The First Impression of Fukuoka

Fukuoka City is a large and populous city in Kyushu Prefecture, to the south of Japan. Close to Korea and not far from China, with access to the sea, it is an international city with a rich history. This capital of Fukuoka Prefecture is also well known as a gourmet capital for being home to the globally popular pork broth tonkatsu ramen, one-bite gyoza, and Zen Buddhism. You can also watch sumo bouts here during sumo season in November or catch a kabuki show.


It consists of two main areas, the port of Hakata and the castle town of Fukuoka, where castle ruins still stand from 400 years ago.

For a taste of Japanese culture and religion, visit the Gion area which has many shrines and Buddhist temples. This is where the Gion-Yamakasa Festival takes place every July. Tochoji Temple here is renowned for its near 11m tall wooden Great Buddha statue and Japan’s first Zen temple.
Hakata Gion Yamakasa
On the outskirts of Fukuoka City is Dazaifu, which used to be the administrative capital of the whole Kyushu for 500 years. Today its most famous attraction is the Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine which has a charming shopping street leading up to the temple, and is well worth a day trip.
Despite being a modern metropolis, Fukuoka also boasts beautiful green lungs, such as the Ohori Park. This is also the venue for a major fireworks festival every summer. Nearby are Maizuru Park, where the Fukuoka castle ruins are,  and hilltop Nishi Park which are popular spots for sakura cherry blossom viewing in Spring.

Head to the 234m high Fukuoka Tower for a bird’s eye view of the city, and the night view from here is particularly spectacular during the winter light up season.
Fukuoka Tower
The shopping scene is vibrant, with the Tenjin area being the largest shopping district with long shopping arcades for all-weather shopping, and a unique concept mall called Canal City, which has shops, restaurants and a manmade running through its facilities.

This is near the Nakasu district, which is where you will find the outdoor food stalls, or yatai, by the river that light up the streets at night where you can try some local soul food while rubbing shoulders, literally, with the locals in the tiny mobile stalls with counter seats. The Kabuki theatre is also located in this district.

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