Fukuoka is the capital city of Fukuoka Prefecture in Japan. The beautiful city located on the northern side of Kyushu Island is also the largest city on the island. The city of Fukuoka is formed by an amalgamation of two former towns of Japan located on the Naka-gawa River– Fukuoka, a castle town on the west bank and Hakata on the east. The two towns were merged in 1889 and together called Fukuoka but the name Hakata is still present in the metropolitan. The city history and culture is still associated with the name Hakata, from the Hakata station to Hakata ramen. The town of Hakata was a trading town with a history dating back to 2000 years. Even in the current scenario, Fukuoka city has numerous business visitors from Shanghai and Seoul.
Fukuoka is not only popular for business but is also known in Japan for its SoftBank Hawks, a baseball team and its famous Hakata Ramen. The city is known for its architecture, art, cuisine, and shopping. The friendly city welcomes all its visitors and is the gateway for regional excursions to Kyushu Island. Tourists love its warm weather and warm hospitality along with its numerous contemporary and natural attractions.
Tip: One can easily get by in Fukuoka by speaking English, but learning a few words of Japanese especially greetings will be good.
Getting to Fukuoka
The flights to Fukuoka and its neighboring areas are served by Fukuoka Airport (FUK). The international airport formerly known as Itazuke Air Base is located in Hakata-Ku, 3 km east of the city. Fukuoka airport is also the principal airport serving the Kyushu Island. It is the fourth busiest airport in Japan in terms of the number of passengers it receives. The domestic terminal of the airport is connected via the Fukuoka subway to the city. Though the international terminal is connected to the city via road, so to commute the travelers can take the bus, taxi or hotel shuttle. Direct flights to Fukuoka are from several international cities such as Seoul, Hong-Kong, Beijing, Macau, etc. There are several daily flights by many airlines and airways such as AirAsia Japan Airlines, AirAsia X airlines, Air China Airlines and All Nippon Airways.
Tip: Book flight tickets in advance if planning a trip around New Year.
Sightseeing in Fukuoka
The city of Fukuoka is the perfect sun-soaked natural retreat with the benefits of a multicultural metropolis. The city offers a unique holiday experience to all its visitors with a diversity of culture, beautiful architecture, serene landscapes, mesmerizing beaches, museums, historical buildings, and shrines. Dazaifu Tenman-gu is the most popular tourist attraction of Fukuoka. The large Shinto shrine is dedicated to Sugawara no Michizane, a popular academic, politician and poet from the Heian period. It is considered to be the most important shrine of its kind in Japan. The shrine surrounded by the plum tree has the famous “flying plum tree” which is believed to be the first plum tree to blossom every year. The tree has gotten the name due to the belief that it flew from the home of Sugawara no Michizane to be with him in his shrine.
Nature lovers enjoy a visit to Hiraodai. The elevated plateau site with white limestone rocks in the lush greens is popular for leisurely walks. Below the plateau, people enjoy exploring the limestone caves, especially the Senbutsu Shonyudo. Akizuki Castle Ruins is also a famous historical site popular for its rustic ambiance and forest foliage.
Ohori-Koen is an expansive park that has the remains of the former Fukuoka Castle, an amusement park, wild bird forest, and a traditional Japanese garden. The Japanese Garden has a beautiful tea house and a waterfall. Ohori-Koen Park is an ideal location for a family day picnic, where one can spend hours exploring the park. Another worth visiting natural attraction is Nokonoshima Island Park. The park provides a serene environment with hills covered with flowers-sunflowers in summer and beautiful cosmos flowers in the fall season.
The coastal destination due to its ideal location along the shore of the island of Kyushu has a plethora of seaside attractions. Take a ferry or travel by road to the nearby rural island of Shikanoshima and enjoy bustling island streets and picturesque beaches. One can also take the sightseeing cruise to the island from the Hakata Bay. Shikanoshima Island has a popular fishing shrine which is decorated with deer antlers.
Another notable day trip place near the Fukuoka city is Kitakyushu city. The city is popular for its Kokura Castle, stunning Kawachi Wisteria Garden and springtime cherry blossoms. One should also go to Itoshima, a beautiful resort town located on the Futamigaura Bay. The Bay is known for the Married Couple Rocks or Meoto Iwa. People gather here to see the stunning sunset on the two rocky crags of Meoto Iwa.
Tip: Visit the traditional folk museum of Hakata Machiya Furusato-kan to enjoy live demonstrations of Hakata culture.
Shopping and dining out in Fukuoka
Fukuoka is a major shopping hub with numerous departmental stores, malls, and independent shops. The Daimyo district and Canal City are known for its chic boutiques selling contemporary fashion and local designer wear. Keyaki-dori is known for intimate shops selling designer items, antiques, and foreign craft items. The city has many Shotengai or shopping arcades. Most popular ones are in Tenjin and Nakasu. Tenjin is also the most popular and largest shopping area in Fukuoka with numerous departmental stores, designer stores, and boutiques. Tenjin Chikagai is the boutique area, where one can find most of the boutiques. Visitors love to buy Hakata-ori which is the traditional weave of the city from the departmental stores located in Tenjin.
The city is known for its cuisine and food scene, especially for ramen and seafood. Hakata ramen or tonkotsu ramen is the distinct local delicacy of Fukuoka. Hakata ramen is served in most of the yatai. The city is known for its signature eating style from the yatai which are open or mobile food stalls. Nakasu Island and Nagahama are the places where the best of the yatai are located. The many waterfront yatai in Nakasu serves delicious regional food and delicacies. Along with Tenjin, Oyafuko-Dori is the main eating and drinking area with numerous restaurants and bars. Daimyo, Kego and Imaizumi are the latest happening shopping, dining and drinking spots of the city. Tourists also love to take a trip to Shikanoshima Island known for its seafood restaurants.
Tip: For the people who want to taste other forms of ramen, Canal City’s Ramen Stadium is the place. It has numerous ramen vendors from all over Japan making different types of ramen.
Local transport in Fukuoka
One can travel in the city by the local bus, taxi or subway. The city bus service is operated from the Nishitetsu Tenjin Bus Terminus and the Fukuoka Kotsu Centre, located near the JR Hakata Station. Most buses stop in front of the Hakata-guchi station. Fukuoka also has three subway lines running across the city. There are various one day passes for both bus and subway service. Tourists can purchase the Fukuoka Tourist City Pass which covers both bus and subway service.
Tip: The city has flat-rate ticket buses for city-center rides which are specially marked. So be careful when boarding a bus, as one might pay more for the short ride.
Fukuoka is a beautiful city and one can plan a memorable vacation with the help of Trip.com. With Trip.com one can book flight tickets along with hotel bookings in a few clicks. You just need to enter the destination and travel dates and the site shows all types of hotel and flight details. You can book cheap flights to Fukuoka from the many options available. The 24-hour customer support is always there to provide any kind of assistance in your booking and answer all your queries. The user-friendly site is also available as a mobile app for your convenience. Be assured of a convenient and easy booking with great customer experience on Trip.com for your enjoyable Fukuoka holidays.