 at the side of the Hakata-ku. Once Nakasu was used to thrive with the Tamaya, a department store of long standing, and movie theatres, although the center of commerce has moved currently to the Tenjin and Daimyō districts in Chūō-ku.
After the establishment of a shopping complex, the Canal City Hakata at neighbouring Sumiyoshi district in 1996, the areas of Tenjin, Nakasu, and Hakata Station, all of which are located in the middle of the place between the Tenjin district and Canal City Hakata, were unified. The redevelopment of unification with adjacent Kawabata district is also in progress. On March 29, 2002, the Nakasu Special Investigators, a squad of the Fukuoka Prefectural Police, was formed and patrol to prevent crimes. A huge commercial complex, the "gate's" was opened in 2006, at the site the Tamaya was located.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Nakasu.|
- Nakasu (in English)
- Nakasu Tourism Association, Town of Nakasu Joint Association Homepage (in Japanese)