It is ten minutes to the heart of the city from Fukuoka Airport by subway, and most of the tourist spots in the city are accessible by subway in twenty minutes. Take advantage of Fukuoka's accessibility to see how the sights, history, and culture of the greatest city in Kyushu coexist.
Hakata -- <7 mins. by subway>[Canal City Hakata] -- <7 mins. by subway> -- Gion -- <5 mins. by walk> -- [Kushida-jinja Shrine][Hakata-machiya Furusatokan Hall] -- <10 mins. by walk> -- Nishitetsu Fukuoka -- <20 mins. by Limited Express> -- Nishitetsu Dazaifu -- <5 mins. by walk> -- [Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine] -- <3 mins. by walk> -- [Komyozen-ji Temple] -- <8 mins. by walk> -- Nishitetsu Dazaifu -- <20 mins. by Limited Express> -- Nishitetsu Fukuoka -- Tenjin -- <5 mins. by subway> -- Ohori Koen -- [Ohori Park] -- <3 mins. by subway> -- Nishijin -- <10 mins. by bus> -- Fukuoka Tower -- [Fukuoka Tower][YAFUOKU Dome] -- <33 mins. by subway> -- Hakata
*The times required with public transportation are approximate.
Canal City Hakata
A 7-minute subway ride from Hakata Station takes you to a large shopping mall that runs along a 180-meter canal. ‘Canal City Hakata’ contains movie theaters, live theaters, hotels, restaurants and stores. In addition to shops selling fashion items, there are also plenty that sell fun products like Disney characters, Pokemon, Studio Ghibli characters and comic book characters.
Kushida-jinja Shrine is dedicated to the god guarding the town of Hakata. This shrine is also the departing point for parades at big festivals such as “Hakata Dontaku” on May 3 and 4 that attracts the largest number of visitors in Japan, and “Hakata Gion Yamagasa” held from July 1 to 15.
Hakata-machiya Furusatokan Hall
The Hakata-machiya Furusatokan Hall stands in front of the Kushida-jinjya Shrine, and a century-old folk house has been moved here to serve as a museum introducing the lifestyle and culture of Hakata about 100 years ago. You might catch a demonstration of actual hand weaving of Hakata-ori textiles and traditional craft production.
Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine
The Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine dedicated to Sugawara Michizane (845-903), the god of learning. Many believe that prayers offered here have the power to expel evil and ensure family safety as well as boost academic skills. Lucky charms, notebooks, pencils and “hachimaki (headbands)” worn as a sign of devotion to making ones best effort are very popular as souvenirs.
There are many sights to see inside the shrine such as the oldest Torii gate in Kyushu, the main building built in 1591 and the two-storied gate. Outside, there are splendid gardens that surround a pond with a red bridge. Around the middle of February, 6000 plum trees burst into bloom. In June during the rainy season, 30,000 purple irises bloom along the water front creating a breathtaking sight.
Komyozen-ji Temple was built in 1273 by a monk related to the Sugawaras enshrined in the Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine. The stones, moss and white sand of the gardens are arranged to form a beautiful image well worth a visit. It is exceptionally beautiful here in autumn when the leaves turn red and yellow.
This park opened in 1929 on the site of Fukuoka Castle. It is modeled after Lake Xi Hu (West Lake) in China and has a Japanese garden, Noh theater and art museum.
Rising to 235 meters, this is one of the tallest tower standing on a sea front in Japan. A grand panoramic view is commanded from the observation room (123 meters high) on the top floor. You can, of course, also enjoy the night view with its beautiful lights. The exterior of the unique triangular structure is covered with 8000 half-mirror panels.
Around the tower you’ll find restaurants facing the ocean as well as shopping and other facilities. The Hawks Town Mall stands next to ” YAFUOKU Dome”, the home of the professional baseball team. There are brand shops such as Nike and Levi’s, family stores such as Toys’R’ Us and an open-air hot spring.
Return to Tenjin and enjoy some food at the food stalls, which are a specialty of Fukuoka. Many of them sell Hakata ramen noodles renowned for their thinness, and tasty pork bone soup with a simple relish, generally with toppings of just leeks and Chinese-style barbecued pork.
You can add a little red pickled ginger, white sesame and takana (a kind of leaf mustard) to suit your own taste. You can also indicate how well cooked you would like your noodles. If you order “kae-dama (second helping)”, you can have a second serving of just noodles.
Another popular local product of Fukuoka is karashi mentaiko, spicy-seasoned Alaska pollack roe flavored with red pepper powder. The flavor seems somehow related to the active exchange between Fukuoka and the Korean Peninsula.