What are the best things to do in Fukuoka, Japan?
In this Fukuoka Travel Guide, you will find out places to go in Fukuoka, what to eat and where to stay in Fukuoka. Read the article and plan your travel to Fukuoka.
1. Eat Motsunabe
With the 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 (mostly 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 famous Shrines
Visiting shrines is one of the main things to do in Fukuoka. The two most famous shrines there which 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. The shrine is very large and includes several structures, so it would take you around 1 hour to visit all the places.
b) Kushida Shrine
On the contrary, Kushida shrine is located right in the center of Hakata, and 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 lots of foreign tourists so you can get the information sheet and even the omikuji (paper fortunes) in English.
3. Go shopping at Canal City
Canal city is a great place for shopping in Fukuoka!
Canal City is a major shopping complex at 2.5 million square feet, including about 250 shops, restaurants, cafes, cinemas, game center, theater, etc. It even has a canal flowing inside (which explains its name), and a large fountain that has a water show every 30 minutes.
Because the mall is so large, it may take you a whole day to discover everything. If you come to Canal City before May 18th, you can also enjoy the 3D projection mapping show with the popular anime “One Piece” theme, which is quite epic you won’t want to miss it.
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 running on the track around the lake. Sometimes, they let their dogs go for a walk or simply go sight-seeing.
Although it’s a famous place to visit in Fukuoka, everyone there is so quiet. It creates the peaceful and dreamy atmosphere, and the natural scenery is beautiful as a picture. You can also pay 190 yen to visit a Japanese garden in the park, and it’s totally 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. Fukuoka castle is a historical place to visit in your trip to Fukuoka.
6. Visit NHK Fukuoka
As some of you may know, NHK is the Japanese national public broadcasting organization. It has a kind of “museum” in Fukuoka, which is located very near to Ohori Park.
You can visit the studio of some TV shows, collect the stamps of NHK mascots. Furthermore, you can see the gallery about the history of NHK, and even experience becoming a news reporter and get 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’s the great part? It is free of charge!
7. Try delicious ramen
Of course, 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 strong and unique taste.
Hakata is known as the best place in the country to enjoy this food. Two places I would recommend are Ramen Stadium on the 5th floor of Canal City, where you can try different types of ramen from different locals in Japan or Ippudo Ramen in Amu Plaza (Hakata Station).
You should also try Ramen along the river at night in Fukuoka!
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 lovely items inspired by the famous Line characters like Brown or Cony. The second floor is a cafe that sells drinks and cakes also inspired by these characters.
Also, it has extra seating areas on the third floor. Even if you don’t buy anything, you are free to visit and take pictures, so this place is often crowded with people. Believe me, you will just 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 become more crowded and lively.
After midnight in Fukuoka, all the transportation is stopped, so the city is calm and peaceful. It’s a good 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 the busiest place for transportation in Hakata, Hakata Train station itself is 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 awesome day trips from Fukuoka. Hakata, Fukuoka is a good base for travelers who love discovering the Northen Kyushu area.
By purchasing 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 in Kyushu island
- Discover Kumamoto castle after an earthquake
Where to stay in Fukuoka?
The best areas to stay in Fukuoka are around Hakata Station and Tenjin. While Tenjin is the center for eating and shopping, staying at Hakata station is more convenient if you’d like to do many day trips from Hakata.
Author: Youko Doan & Ha Truong