Fukuoka is a major city located on the northern shore of the Japanese island of Kyushu. It is one of Japan's largest cities and serves as the capital of Fukuoka Prefecture. Here are some key details about Fukuoka:
- Geography: Fukuoka is situated on the northern coast of Kyushu, Japan's third-largest island. It is bordered by the Genkai Sea to the north and the Ariake Sea to the west.
- Population: As of my last knowledge update in September 2021, Fukuoka had a population of over 1.6 million people, making it one of Japan's most populous cities.
- Economy: Fukuoka is an economic hub with a diverse economy that includes manufacturing, trade, and services. It is known for industries like IT, finance, and retail.
- Culture: The city has a rich cultural heritage and offers a blend of traditional and modern attractions. Fukuoka is famous for its Hakata culture, which includes delicious food such as tonkotsu ramen (a type of pork-based noodle soup) and Hakata dolls.
- Transportation: Fukuoka is well-connected both domestically and internationally. It has an international airport, Fukuoka Airport, and is a major transportation hub in Kyushu with a well-developed public transportation system.
- Tourism: Fukuoka has several tourist attractions, including historic temples like Kushida Shrine, the bustling Canal City Hakata shopping and entertainment complex, and beautiful parks like Ohori Park. It also hosts various festivals and events throughout the year.
- Education: Fukuoka is home to several universities and educational institutions, making it an important center for education in the region.
- Sports: The city has a strong sports culture and is home to the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks, a professional baseball team. It also hosted matches during the 2002 FIFA World Cup.
- Two Cities in One: Fukuoka is often referred to as "Hakata" in the eastern part of the city and "Fukuoka" in the western part. The merger of the two cities in 1889 created the modern city of Fukuoka. Each side has its own unique culture and history.
- Hakata Ramen: Fukuoka is famous for its style of ramen known as "Hakata ramen" or "tonkotsu ramen." It features a rich and creamy pork bone broth with thin, straight noodles. Many ramen shops in Fukuoka specialize in this delicious dish.
- Yatai Stalls: Fukuoka is known for its yatai stalls, which are mobile food stalls that line the streets at night. These stalls serve a variety of local dishes and are a popular spot for both locals and tourists to enjoy street food and soak up the city's atmosphere.
- Fukuoka Tower: Fukuoka is home to Fukuoka Tower, a 234-meter tall seaside tower that offers stunning panoramic views of the city and the surrounding area. It's especially beautiful at night when it's illuminated.
- Mizutaki Hot Pot: Another popular local dish in Fukuoka is "mizutaki," a type of hot pot. It consists of chicken and vegetables cooked in a flavorful broth. It's known for its light and healthy qualities.
- Fukuoka Castle Ruins: While the original Fukuoka Castle no longer exists, its ruins, known as "Maizuru Park," offer a peaceful green space in the heart of the city. Visitors can explore the park and enjoy cherry blossoms during the spring.
- Sumo Wrestling: Fukuoka is one of the few cities in Japan that hosts professional sumo tournaments. The Fukuoka Kokusai Center is the venue for these exciting sumo events, typically held in November each year.
- Ohori Park: Ohori Park is a beautiful park with a large pond located in the city center. It's a great place for a leisurely stroll, and there's a traditional Japanese garden within the park.
- Fukuoka Asian Art Museum: Fukuoka is known for its cultural offerings, and the Fukuoka Asian Art Museum is a notable attraction. It showcases contemporary and traditional art from various Asian countries.
- Startup Ecosystem: Fukuoka has been actively promoting itself as a hub for startups and innovation in recent years, with initiatives like the Fukuoka City Startup Support Program and the Fukuoka Growth Next innovation center.
- Ohori Park: This large park in the heart of Fukuoka features a large pond, walking paths, and a traditional Japanese garden. It's a serene place to relax and enjoy nature within the city.
- Canal City Hakata: A shopping and entertainment complex, Canal City Hakata is famous for its unique design, complete with a canal running through the middle of the building. It offers a wide range of shops, restaurants, and theaters.
- Fukuoka Tower: Visit Fukuoka Tower for stunning panoramic views of the city and the coastline. It's especially beautiful at night when the tower is illuminated.
- Nakasu Yatai Stalls: Experience the local street food culture at Nakasu Yatai Stalls, which line the streets along the Nakasu Island area. You can enjoy a variety of dishes and immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere.
- Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine: Located in the city of Dazaifu, just a short train ride from Fukuoka, this shrine is dedicated to Tenjin, the deity of learning. It is a beautiful and historic shrine surrounded by scenic gardens and ponds.
- Fukuoka Castle Ruins (Maizuru Park): Explore the ruins of Fukuoka Castle in Maizuru Park. While the castle itself no longer stands, the park offers a peaceful atmosphere, cherry blossoms in the spring, and walking paths.
- Kushida Shrine: This historic shrine is known for its colorful and elaborate Hakata Gion Yamakasa Festival, which takes place in July. The shrine itself is a serene escape from the bustling city.
- Fukuoka Asian Art Museum: Explore contemporary and traditional Asian art at this museum, which features a diverse collection of artworks from various Asian countries.
- Fukuoka City Museum: Learn about the history and culture of Fukuoka at this museum, which offers exhibits on the city's past, including its role in trade and cultural exchange.
- Sumiyoshi Shrine: This Shinto shrine is known for its unique architectural style with curved bridges and unique vermillion-colored structures. It's a peaceful place to visit and take in the tranquil surroundings.
- Yusentei Park: Located in Chikushino City, this traditional Japanese garden offers beautiful scenery, including a pond, teahouse, and carefully manicured landscapes.
Must Eat / Try
- Hakata Ramen: Begin your culinary journey with a bowl of Hakata ramen. It features rich and creamy pork bone broth, thin noodles, and various toppings like chashu (braised pork belly) and green onions.
- Yatai Street Food: Explore the yatai stalls of Fukuoka, especially in Nakasu and Tenjin. Try local street foods like yakitori, oden (hot pot skewers), takoyaki (octopus balls), and more.
- Mizutaki: Enjoy a hot pot meal of Mizutaki, which consists of chicken and vegetables cooked in a flavorful broth. It's a light and healthy dish.
- Mentaiko: Fukuoka is famous for mentaiko, spicy cod roe. You can find it served in various ways, including as a topping for rice or in pasta dishes.
- Tetsunabe Gyoza: These pan-fried dumplings have a crispy bottom and are often served in an iron skillet (tetsunabe) with a savory dipping sauce.
- Karashi Mentaiko: Another variation of mentaiko, karashi mentaiko is spicy cod roe often served with rice. It has a delightful kick of spice.
- Ika Somen: Try fresh squid (ika) served as thin "noodles" accompanied by dipping sauces. It's a unique and refreshing dish.
- Torimon: These sweet, chicken-shaped pastries are a popular Fukuoka souvenir. They come in various flavors and are great for snacking.
Must Drink / Try
- Hakata Sake: Fukuoka is known for its sake, and you can enjoy locally brewed Hakata sake at bars and izakayas throughout the city.
- Umeshu: Plum wine (umeshu) is a delightful and slightly sweet alcoholic beverage made from Japanese plums. It's a popular choice for those who prefer a fruity drink.
- Mizumushidori Shochu: Shochu is a distilled spirit, and Mizumushidori is a unique variety from Fukuoka. It's often enjoyed on the rocks or with water.
- Fruit Juices: Fukuoka is known for its delicious fruits. Try fresh fruit juices, such as Yame Tea (green tea) mixed with local fruit flavors like peach or grape.
- Fukuoka Craft Beer: Craft beer culture has been growing in Fukuoka. Look for local craft breweries and enjoy a pint of their brews, which often feature unique flavors.
- Yuzu Chu-Hi: Chu-Hi is a popular canned alcoholic beverage in Japan. Try the yuzu (citrus) flavor for a refreshing and tangy taste.
- Matcha: Fukuoka offers excellent matcha (green tea) experiences. Sip on a traditional matcha tea or enjoy matcha-flavored sweets.
- Fruit Parfait: While not a traditional drink, Fukuoka is known for its extravagant fruit parfaits. These desserts often feature seasonal fruits and are a sweet treat to try.
Personal Notes :
Simply sit at a street stall away from the crowds of tourists and strike up a discussion with elderly Japanese people, listening to their sensible counsel.
Should try open top bus tour. Especcially this one at golden hours (sunset)