Fukuoka is one of Japan’s most dynamic cities. With a rich history and easy access to the rest of Kyushu, this city has something for everyone.
Some of the highlights include the two largest festivals in Japan: Hakata Dontaku and Hakata Gion Yamakasa. Both draw huge crowds and feature the city’s unique heritage and culture.
Fukuoka is a city with a lot to offer in terms of shopping. There are several outlet malls, a variety of shops in Canal City Hakata and Tenjin Chikagai, and a number of department stores.
There are also plenty of smaller, local specialty stores to choose from. For example, there is a charming old shotengai with 100 shops in Tenjin.
It is a good place to pick up local souvenirs and gifts. It also has a selection of high-end fashion boutiques.
A shopping mall by the sea with a ferris wheel, it is located close to the touristy Momochi Seaside area. There are a number of restaurants on site and you can take in the views while having a meal.
Alternatively, you can also take a look at the beautiful art galleries and museums in the city. There is the world-class Kyushu National Museum, and prefectural and city art galleries too.
As one of the most important ports in Asia, Fukuoka has a unique food culture that has been influenced by a range of flavors from China and Korea. Some dishes have become widely popular throughout Japan, such as Hakata ramen and motsunabe (cow and pig offal hot pot).
Yakitori (grilled skewers) is another speciality of Fukuoka, and is served in many restaurants throughout the city. You can also find yatai (street food stalls) throughout the city where travellers crowd around to feast on yakitori, oden and more.
There are also several luxury restaurants in the city which offer high quality Japanese and western cuisines. Some of the best restaurants are Barba Bianca and Yorozu which have a focus on high quality seafood sourced from local markets.
The most vibrant of Japan’s coastal cities, Fukuoka is a lively place to be after dark. The city has a variety of bars and nightclubs that cater to all tastes and interests.
If you’re looking for a more traditional Japanese drinking experience, head to Ningyo Shoji Bar Alley, where dozens of small bars are packed into narrow and winding backstreets. You’ll find a crowd of local salary men here who are happy to sit shoulder-to-shoulder with you and sip on beer or shochu.
Alternatively, if you’re after something more laid-back and atmospheric, check out Yumekichi, an airy shop that feels like a European wine bar with a view of a canal. Crack a bottle of Ribolla Radikon or another obscure natural or orange wine (the shop staff will help you choose) and tuck into some small plates while you soak up the vibe.
Sport is a big part of life in Fukuoka, with a thriving local and national leagues for most sports. There is even a large football team called Avispa, who regularly win championships in Japan’s Division 2.
For more traditional Japanese sports, Fukuoka hosts one of the biggest sumo tournaments every November and is a great way to see some of the country’s best wrestlers up close. Tickets are cheap but sell out fast so make sure you plan ahead!
The city is also known for its excellent sports bars and clubs, where you can enjoy a good night out with friends. For those who love a bit of clubbing, Fubar is a great choice, with an eclectic mix of music and a great atmosphere. If you’re after something a little more casual, Fireball is another good choice and offers cheap drinks and a wide range of international sports to watch.