Is Fukuoka worth visiting? Find out what it has to offer

Tired of the hustle and bustle of city life but cannot let go of the perks that come along with it? 

Look no further, Fukuoka has all the amenities and comforts of life the modern world has to offer.

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But is Fukuoka worth visiting? 

Of course! Let us check out the reasons why you should visit Fukuoka, what to do when you get there, and what sets it apart from other cities in Japan.

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Where is Fukuoka?

Before we get to the exciting part where I enumerate what’s in store for you when you get to Fukuoka, let’s first talk about where it is in Japan.

Fukuoka is a populous city in southern Japan and is part of the Fukuoka Prefecture which is built along Hakata Bay. It is the second-largest port city in Japan after Yokohama and the 6th largest in the country. 

Because of its strategic location and nearness to the Asian mainland, the city has become the center of international commerce and gateway to Japan. This has led to the city’s cross-cultural exposure and development of a unique local culture and dialect.

What differentiates Fukuoka from other cities

Although a populous city and a popular tourist destination spot on the island of Kyushu, Fukuoka City is laid back and can be enjoyed at a slower pace.

This bustling metropolitan is great for tourists looking to enjoy great spots and partake in the local culture without rushing to their next adventure. 

What’s more, even if it offers a traditional Japanese lifestyle, this vibrant city offers modern amenities like big malls, fine-dining restaurants, a wonderful art scene, beautiful beaches, lively nightlife, and innovative culture that allows the locals and tourists alike to avail of technology that makes living easier.

Moreover, unlike other cities that have traded the environment for technological advancement, Fukuoka has focused on sustainable urbanism and built the city with conservation in mind. 

Fukuoka City has set an example for the kind of living that leaves a very minimal carbon footprint, and it is bent on reducing green gas emissions. 

It is also deeply involved with the innovation of microclimate control by incorporating greeneries into city structures. 

Furthermore, Fukuoka City advocates sustainable tourism, where tourism activities do not negatively impact the environment. The city also implements numerous waste management and water treatment initiatives to promote sustainability. 

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What to do in Fukuoka

Fukuoka has many things to offer to different types of travelers. From parks to shrines, malls, and yatai food stalls, you will never run out of places to visit and things to do that will take your breath away. 

Ohori Park

If you want to go on a leisurely stroll while taking in the beauty of calming water scenery, Ohori Park is a great place to visit.

The park is situated in central Fukuoka and features a large pond in its center that used to be the outer moat of the Fukuoka Castle and was designed after China’s classical garden, West Lake. 

Ohori Park is a Registered Monument of Japan and is home to pine trees that date back to the park’s construction in 1925. 

Though the park is an amazing spot to visit during summer and spring because of the beautiful flower beds filled with magnolia, tulips, and sunflowers, it is especially outstanding from November to March when hundreds of migratory winter birds from Siberia visit the park.

The park can be freely accessed by locals and foreigners at any time of the day. 

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Kushida Shrine

Founded in 757, the Kushida Shrine in Hakata, Fukuoka is an important Shinto shrine in Japan as it houses the guardian deity of Hakata.

The best time to visit the Kushida Shrine is during summer when Hakata Gion Yamakasa and Hakata Okunchi festivals are held. 

When visiting the shrine, make sure to sip water from the well surrounded by three cranes, which is said to grant eternal youth. Note of caution, the water in this well contains natural salts, so you should not drink too much of it. 

During the festivals, you’ll get to see religious stationary festival floats you can pray to for protection and peace. 

Don’t forget to check your luck this year with the Eto Eho Ban featuring the 4 cardinal directions and the 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac. You can find the Eto Eho Ban by the entrance gate and is hard to miss. 

You can visit the shrine for free from 4 AM to 10 PM any day of the week. 

Fukuoka Tower

Considered to be the most popular tourist spot in Fukuoka and Japan’s tallest seaside tower, it stands 234 meters tall (768 ft) and is covered in 8000 half-mirrors that reflect the sky. 

It boasts an observation deck that offers 360° views of the city and Hakata Bay. Enjoy 

Fukuoka Tower is open daily, from 9:30 AM to 10 PM. 

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Other places to visit and things to do in Fukuoka

If you still have time during your stay, try visiting:

  • teamLab Forest
  • Chikuzen Sumiyoshi
  • Canal City Hakata 
  • Tenjin Chikagai

Don’t forget to eat yakitori, hot pot, and Hakata ramen served at the iconic late-night yatai food stalls to complete your Fukuoka experience.