Xaymaca's Rastafarian memorabilia, dimly lit colours and stream of reggae music make it the most chilled spot in Fukuoka (Photo: Alton Mark Allen)

Xaymaca [Closed]

The most chilled spot in Fukuoka

Xaymaca's Rastafarian memorabilia, dimly lit colours and stream of reggae music make it the most chilled spot in Fukuoka (Photo: Alton Mark Allen)
Isamu Yoneda   - 3 min read

Archived content

Closed end of 2013.

Last updated: Jul 11, 2018

Living in Japan, I've often found myself in need of some western contact and food that isn't either noodles or rice. There are plenty of bar-restaurants listed on Fukuoka Now but this is the one I'd give a 5-star rating to.

On the 3rd floor of an ordinary-looking city building on Oyafuko-dori in north Tenjin, an elaborately decorated door invites travellers in to what I call my "temporary escape from Japan." Walk in, and the friendly Jamaican face of Allen greets you. The bar is so cosy. A dimly lit room of vibrant colours, with Rastafarian memorabilia draped on its walls and, of course, the sound of a soothing stream of reggae. Allen also has a balcony where I've enjoyed many nights watching over the busy streets of Fukuoka and having the freedom of choosing my own flavour of reggae on a separate sound system.

I once went in for a study project on themed bars in Fukuoka. Allen names the bar Xaymaca after Jamaica's original name. He aims to make his visitors feel like they're on holiday. A happy hour brings in guests early on and Thursday's one-coin (¥500) curry attracts a regular crowd to chow down on Allen's awesome chef skills. His food menu ranges from curry to gumbo, jerk chicken to rasta pasta. He even has his homemade hot sauce and jerk rub on sale if you like his mix of spices.

My best memory there was when I booked the bar out for a large group of guys. All-you-can-eat and drink for around ¥3500 was worth every second, every bite and every sip. Plate after plate of authentic Caribbean food and cocktail after cocktail made it a memorable night. Allen does some serious cooking. He isn't on his own though. His cocktail expert and sidekick, Keiichi, is always there adding a Japanese element to the service.

Get to know Allen and you'll hear about events going on in the neighbourhood's bars and the occasional beach party Allen barbecues for. During Golden Week, Allen and his neighbour Damian - the owner of the bar Bourbon Street - open up the corridor they're on and have a joint shindig with extended opening hours.

While I'm on the subject of neighbouring bars, do check out Bourbon Street - an American style bar with the occasional band and salsa nights; Club Mars - a small-sized club leaning towards a hip-hop vibe; and the Dark Room - a rock bar on the top floor. Like Xaymaca, these bars are perfect examples of a Fukuoka-style bar. Small and interesting, there is usually a face to the bar who is there pretty much every night. These are the places you want to be whether you're on a heavy night out, in search of a vibe from home or getting to know the heart of Fukuoka's night life.

Isamu Yoneda

Isamu Yoneda @isamu.yoneda

I was born in Osaka, to a Scottish mother and a Japanese father. Lived there for 3 months, then moved to England for 2 years. After that I lived in Düsseldorf, Germany, for 5 years, then moved back to England. In 2010, I spent a year at Kyushu University, Fukuoka. As well as contributing to Japan...