Host City Information
Fukuoka resides on Kyushu, Japan’s third largest island and is one of the country’s most populated cities. Because Fukuoka is closer to Seoul than to Tokyo, it has played a vital role as a harbor city for many centuries and is often referred to as Japan’s gateway to Asia. In the 13th century, the city was chosen as the landing point for the Mongol invasion. Reminders of the Mongolian invasion can still be spotted around the city, stone anchors recovered from drowned ships are found at the Hakata's Kushida Shrine, and a 700-year-old piece of anti-Mongolian calligraphy by Emperor Kameyama still hangs over the entrance to the Hakozaki Shrine.
Today's Fukuoka is the product of the fusion of two cities in the year 1889, when the port city of Hakata and the former castle town of Fukuoka were united into one city called Fukuoka. The name Hakata is still widely used to refer to the conjoined city. In the modern era, Fukuoka became one of the driving forces in Japan’s industrial revolution and is now an epicenter of politics, economy, fashion, and culture.
The sunny and friendly port city is known for having some of Japan’s best food and is the home of Tonkotsu ramen. The street-side yatai stalls draw flavors from all across Japan and Asia. Fukuoka is a leading Japanese center of cuisine where you can enjoy diverse food from all over the world, sushi fans are encouraged to try saba (mackerel) a Fukuoka specialty. In addition to good eats, the charming city is also known for its shopping, museums, nature, and ample sightseeing opportunities.
Fukuoka's relatively small size means that it is incredibly easy to get out to the nearby mountains and beaches. Seaside Momochi includes one of Fukuoka's main attractions, Fukuoka Tower. Fukuoka is an ideal destination to enjoy both the land and sea.
More information about the city of Fukuoka can be found at https://www.welcome-fukuoka.or.jp/english/
Things to Do in Fukuoka
Fukuoka Tower is a massive skyscraper with a scenic observation deck located in the Momochihama district. It is the tallest seaside tower in all of Japan with a 360-degree view of the surrounding area. The tower romantically decorates the night view of the city with illumination lights on its many half mirrors and is known by the name “Mirror Sail.” The tower’s first floor is filled with a variety of local specialty shops and restaurants.
Ohori Park is a scenic escape located at the heart of Fukuoka with a pond at its center. Ohori is the Japanese word for moat, and the park’s pond once served as part of the moat system for Fukuoka Castle. Adjacent to the park is Fukuoka’s art museum, and a few steps south is the breathtaking Ohori Park Japanese Garden.
Fukuoka Castle Ruins are all that remains of the once great citadel, Fukuokajōato. The ruins are located in the middle of the city inside Marizuru Park, which was named after the castle’s alias, Marizuru Castle. Once the largest castle in Kyushu, it was completely torn down after the Meiji Restoration, which sought to destroy Japan’s remaining feudalist symbols. With walking trails and lookout points, it’s a top destination spot for both travelers and locals.
Dazaifu Tenman-gu is a Shinto shrine built over the grave of Sugawara no Michizane, a renowned scholar, poet, and politician of Japan’s Heian Period (794 – 1185). Exiled for his popularity and power, Michizane passed away shortly after. Following his death, the country was ravaged by natural disasters that many believed were caused by the wrathful spirit of Michizane. Offerings are still made at the shrine today, which is located about 250 meters from Dazaifu Station and is lined with shops to cater to its visitors.
Kushida Shrine is another Shinto shrine of acclaim in Fukuoka and is one of the oldest, founded in 757. Dedicated to Amaterasu and Susanoo, two gods of Japanese mythology, the shrine is much beloved by the people of Fukuoka. In fact, the city’s summer festival, Hakata Gion Yamakasa, is dedicated to this shrine. In the shrine yard, a large and symbolic ginkgo tree grows with two monumental tablets of the Mongolian invasion at its foot.
Yatai (Food Stalls) are a Fukuoka staple. There are many yatai, though they are primarily in the Tenjin, Nakasu, and Nagahama areas. These gourmet food stalls line the streets of the city and are ideal for those seeking camaraderie and a cheap and cheerful bite to eat.
Canal City is a large shopping and entertainment multiplex in Fukuoka. Often referred to as the “city within the city” it contains a number of attractions including cafes, shops, restaurants, cinemas, hotels, and a canal that runs through the complex itself. Some of Fukuoka’s finest commercial and dining opportunities can be found in Canal City.
Shofukuji Temple is the oldest Zen temple in Japan, dating back to 1195. Although the temple buildings cannot be entered, visitors can walk through Shofukuji's attractive temple grounds and observe the buildings from the outside. The temple is also known for its friendly cat population.
For additional ideas on things to do while in Fukuoka, we have provided a couple of resources to get you started:
- Fukuoka Convention and Visitors Bureau: https://www.welcome-fukuoka.or.jp/english/
- Japan Guide: https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2161.html
- Lonely Planet: https://www.lonelyplanet.com/japan/kyushu/fukuoka
Consumption tax (similar to VAT, GST, or sales tax) is a flat 10% on goods; 8% on food and beverage items (excluding alcoholic beverages and dining out). In 2019, the Japanese government introduced an "international tourist tax" of 1,000 yen (about US$9) per departing person - also known as the departure tax.
Tipping is not customary or required in Japan.
Japan uses the Japanese Yen (JPY).
Summer (Jun-Sep) is typically warm, humid, and rainy. While Winter (Dec-Feb) is generally mild. June temperatures average from 80°F (27°C) to 68°F (14°C)
92 (Dialing code: +81 92)
Japan Standard Time (UTC +9)
The standard voltage is 100 V (with a standard frequency of 50/60 Hz) and uses plug types A and B.
Languages Commonly Spoken
Japanese is the most widely spoken. English is taught in schools and is typically understood.
Throughout Japan, an emergency phone call can be made free of charge from any phone including public pay phones.
- Ambulance – Dial 119
- Fire – Dial 119
- Police – Dial 110