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Underground Shopping Mall Extension

Q: Should the concept of development in later periods be different?

A: If the original concept is well received, continuing on the same concept is useful.

Tenjin Chikagai, an underground shopping mall as well as an important social infrastructure in Fukuoka City’s center, originally opened in 1976, then linked with Tenjin subway Station in 1981 and extended to link with Tenjin Minami subway Station in 2005. It pursued the original concept for this extension inspired by 19th Century Europe, adding new features.

Underground Mall Extension - Tenjin Chikagai (Tenjin Underground Shopping Mall)

Tenjin Chikagai is an underground shopping mall in Fukuoka City’s center, initially inaugurated in 1976. The mall has a unique atmosphere because of its design; the passages are paved with stones and bricks, dim-lighting, unlike other shopping malls. This concept inspired by 19th Century Europe has been used since its inauguration in 1976 and cohered with this concept even when the mall was extended from 360-meter-long to 590-meter-long in 2005.

In this concept, the mall is considered a “theater” -- the shops are the stage, the pedestrians are the audience, the merchandise and shop staff are the supporting actors, and the customers are the main actors. This concept created a unique atmosphere, and it was well-received by the city’s visitors and residents. And the concept made this mall a touristic attraction in the city.

The extension of Tenjin Chikagai was planned to connect the new Tenjin Minami Station of Fukuoka City Subway Nanakuma Line. And this subway project had a universal design concept from the start. Therefore, Tenjin Chikagai also added new facilities and renovated existing facilities in line with the universal design for the new subway line.

For example, elevators and escalators were newly added to facilitate accessibility to the mall for the elderly and people with disabilities. And now it has restrooms renovated, and vanity area for women, a multifunction room, and a lactation room. Enhancing user-friendliness and the convenience of being able to walk from the north to the south of the area was the reason why the pedestrian traffic increased at all points in the mall. The pedestrians walking underground ratio also increased from 40 percent to 60 percent against ground level in the pedestrian traffic analyses held before and after the extension, in 2003 and 2005.

Tenjin Area is expected to handle many visitors and commuters with the progress of the Tenjin Big Bang Project, which enhances the functions to be Asia’s hub city and creating new office spaces, as well as the extension of Fukuoka City Subway Nanakuma Line to Hakata Station in the fiscal year of 2022. Consequently, Tenjin Chikagai will play an essential role as a social infrastructure and a shopping mall in Tenjin Area.

[Case ID: Urban Renewal UR-08]


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