Fukuoka Overview

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Although Fukuoka made the cut in 2014 as one of the top 10 most livable cities in the world (10th place as voted by Monocle Magazine), from a tourism perspective it still does not get the credit it deserves. Talk to the locals on the street and they will be hesitant to mention tourist spots, as they feel they are not as worthy compared to those in Kyoto and Tokyo. In a way this is true; Fukuoka does not earn its top rank from the historical and traditional aspects of the city, but for its vibrant atmosphere and lifestyle. From the moment you get off the plane, train, or bus, you will feel a different, more relaxed vibe. The people are friendly, the food is delicious, and the nightlife is cozy and inviting. It is a coastal city and visitors can feel that in various ways.

Ever since Kuroda Nagamasa founded Fukuoka, the city has been a centre for culture and trade. Back in the day, the city was divided in two main districts, Hakata District and Fukuoka District (now Chuo-ku). Hakata was the city of merchants and is one of the oldest cities in Japan, while Fukuoka was the home of the Kuroda Clan and the city of lords. To this day, this division is felt (without samurais and formal division) and locals tend to be prouder of one of either district depending on where they live.

From a tourist perspective, each area is distinct and worth at least a day of exploration. Hakata still holds on to tradition; most of the top shrines and temples in the city, the Hakata Folk Museum, and Nakasu Island with its colourful red light district and the popular Yatai stalls. Hakata is not without its good commercial zone, and you will find a good place to shop in Canal City, a modern mall filled with all the top brand names and an artificial canal (hence the name). Everything you will want to see here is conveniently located between the Naka River and the Ushikubi River and in close distance from Hakata Station. Chuo-ku on the other hand is the modern half of Fukuoka’s central area and is the place to go to for the latest fashion trends, a wide variety of restaurants, a large urban park, and the most popular bar districts in town. Although much less traditional then Hakata, Chuo is still the home of Fukuoka Castle ruins, a good place to learn about the history of the city.

But sightseeing options and entertainment are not only limited to the aforementioned areas. As a coastal city, Fukuoka has a lot to offer around Hakata Bay. From Momochi Seaside Park all the way around to Shika Island, the options abound, and you will get to see a completely different side of the city, a more natural and scenic side. All-in-all, if you give the city the chance and time it deserves (at least three full days in our opinion), it will warm-up to you and leave you wanting more.

All FUKUOKA Area Articles

Tourist Sights in FUKUOKA Area

  • Fukuoka Asian Art Museum image

    Fukuoka Asian Art Museum

    Art museum
    Fukuoka Pref. Fukuokashihakataku Shimokawabatamachi 3-1 Riverain Center Building 7F/8F
  • Hakata Machiya Folk Museum image

    Hakata Machiya Folk Museum

    Museum/Science museum
    Fukuoka Pref. Fukuokashihakataku Reisenmachi 6-10
  • Canal City Hakata image

    Canal City Hakata

    Complex facility/Commercial facility
    Fukuoka Pref. Fukuokashihakataku Sumiyoshi 1-2
  • Fukuoka Castle Ruins (Maizuru Park) image

    Fukuoka Castle Ruins (Maizuru Park)

    Castle/The remain of antique castle
    Fukuoka Pref. Fukuokashichuouku Jounai
  • Tenjin Central Park image

    Tenjin Central Park

    Park
    Fukuoka Pref. Fukuokashichuouku Tenjin 1
  • Former Fukuoka Prefecture Public Hall Distinguished Guest House image

    Former Fukuoka Prefecture Public Hall Distinguished Guest House

    Historical Buildings
    Fukuoka Pref. Fukuokashichuouku Nishinakasu 6-29
  • Fukuoka City Red Brick Culture Center image

    Fukuoka City Red Brick Culture Center

    Historical Buildings
    Fukuoka Pref. Fukuokashichuouku Tenjin 1-15-30
  • Fukuoka Tower image

    Fukuoka Tower

    Observation tower/Tower
    Fukuoka Pref. Fukuokashisawaraku Momochihama 2-3-26
  • Fukuoka City Museum image

    Fukuoka City Museum

    Museum/Science museum
    Fukuoka Pref. Fukuokashisawaraku Momochihama 3-1-1
  • FUKUOKA YAHUOKU! DOME (Fukuoka Dome) image

    FUKUOKA YAHUOKU! DOME (Fukuoka Dome)

    Stadium
    Fukuoka Pref. Fukuokashichuouku Jigyouhama 2-2-2
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