Located on the northern part of Kyushu Island in Japan rests the city of Fukuoka. Fukuoka isn’t on most people’s itineraries for Japan, as a matter of fact, we would have never visited if it weren’t the easiest and quickest place to go for our visa run from South Korea. But after spending a long weekend in this small, clean, beautiful city we grew to love what Fukuoka had to offer. If you are planning a trip to Japan soon you may want to consider Fukuoka for a great two-day trip. Check out our list of best things to do in Fukuoka, Japan.
Shop Until you Drop
One of the best things to do in Fukuoka is shopping. Fukuoka has some great shopping areas throughout the city. Our two favorite were Canal City Hakata and the Tenjin area. Canal City is a giant multi level mall full of stores, restaurants, and entertainment options. You can literally get lost there. Tenjin offers everything from high end departments stores to H&M, Apple, and Uniqlo. We really loved this area for all the shopping and the great food selection. You can also check out the shops in Tenjin Underground Shopping Area. Be careful though, you can do some serious damage here.
Honorable mention goes to Daiso. Daiso is a dollar store that offers crazy, cute, quirky, and everyday items. This is the perfect place to grab a few gifts or souvenirs. Japan’s Daiso has a much better selection of products over Korea’s Daiso locations.
Visit Shrines and Temples
There are shrines and temples scattered all throughout the city. The easiest one to access is Kushida Shrine from the end of Kawabata Shopping Arcade. Make sure you get your fortune while you’re there! We also loved Tochoji Temple and petting all the cats at Shofukuji Temple! All of these are within a 15-minute walking distance from the Tenjin area and one of our favorite things to do in Fukuoka.
Peek at the Castle Ruins
I’ll start by saying the Castle Ruins were not our favorite attraction, the castle itself was completely torn down. It’s well, ruins. But many people flock here and it is still a top thing to do in Fukuoka. You can see a few ruined walls and walk the grounds. You will get a nice walk with a view of Fukuoka. It is said to be a beautiful place to visit during the cherry blossom season. We were there in the fall and quickly walked through it. If you have time, it’s worth checking out for yourself.
Stroll around Ohori ParkOhori Park is located right next to the Castle Ruins and is a peaceful place to take a walk or sit and rest along the lake watching giant koi and turtles everywhere. You can also rent a swan boat if you’re feeling frisky. If you like to exercise you may also find yourself enjoying the running track around the entire park.
This is a great thing to do in Fukuoka if you’re looking for more of a quiet place to rest your dogs after walking everywhere or just enjoy this pretty view.
Fukuoka Tower and Momochi Beach
Check out Fukuoka’s seaside by walking down the beach and grabbing a drink or a meal at Marizon right on the water. You would have to be blind to not see Fukuoka Tower, the tallest building in the city right on the water and one of the the best modern things to do in Fukuoka.
There is a viewing deck you can check out to get a great view of the city or just visit for a quick peek.
Right next to Fukouka Tower is also RoboSquare, a free museum (room) full of robots you can play with.
Visit an Arcade
One of the most fun things to do in Fukuoka is visit an arcade! Play some fun Japanese arcade games during your visit! We could have wasted a lot of money and time in these. Scott was able to win me two prizes which were pretty neat! The arcades are really fun and have great prizes that you don’t find in your average arcade back at home. You can find these arcades in all the of the malls or shopping areas. They are everywhere and it’s worth checking out!
Eat Food until you are going to explode
HOLY HEAVENS were our taste buds blown away by Japanese food. We were obsessed with ramen and ate it twice every day. Try eating at famous spots like Ichiran where you order from a machine and sit at a closed off stall, it’s a fun experience. Or enjoy the garlic heaven and tonkatsu broth at Ippudo.
Fukuoka is actually famous for it’s Hakata Ramen, hence the name Hakata which is in Fukuoka.
But really, you can’t go wrong eating ramen about anywhere in the city. Take advantage of eating sushi while you’re in Japan! Our favorite spot was an inexpensive sushi belt (revolving sushi) restaurant that we visited three times over our long weekend! And our last recommendation, although I could go on for days about the food, would be Motsunabae. This was recommended to us by a local. Don’t read what it is, just be adventurous and try this dish. The meat is cooked in a soup in a hot pot in front of you with vegetables after it cooks for awhile the flavors get richer, then you get to eat the udon noodles! It’s really good!
By far one of the best things to do in Fukuoka is just enjoying the food. Actually, it’s one of the best things you can do in Japan in general.
If you’re on a super tight budget, even convenience store food is above average here. Japan is serious about their food, even if it is from a 7 eleven.
Fukuoka has got it going on. Whether you enjoy eating, shopping, sightseeing, or the whole works then you’re going to have a great time. Fukuoka got us pretty antsy to see more of Japan!
Getting Around Fukuoka
It’s super easy and convenient to get around Fukuoka. Honestly, the city is pretty walkable. Wear comfortable walking shoes and see Fukuoka by foot. This is how we actually got many of our favorite photos. If you get too tired of walking, you can easily navigate and use the subway system. The subway system here is very small and easy to navigate in comparison to say Tokyo.
We do not recommend taking a taxi, taxi rides in Japan are very expensive and you’ll want to save that money for food.
Where to stay in Fukuoka
We recommend the Nishitetsu Hotel Croom Hakata for its great location in Hakata and it’s clean, modern rooms that feel right out of a Muji store. You’re only a 4-minute walk from the Hakata Station, and less than 10 minutes walk to the heart of the city and Tocho-ji temple. The rooms have flat-screen TVs, iPads, fridge, wifi, tea and coffee, and seating areas.
If you want to stay on a female only floor, that is also an option. There’s even a hotpot restaurant on location, a bar, convenience store, sauna, and onsen.
To see more of our Fukuoka visit check out our Youtube channel!
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