If you happen to be heading on a trip to Japan soon, be sure to check out the city of Fukuoka located in the Fukuoka Prefecture.
Fukuoka is one of Japan’s most vibrant southern hubs located on the island of Kyushu.
Fukuoka is best known for ancient temples, beaches and modern city life, offering many things to do for travellers. Be sure to check out Fukuoka on your next trip to Japan.
Here is a list of my top 8 must-visit attractions around the fascinating city of Fukuoka.
1. Flying to Fukuoka is rather easy
To reach the city of Fukuoka, Japan, you have several options; you could take the Shinkansen high-speed train from Tokyo or Osaka or even take the boat over from Busan, South Korea.
However, I’d recommend taking the easiest, quickest and most affordable option, which is to fly domestically to Fukuoka with All Nippon Airways (ANA) from Tokyo Haneda Airport domestic terminal.
Flying time is around two hours, meaning you can easily plan a trip to Tokyo and then add a short break to Fukuoka. This trip can easily be arranged over a week’s vacation.
If you wish to explore a different side of Japan, Fukuoka is waiting to make your next trip to Japan extra special.
2. Stay at Hostel & Dining Tanga Table
For a unique place to stay in Fukuoka, I would recommend Hostel & Dining Tanga Table which offers both stylish and affordable Western or Japanese style accommodation options.
The hostel is located around the famous Tanga market which is a perfect spot for grabbing a bite to eat and exploring an alternative side to the city.
The staff are friendly and speak many international languages, and the hostel is a great spot to meet and socialise with other travellers exploring the city.
3. Explore the grounds of Kokura Castle
Kokura Castle is located in the city of Kitakyushu, Fukuoka Prefecture. It’s a popular attraction for visitors.
The castle that stands on the grounds is a replica and was built in 1959. It’s based on the design of the original that was around in the 1600s.
Kokura Castle is still the only castle you can find in the prefecture.
Inside the structure, you will find a museum which explains what life was like back in the day with some interactive displays that can be found in English.
The top of the castle offers excellent views of the surrounding city.
Kokura Castle is popular during spring when it becomes a prime location as a photographic backdrop for cherry blossom season. That’s when many visitors flock to the grounds to grab that perfect Instagram photo.
I would also recommend visiting the closely located traditional Japanese garden where you can get a good glimpse of the castle in the background from the foyer.
At the same time, you enjoy a traditional tea ceremony in the tearoom, which is a must-try experience on any trip to Japan and not to be missed.
4. Grab lunch at Tanga Market
Tanga Market is a vibrant place where you can experience a unique part of the city of Fukuoka.
Still popular amongst locals, it’s a vibrant location to do your weekly food shop and gather a taste of the city.
If you wish to do some shopping yourself (which I highly encourage) at Tanga Market, a student cafe within the arcade offers a service to cook your food selections for lunch.
If you’re a guest at Hostel & Dining Tanga Table, you can arrange this experience through them as well.
Pick up a menu before you get started and enjoy the sights, sounds and smells of this retro market.
There are over a hundred shops to choose from along the 180-metre arcade, and you will find plenty of spots offering fresh fish, vegetables, and local specialities for you to try. You will be stuck for choice amongst the market’s endless options.
The highlight has to be the hole in the wall eateries where you can stop by and enjoy a beverage with a handful of light snacks such as udon noodles or fresh fish sushi dishes while being surrounded by the Showa era setting.
5. Cruise around Yanagawa River on a leisurely punting trip
Often referred to as the Venice of Japan, the Yanagawa River is famous for its extended network of canals.
A popular activity to enjoy on the waters is to go on a river-punting tour with a local experienced guide.
It’s a pleasant experience to enjoy the endless still waters at a leisurely pace.
The guides offer a selection of traditional melodies and recite ancient poems that tell different stories about life in different sections of the canals.
Be sure to sit back, relax and enjoy these particular poems and songs that tell the history of life along the water.
6. Enjoy a sunset at the top of Fukuoka Tower
Fukuoka Tower is the tallest seaside tower in Japan, standing at a whopping 234 metres tall and located in the Momochihama area of Fukuoka, Japan.
Try to see if you can visit Fukuoka Tower just before sunset so you can enjoy the views from the observation deck which offers stunning 360-degree views of the surrounding Fukuoka area.
Perfect location in Fukuoka to enjoy a stunning sunset before heading to the Yatai stalls for late-night dining.
7. Tuck into a late-night feast at Yatai stalls in the city of Fukuoka
Fukuoka’s Yatai stalls is a must-try eating experience and best enjoyed late at night once the sun has set.
The best way to describe the experience is that there is a selection of street food vendors that line a street.
You can find vendors around Nakasu, Tenjin, and Nagahama areas which are easily within walkable distance from Hakata station.
Each vendor offers a unique taste and style on a local Japanese speciality dish.
I would recommend arriving early as it’s a popular place and super busy late at night.
Each vendor has limited seating spots, and you might have to wait for others to finish before grabbing a seat. But from my experience, it’s worth the wait.
This all adds to the experience as the vendors offer a cosy and intimate environment within a small mobile kitchen space so they can focus their craft and energy usually on preparing one special signature dish.
One dish you must try in Fukuoka and especially in Hakata is the Hakata ramen which originates from this district.
It’s based on a pork-bone broth which is rich in flavour with a milky consistency, and the thin but resilient noodles also add to the overall flavour. This is a popular dish to try amongst ramen fans.
8. Stroll around the grounds of Dazaifu Tenmangu
Dazaifu Tenmangu is a Shinto shrine located in Dazaifu, which can be easily reached by train from the city of Fukuoka.
Dazaifu Tenmangu is the largest and most famous shrine in Fukuoka Prefecture and popular amongst local students wishing for good results in exams.
The grounds of the shrine also contain two ponds, a selection of bridges and over 6,000 plum trees which start to bloom at the beginning of spring and can be found around the surrounding area.
At the shrine, you can also find a brass ox statue which represents the god of wisdom, and the students rub it for good luck during the exam period.
Leading up to the shrine from the train station, you will find a pathway which will bring you past many shop fronts that are worth visiting, such as the traditional chop stick shop and other popular hand craft items from the area.
One recommendation would be to try Umegae Mochi, which is a grilled Japanese rice cake filled with sweet azuki bean paste.
The top of the rice cake is stamped with the pattern of a plum tree flower. It’s definitely worth trying during your visit.
You can also find the Kyushu National Museum located within a walking distance of the shrine. The museum has local historical artefacts collected from around the island of Kyushu. The exhibitions and collections are well put together, and the museum is worth visiting if you have some free time.
Thank you for reading my blog post about visiting Fukuoka
I hope you enjoyed reading this blog post all about Fukuoka Prefecture on the island of Kyushu, Japan.
I hope you found this article useful and thank you for reading my blog review.
Have a fantastic trip to Japan and be sure to discover Fukuoka on your next adventure to the island of Kyushu.