Fukuoka is located in Kyushu, the easternmost island among the 4 main islands of Japan. Famous for its local food as well as the rich history that played a part in creating today’s Japan, it is one of the biggest cities in Japan with lots of fun-filled tourist attractions. You can find cheap accommodations there as well!
Come check out Japan’s youngest major city!
The main city in Fukuoka is Hakata, which has many types of food exclusive to the area. Bullet trains connect Fukuoka to other major cities and the Fukuoka Airport - an international airport - allows easy access from overseas. Here are some of the things you should not miss when you are in Fukuoka.
Sights that are not to be missed!
1. Kawachi Fuji Garden ( Best season from end of April to early May)
The amazing scenery of Kawachi Fujien, a private garden, went viral on social networking sites and made it to CNN’s “Japan’s 31 most beautiful places” in 2015. During spring and autumn, the flower gardens on Kawachi Fujien will be lined by numerous vibrant flowers, and its beauty cannot be experienced anywhere else. It is most famous for the wisteria tunnel, which is the perfect place for you to take a photo and show off to your friends!
Kawachi Fujien (Kawachi Fuji Garden)
Address: 2-2-48 Kawachi, Yawatahigashi-ku, Kitakyushu 805-0045, Fukuoka
Access info: 1-hour drive from Hakata station
Opening hours: Spring and autumn (please check official website)
Fixed holiday: Summer and winter (please check official website)
Contact: +81 93-652-0334
Entrance fee: please check official website (free entry for high schoolers and below)
Access 20 mins taxi/bus ride from JR Yahata station
2. Shikano Island
Shikano Island is a small island just 30 minutes from Hakata by ferry, which has amazing landscapes as well as hiking courses. The view from the Shiomi Park Observatory provides a panoramic view of Fukuoka, Hakata Bay and the ocean around the island. You can also make your way to the beach and enjoy a great time with your friends - the view of the sunset from the beach is marvellous too.
Port of Hakata
Address: 12-1 Okihama-machi, Hakata-ku Fukuoka-City
Access info: Shikano Island is a 30-minute ferry ride from Port of Hakata
Opening hours: please check ferry timings at official website
Fixed holiday: nil
Contact: +81 92-282-7110
Entrance fee: 670 JPY or 6.30 USD (one-way)
3. Nanzoin Temple
Nanzoin Temple is best known for what is thought to be the biggest Buddha Statue on earth. The Bronze Buddha is 41 metres (135 feet) long, 11 metres (36 feet) tall and weighs up to 300 ton (272 tonne), and it is said that about 1.2 million people visit it every year. There are also several temples located around Nanzoin Temple which you can visit.
Address: 1035 Sasaguri, Kasuya-gun, Sasaguri-machi
Access info: 5-minute walk from Kidonanzoinmae station
Opening hours: 9 am - 3 pm
Fixed holiday: January 1 to January 3
Contact: +81 92-947-1880
Entrance fee: 500 JPY (4.70 USD)
4. Itoshima’s beautiful sunset
Itoshima city is about 50 minutes from Hakata station by train and 30 minutes by car. The nature-rich city is best known for its amazing sunset at the Sakurai Futamigaura area. A Meotoiwa - Two stacks of rocks symbolising husband and wife - is located offshore from Sakurai Futamigaura, which provides a great touch to the amazing sunset. Apart from that, a huge Torii gate (Torii gates serve as a boundary between God and humans) is also located along the coast, which photographers will definitely love.
Address: Sakurai Shimamachi, Itoshima
Access info: 50-minute train ride from Hakata station
5. Dazaifu Government Remains
Dazaifu refers to the regional government during Japan’s past. At the Dazaifu Government Remains, you will be able to witness the former governmental grounds where buildings used to stand. Located near the Dazaifu Government Remains is a museum where you can learn more about Fukuoka’s history, and this is a great place for Japanese history lovers to explore.
Dazaifu Government Remains
Address: 4 Kanzeonji, Dazaifu 818-0101, Fukuoka Prefecture
Access info: 11-minute walk from Tofuro Mae station
Opening hours: 8:30 am - 5 pm
Fixed holiday: Monday, December 28 to 4 January
Contact: +81 92-922-9524
Entrance fee: free entry
6. Kyushu National Museum
Kyushu National Museum is not your ordinary and at times boring museum – it is an interactive museum where you can learn about Kyushu’s history while having fun at the different exhibitions. You can dress up in traditional costumes of the different countries that Japan had international relations with in the olden days, as well as play various traditional games and instruments while learning about them. The Kyushu National Museum is a fantastic place for families, especially those with children, to visit!
Kyushu National Museum
Address: 4-7-2 Ishizaka, Dazaifu City, Fukuoka
Access info: 10-minute walk from Dazaifu station
Opening hours: 9:30 am - 5 pm (last admission at 4:30 pm)
Fixed holiday: Monday
Entrance fee: 430 JPY (4 USD)
7. River Yanagawa
River Yanagawa is a picturesque river, and its natural beauty never fails to amaze people - the sakura flowers in spring are especially beautiful. You can take part in the Yanagawa Kawakudari, a 70-minute boat ride down the river which will introduce you to the numerous historical areas found along River Yanagawa. This Yanagawa Kawakudari has a history of over 50 years and has been loved by tourists for a long period of time.
Address: 329, Mitsuhashimachi Takahatake Yanagawa, Fukuoka
Access info: 5-minute walk from Yanagawa station
Opening hours: 9 am - 5 pm
Fixed holiday: nil
Contact: +81 944-72-6177
Entrance fee: 1600 JPY (15 USD)
Find out about the local delicacies!
8. Yanagibashi Rengo Market
Yanagibashi Rengo Market is the kitchen of Hakata - over 40 greengrocers and fishmongers line the market which sells fresh products. There are also shops selling fruits and tofu, as well as cafés and bakery where you can purchase finger food while exploring the market. You can also step into the restaurants to enjoy a fantastic seafood Donburi (a type of Japanese rice bowl dish) which includes ingredients such as fresh squids and salmon sashimi.
Yanagibashi Rengo Market
Address: 1-5-1 Haruyoshi, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka
Access info: 10-minute bus ride from Hakata station
Opening hours: 8 am - 6 pm
Fixed holiday: Sundays and Japanese holidays
Contact: +81 92-761-5717
Entrance fee: free entry
9. Yatai gourmet
Fukuoka is best known for its great food from the Yatai (food stalls) which line various streets at night. Among the Yatai areas in Fukuoka is the Tenjin area, where the district will be filled with numerous Fukuoka Ramen Yatai, Oden Yatai (Oden is a type of Japanese winter dish) and other unique food you can only enjoy there. Among the stalls is one called Kokin Chan, which serves one of Hakata’s most famous dishes – fried ramen. The marvellous harmony of noodles with pork, vegetables and Worcester sauce is stunning!
Address: 2 Tenjin, chuo-ku, Fukuoka
Access info: 5-minute walk from Tenjin station
Opening hours: 6:30 pm to 2 am
Fixed holiday: Thursdays, Sundays and rainy days
Contact: +81 90-3072-4304
10. Hakata Ramen from Hakata Issou
A trip to Hakata is incomplete without trying out the delicious Hakata Ramen. One of the shops where you can enjoy them is Hakata Issou, located just 6 minutes from Hakata station by foot. The amazing Tonkotsu soup (pork bone soup) creates a splendid symphony with the soft noodles and it will be an experience you will never forget!
Address: 3-1-6 Hakataekihigashi, Hakata-ku, Fukuoka
Access info: 6-minute walk from Hakata station
Opening hours: 11 am - 11 pm
Fixed holiday: nil
Contact: +81 92-472-7739
Fukuoka is not just about food!
Apart from the mouth-watering delicacies that Fukuoka serves, there are also beautiful natural landscapes as well as historical sites that photographers and history-lovers will enjoy. Furthermore, Fukuoka is only about 2 hours from other popular tourist spots like Hiroshima so it is definitely worth visiting when in Japan!
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