Famous for ancient temples, modern shopping malls, and castle ruins, Fukuoka is an excellent stop for travelers who love exploring Northern Kyushu.
What are the best things to do in Fukuoka, Japan?
In this guide, I share the best places to visit, what to eat, and where to stay in Fukuoka. Plan your trip to Fukuoka today.
1. Eat Motsunabe
With a history of more than 1000 years, Motsunabe is a Hakata’s well-known specialty.
It’s a kind of hot pot made of beef or pork offal (mainly beef intestines), lots of veggies like cabbage and garlic chives, and filled with soy sauce-based soup.
Motsunabe is the perfect food to eat during cold weather.
Where to eat Motsunabe in Fukuoka?
The restaurant where I ate Motsunabe is called Rakutenchi. It’s a small yet one of the most famous places for this dish, so you should check it out!
Address: 2-5-23 Hakataekimae, Hakataku, Fukuoka
2. Visit the famous Shrines
Visiting shrines is one of the main things to do in Fukuoka. The two most famous temples there are Dazaifu Tenmangu and Kushida Shrine.
a) Daizaifu Tenmangu
Dazaifu Tenmangu is located in Dazaifu city, and it is one of the main shrines in Japan dedicated to Tenjin- the “God” of literature and scholarship.
Because this shrine is quite large and includes several structures, it would take you around 1 hour to visit all the places.
b) Kushida Shrine
On the contrary, the Kushida shrine is located right in the center of Hakata.
Since it is a village shrine, it is much smaller than Dazaifu, and this spot will only take you 20 minutes to visit.
As the oldest shrine in Fukuoka city, it attracts many foreign tourists so that you can get the information sheet and even the omikuji (paper fortunes) in English.
3. Go shopping at Canal City
Where to go shopping in Fukuoka? Head to Canal city!
Canal City is a major shopping complex at 2.5 million square feet, including about 250 shops, restaurants, cafes, cinemas, game centers, theaters, etc.
It even has a canal flowing inside (which explains its name) and a large fountain with a water show every 30 minutes.
Due to its size, it may take you a whole day to discover everything.
4. Spend time at Ohori Park
Ohori Park is a beautiful park with a large lake, many trees, and resting spots.
Local people come here to exercise or run on the lake’s track. Sometimes, they let their dogs go for a walk or go sightseeing.
Although the park is quite crowded, visitors keep quiet and calm. It creates a peaceful and dreamy atmosphere, and the natural scenery is as beautiful as a picture.
You can also pay 190 yen to visit a Japanese garden in the park, and it’s worth the money.
5. Discover Fukuoka castle
Not far away from Ohori Park is Fukuoka castle. Located in Maizuru Park, Fukuoka castle is also known as Maizuru Castle or Seki Castle.
The construction of Fukuoka Castle began in 1601 and was finished in 1607.
Nowadays, there’s not much left in Fukuoka castle except the ruins. You can still see the castle’s foundation, but most of the construction was destroyed throughout the time.
6. Visit NHK Fukuoka
As some may know, NHK is the Japanese national public broadcasting organization. It has a kind of “museum” in Fukuoka, located near Ohori Park.
You can visit the studio of some TV shows and collect NHK mascots’ stamps. Furthermore, you can see the gallery about the history of NHK and even experience becoming a news reporter and getting on the air.
Even if you can’t care less about Japanese TV, you will have a lot of fun there, and you know what the best part is? It is free of charge!
7. Try delicious ramen
Do you know that Fukuoka is the capital of ramen?
No one visits Fukuoka without trying the well-known Hakata Tonkotsu ramen. The broth of Tonkotsu ramen is made by melting out the pork bone, which gives it a unique and robust taste.
Hakata is the best place in the country to enjoy this dish.
I would recommend Ramen Stadium on the 5th floor of Canal City. You can try different types of ramen from various locations in Japan or Ippudo Ramen in Amu Plaza near Hakata Station.
You should walk along the river and try ramen on different stalls at night.
8. Relax at Line Friends Cafe and Store
Line Cafe in Fukuoka is the third one to be opened in Japan. It is located in the vibrant area of Tenjin.
The first floor is a souvenir shop. Here, you can buy beautiful items inspired by the famous Line characters like Brown or Cony.
The second floor is a cafe that sells drinks and cakes inspired by these characters.
Also, it has additional seating areas on the third floor.
Even if you don’t buy anything, you can visit and take pictures, so this place is often crowded with people. Believe me. You will scream, “Kawaii~~” to everything there!
9. Wander around Fukuoka city at night
Wandering around Fukuoka at night should be on your list of things to do in Fukuoka.
Fukuoka at night has a different vibe. The streets become more colorful and lively, with lights decorated on the trees. Many shops and restaurants are more crowded and lively.
After midnight in Fukuoka, all the transportation is stopped, so the city is calm and peaceful. It’s an excellent time to visit the shrines (because no one else is there) or walk along the river and try some Fukuoka ramen.
10. Spend time at Hakata Train Station
Not only is it the busiest place for transportation in Hakata, but the Hakata Train station itself is also a tourist attraction.
Hakata station is a complex building with several shops and restaurants. You can have a great view of the city by going up to the 10th floor of this building.
Best day trips from Fukuoka
Here are some ideas for memorable day trips from Fukuoka. Hakata, Fukuoka, is an excellent base for travelers who love discovering the Northern Kyushu area.
By purchasing the Northern Kyushu Rail pass, you can freely hop on and hop off trains to visit surrounding prefectures such as Nagasaki, Saga, Oita, and Kumamoto.
- Visit Huis Ten Bosch – A Dutch theme park in Nagasaki.
- Discover Hashima island – An abandoned island in Nagasaki
- Go on a one-day trip to Yufuin – one of the best onsen towns in Oita, Japan
- Go shopping at Tosu -the largest shopping mall on Kyushu island
- Discover Kumamoto castle after an earthquake
Where to stay in Fukuoka?
The best areas to stay in Fukuoka are near Hakata Station and Tenjin.
While Tenjin is the center for eating and shopping, staying at Hakata station is more convenient if you plan different day trips from Hakata.