Most people visit shopping malls to do just what the name indicates...shop. And yes, Japan has a multitude of malls, boutique stores, and shotengai (traditional shopping streets) to spend your yen at. Fukuoka's Canal City Mall is one such place where you can get your retail therapy fix, and you'll find a wide range of both Japanese and international brands spanning the complex. However, what's most unique about the mall here is the design of it, which is certainly appealing and eye-catching from an architectural standpoint.
The mall was designed back in 1996 by the Los Angeles based architectural firm Jerde, with the ultimate aim being to reinvigorate a city that was struggling at the time. It's hard to believe that the vibrant, bustling Fukuoka of today was a city where shopping areas were facing years upon years of declining sales, but it was their reality. The vision behind Canal City Mall was to create a unique gathering point for the city, and incorporating the use of greenery and water in the plans - and that's still a prevailing concept at the mall today.
In its first year, foot traffic through the mall exceeded 16 million visitors - it was a mind blowing transformation for the city. Aside from the shopping at Canal City, there's plenty to keep guests occupied, from movie theaters and restaurants to a daily water fountain show.