Due to its closeness to Korea, Fukuoka has its own unique culture and influence. It is Kyushu’s largest city and one of Japan’s 10 most populated areas. Spend your time in Fukuoka exploring Maizuru Castle, read the messages to seafarers at Sumiyoshi Shrine, and of course, learn about the local area at Kyūshū National Museum. After a tiring day, the relaxing ryokans in Fukuoka are great to return to. But if you’re inclined to more commercial stays, don’t fret as there are luxury hotels that allow you to unwind in style. Fukuoka is also an ideal location to explore further afield. Many fascinating places can be reached as a day trip and so we’ve pulled together a list to help you get the most from your vacation. Read on to discover the top day trips from Fukuoka, Japan.
1. Kikuchi Valley
Also known as Healing Valley, this beautiful forest is an ideal place to get lost and go exploring for the day. Follow the crystal clear waters of Kikuchi River and discover waterfalls along the route. The water in the area was marked as one of the top 100 water spots in Japan. This place is particularly popular during the autumn foliage and cherry blossom viewing in spring. With over 50 different wild bird species, you’ll regularly see bird watchers in the area.
2. Yoshinogari Historical Park
This huge and complex historical park is an absolute must-see if you’re in the area. It is just 45.2 km (28 mi) from Fukuoka and you can easily spend a whole day enthralled in its unique history. This is a fascinating moat-encircled village and ancient ruin site. Dating back to the Yayoi period, visitors can enjoy the carefully restored and reconstructed buildings and learn about the lives of the people who lived here.
There are free tour guides available, which can be booked in advance. We’d recommend using a tour because there is, in total, 73.7 ha (181 ac) to traverse.
3. Ganryu Island
Ganryu Island is known as the famous fighting ground between two of Japan’s most prestigious swordsmen, Miyamoto Musashi, and Sasaki Kojiroō. The original name of the island is Funajima but it was given the second name of Ganryu after the sword school that was founded by Kojiroō.
The first stop on this island should be the two states of these swordsmen, then take a stroll down the floating pier. If it’s a sunny day, you might enjoy the artificial beach and the hiking paths around the island. All the unique sights here make for an enriching one-day trip from Fukuoka.
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4. Saga Ninja Village Hizen Yumekaido
This is a great option for those of you who have always wanted to see ‘a real-life ninja’ or if you have children in your group. This fun village is a recreation of Nagasaki Kaido from the Edo period. The themed areas give visitors the opportunity to discover what life was like during that time. There are numerous events throughout the calendar, from cosplaying to historical talks and much more. There are fun games to try on-site, and you can even rent your very own ninja costume for an even more authentic experience. If you’re looking for a fun-filled and entertaining day trip, head to Saga Ninja Village.
Those who travel to Fukuoka for relaxation can extend their unwinding pursuits in Yufuin, a smaller and less crowded onsen resort than Beppu. Alongside the beautiful onsens in both areas, there are a number of restaurants and cafes that can be enjoyed at your leisure. Visit one of the many boutiques and grab a one-of-a-kind souvenir.
In Beppu, you can enjoy one, or all, of the ‘Hells of Beppu’. These hot springs are for viewing rather than bathing. Surprisingly, the steam from the onsens is used to cook a variety of local specialties, including onsen pidan (steamed egg) and steamed buns.
Duration: 8 hours
6. Kuju Flower Park
If you want to see more than 500 different varieties of flowers then Kuju Flower Park is the place for you. The flower beds can be seen throughout the year except in winter, so you have plenty of opportunities to visit and take beautiful pictures. The park covers 49 ac (20 ha), so it’s the perfect place to enjoy a sunny day out. For tropical plants, head to the greenhouse area which is an equally beautiful spot.
Surround yourself with the breathtakingly beautiful nature of Miyazaki. You’ll enjoy different spots in the area, including Shirakawa Suigen Spring, Takachiho Gorge, and the shrines Amano Iwato and Amano Yasugawara. The spring, which has a temperature of 14°C to 16°C (57°F to 60°F), has been declared as one of the best water spots in Japan. At Takachiho Gorge, you can marvel at the beautiful waterfall that cascades into a crevice formed by a lava eruption from nearby Mt Aso. Finally, Amano Iwato and Amano Yasugawara both hold many secrets and are famous for their wishing stone stacks.
8. Nanzoin Temple
Discover the serene beauty and cultural significance of Nanzoin Temple in Fukuoka, Japan. Nestled amidst lush greenery, this temple is renowned for its awe-inspiring bronze statue of the reclining Buddha, one of the largest in the world.
As you enter the temple grounds, feel a sense of tranquility wash over you. Marvel at the intricate architecture and intricate details of the temple buildings, adorned with ornate carvings and vibrant colors. Take a moment to appreciate the peaceful atmosphere and soak in the spiritual ambiance. The highlight of the temple is the majestic reclining Buddha statue, measuring an impressive 41 meters (134.51 feet) in length. Witness the intricate craftsmanship up close and be captivated by the serene expression on the Buddha’s face.
Escape to the picturesque coastal town of Itoshima in Fukuoka, Japan. Nestled between the mountains and the sea, Itoshima offers a tranquil retreat from bustling city life. Immerse yourself in natural beauty as you explore the rolling hills, vibrant farmlands, and pristine beaches near Fukuoka. Take a leisurely stroll along the coastline, feeling the gentle ocean breeze and enjoying stunning views of the horizon.
Discover charming local villages and traditional Japanese houses, where you can experience the warm hospitality of the locals and savor delicious regional cuisine. Indulge in freshly caught seafood, farm-fresh produce, and artisanal specialties. For outdoor enthusiasts, Itoshima offers a range of activities such as hiking, cycling, and surfing. Admire the breathtaking landscapes, hike scenic trails, or catch a wave at one of the popular surf spots along the coast.
Known as the ‘Venice of Kyushu’ there is over 470 km (292 mi) of winding and interconnecting canals. The canals are traversed by small wooden boats. This is an absolute must-try if you’re in the area, and it is definitely something that you won’t forget. Who knew that you could enjoy punting in Japan? After punting, you can visit the country’s largest active volcano, Mount Aso. It is nestled in the heart of the Kyushu area. Inside, there is a steaming, crystal clear blue lake. During your day trip, check out Kurokawa Onsen, one of the most famous onsens here.
Duration: 8 to 9 hours
Japan is known for its outstanding natural beauty and thankfully, with just a short day trip from Fukuoka, you can experience it for yourself. There are many mystical power spots in the region. Visit Takachiho Gorge, with its stunningly blue waterfall that falls into a narrow chasm into the river below. The nearby Takachiho Shrine is nestled amongst pine trees and is a relaxing and peaceful location. The best way to finish this day trip tour is to discover nature from a whole different perspective at Kunimigaoka Observatory. From here, you can see Mount Aso and the five peaks.
Duration: 8 to 10 hours
This shrine, which is dedicated to the god of study, will also answer prayers on devotion and help keep evil away. For a once-in-a-lifetime experience, you can enjoy a Japanese-style set menu while soaking in the atmosphere of the main hall. You can also try some of the infamous umegae-mochi rice cakes and purchase souvenirs from the many small shops lining the temple entrance. There are also a number of traditional shrines that are worth the visit on your day trip. Be sure to stop by Kamado Shrine that is famous for matchmaking.
Duration: 9 hours
Over this nine-hour day trip, you’ll have plenty of time to relax and unwind in the healing waters of the onsens and explore the small, traditional streets of the surrounding area. The outside baths boast beautiful mountain views, and this village is surrounded by astounding natural beauty. If you’re feeling brave, you even have the opportunity to walk across Kokonoe Yume Suspension Bridge. Just don’t look down!
Duration: 9 hours
Firstly, head to Akama Shrine, which was built to commemorate the spirit of the six-year-old Emperor Antoku. It is known locally as a special ‘power spot’. The nearby Karato Market opens its doors at 7 am, and you’ll see many locals picking up their favorite types of fish to make sushi and bento boxes. The friendly hawkers take their time to tell you about each fish type and their favorite recipes. The market is always a fun insight into the much-loved fishing and sushi culture of Japan. The tour will also take you across the impressive 1,780-m-long (5,839-ft) Tsunoshima Bridge where you’ll be surrounded by crystal clear waters. Finally, you’ll visit one of the top 31 'most spectacular spots’ in Japan: Motonosumi Inari Shrine. Stretching meters towards the sea, you’ll feel enticed into following the torii gates. A sight you don’t want to miss!
Duration: 11 hours
Experience the best of Fukuoka and the surrounding area
With these exciting day tours from Fukuoka, you know that you are truly experiencing the best that this area has to offer. Whether you choose to do just one or all of the tours on this list, be sure to let us know your thoughts. For now, it’s time to book your once-in-a-lifetime trip to Japan and start packing. Are you as excited as we are?
Frequently asked questions about the top day trips from Fukuoka, Japan
1. What historical sites around Fukuoka are worth visiting?
To fully immerse in the culture and heritage of Fukuoka, make sure to include these significant locations in your list of places to visit: i) Yoshinogari Historical Park, ii) Ganryu Island, and iii) Nanzoin Temple.
2. What destinations near Fukuoka will nature lovers mostly enjoy?
Scenic natural landscapes are something you’ll never find lacking in Fukuoka. Some of the best destinations for nature lovers here include: i) Kikuchi Valley, ii) Kuju Flower Park, iii) Miyazaki, and iv) Itoshima.
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