Fukuoka City was apparently not prepared for the tidal wave of AKB fans flooding into their city. Reports of overcrowding and hotel shortages run rampant!
Fukuoka is one of the largest cities in Kyushu Island, having long been the final stop of Japan’s Shinkansen bullet train (up until about 2011 or so, at least). Kyushu is also home to many prefectures where some of the most popular originate, not the last of which include: Shinoda Mariko, Takajo Aki, Sashihara Rino, and Kashiwagi Yuki (to name a few).
Fukuoka lends itself as being one of the larger central areas for international guests from Asia to congregate. Citing ease of obtaining local sponsorship, as well as its proximity to other parts of Asia, this is the first time that an AKB group election has taken place outside of Tokyo. That being said, Fukuoka is nowhere near as large as Tokyo, and the economic effects on the local economy are being felt. Some good, some bad.
The out-of-town visitor is expected to spend an average of $160 USD for a one night stay, and misc expenses. Great for the local economy.
On the other hand, rampage hotel shortages, especially near the main Hakata station, are causing prices to to sky rocket, and force people beyond city limits to find appropriate housing.
As silly as it sounds, this is almost sounding like the effects of the Olympic games on the local economy.
I’m writing about useless and stupid things a lot, and I like to laugh. My policy is 一期一会。It means treasure your meeting with everyone!