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Postcards: Justin Egli photographs Fukuoka City

Blade Runner vibes in the city's yatai

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Justin Egli is a travel, arts, and culture writer who has been in and out of Asia for the last 13 years, and living in Tokyo for the last five. On his most recent trip to Fukuoka City in the south of Japan he got lost amongst the red light district’s moody yatai restaurants.

“Fukuoka’s open-air food stands (yatai) are possibly the city’s best known symbol: smokey, ramshackle huts that serve ramen, yakitori, and booze. With smoke coming off the grills, gloomy interiors, and neon buzzing outside, the scene can often look like something out of Blade Runner. In 1994 a law was passed stating that yatai must be passed to a direct descendant, or closed, upon the retirement of the operator. So who knows how long these vibes will survive.”

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