Exploring Fukuoka in Japan: the dream destination.
As a progressive metropolis of one of the most developed countries in the world, Fukuoka has a developed infrastructure, modern technology and convenient transport links. The textile, chemical, and food industries as well as mechanical engineering are well developed here. Significant role in the life of the city plays tourism. Many temples, monuments, museums, skyscrapers, parks, shopping and entertainment centers, stores and restaurants are visited by thousands of tourists every day. Fukuoka is perfectly adapted for life and leisure, fully meeting the status of a high-tech metropolis and the title of the largest city on the island of Kyushu. According to a survey by one of the world-famous British magazines, not long ago it was voted the best shopping destination on the planet, which must have further increased tourist interest.
The city’s infrastructure is very developed
Fukuoka has a very developed infrastructure. This is partly due to the fact that the area was heavily influenced by World War II, the city was completely destroyed by the United States. After that, much of the city was rebuilt and more and more modernized. In addition, the city is also an important national port. Known for international trade and tourist routes .
Thanks to the modernization of infrastructure, transportation facilities such as subway, bus, car rental, streetcar help to travel around Fukuoka city conveniently. High-speed trains and airplanes will take you from Fukuoka City to anywhere in Japan without any problems or delays. In addition, Fukuoka is the leading city in Asia in terms of safety and peace of mind for life.
High-speed trains -shinkansen
The city is also known as a “friendly city” because of its clean environment, friendly people, clean streets, and many ultra-modern technical facilities. What makes Fukuoka special compared to other areas in Japan is that the city has a young population and continues to grow in numbers.
Fukuoka covers an area of more than 340 square kilometers, with a population of about 1 million 500 thousand people. Local time is 6 hours ahead of Moscow time. Time zone is UTC+9. Daylight saving time in Japan is not implemented. The telephone code is (+81) 92. Official website www.city.fukuoka.lg.jp.
A brief look back in history
Since the seventh century, there had been a trading town called Hakata on the east bank of the Nakagawa River that had established trade relations with China. In fact, the history of modern Fukuoka began with it. A gateway to Korea and China, it attracted the attention of invaders, and in the 13th century, Mongol ruler Han Kublai turned his attention to Hakata Bay, which washes the shores of island Kyushu. After lengthy negotiations and the Japanese refusal to submit to the invaders, the Mongols attacked Fukuoka Prefecture and won, but Typhoon Kamikaze, meaning “Divine Wind,” intervened and struck the foreigners. Thanks to it, the Japanese were able to defend their land. In the early seventeenth century, on the west bank of the Nakagawa, the influential feudal lord Nagamasa Kuroda built a castle, around which a separate settlement was eventually formed. Eventually, in 1889, it was decided to unite the eastern and western banks. That was how Fukuoka City, which became the capital of the prefecture and the largest port on Kyushu Island, came into being. Today, there is a tentative division between east and west, with Hakata having the status of a commercial center and Fukuoka having business and administrative functions.
Fukuoka has a very convenient location
Fukuoka City is the administrative center of Fukuoka Prefecture, located in the western part of Fukuoka Prefecture, north of Kyushu. It is also the largest city on the island of Kyushu, the sixth largest in Japan. The word “Fukuoka” translates as “happy hill.”
Fukuoka has a very favorable geographical location. In a straight line, Fukuoka is the center of many major cities:
There are also many non-stop flights from Fukuoka to Fukuoka, Shanghai, Dalian, Guangzhou, Xino and Chintao.
- from Tokyo about 1,100 km
- about 1000 km from Vladivostok
- about 550 km from Seoul, South Korea
- about 900 km from the city of Shanghai
- about 1300 km from Taipei city Taiwan
The region’s weather conditions are strongly influenced by the Pacific Ocean, although a subtropical monsoon climate prevails here. The average temperature from December to February is about +5 to +10 degrees Celsius. Summers are hot and humid, with lots of rain, most of which falls between March and September. During the year does not do without typhoons. The best time to visit the island is from October to February, but to avoid unpleasant surprises, find out the weather forecast before the trip.
Attractions and entertainment
One of the best places in Fukuoka for entertainment and fun is Canal City Hakata, which is a large-scale shopping and entertainment complex with numerous stores, bars, restaurants, theaters, game centers, cinemas, hotels, and a grandiose artificial canal right in the middle of the complex. Among the religious buildings, Sofukuji Temple, founded in the late 12th century by priest Eisai, is worthy of special attention. It is made of wood and is considered the first Zen temple in the country. A great place for a walk is the picturesque Ohori Park, which consists of a large pond and the surrounding banks of green vegetation, along which there is a wide pedestrian path. A magnificent monument of the Middle Ages is Fukuoki Castle, built in the 17th century by Nagamasa Kuroda. Only a few fragments have survived to this day, but it still reflects its former grandeur. The modern part of the city is the coastal Momochi Park, where the Fukuoka Tower offers a spectacular view of the metropolis from its observation deck.
Next to the capital of the prefecture is the small town of Dazaifu, once the administrative center of Kyushu. Here, it’s a must-see to visit the Komezenji, Kanzeonji, and Dazaifu Tenmangu temples, which are the island’s cultural and historical heritage. In addition to seeing the iconic sights of Fukuoka, you should simply stroll through the city streets and appreciate the perfection of high-tech, well-designed landscaping, as well as the convenience and functionality of the residential neighborhoods. Taken together, this answers the question of why the Japanese are considered the most progressive and advanced nation on the planet. Much attention is given to festivities, including the Hakata Dontaku, held in early May each year.
What to see in Fukuoka?
Walks through magnificent gardens, picturesque ponds and lakes await tourists at Ohori Park. Here they can take a boat ride, visit the museum of ancient artifacts or do sports on special running paths. On the territory of the park there are several tea houses. Here, tired visitors are invited to a tea ceremony.
Every year in Ohori is held a national Japanese festival. And in the evening, numerous fireworks light up the sky of Fukuoka.
In the 10th century, the sacred Japanese temple of Hakozaki-gu was built on the Fukuoka area. The symbol of this temple is the Japanese ruler Ojin, who was ranked as a saint.
Here tourists can admire a huge number of historical buildings and structures. For example, take a tour of the main pavilion or admire the architectural style of the pavilion of worship. And also take a stroll through the park that stretches around the shrine.
A magnificent triangular sail of a thousand mirrors can be seen by tourists in Fukuoka. The height of this sail is 234 meters. In the evening, from the open platform of the tower, tourists can admire the magnificent views of the city at night. The azure bay of Hakata and the mighty mountain ranges make tourists hold their breath. Just below, there is another playground. This is where couples in love come. On the metal fence of the site you can see numerous castles, which are a symbol of a strong unbreakable union. In the center of this platform was erected a small installation, made in the shape of a large heart.
Inside the tower there are a huge number of restaurants and cafes. On the first floor of the building, tourists can stroll through the stores or souvenir tents.
Ancient Ruins of Fukuoka
Connoisseurs of history and ancient architecture have the opportunity to stroll through the ancient ruins of the city. At the center of the ruins is a powerful stone wall. Nearby nestled several ancient temples, structures, and squares. This part of Fukuoka has a lot to say about the troubled past of the city.
The ancient ruins of Fukuoka Castle are the city’s calling card. On a small hill tourists can see a few small buildings – this is all that remains of the castle.
Fukuoka Art Museum
Within the walls of the museum collected magnificent paintings, famous Japanese artists. And unique exhibits attract all lovers of the Middle Ages.
Sofuku-ji – the sacred temple of Fukuoka
On a small hill nestles the sacred temple of Fukuoka – Sofuku-ji. It is a two-tiered building made of dark stone. The shrine contains a unique bronze bell that was here from the very beginning.
World of Entertainment
Fukuoka is one of the largest entertainment centers in Japan. For example, the urban botanical garden of Fukuoka provides a great recreation for the whole family. There are a large number of play areas. Fans of the underwater world will find a huge aquarium. Here you can see the friendly dolphins, adorable seals and a variety of fish.
Numerous entertainment complexes, nightclubs, a network of cinemas and stores are waiting for its visitors in Fukuoka.
A huge selection of restaurants and cafes offers tourists Fukuoka. Here they will be able to appreciate the charm of the national Japanese cuisine.
The culinary traditions of Fukuoka reflect all the virtues of the national cuisine, which in itself should be considered a separate attraction. The famous sushi and boiled rice are only a small part of the immense variety that the cafés and restaurants of the town offer. Plenty of exotic seafood, meat, vegetables, beans, pasta, sashimi and, of course, sookie are an indispensable attribute of any menu in local restaurants. Descriptions of dishes are often duplicated in English and sometimes in Russian. For shopping, the Hakata Ori (silk fabric) and Hakata Ningyo (clay toys) are very popular with tourists.
This place has a long history. It was through this land that the ancient Chinese migrated through Korea to the Japanese islands.
In 1274 the Mongols decided to invade Japan. Kublai Khan forced the Koreans to build a fleet of nearly 450 ships and to send a 15-thousand-strong Mongol army across the Strait of Korea, which terrorized all the surrounding land. The Mongols had powerful crossbows, catapults, and exploding shells at their disposal. The samurai, on the other hand, were accustomed to traditional one-on-one combat and were armed only with swords. A typhoon rose that night, sinking most of the Mongol ships. The survivors were carried back to the Korean coast.
However, the Mongols were not the type to give up at the first setback. How would they have conquered half of Asia then? Six years later, an even more impressive fleet was built, and this time the ships carried 100,000 warriors – the largest naval invasion of the Medieval era. Fortunately for the Japanese, the Mongols, these excellent horsemen, proved to be poor navigators. Moreover, they ignored the advice of the Korean navigators and organized the invasion in early summer, during the typhoon season. As might have been expected, a powerful storm arose and the entire Mongolian fleet went down. The Japanese called this typhoon kamikaze (kami-sacred, kaze-wind) – the divine wind – and took it as a sign of the gods’ special favor to the Japanese people.
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Fukuoka – general information Fukuoka is a major city that in the past few years has gained the title of the largest cultural center of western Japan and an important hub of international communication. With a population of a little over 1 million people, this city aspires to overtake the rest of Japan in its development – it has the largest hotel in the country, the largest movie complex and the best stadium for a baseball game. For tourists, this means that they are in a very modern, dynamic city, in some places on par with Osaka and even Tokyo.
Although there aren’t too many historical sites in Fukuoka, there are some excellent museums, and also some very interesting modern architecture that you can spend your time looking at. The main attractions of Fukuoka are Canal city – a brilliant complex that includes a movie theater, hotel and shopping mall, Hawks Town – part of a large development project on the seaside of Fukuoka, which includes a shopping arcade, over fifty cafes, a movie theater, entertainment complex and beach. The city is also famous for its festivals and folk crafts, which can be found at the Museum of Folklore Hataki Matija. Like any self-respecting Japanese city of this scale, Fukuoka has a lively entertainment district on the small island of Nakasu , although you can choose the more economical option of less luxurious restaurants and bars in the business side of town, Tenjin .
Naka-gawa divides central Fukuoka in two. In the Hakata area is the main train station of Fukuoka, the name of which, Hakata Station, can be misleading because it goes back to the days when Fukuoka and Hakata were not yet united into one city. Hakata Station is the last station on the Tokaido Shinkansen Line and the central hub for JR Kyushu commuter trains. On the other side of Naka-gawa, in the business part of the city, Tenjin, is Nishitsu-Fukuoka station, where trains from Dazaifu arrive. These central areas are connected by a subway line to Fukuoka Airport, conveniently located only two stops from Hakata.
Foreign tourists can get the Fukuoka Welcome Card, which entitles them to discounts of up to 30% when paying from more than 150 sites – hotels, restaurants and tourist attractions. Ask for this discount card at your hotel.
The best way to get around Fukuoka is the fast and convenient subway . There are plenty of signs in English, and although there are only two subway lines in Fukuoka (the Main line, the Kuko line, runs from the airport through downtown Fukuoka, Hakata Station and Tenjin to Meinohama. And a shorter line-Hakozaki separates at Nakasu-kawabate toward the Kaizuka district), most of the city’s attractions are near any of the stations. Trains start running from 5:30 to 11:00 p.m. at intervals of three to eight minutes, depending on the time of day. If you are going to make several trips by subway in one day, it is better to buy a one-day subway pass, which also entitles you to discounts at several museums and the Fukuoka Tower. In order to get to areas remote from the subway, such as Hawks Town, it is better to use the Nishitetsu city buses. Note that you get a ticket with a number at the entrance to the bus, which is paid when you get off the bus, accordingly, the bus fare depends on the distance.
There are several world-class modern hotels in Fukuoka that are not that expensive compared to the same hotels in Tokyo. There is a large selection of business hotels in the Hakata Station area, with very inexpensive basement rooms.
Even today you can see the old cultural and economic boundaries between the former castle town of Fukuoka and the former commercial district of Hakata. Most of Hakata is office buildings, but the area is famous for the city’s oldest sanctuary and bustling festival. Here you can see wooden buildings in the narrow streets, and the unique cultural monuments of Hakata can be seen at the Folklore Museum . Not surprisingly, many handicrafts and traditional arts originated in this region, the most famous of which are Hakata dolls and Ori silk. Geishas can be found in the Nakasu entertainment district. In Hakata is one of the most famous monuments of Fukuoka – the Canal city futuristic complex, which is very different from other buildings in the area.
In the Tenzin district there are fashionable boutiques, fashion houses and department stores, but there are no sights here except the ruins of the castle in Ohori Koen . In addition to the picturesque lake, there is a museum in the park where a collection of twentieth-century art is on display. A little further away is the Fukuoka Museum dedicated to the history of the region and the coastal district of Momochi with the Fukuoka Tower and the new Hawks Town development area.
Sumo. The last competition (basho) of the season, the Grand Kyushu Sumo Tournament, takes place in November at the Fukuoka International Center. Fukuoka Cuisine The most famous specialty of Fukuoka is fugu, a poisonous ball fish that is only eaten in winter (November-March). Although fugu can be tasted all over Japan, it is said that the best specimens come from this region. You can buy cheaper food, such as ramen, oden, and tempura with sake, at mobile yatai stalls. Yatai can be found at the intersection of Tenjin Nishi-dori and Shōwa-dori, as well as on the shore of Nakasu Island. There are also more traditional restaurants in Tenjin. The Sun Plaza has many inexpensive restaurants, and the Hakata Station is a good place to try mentai-ko carashi, the spicy fish roe for which northern Kyushu is famous. At the tents at the station you can find local mentaiko onigiri (rice balls) and bento. A small guide to Fukuoka Hakata district, Tenjin district, Fukuoka museums, Nakasu entertainment district, Ohori Koen Park, Fukuoka Tower, and more.