Fukuoka Prefecture is located in northern Kyushu and is home to approximately 40% of Kyushu's population. Fukuoka City and Kitakyushu City are prosperous commercial and industrial cities, respectively, and attract many tourists from abroad. The prefecture has long prospered through trade with the continent, and its modern heritage and natural scenery are attractive.
Fukuoka Prefecture's tourist attractions can be summarized as follows:
1. different areas have different characteristics: Fukuoka Prefecture has diverse natural landscapes such as the coastline, the Ariake Sea, and the Chikugo River. Each area has its own unique characteristics, so it is recommended to visit each area within a time frame such as two days and one night. 2.
2. decide your purpose: When touring tourist spots, it is important to make a plan with a clearly defined purpose, such as what you want to see, events and festivals, classic spots, and natural scenery. Acting with a purpose in mind will help you avoid unnecessary travel. 3.
3. convenient for beginners to stay in Fukuoka City: The transportation network in Fukuoka Prefecture originates from Fukuoka City, so beginners are recommended to stay in Fukuoka City. The Tenjin and Hakata Station area is particularly convenient for sightseeing due to its easy access to transportation.
4. transportation in Fukuoka City
Buses and subways are convenient means of transportation for sightseeing in Fukuoka City. Open-top buses are especially popular for tourists, and guides will take you to major sightseeing spots in the city. By riding the Fukuoka Open Top Bus, you can enjoy the refreshing experience of sightseeing while feeling the breeze since there is no roof over your head. The bus takes approximately one hour to tour around the main sightseeing spots in Fukuoka City, Tenjin area, Hakata area, and seaside area.
The Fukuoka Open Top Bus is approximately 3.2 meters high, so you may feel a bit like a roller coaster when traveling on the urban expressway. When visiting Fukuoka for the first time, it is a good idea to take the Fukuoka Open Top Bus and enjoy sightseeing in the city while feeling the breeze.
Fukuoka City has a well-developed bus and subway network that provides convenient transportation for sightseeing. Access to tourist spots is smooth, and you can enjoy sightseeing in the city by bus or subway.
Here are some of the attractions of various areas of Fukuoka Prefecture!
1. Fukuoka Area - Central Fukuoka Area (Hakata/Tenjin)
Fukuoka Tenjin Underground Mall
The Tenjin/Hakata area is one of the most popular sightseeing spots in Fukuoka Prefecture and is known as Kyushu's busiest downtown area. Tenjin is a place for shopping, dining, and enjoying the historic culture of Hakata. The streets of Tenjin are lined with fashion buildings, long-established department stores, and electronics retailers, creating a bustling atmosphere. The Tenjin underground shopping mall is also bustling with shoppers and tourists.
The area around Hakata Station is also a vibrant area with an increasing number of new commercial facilities. There is also an area called Teramachi in the city center, about a 10-minute walk from Hakata Station, which has a traditional atmosphere. A compact area where gourmet foods and events can be enjoyed all year round, even a stay of one night and two days is enough to enjoy sightseeing.
In particular, there are many events such as the Hakata Dontaku Festival during Golden Week (GW: early May) and the Hakata Gion Yamakasa festival in July, where you can see the decorative floats of the Hakata Gion Yamakasa festival. Participate in local traditional events and festivals and enjoy the charm of Fukuoka to the fullest!
The Bay Area, Fukuoka's central area, is an attractive seaside space where you can enjoy Hakata Port Tower, the symbol of Hakata Port, and Bayside Place Hakata, known for its beautiful illumination.
Hakata Pier is a busy sea gateway to Hakata, with cruise ships from the outlying islands and Asia frequently visiting the area. At Bayside Place Hakata, visitors can enjoy delicious cuisine made with fresh ingredients directly from the production area and fun events. There is also the restaurant cruise ship "Mariella," where you can enjoy top chefs' cuisine and onboard events as you cruise around Hakata Bay. Viewing fireworks from the cruise ship is especially recommended during the summer fireworks season.
The Bay Area is a wonderful spot to enjoy the four seasons and relax while feeling the sea breeze. Enjoy the beautiful night view of the Port of Hakata and the illumination of Bayside Place Hakata and enjoy all that Fukuoka has to offer. A cruise ship or a restaurant cruise in the bay area will make your time here special.
Itoshima, Nokonoshima, and Shigashima are nature-rich areas in Fukuoka Prefecture that offer many sightseeing spots where you can enjoy a resort atmosphere.
Itoshima is about an hour's bus ride west of Tenjin, and is home to "husband and wife rocks," famous as a marriage spot, and stylish restaurants where you can watch beautiful sunsets. The husband and wife rocks are known for their shape, which looks like two rocks joined together, and are believed to bring happiness to visitors. In addition, "Nokonoshima Island Park" is located on Nokonoshima Island, a 10-minute boat ride from the ferry terminal, where visitors can enjoy seasonal flower gardens with the sea in the background. Rape blossoms in spring, sunflowers in summer, and cosmos in autumn delight the eyes of visitors.
2. Nokonoshima Island
Nokonoshima Island, located off the coast of Fukuoka City, is an island rich in nature that can be visited in a day trip from Fukuoka. The island is lush with greenery and offers a resort-like atmosphere. There are beaches, campgrounds, and a national vacation village, and the island is crowded with bathers and surfers in summer. Visitors can also enjoy such gourmet specialties as noko burgers and kinjirushi docks.
3. Shiga Island
Shiga Island, about an hour's bus ride east from Tenjin, is a small island connected to land by the beauty of the sea. It is a relaxing spot with beaches and the Shiga Kaijinja Shrine, famous for its golden seal.
These islands are worth visiting throughout the year, with spring through fall being particularly the best seasons. As a resort area easily accessible from Fukuoka, you can enjoy nature and beautiful scenery. Be sure to visit Itoshima, Nokonoshima, and Shikashima to fully enjoy the charms of Fukuoka Prefecture.
Dazaifu is an area steeped in history and culture located in Dazaifu City, Fukuoka Prefecture, and Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine is a representative tourist attraction.
Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine is famous throughout Japan as the god of learning, and attracts many worshippers from within and outside the prefecture for the annual New Year's visit. As one of Fukuoka's most popular tourist spots, it is visited by tourists throughout the year. The shrine also offers lucky charms and good luck talismans, making it a fun place not only to visit but also to look for souvenirs.
The approach to Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine is lined with tea stores selling Umegae mochi, a specialty of the shrine. Umegae mochi is a specialty of Dazaifu and is sold individually so that visitors can enjoy eating it while walking around and also enjoy it with matcha green tea at the teahouses.
Visitors can also walk to the Kyushu National Museum from the precincts of Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine. The Kyushu National Museum is the fourth national museum in Japan and has exhibits that teach visitors about the history of exchange with Asia. Special exhibitions are held seasonally, offering a variety of learning and enjoyment opportunities.
Dazaifu is also a great place to enjoy the cherry blossom viewing season, especially in February when the plum trees planted on the grounds are in bloom and in June when the iris blossoms are beautiful. Half a day is enough time to enjoy Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine and the Kyushu National Museum at leisure. This is also a popular and standard route for tourists visiting on cruise ships from Asia.
Munakata and Fukutsu are areas of Fukuoka Prefecture rich in nature and history, and Miyajitake Shrine and Munakata Taisha Shrine are particularly popular tourist attractions.
Miyajitake Shrine was the subject of a commercial and is famous for its "Path of Light," a spectacular view of the setting sun. This beautiful scene can be seen only twice a year, in February and October, when it attracts many tourists. It would be a wonderful experience to visit Miyajitake Shrine, Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine, and Munakata Taisha Shrine, taking on the challenge of visiting the three shrines.
Munakata-taisha Shrine is located in Munakata City, and two shrines can be visited: Nakatsu-miya Shrine and Henzumiya Shrine. Okitsumiya Shrine is located on Okinoshima Island and is inaccessible, but Munakata Taisha is famous as a guardian deity of traffic safety and attracts many visitors.
In addition, Okinoshima Island off the coast of Munakata City is registered as a World Heritage site, and visitors can feel the romance of ancient times. The island is where Shinto priests perform Shinto rituals, and traces of ancient rituals have been preserved. The ruins of a gun battery, from which Okinoshima Island can be seen in the distance on a clear day, provide a place where visitors can feel a sense of time immemorial.
Munakata and Fukutsu are places where you can feel the natural connection between the sea and the forest, and are worth visiting as areas with a mysterious atmosphere. It may be difficult to spend a full day sightseeing in the area, but if you take the time to explore, you will have a wonderful experience.
The Kitakyushu area is home to many fascinating sights that blend history and modernity.
The Mojiko Retro district is a tasteful area that retains traces of its former modernity and offers beautiful views of the Kanmon Straits. The Mojiko Retro Summer Festival is held in the summer and offers an extraordinary experience. You will also enjoy the local food culture, such as grilled curry, a local delicacy, and banana pounding. The Kyushu Railway Memorial Museum is also worth a visit, and is a fun hands-on theme park for railroad enthusiasts.
Kokura is an area with many subculture spots that are popular among young people, while still retaining the history of the castle town. Kokura Castle and Katsuyama Park offer cherry blossoms in spring and autumn leaves in fall. Visitors can also enjoy local gourmet food and shopping at River Walk Kitakyushu and Tangae Market. The city of Kokura is dotted with charming spots where tradition and modernity coexist and a downtown atmosphere remains.
The Kitakyushu area offers history, culture, scenery, and gourmet food, making for a fulfilling stay for tourists. It may be a bit challenging to get around in a day, but it is worth taking the time to explore.
The Chikuho area is an area that retains the historical legacy of a land that once prospered on coal, and offers visitors a taste of Fukuoka's modern history.
The Naokura, Kahan, and Tagawa areas are areas where coal mining towns flourished, and are also noted for their castle towns of automobile factories and local gourmet foods. In Kaho Theater, old-fashioned theaters remain and visitors can enjoy the nostalgic atmosphere. In the Chikuho area, visiting nostalgic streets and historical buildings and tasting local delicacies are recommended. Many local festivals and events are held in the area, so you will be able to enjoy them depending on the time of year you visit.
Yanagawa is one of the leading tourist destinations in Chikugo, and is a water town characterized by waterways running in all directions. River cruises can be enjoyed in all four seasons, and the Doll Festival event in spring is also popular. It is also known as a sacred place for the poet Kitahara Hakushu, and "Gohana," the residence of the Yanagawa feudal lord Tachibana, which was converted into a ryotei inn, is a place of high value as a historical building. To enjoy Yanagawa's elegant townscape and tourist attractions at a leisurely pace, an overnight trip is recommended.
The Chikuho area and Yanagawa can be visited on a day trip from Fukuoka City, but since there are so many sightseeing spots, taking a little time to explore them will allow you to enjoy a more fulfilling trip.
The Kurume/Yame area is a rural city, with rich natural scenery and a sense of history and culture rooted in the land. Kurume is a major transportation hub, and the natural landscape stretching from the Mino Mountain Range to the Chikugo River Plain is an attractive feature of the city. There are museums, cultural centers, historical shrines and Shinto shrines, and you can experience the local culture as you stroll through the streets. Yame is a tea-producing region, and facilities such as the Hoshino Bunka-kan allow visitors to experience astronomy and space. Hoshinomura also offers a planetarium lodging plan for nature lovers. Kurume is especially beautiful during the azalea season, so a visit in early April or early May is recommended.
The Ukiha/Asakura area is a major agricultural production area in Fukuoka Prefecture, and is a perfect spot for a photography trip. Ukiha's Tsuzura terraced rice paddies, with their beautiful contrast of higanbana (cluster amaryllis) and pre-harvest ears of rice, have been selected as one of the 100 best terraced rice paddies in Japan. Asakura's triple waterwheel is the oldest working waterwheel in Japan and is a scenic spot that takes advantage of the abundant water flow of the Chikugo River. Early autumn is a particularly beautiful season in this area, where you can fully enjoy the rural countryside scenery of farming villages.
The Kurume/Yame area and the Tohka/Asakura area offer natural scenery and rural countryside, so taking the time to visit these areas will allow you to have a fulfilling trip. This area is recommended for nature lovers and those who enjoy photography.