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Places of Interest

A modern, commercial city, Fukuoka/Hakata is reported to be where both Buddhism and tea were first introduced to Japan. There is much Korean influence not least in the sizeable pottery industry. The town of Fukuoka and the port of Hakata were once separate cities  - be aware of the confusion that may arise from one or other being used on various maps and timetables.    

With a population of 1.2 million it competes with Kitakyushu as the largest city in Kyushu. It retains a lot of charm in spite of the recent proliferation of shopping malls and commercial zones which tend to dominate the skyline of today. It is a great base from which to explore the rest of the island.

Look for the silk-textiles that the town is renowned for - Hakata dolls and kimono sashes. (Iwataya Dept store in the Tenjin district stocks many examples).

At night look out for the many tented food carts which line the pavements. Here you can watch as the chef prepares your meal in front of you. Head for Shunko-bashi Street at the southern end of Nakasu-kawa-bata.

Shofukuji Temple is here - believed to be the oldest remaining in Japan and a very important Zen shrine whilst Fukuoka Castle and Ohohi Park provide a wonderful place to relax. Go in early spring to view the wonderful cherry blossom.

Dazaifu, to the south, the major historical attraction in the area, was a fortified government outpost in the 12th/13th centuries which withstood Mongol invasion fleets.

More modern entertainment can be found at the downtown ACROS Centre which stages both western and traditional Japanese performances. A visit to the Fukuoka Tower provide stunning views of the area whilst the Hawks Town dome provides a home for the local baseball team.


Dont miss the Canal City shopping complex (left)dominated by the criss-crossing canals on its northern edge.


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