The Ultimate Travel Guide to Fukuoka, Japan
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There’s never a dull time when in Japan. From modern Tokyo to its faraway prefectures, you’ll find yourself in awe of all the exciting places and things to see in this country.
If you think you’ve explored all the things Tokyo has to offer, it’s time for you to discover the lesser-known regions of Japan. All eyes are now in Fukuoka, a city situated in Kyushu, where you can immerse in its rich heritage and enjoy its gourmet offerings like a true local.
In this Fukuoka Travel Guide Blog, we listed some tips on how you can do your own DIY Day trip to Fukuoka, Japan. We also included a sample Fukuoka Itinerary, Things to do and see, how to get there and more.
How to Get Here
You can travel to Fukuoka directly from Manila via Cebu Pacific. Travel time usually takes 3 and ½ hours.
From Tokyo by Air
There are multiple flights available departing from both Tokyo Haneda and Narita Airport. You can book your flights with JAL, ANA, Starflyer, Skymark, Peach and Jetstar Japan. Flight duration is about one hour and 50 minutes.
From Tokyo by Bus
Nishitetsu offers a daily bus schedule between Fukuoka and Tokyo. The terminal is located at Shinjuku Bus Terminal just above JR Shinjuku Station. The one-way trip takes about 14.5 hours and the rate depends on the type of seat and season of travel.
Best Time To Visit
If you plan to go to Fukuoka anytime soon, you’re lucky as it’s one of the few places that you can enjoy whatever season you plan to go to. But if you want to visit here on a particular season, here’s a quick guide for you:
Do you want to enjoy the snow and see Fukuoka transform into a Winter Wonderland? Visit Fukuoka from December to February. Many tourists go here for the holidays, so expect more tourists than usual. Bring warm clothes to make yourself comfortable during your stay.
Spring is one of the best times to visit Japan, mainly because it’s also the cherry blossom season. Fukuoka magically turns into various hues of pink with its Sakura trees in its full bloom. It’s the tourists’ favorite season, so expect huge crowds flocking to its parks. To experience cherry blossom viewing, plan your visit from March to April.
If you wish to visit Fukuoka to see its autumn foliage, best to go there from September to November. There are lots of natural attractions to see during autumn, too.
Summer in Japan can get very hot and humid but don’t worry, there are still plenty of exciting things to do here. Summer in Japan starts from March to May.
There are lots of transportation options in Fukuoka. They have buses, trains, subway, and the JR line, which are cheaper options if you want to explore the city like a true local. You can also take the taxi, which can be convenient if you plan to go there in groups.
Recommended Fukuoka Tour Packages
Yanagawa and Tosu Premium Outlets Day Trip from Fukuoka
There’s no other city like Fukuoka. It’s clean and rich with natural beauty. We suggest you book this tour and cruise along the Yanagawa River, stroll around its historical places, shop at Tosu Premium Outlets, and indulge an unagi afterwards. This tour is inclusive of lunch and snacks, guide, admission fees, and transportation.
Fukuoka Kimono Rental
Alongside the exciting cruise, we suggest you also book this Fukuoka Kimono Rental where you can choose various accessories and designs to pair it with. You can take pictures and walk around Tojogi Temple and Meiji Parl to cap off the experience.
Learn the Language
Not a lot of Japanese speak and understand English fluently, so it would be helpful for you to learn their language—it’s additional learning for you too! Here are some useful phrases to help you communicate with the Japanese better.
Ohayou Gozaimasu: Good Morning
Konbanwa: Good Evening
Arigatou Gozaimasu: Thank you
Ikura desu ka?: How much is this?
Where to Stay in Fukuoka
More than the exciting destinations to discover in Fukuoka, you should also check out these top accommodations for convenient wandering in the city.
Hotel Nikko Fukuoka
Address: 2-18-25 Hakata Eki-mae Hakata-ku, Fukuoka, Japan
This 5-star hotel is one of the best options if you want a comfortable and luxurious stay. Boasting well-furnished rooms with complete with everything you need from toiletries, coffee-making facilities, and toiletries too. It’s located in the city center five minutes away from Fukuoka Airport. They also serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner buffet at their Serena Café Restaurant.
Dormy Inn Premium Hakata Canal City Mae Natural Hot Spring
Address: 9-1 Gion-machi, Fukuoka, Japan
Situated near the city attractions, this hotel is a convenient option for those who want to be near shopping areas, restaurants, and sightseeing spots in the city. The hotel features public hot spring baths, a sauna, and a restaurant. All their rooms furnished with an LCD TV with satellite channels, a refrigerator, and tea making facilities. Nightwear and slippers are provided. It’s also near Canal City, and you’ll find lots of tourist spots near this accommodation.
The Royal Park Hotel Fukuoka
Address: 2-14-15 Hakataekimae, Hakata-ku, Fukuoka, Japan
This stylish hotel is located just five minutes away from JR Hakata Train Station. The hotel also has its own restaurants, massage services, and currency exchange. They take pride in their Octa Hotel Cafe”, a restaurant brand popular with women in Fukuoka because of its concept of casual French dishes using ingredients from the local Kyushu region.
Also read: Best Hotels in Fukuoka, Japan
Where to Eat in Fukuoka
Nakasu Street Stalls
At night, Fukuoka is just as beautiful as it is during the daytime. Planning to go out with friends? Got to Nakasu and enjoy a variety of local food such as ramen, tempura, and yakitori. Pair these with booze and enjoy shopping in this most happening area in town.
Address: 5-3-2 Nakasu, Hakata, Fukuoka 810-0801, Fukuoka Prefecture
Tonkontsu Ramen, anyone? If you’ve seen the long lines of Ichiran’s branch in Tokyo, then you’ve got to go where it originated. Since 1993, Ichiran has been the go-to ramen place of both tourists and locals alike because of its delicious ramen offerings—genuinely deserving to be known as one of the world’s best dishes.
Address: 1 Chome-4-23 Imaizumi, Chuo Ward, Fukuoka, 810-0021, Japan
Seafood is truly a must-try when in Japan. Craving for some? Have a taste of their fresh, abundant seafood when in Fish Man izakaya. Try their mouthwatering dishes from donburi (rice bowls), tempura, and meat and veg dishes. Sushi, sashimi, and other fish dishes are also a must-try!
Address: 11-8 Kamikawabatamachi Hakata-ku Fukuoka
Dining in a group? One of the recommended dishes to try in Fukuoka is their barbecue beef. Try yakiniku and taste their flavorful grilled meats for a sumptuous meal. You won’t regret capping off your tiresome day in here
Canal City Hakata (Ramen Stadium)
Winter or not, this place has been famous for their Hakata-style ramen. But contrary to the name, the ramen house is not really inside a stadium, but rather located in a food court on the fifth floor of Canal City’s Cinema Building – one of the most popular entertainment hubs in the city. Not to mention, there are over eight famous ramen stalls that serve different ramen styles from across Japan.
Things to Do and See in Fukuoka
An Instagram-worthy place I must say. Your Fukuoka trip wouldn’t be complete without visiting the ever-famous Fukuoka Castle located at Maizuru Park where you can learn its impressive history. You can still see the ruined walls and a few turrets remain, and wander around through a tunnel of flowers. The castle ruins is 10-15 minute walk from Ohori Koen Subway Station.
Kyushu National Museum
Art lovers will surely love touring inside Japan’s first new national museum in 100 years. Here, you’ll see important cultural artifacts, national treasures, and documents that speak a lot about Fukuoka’s rich heritage.
For those who love the outdoors, Ohori Park is the destination to be. It’s a serene park where you can admire Fukuoka’s beautiful landscape, especially during autumn or spring. It’s got a large pond at the center, and a walking path perfect for walking dogs and jogging. According to history, it has once served as part of the moat system of the neighboring Fukuoka Castle.
Dress in a kimono and pose a la pro when you visit the scenic island of Nokonoshima, where colorful flowers bloom all-year-round. From October to November, see it turn into a pink paradise of cosmos.
See various festival floats and pray for eternal youth at this shrine in Fukuoka called Kushida shrine. If you to take a quick break from your itinerary, pay your respects in this shrine, located 8 minutes away from Canal City.
Also Read: Best Things to do in Fukuoka
Where to Shop in Fukuoka
Canal City Hakata
Broadway shows are pretty much a thing here at the Canal City. It’s Fukuoka’s largest shopping complex where you’ll find hotels, movie theater, amusement centers, and the famous Ramen Stadium. Plus! Shopping here is free of tax!
- Retail Stores: 10:00am to 9:00pm
- Restaurant and Cafes: 11:00am to 11:00pm
This all-in-one destination has more than a hundred shops and restaurants to visit. It also houses its own Ferris wheel, and its seaside location makes it for a great attraction to include in your itinerary.
This underground passageway has a very unique ambiance. Did you know that there are a total of here are 12 avenues with 150 various shops of fashion, gourmet, books and more? You can also check out different department stores for your shopping spree. Hungry? They have restaurants here, as well.
In the Tenjin area and JR Hakata station, some banks are authorized to do currency exchange. Some convenience stores accept international debit cards, as well. Japan bills come in denominations of 1,000 yen, 2,000, 5,000, and 10,000. Their coins come in 1, 5, 10, 100, and 500 yen. Most stores accept cash, but some accept credit and debit cards, as well.
Tips and Guides
- Try to use their public transportation to save money instead of taking a cab.
- Check the weather update regularly so you can plan your attire for the day.
- Always bring cash, as some shops do not accept cards as a mode of payment.
- Show respect to their local culture, especially when visiting shrines.
- Tipping in restaurants is not allowed, as your bill comes in with a service charge already.
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