Fukuoka is the largest city in the Kyushu Island of Japan. It is a compact city and known for convenience and easy access with public transport. For example, from the Fukuoka station, the famous entertainment area “Nakasu” is only 3 minutes away, to the airport it is 5 minutes away, and if you travel 20-30 minutes via car, you can enjoy the environment of nature at sea or mountains.
There are many places to see in Fukuoka – the most famous place is Kawachi Wisteria Garden which was selected as one of the best beautiful gardens to visit in Japan by CNN. There are temples, shrines, shopping areas and many other areas to explore.
Dazaifu Tenman-gu is an iconic tourist spot in Fukushima. It is an important Shinto shrine dedicated to Sugawara Michizane who is known as the god of learning. It is busy all year with many locals and overseas visitors praying for success in exams and academic achievement.
Within the shrine grounds, there is a lake called Shinjiike (Lake Shinji) which forms a shape of “shin”, the Japanese character for “heart” when viewed from a bird’s eye view. The lake has three bridges and it is said that passing one of the bridges will make your body and soul into a purer state for meeting the deity of the shrine.
Fukuoka Castle (Fukuoka-Jo), also known as Maizuru Castle or Seki Castle, is located next to Ohori park. You can walk up to the top of the ruins and from the top, you can enjoy a nice view of Fukuoka. Only ruined walls and a few turrets remain so there isn’t really much of a castle to look at.
In spring, the area becomes a popular spot for cherry blossoms and many locals come and setup picnic mat to enjoy the hanami (cherry blossom viewing).
Ohori Park is one of the registered places of scenic beauty in Japan. It is a beautiful old park inspired by West lake in China, and is located in the center of Fukuoka, about a twenty minute walk or five minute subway ride from Tenjin.
There is a cafe “Royal Garden Cafe Ohori Park” which allows you to have a nice coffee while you enjoy the great view of the pond.
There are many joggers and people walking dogs. It has a peaceful environment and it’s a great place to take a break during your travel.
Nanzoin Temple is famous for its bronze statue of a reclining Buddha known as Nehanzo. Measuring 41 metres long, 11 metres high and weighing 300 tons, it is said to be the largest bronze statue in the world.
Nanzoin temple is about 50 minutes by train from Fukuoka station but worth the travel to view this amazing statue.
Fukuoka tower is 234 metres high and is the tallest seaside tower in Japan. There is observation deck on the top floor which is located 123 meters above the ground, you can enjoy the panoramic view of Fukuoka city.
There is a famous sky lounge restaurant called “Refuge” which is located 120 meters above the ground. The tables are located along the clear glass window, making you feel like you are in the air and enjoying your meal.
Known as one of the most beautiful places to visit in Japan, Kawachi Wisteria Garden is a spectacular garden that will amaze all visitors. There are 2 tunnels surrounded with variety of wisteria flowers that are breathtaking.
Due to the overwhelming popularity, from 2016 you can no longer purchase the entry ticket at the entrance. You will need to purchase in advance from Japanese convenient stores 7-11 or Family Mart.
The garden is open from 8:00 to 18:00 during the wisteria season (mid April to mid May) and from 9:00 to 17:00 during the autumn season (mid November to early December).
Nakasu is an entertainment area with lively nightclubs, karaoke parlors, izakayas and gaming arcades. There are over 3,500 restaurants and bars in this small area and many yatai (street stalls) are setup every night. Many locals enjoy the after work meals, drinks and snacks in this area.
You will find some of the best food in Fukuoka in this area. You will see many yatai offering Hakata Ramen, which is famous nationwide, but also there are stalls with Oden, Teppanyaki, Tempura, Yakitori, Gyoza and Hormones.