This Month's Feature City

Kitakyushu: Gateway to Asia

Kitakyushu City is located on the northern tip of Kyushu Island along the Kanmon strait. The city has been a prosperous gateway to the island of Kyushu as well as the rest of Asia, and serves as one of Japan’s important industrial hubs. The area surrounding JR Kokura Station has been designated as an international convention zone. Convention facilities, including the Kitakyushu International Conference Center (occupancy: 585 theater style) the West Japan General Exhibition Center (maximum occupancy: 6,900 theater style), and several large hotels are concentrated within a five-minute walk. The convention zone is easily accessible from Fukuoka Airport (40 minutes by Shinkansen and subway) or 35 minutes by airport limousine from Kitakyushu Airport.

Kitakyushu City is located in the middle of the Kitakyushu Industrial District, an area of densely concentrated steel, chemicals, ceramics, and electrical-appliance plants around Yawata Iron & Steel Co., Ltd., which started its operation in 1901. Even today, manufacturing is the city’s key industry. In addition to the previous material-based manufacturing factories, plants from new sectors such as automobile and peripheral industries have come to the area.

Kitakyushu is home to Kitakyushu Eco Town, where environment-related industries (e.g. recycling businesses that effectively use technologies to overcome environmental pollution) are concentrated, and Kitakyushu Science and Research Park, which is home to research institutes for the semi-conductor industry. Kitakyushu has been selected as an “environmental model city” that can lead the way for the international community by driving the shift to low-carbon societies around the world. Many international visitors come to the city to learn more about its accumulated environmental technologies and know-how. Asian countries with booming economies, particularly China and Korea, encourage private businesses with advanced technology to enter the environmental business. To date, Kitakyushu City has provided environmental business information to a wide range of foreign countries, in addition to formulating a plan to participate in exhibitions and business dispatch missions. Through these activities, the city vigorously supports local private businesses that are interested in expanding their operations overseas.

As mentioned earlier, Kitakyushu City has developed through the growth of industry. Today’s industries have changed their nature and structure from the old material-based industries, evolving into high-value-added manufacturing that combines the region’s history of technological achievements with cutting-edge technology. Thanks to joint efforts with Nippon Steel Sumitomo Metal, TOTO, Shabondama Soap, Toyota Motor Kyushu, Inc., and other companies, the city offers interesting tours that give visitors a first-hand look at actual industrial activity. Take the tour to get an enjoyable, up-close experience of Kyushu’s booming industry.

Kitakyushu City is also a great city for conventions. Available services extend to all aspects of a convention, from financial support to planning strategies and the dispatch of volunteers. The city offers subsidies up to ten million yen and accommodation discount services (“convention rates”) through the cooperation of the Kitakyushu Hotel Association. The city also introduces local performers to plan the perfect reception event.

Kitakyushu has well-established and unique reception venues, such as historic buildings and cultural facilities, where visitors can enjoy the city’s distinctive atmosphere. Facilities that can be used for receptions and meetings include: Moji Akarenga Place (an old 1913 Sapporo Breweries Kyushu factory that has been renovated), the Industry Club of West Japan (a classic Western-style building), the home of Kenjiro Matsumoto (one of the founders of the Kyushu Institute of Technology), and the Kitakyushu Museum of Natural History and Human History (which features fossil dinosaur exhibits).

Surrounded by oceans and mountains, Kitakyushu is a city blessed with a rich natural environment, as well as an abundance of fresh seafood and mountain fruits. Enjoying seasonal cuisine (e.g. local brand specialties such as Ouma bamboo shoots, Buzenkai oysters, Kokura beef, squid, sea bream, Japanese amberjack caught along the Hibikinada shore, and the cabbage and tomatoes that Kitakyushu is famous for) at high-class Japanese-style restaurants is the best way to enjoy your spare time after a convention. We are looking forward to seeing you in Kitakyushu!

About the West Japan Industry and Trade Convention Association

The West Japan Industry and Trade Convention Association is dedicated to fostering industrial development and promoting trade in Western Japan by inviting and supporting conventions in Kitakyushu City. Our highly experienced and hospitable staff offers support to organizers seeking to hold a successful convention.

For more information,
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Local Contacts


(JNTO Head Office)

+81 3 6691 4852

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New York

Alicia Hinds

+1 212 757 5640

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Ellen Mitchell

+44 20 7398 5670

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Aurelien Bandini

+33 1 4296 2960

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Im Young Hong

+82 2 777 8601

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Susan Ong

+65 6223 8205

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More Information

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