Wednesday, 14 March 2012

In Search Of The Famed Yatai

One rainy night in Fukuoka, we decided that it'd be cool to walk around and look for the famed yatai there. Anyway, I am Asian (and a Malaysian). Street food is quite normal for me to enjoy, and at all hours of the day. Come over to my part of the world, and there are plenty of options for street food here.

A yatai (屋台) literally means shop stand. Yatais are also set-up temporarily during matsuris (festivals) and for me, the long lines of the yatais is a sight to see.

Not really knowing the exact place we should head to looking for them that night but I read somewhere that the stalls are set up mainly around Hakata Station, Nagahama, Tenjin and Nakasu.
Night photos in Fukuoka.

Not really sure where to head to, we took the subway from Hakata Station to Tenjin and started our walk from there. It was already raining that time, but we thought we could brave the bad weather since we were already out and about.
Typical dishes served and sold at these stalls are yakitori, oden, ramen. I guess this is where you go to if you want to try Hakata Ramen? Hakata ramen - thin egg noodles in pork based soup is Fukuoka's pride but I'll give them a pass. Can't eat pork, remember?

Anyways, a yatai usually seats around 7-8 customers and such create a place that is great to strike a conversation with the person next to you. That's what I'm told. I wouldn't know myself, being such an unfriendly git. xD

The crowd was noticeably not "up" when we were there, the weather must've made them went to somewhere more rain-friendly. I wish I had taken more photos that night, but gotta be careful of my camera too, in that drizzling weather.

That and the fact that the stall-helpers (staff/owners?) that were hustling for customers look kinda "intimidating" so I felt kinda uncomfortable pointing my camera lens everywhere. Paranoid, much? I guess so.


  1. So camera shy?
    No like my kawan India, so generous.
    Let me take pictures one. ;)

    1. LOL

      Indian "friends" all like cameras, right? :)

    2. Ha ha... Your Indian "friends" also like that meh?

      No, I have not beed to Mid Valley yet.
      I'm a kampung boy from KT.
      KL is pretty new to me, haha.

      Having said that, I went to visit an Indian temple in KL.
      It's also next to (actually inside!) a shopping centre.
      Don't recall the name now - must check my photos later.
      It's not far away from a covered pedestrian walkway (with a giant wau or two at the entrance).
      Oh yes, I think that's next to the Central Market.

    3. Hmmm... which one is that, I wonder?

      I guess I not yet pass knowing/learning all the places in KL yet too! xD

    4. Oh, it's Jalan Hang Kasturi.
      The Indian temple is Sri Mahamarianmman.

      You must know Malayia better than Japan.
      Mana semangat 1Malaysia? ;)

    5. Oh! Say lah Sri Mahamarianmman! I only think of Petaling Street there! LOL

      But didn't know it's inside a shopping centre. o.O

  2. aww, I want to go to a yatai, too.
    I'm always back to my home on the same day. XD

    1. Arriving home early is nice too. :)

  3. I love these night shots! The rain may be unpleasant to walk in, but it adds extra atmosphere to photos. I often wish I had a weather-proof camera. (The Hero has a waterproof camera, but that is reserved for fish. Grin.)

    What do you do about halal food in Japan? It can't be that easy to get? Or do you just avoid certain foods like pork?

    I find it very difficult to photograph people. I feel guilty about intruding into their private space. :(

    1. Lucky fish. xD

      Errrr.. food wise,I guess I'm rather lenient about it. I tried my best to check what I can eat - most part, I need to know the ingredients. Bear with me, if we do go out for a meal some place and I'm not sure what I'm eating; I'll be asking tons of questions. I guess I can only do this is Japan, without the staff rolling heir eyes at me!

      But yes, Pork is high up on the list of no-no thing to eat.

      I'm still struggling taking people's photo. I wish I have the confidence to approach people and get a shot of them without worrying how they would feel.

    2. As long as you will eat chocolate with me, you can ask as many questions as you want. ;)

      I often look at so-called street photography and wonder whether the photographer was using a zoom lens, lurking behind a corner and photographing people waaay over there. That makes me even more uncomfortable. It feels like stalking.

      Arbitrary comment: this post doesn't show up in "blogs I'm following" on my dashboard. Blogger is up to its usual tricks again. :(

    3. You might ask them if they mind taking photos of them...but this probably will get them run away too. ^ . ^ ... not an easy task...

    4. @Rurousha,
      I wondered the same too. Had contemplated in getting one of those humongous lens so I can take photos stealthily.

    5. @ristinw,
      Yup, definitely not easy to do it. I tried it before. Some ok some requests were rejected. :(

    6. I've also thought of getting a HUGE lens, but they cost a HUGE price, so, ah well, I'll just continue taking pictures of pretty flowers. :D

    7. Flowers don't mind us taking their photos, that's for sure! :)

  4. Mmm, ramen sounds good on a rainy and cold night. It is not easy to street photography of people unless it is a festival with lots of people. I had been yelled by a few people and one wanted to beat me up so be careful. I know photographers who pay people to take their photos on the street, but by the end of the block, one can be broke.

    1. Ramen sure sounds nice. But I can only enjoy them at certified Halal places here in Malaysia. :(

      About photography - yeah, don't want to ruffle any feathers by taking photos of people indiscriminately.

      But somehow, (maybe I'm biased) in Asia - it's easier to do that if one looks decidedly foreign : blonde, white, etc.


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