Fukuoka is one of the biggest harbour cities in Kyushu, Japan. The Hakata Port area of the city offers a great view of Hakata Bay. Some fun things to do in Fukuoka City include boating in Ohori Park, hanami in Fukuoka Castle ruins in spring, and eating good food. 


Table of Contents

  1. Background of Fukuoka City
  2. Best Things to Do in Fukuoka City
  3. What to Eat in Fukuoka City
  4. Best Way to Get Around Fukuoka City
  5. Takeaway

Background of Fukuoka City

Fukuoka City is a site of historic wonder where many significant events occurred. This is thanks to its location at the northern tip of Kyushu Island and its relative closeness to other Asian countries including Korea and China. This location also contributed to cultural exchanges between Japan and these other countries which is why Fukuoka is constantly called Japan’s cultural gateway or platform to the world. 

Hakata Port’s History

Fukuoka City’s Hakata Port is important not just to Japan’s economy as one of the most important ports, it is also where history occurred. Hakata Bay, where the port now rests, was where the Mongols chose to invade Japan from. Thankfully, a huge storm disrupted their nefarious plans and Japan remained free from invasion. (By the way, this happened TWICE). Years later, the port became a huge foreign trading hub between Japan and other nearby nations. 

Best Things to Do in Fukuoka City

Fukuoka City has a wide range of tourist destinations including beaches, mountains, temples & shrines, and modern establishments that are worth visiting. Here are a few examples of places to visit:

Fukuoka Tower

Nearby Hakata Port is a seaside observation tower over 230 metres tall - the Fukuoka Tower. It offers a breathtaking panoramic view of Fukuoka City and the ocean. A night time visit is extra special with illuminations and a romantic night view that is one of the best in Japan. Other special experiences include a special couple’s promise lock, giant gachapon, sky dining & cafe, and special event illuminations (check here for schedule). 

Entrance Fee: 800 yen (Adult)

Canal City Hakata

Canal City is a gigantic open-concept shopping complex with many entertainment facilities. An 180 metres canal with many beautiful fountain features runs directly through the mall. With a lively theatrical concept, performances and fountain shows are frequently held to add some “wow” to visitor’s experiences. Aside from numerous shops and eateries, Canal City also has a large arcade, cinema, connected Grand Hyatt Hotel, and more. 

Ohori Park

Nearby Hakata Bay is Ohori Park which has more water than green space. A gigantic pond lies at the centre of the park, the highlight of Ohori Park offering gorgeous scenery and sparkling waters. A connecting row of three islands runs through the pond held together by bridges, making one long bridge of sorts. Aside from jogging or walking around the pond, you can also enjoy boat rides and bird watching. 

Other points of interest around the pond are a Noh Theatre, Japanese Garden, Fukuoka Art Museum, shops, and a pondside restaurant

Dazaifu Tenmangu

Among the hundreds of Tenmangu shrines in Japan, Fukuoka’s Dazaifu Tenmangu stands out as one of the most significant. Those wishing to do well in their studies and examinations come to pray to the God of Learning that is enshrined here for academic success. The shrine also houses beautiful artworks and fine scenery which makes for a nice relaxing place to explore.

Fukuoka Castle

The ruins of Fukuoka Castle can be found in Maizuru Park. During peak cherry blossom season, many visitors come to enjoy the breathtaking sight of countless sakura trees in full bloom bringing bright colours to contrast the castle’s traditional white and grey exterior. It is located close by to Ohori Park which makes for a convenient drop by. 

What to Eat in Fukuoka City

There are plenty of things to enjoy in Fukuoka City including culinary delights. Here are some must tries when you visit: 

Hakata Ramen

One of the most famous types of ramen in Japan originated here. You’ve definitely heard of Ippudo and Ichiran ramen chain stores that can be found all over Japan. Well, both of them are Hakata Ramen. The characteristics of hakata ramen are cloudy tonkotsu broth and firm thin noodles. Whilst you’re there, trying the region’s specialty ramen at its point of origin can’t be missed. 

Mentaiko

Mentaiko is spicy fish eggs. Salted and spiced, compared to plain tarako, it has a lot more flavour. In Fukuoka, there are mentaiko-specialty restaurants that create dishes to best bring out the taste. It goes well as a side dish but is also frequently incorporated into dishes like pasta, fried rice, onigiri, sushi, etc. 

Motsunabe

Motsunabe is a hotpot dish of offals. Originated in Fukuoka in the mid 1900s, it is now a popular dish across the nation. There are various types of motsunabe with different soup types like miso-based, spicy miso, shoyu-based and more. Visit Fukuoka to try the original authentic version of the dish. 

Mizutaki 

Another hotpot dish for the list is Mizutaki - chicken hotpot. It has simple ingredients of a whole chicken, vegetables, and kelp (for flavouring). There are plenty of mizutaki specialty restaurants in Fukuoka to try this healthy dish. At the end of the meal, the remaining broth (best) is used to make rice porridge.

Aside from these, there are plenty of other famous foods to try like Fukuoka’s own take on gyoza, udon, and saba (mackerel).

Best Way to Get Around Fukuoka City

There are several ways to get to Fukuoka but the fastest is by flight, especially if you’ll be travelling from Tokyo. Once you get to Fukuoka Airport, make your way to Hakata Station by train or by bus. Hakata Station is the main station where you will find access to buses which will be your main mode of transportation around Fukuoka City. Buses are very affordable to sit in Fukuoka especially with the 100 yen per ride bus that loops the major tourist spots. We recommend getting a public transportation IC card for convenient tap-in tap-out. 

※ Fukuoka City Guide Yoko-Navi, “Transportation

Takeaway

Fukuoka City is one of the most important cities in the Kyushu region, especially with major Hakata Port. There are plenty of things to do, see and eat in Fukuoka City. For more things to do in the Kyushu region, have a look at this article tag: 
#Kyushu

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