Fukuoka is the biggest city in the southern island of Kyushu. Located on the northern coast of Kyushu, Fukuoka is a port city split by the Nakagawa River between what was once the the castle town of Fukuoka to the west and the merchant quarter of Hakata to the east, Fukuoka is one of Japan's most dynamic and livable cities with many attractions for visitors.
Ohori Koen Park
Only a few relics of Fukuoka Castle still remain but the former castle grounds now form Maizuru Park, which merges west into Ohori-koen - Fukuoka's largest park, enclosing a lake, with a Japanese garden at its southern end, and the Fukuoka Art Museum (currently closed for renovation, due to reopen in March 2019). Coffee shops and other facilities makes Ohori Park a pleasant place to relax in natural and historical surroundings. Just south-east of the park is the imposing Fukuoka Kengokoku Shrine. Ohori Park is accessible from Ohorikoen Station on the Kuko (Airport) Subway Line.
From Ohori Koen Station go two stations west to Nishijin Station, and a 15 minute walk northwards brings you to Momochi Central Park and the Fukuoka City Museum (Fukuoka-shi Hakubutsukan) with its prized exhibit, the Kin-in Gold Seal presented to the ancient Japanese king of Na by China's Han Emperor. The whole Momochi area is reclaimed from the sea, and another 5 minutes' walk north from Momochi Central Park brings you to the futuristic, glass-clad, 234-meter high Fukuoka Tower (open 9:30am-10pm, last entry 9:30pm, 800 yen for adults). Fukuoka Tower is directly accessible from Hakata Station by taking a Nishitetsu bus no.306 from bus stop no.6.
Momochi Seaside Park is a 2km artificial beach right in front of Fukuoka Tower, with an adjoining quay - 'Marizon' - packed with shops, restaurants and cafes.
A short walk to the east is Hawks Town - a modern development built by the Daiei group and housing the Japan's biggest hotel - the exotic five-star Sea Hawk.
Next door is the equally impressive Fukuoka Dome, home to the Fukuoka Daiei Hawks baseball team. Nishijin and Tojinmachi are the nearest subway stations to the area.
Just across Hakata Bay, accessible by train or ferry, is the huge Uminonakamichi Seaside Park, which provides a full day of fun and relaxation for families, with its numerous gardens, ponds, a naturally laid-out zoo (including a petting zoo), play attractions for children, and even a car museum adjoined to the go-kart rides.
Tenjin is the modern business and entertainment district of Hakata, centered around the railway station of the same name. Tenjin has the city's most popular nightspots along Oyafukudori plus lively shopping at the ACROS building next to Chuo Park and the IMS Plaza.
The Nakasu entertainment and red-light area is just east of Tenjin, on a sand bar between the Nakagawa and Hakata rivers (the Hakata River being the eastward branch of the Naka River for a 1km or so stretch before rejoining the Naka River), and houses over 3,000 bars and restaurants with a reputation for being expensive.
On the Hakata side of the Nakagawa River, just across from the southern end of Tenjin, is Kushida Jinja, a shrine dating from the 8th century and which plays host to the annual Gion Yamakasa Festival (July 1-15).
The Hakata Machiya Folk Museum (Hakata Machiya Furusato-kan) presents a history of Hakata and a demonstration of silk weaving by local crafts people.
10am-6pm (last entry 5.30pm) every day except December 29-31. 200 yen for adults, free for junior high school age and under. 6-10 Reisenmachi, Hakata-ku, Fukuoka 812-0039 - just north-east of Kushida Shrine. Tel. 099 281 7761
Part of the Hakata Riverain shopping complex is the modern Fukuoka Asian Art Museum - with exhibits of photography, sculpture and avant-garde installations and also the fun Anpanman Museum, suitable for young children.
Kushida Shrine founded in 757AD is Hakata's main shrine and displays one of the floats used in the Gion Yamakasa Festival.
Canal City, Hakata, completed in 1996, is a futuristic development containing a huge multi-screen cinema, hotels, bars, restaurants and shops in its multi-colored precincts. Canal City was first Japan project of the American architect Jon Jerde (1940 – 2015).
The overall design of Canal City was inspired by the cliffs of Arizona and the building is Fukuoka's most interesting shopping experience. Canyon-like in construction, the complex features cafes and stores that appear as you wander by the twisty-turny curves of the canal. Access from Nakasu-Kawabata subway station or a ten-minute walk from Hakata Station.
Five minutes from Gion subway station and within walking distance of Hakata Station, is Japan's oldest Zen temple Shofukuji Temple (聖福寺), founded in 1195 by the monk Eisai on his return from China. Shofukuji Temple contains the graves of many of Fukuoka's feudal lords and the former main gate of Fukuoka Castle.
Hakata Gion Yamakasa Festival
Hakata's most famous festival dates back to 1241 AD and is held every year from July 1-15. This festival honors Kushida Shrine, the guardian shrine of Hakata.
The colorful Gion Yamakasa Festival owes its origins to Priest Shoichi, the founder of Jotenji Temple, who was carried around the city on a portable shrine spreading holy water, to ward off an epidemic. Kushida Shrine is located where Canal City north joins Kawabata shopping arcade.
Day Trips from Fukuoka
Yanagawa is a beautiful town with canals and well preserved buildings. Yanagawa is known for its delicious river eel.
Dazaifu is only 15km from Fukuoka and is famous for its historic temples and Tenmangu Shrine.
All are worth the visit if you have an extended stay in Fukuoka and are easily reached by train or car.
Tourist Information Centers in Fukuoka
The Tourist Information Center (9am-7pm; tel 092 431 3003) in JR Hakata Station has hotel lists, maps and sightseeing information in English and other languages.
Fukuoka International Association Rainbow Plaza 8F IMS Building has wide-ranging information for both tourists and residents, a library and free Internet access for students and visitors.
Prefectural Information Center (092 725 9100) ACROS Fukuoka Bldg. 2F
Fukuoka Now is a free monthly whats-on listings magazine online at
Teaching English in Japan's Fukuoka links directory
Fukuoka Access - Getting To Fukuoka
Regular Nishitetsu buses run to and from Fukuoka Airport to Hakata Station and Tenjin Station (15 mins). The Fukuoka Airport subway station is only 5 mins from Hakata Station and 11 mins from Tenjin.
There are domestic flights to most destinations including 50 flights daily to Tokyo (1 hour 45 minutes). International destinations from Fukuoka Airport include Australia, New Zealand, Thailand (flights with Thai & Jetstar), China, Korea and the USA.
Trains to Fukuoka
Hakata Station is the main train station with shinkansen connections to Osaka (2 hours, 30 minutes), Kyoto (2 hours, 45 minutes) and Tokyo (5 hours) and from March 2011 to Kumamoto and Kagoshima to the south on the Kyushu Shinkansen.
For up to date train timetables and fare information for Kyushu click here
Hakata Station connects Fukuoka to Tokyo, Hiroshima, Osaka and Nagoya to the east by shinkansen.
There are long distance buses to several destinations from Fukuoka including Osaka, Nagoya and Tokyo departing from the Kotsu bus station near Hakata Station and the Tenjin bus center. Buses from Fukuoka to Miyazaki take four hours.
Ferries to Fukuoka
There are regular ferry and hydrofoil services between Hakata and Busan in Korea. See our travel between Japan and Korea section for further details. There are also ferry services from Kita-Kyushu (Kokura) to Osaka, Kobe, Matsuyama and Tokyo.
Cybac Internet Cafes
24-hours branches in Tenjin, Nishin & Nishi-dori.
Fukuoka Subway Video
Fukuoka Hotel Accommodation
Fukuoka has many standout hotels as well as western-style hotels, ryokan and hostel accommodation to suit all budgets.
Choose from a full list of hotels in Fukuoka which are located mainly near Hakata Station and in the Tenjin entertainment and dining area - recommended places to stay in Fukuoka include the Best Western Fukuoka Nakasu Inn, the Candeo Hotels Hakata Terrace, the four-star Hotel Qurega Tenjin, the business hotel Hotel Smart Inn Hakata Ekimae near Hakata Station convenient for the bullet train from Hiroshima, Osaka, Nagoya or Tokyo, the Toyoko Inn Hakata Nishi-Nakasu and the up-market Hotel New Otani Hakata.