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Western Japan’s most happening city and an international gateway to the country, Fukuoka is a great introduction to Japanese urban life on a more manageable scale than Tokyo or Osaka. Like Tokyo, the city was originally divided into the upper-class area around the castle (the current site of the park Ohori-koen and Fukuoka Art Museum) and Hakata, the merchants’ quarters, where you’ll find Fukuoka’s oldest shrine, Kushida-jinja, founded in 757. To find out more about the old city drop by the Hakata Machiya Furusato-kan. Contemporary attractions include the urban renewal project Canal City with hotels, theaters and masses of shops and ...

Western Japan’s most happening city and an international gateway to the country, Fukuoka is a great introduction to Japanese urban life on a more manageable scale than Tokyo or Osaka. Like Tokyo, the city was originally divided into the upper-class area around the castle (the current site of the park Ohori-koen and Fukuoka Art Museum) and Hakata, the merchants’ quarters, where you’ll find Fukuoka’s oldest shrine, Kushida-jinja, founded in 757. To find out more about the old city drop by the Hakata Machiya Furusato-kan. Contemporary attractions include the urban renewal project Canal City with hotels, theaters and masses of shops and restaurants in a multicolored structure. An icon of the city is the 768-foot Fukuoka Tower which has an observation deck, while over at Hawks Town is the Fukuoka Dome where you can catch games by the city’s baseball team. At night you shouldn't miss dining out at the city's famous yatai (food stalls). Also head out of town to Dazaifu where you’ll also find the excellent Kyushu National Museum and the 10th century shrine Tenman-gu.

Simon Richmond
About the Expert

Simon Richmond has written Rough Guides to Malaysia and Japan; Lonely Planet guides to India and Russia; and adventure travel guides for Frommer's on Australia, India, South America, and Southeast Asia.

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Simon Richmond for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    There's a grand parade of floats during the Gion Yamakasa festival held July 1-15.