Fukuoka Guide

Fukuoka Prefecture

Fukuoka is the largest city on Kyushu and the 9th largest in Japan. It is located in southern Japan and is only 3 hours by ferry to the South Korean city of Pusan. The airport is one of the very few airports in Japan that is located in the city area and takes only two subway stops will have you in Hakata, the heart of charming Fukuoka city.

Fukuoka is a diverse mix of modern day city, like the rest of Kyushu, is rich in natural beauty and tourist attractions. Fukuoka is also known as a gourmet city in Japan and you will experience a fantastic high-and-low dining out in Fukuoka.

Main cities and towns: Fukuoka, Dazaifu, Kita-kyushu, Kurume

Things to do in Fukuoka

Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine

Dazaifu

Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine is a Shinto Shirine located in Dazaifu city, Fukuoka. It is sacred to the memory of Sugawara Michizane (845-903) as the god of academic achievement. In 901 A.D., Michizane was suddenly sent to Dazaifu in exile and he died after two years. Dazaifu Tenmangu shrine is built on the site of his grave.

During the Scholl examination season, students from throughout of Japan preparing for these examinations and their parents come to the shrine to pray for success in the examination or academic achievement. The approach to the shrine is lined with teahouses selling 'umegae mochi,' a local specialty rice cake and souvenir shops. The shrine is famous for its ‘Ume’ (Japanese plum) and 'Tobi-ume' (flying plum) trees, which, according to the legend, flew to Dazaifu from Kyoto after Sugawara Michizane.

Visitor Information

Kushida Shrine

Kushida Shrine

The Shinto shrine wildly known as ‘O-Kushida-san’, a grand tutelary shrine of Hakata. The Hakata Gion Yamakasa festival is dedicated to this Shrine.

Visitor Information
  • Access: 5 min walk from Nakasu Kawabata subway station
  • Address: 1-41, Kamikawabata-machi, Hakata-ku, Fukuoka

Tochoji Temple

Tochoji

A shingon temple founded in 806 by famous monk Kukai when he came back from China. Fukuoka daibutsu (Great Buddhist statue) is a largest wooden seated Buddha statue in Japan.

Visitor Information
  • Access: 1min walk from Gion subway station
  • Address: 2-4 Gokusho-machi, Hakata-ku, Fukuoka

Ohori Park

Obori Park

A beautiful park beloved by the local residents as a great relaxation spot. You can enjoy walking, jogging and cycling around the 2K encircled pond, bird watching and row boating in the pond. There is a children playground, Japanese garden, Art museum in the park and Fukuoka castle ruin is near by the park.

Hanabi taikai (Firework festival) is held here in summer and also known for a great viewing spot for Cherry blossom in spring.

Visitor Information
  • Access: 1min walk from Ohori-koen subway station
  • Address: Ohori Koen, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka

Mojiko Retro Area

Mojiko Retro Area

The Port of Moji, Mojiko, has a rich history of over 120 years from the beginning of the Meiji Era (1872 to 1914) through today.

Several of the buildings in the port town were built between the Meiji Era and the Taisho Era(1914 to 1931) and are still standing today.

Today, it is one of the few train stations made almost entirely from wood.
Mojiko Station is one of the many buildings that exudes the regal and nostalgic atmosphere which the town is famous for.

As you make your way through Mojiko, you will find many attractions. There are many places to shop and historical museums and art galleries to see. Visitors will find great scenic view points only a mile away in the Mekari area. Here, visitors can admire the massive expanse of the Kanmon Bridge and look out over the Kanmon Strait, which has been the site of many important and historical events throughout time.
In winter evening (19th November2016 to 19th February2017), ‘Mojiko Retro Roman Tosai (lighting up the historic buildings)’ can be seen around 17:30 until 22:00.

NOTE:
JR Mojiko station’s facade has been covered due to renovation work until 2018.

Visitor Information
  • Access: From JR Hakata Station to Mojiko by bullet train/LTD.EXP.train & local train. Approx. 60 min.
  • Address: Moji-ku, Kitakyushu City, Fukuoka

Baseball at Fukuoka Dome

Baseball game at Fukuoka Dome

Fukuoka Yafuoku Dome is a home stadium of Fukuoka Softbank Hawks one of the 12 Nippon Professional Baseball teams and the only baseball team based in Kyushu.

Before the second half of 7th inning (offence for the Hawks), it's time to sing the team’s theme song and release the thousands of yellow balloons at the same time. Cheer the Hawks with local fans!

Visitor Information
  • Access: 15-20 mins by bus from Tenjin Bus centre / 30-40 mins by bus from Hakata station
  • Address: 2-2-2 Jigyōhama, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka

Shopping in Fukuoka

Tenjin Area

Tenjin

Tenjin is an area with lots of department stores, small retails shops and restaurants.
http://tenjinsite.jp/first_jp/first_eg.php

Iwataya Department store
One of the most established department stores in Kyushu. Few minutes walk from Nishitetsu Tenjin (Fukuoka) station.
http://www.i.iwataya-mitsukoshi.co.jp/int/index.html#en

Tenjin core
with a wide selection of popular fashion brand shops including the branch from Shibuya 109 in Tokyo are available here. It’s on the opposite side of NishitetsuTenjin (Fukuoka) station.

Tenjin Chikagai
Underground shopping arcade with 150 shops and restaurants. Connected to Subway, train station and major department stores.

Hakata Area

Arcade

Canal City Hakata
Shopping and entertainment complex located in between Hakata and Tenjin. Ramen Stadium on the 5th floor it consists of 8 popular ramen shops across the country is worth a visit to taste local specialty.
http://www.canalcity.co.jp/eg/

JR Hakata City
A new Hakata station building opened in 2011. It consists of over 230 shops and 46 restaurants.

What to eat in Fukuoka

Testunabe Gyoza

Hakata Tonkotsu Ramen
Tonkotsu (pork bone) ramen is Fukuoka’s most popular specialty. A cloudy white coloured broth made from pork bone, vegetable, pork fat and pork collagen, served with thin noodles.
Ramen is also known as late night snack after dining/drinking out and many shops open till midnight or even early morning.

Hakata Udon
it’s said Fukuoka is the birthplace of Udon noodles. Recommend to try udon with Kashiwa gohan (cooked rice with chicken and veges)! Gobo ten (burdock tempura) Udon and Niku Udon with Kashiwa gohan at Maki no Udon

Motsunabe

Motsu Nabe
(Beef offal hot pot), there are various type of flavours, such as soy source, Miso and shio (salt).
At the end normally add champon noodle to finish it.

Tetsunabe Gyoza
Gyoza (dumpling) is served in the iron frying pans (tetsunabe) it was cooked in, to keep them sizzling-hot!
Very delicioous

Mentaiko
a spicy pickle of pollack or cod roe. Eat as it is with rice or cooked with pasta, Japanese omelette etc…

Yatai (food stalls)
Fukuoka is famous for its Yatai (outside food stalls) offers varieties of local dishes. In the evening around 6pm about 150 Yatai will appear in Tenjin, Nakasu along the Naka river and Nagahama area.

Seasonal Events & Festival

Hakata Gion Yamakasa : the first half of July

Yamakasa

The summer festival held annually from 1st to 15th July in Hakata, Fukuoka with over 770years history. Hakata Gion Yamakasa is a Shinto ritual dedicated to Kushida Shrine, a grand tutelary shrine of Hakata.

On the 15th July, the last day of matsuri, the seven Nagare (teams) from the seven area of Hakata ward compete in the 5k race carrying a giant float.

Hakata Dontaku : Golden week, 3rd - 4th May

The Festival with more than 800 years history and attracts more than two million people, making it the best attended festival in Japan during the Golden Week.

The November Sumo Tournament : November

Sumo

One of the six sumo tournaments is held in Fukuoka every November for 15 days.

Visitor Information
  • Address: Fukuoka Kokusai Center,
    2-2 Chikko Honmachi, Hakata-ku, Fukuoka

Kokura Gion Daiko (Japanese Drums, also called ‘Taiko’) Festival 小倉祇園太鼓 : Friday to Sunday in mid-July

Once the gloomy rains of Japan’s rainy season have passed, the castle town of Kokura is filled with the sounds of ‘Taiko’ drumming! Men walk the city streets pulling a float while beating the drums in its style.

The drummers pray for peace on earth, the continued safety of Japan, abundant crops, prosperity in business, and the safety of their families as the drums reverberate.

It is one of the popular Gion Festivals in Japan and was originally called simply ‘Gion Festival’ and become the biggest events of Yasaka shrine in Kokura city, which is related the famous Yasaka shrine in Kyoto, then ‘Taiko’ became one of the symbols of this festival around 1660, so now it’s been called ‘Kokura Gion Daiko’ Festival.

Date in 2017: 14th – 16th July

Schedule:

Friday, the 14th – 13:30 ~ ‘Goshinko御神幸’

The enshrined deity of Yasaka shrine, Susano no Mikoto depart from Yasaka shrine to Muro-machi & Uo-machi.
19:00 ~ ‘Yoi (Evening) Gion宵祇園’
Lively ‘Taiko’ procession go around the castle area to Uomachi-Gintengai Arcade魚町銀天街

Saturday, the 15th – 11:00 ~ ‘Gokanko御還幸’

The enshrined deity back to Yasaka shrine with sounds of ‘Taiko’
15:00 Taiko competition競演大会 at Kokura Castle Otemon-mae-hiroba 大手門前広場
Team competition of ‘Taiko’ which is attached with float. The category of team is divided into ‘experienced drummers’, ‘adult drummers from the public’ and ‘children drummers’.

Sunday, the 16th – Uchi-osame打ち納め (The finale of drumming)

11:00 ‘Sue-Taiko’ competition据え太鼓競演会at Kokura Castle Otemon-mae-hiroba
To compete skills and originalities of drumming with two ‘Sue (set in ground) Taiko’ with not single drummer but few drummers
18:30 Mawari Gion廻り祇園(The finale of the festival) at Komoniji Avenue小文字通り
On the 550m-long Komonji Avenue, the parade of about 80 floats, 160 ‘Taiko’ drums and 4,000 people will be held
Visitor Information
  • Place: Kokura Castle area, Kitakyush city
    Contact: Tel:093-562-3341 Kokura Gion Daiko Preservation Association Office
    Access: 10 min. from JR Nishi Kokura station /15 min. walk from JR Kokura station on foot
fukuoka

Tours in Kyushu