How to experience Mojiko Retro in Kitakyushu
A step onto the street in this town is like slipping back in time to a different age! You will be embraced by the nostalgic and stylish atmosphere and the many appealing tourist spots in Mojiko Retro!
What is Mojiko Retro?
Mojiko Port is a port town in Kitakyushu City. The port bustled as a hub for international trade from the Meiji through early Showa period, and was considered one of the three major ports of Japan at the time. Numerous historic buildings that date from the period remain throughout the area today, making it a popular area for its appealing and nostalgic atmosphere. A visit here also offers you many other attractions, such as views of the massive Kanmon Straits in the distance and abundant local cuisine.
Many stately historical buildings are well preserved throughout the streets of Moji Port. The interiors of the building are also open to viewing, and are well worth a look. Here you will experience a nostalgic and elegant atmosphere as the very flow of time seems to slow down.
JR Mojiko StationView more
This station on operated by JR Kyushu was constructed in 1914 and later designated as a National Important Cultural Property. The renaissance style building is the first thing to greet you when you arrive at Mojiko Station and deboard your train. The quaint and nostalgic atmosphere of the station is the perfect place to start your trip through Mojiko Port.
Former Moji Mitsui ClubView more
This building was constructed as a social club and lodging facility in 1921 by MItsui & Co., a general trading company that still exists today. The beautiful half-timber style wooden building, with it’s atmosphere that evokes a sense of Western architectural history, has been designated as a National Important Cultural Property. Albert Einstein and his wife stayed here when they visited Japan in 1922, and the room where they slept has been returned to its original state as the Einstein Memorial Room.
Former Osaka Shosen Mercantile Steamship Co. BuildingView more
This building was constructed as the Moji branch of Osaka Shosen, a former Japanese shipping company, in 1917, and features a two-story western wooden construction. The interior once bustled with numerous travelers as the waiting room for continental shipping routes. The exterior is beautiful, with the octagonal-shaped wing and orange tiles grabbing the attention of the viewer.
Former Moji Customs OfficeView more
Built in 1912, this red-brick Western-style building served as a customs building until the early Showa period. The classic interior features a cafe and exhibit space on the first floor and a gallery and observation room on the second. The spacious atrium entrance hall is also quite appealing.
A wide array of shops and cafes
If you’ve come all the way to Mojiko Port, then you simply can’t miss all of the shops and lovely nostalgic cafes that reflect the local character.
First we will tell you about the Kaikyo Plaza commercial complex. This facility, facing the sea and offering a sense of open space, features boutiques, souvenir shops, and restaurants with amazing views, and is guaranteed to satisfy all your shopping and dining needs.
Another spot perfect for souvenir hunting is the Minato House Mojiko Retro Kanko Bussankan (Tourist Shop). The House features a tourist’s market and takeout corner offering seafood from the Kanmon Straits and a wide variety of gifts from Kyushu.
And if you need a moment to relax, then we recommend a visit to one of the cafes and restaurants utilizing part of the many historic buildings. Options such as Cafe MATIERE in the former Osaka Shosen building, Mooon de Retro in the former Moji Customs Office, and Mitsui Club in the former Moji Mitsui Club building each offer sweets, coffee, or meals for you to enjoy in the western architectural atmosphere.
Mojiko Port Gourmet
If you get hungry as you stroll around Mojiko Retro, then we recommend that your first choice should be Mojiko Baked Curry. This local cuisine born in Mojiko Port features curry baked in a ceramic bowl covered in thick, hot, and melty cheese.
There are no less than 20 restaurants throughout Mojiko Port that serve baked curry, each with its own unique take on the meal and accompanying dishes. First, grab a copy of the Mojiko Port Baked Curry Map and start looking for a restaurant that catches your fancy.
Popular restaurants often seen on TV!
Oosama no Tamago, or the King’s Egg, is a popular restaurant that serves omelet rice made with fluffy eggs in addition to the standard Mojiko Port Baked Curry. It is located just a short walk from Mojiko Station. Everything on the menu, prepared with the best eggs selected by the chef, is quite delicious! They even add eggs to Mojiko Port Baked Curry to present a slightly different flavor than the competition. They also offer a wide variety of desserts and drinks, making it the perfect place to take a break from your retro stroll. In addition to a kid’s space, they also have seaside terrace seating, making it popular with everyone from couples to families with children.
If you like to be active, rent a bicycle!
Another way we recommend enjoying your tour of Mojiko Retro is by rental bicycle. There are a variety of different bikes on offer, including electric assisted, children’s bikes, and even tandems for two riders. Bicycles are available starting at 800 Yen a day, making your cycling experience more than accessible.
Touring the town by bicycle will also greatly expand the amount of distance you can cover. Why not go beyond the Mojiko Retro area and visit Shimonoseki via the Kanmon Tunnel Jindo pedestrian path that extends across the seabed?
Enjoy the nostalgic experience of a rickshaw!
If you want to try an out of the ordinary experience, why not take a tour on a rickshaw? Pictures of you on a rickshaw riding through the nostalgic streets as if you’ve slipped back in time will surely attract likes on social media.
There are several routes available, with some as easily accessible as roughly 12 minutes long. Rickshaws enable you to move around efficiently, so they are also convenient when you’re short on time. The Shafu, or rickshaw puller, will give you a guided tour of the area while you ride, so it is also a great way to learn more about the famous tourist destinations you visit.
Here are some great spots to take photographs!
Mojiko Port is picturesque no matter where you are, but here are some of the spots that are especially popular for capturing photos!
Chinzeibashi ParkView more
This is a classic spot to take commemorative photographs of a trip to Mojiko, with a “Mojiko” monument located within the park. Take a picture in front of the monument with the pose of your choice as a keepsake!
Mojiko Retro Observation RoomView more
The view from this observation room, 103 meters above ground, not only shows you an overview of the streets of Mojiko Retro, but you can even see as far as the Kanmon Straits. There is a service called Tenku Eye Eye Photo located within the observation room where your eyes are overlaid by heart marks when taking a photo with your smartphone, but we also recommend the romantic night view.
Blue Wing MojiView more
This bridge is one of the longest pedestrian bridges in Japan at a total length of 108 meters. The bridge opens slowly over a span of 4 minutes, and then closes over a span of about 8 minutes, every time a ship passes. A picture of the bridge as it moves is sure to be impressive, but the bridge illuminated at night is also a fantastic sight to see.
The view of Mojiko Retro from offshore during a cruise is wonderful!
The Mojiko Retro Cruise service offers a cruise of about 20 minutes long. While you can fully enjoy the area by taking walks through the streets, the view of Mojiko Retro from the sea is something else. The vast scenes that will greet your eyes after passing through the Kanmon Straits will surely satisfy! There is also a sunset cruise and night cruise for late evening and nighttime that you will remember long after your trip is over. The pier for boarding is located close to the Kaikyo Plaza, making this an easy and convenient option to experience.
Winter in Mojiko Retro is full of activities as well!
Mojiko Retro Roman Tosai (Romantic Illumination)View more
During Roman Tosai, the streets of Mojiko Retro are illuminated with over 300,000 lightbulbs. The richly nostalgic historic buildings are lit up for an even more satisfying mood, making the scenery even more romantic than usual!
Kanmon Straits Candle NightView more
This is one of the largest candle night events in Japan, during which you can see both Moji and Shimonoseki illuminated on both sides of the Kanmon Straits simultaneously. The streets of Mojiko Retro take on a fantastical aspect, filled with the light of countless candles. Why not come and enjoy yet another aspect and atmosphere different from any other time of year.
Mojiko Port Retro CountdownView more
New Year's Eve countdown (December 31) The streets of Moji Retro become even more bustling during the New Year’s Eve countdown, with performances and events such as Banana-no-Tatakiuri (a performance based on the traditional banana salesmen when bananas were first imported to Japan) and a fireworks show. Ships anchored in the Kanmon Straits all sound their horns at once when the clock changes to January 1st, signaling the start of a new year.
Buzenkai Hitotsubu Kaki Oyster Festival
This is a event that cannot be missed if you are a fan of oysters. During the event, more than 200 oyster grilling stands are arrayed throughout the central plaza of Mojiko Retro. Held normally in early February each year, the famous oysters harvested from the Buzen Sea off the east side of Kitakyushu, known by the brand Buzenkai Hitotsubu (one-bite) Oysters, are cooked for you while you wait.
What did you think of our special feature on how to enjoy Mojiko Retro? The nostalgic atmosphere that fills the streets of Mojiko Retro is the perfect way to experience something out of the ordinary. If you’re planning a trip, also check out the example tours we’ve provided via the links below.
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