Watanabe-dori, in the Tenjin area of Fukuoka
Fukuoka (福岡)  is the capital of Fukuoka prefecture and the largest city on the island of Kyushu.
Fukuoka is a modern city; most of its buildings are new. Historically, it was divided by the central river into two separate cities, Hakata (博多) and Fukuoka (福岡), before their merge in 1889. The main railway station and port are still known as Hakata Station and Hakata Port.
The city has two centres: one in Hakata and one in Tenjin.
There is a Tourist Information Centre in Tenjin, found on the ground floor, in front of Mitsukoshi and under the Nishitetsu Fukuoka station. They have English speakers (and other languages) available. For information in English, visit the Rainbow Plaza, located on the 8th floor of the Inter Media Station (IMS) building. The IMS is accessible by subway and is just a three-minute walk from the Tenjin station. In the middle of Hakata JR train station there is a Tourist Information Centre (sometimes with English speakers) with brochures in English, Japanese and other languages. They can help with transport information and bookings. On the third floor of the ACROS building, near Nakasu, you can find more information in English.
The surrounding cities and towns make up the prefecture of Fukuoka.
Fukuoka is a good starting point for first-time visitors to Japan. Being a sizable, modern city it's still not hard to get around. A subway connects most of the city's main attractions. Providing transportation between Hakata, Tenjin, Fukuoka International Airport, Meinohama, and Nishijin (where you can find Fukuoka Tower and the baseball ground of the Softbank Hawks: Fukuoka Yahoo Dome). The main station in Hakata marks the terminus of the Sanyo Shinkansen bullet train. The Kyushu Shinkansen line also terminates here, and links the Sanyo Shinkansen directly with Kagoshima, at the southern tip of Kyushu.
Fukuoka has a humid subtropical climate with an average year-round rainfall of 1612mm. The city features cold winters with the average temperature in January being 6.6°C (43.9°F) with lows around 3°C (38°F). Very cold weather is rare and temperatures very rarely drop below -5°C (23°F). The all-time record low is -8.2°C (17.2°F). Light snow may be seen falling, but snow accumulation is very rare. Sleet is much more common. Summers are hot and humid and are characterised by sweltering heat and freak thunderstorms, caused by East Asian Monsoons. August (the hottest month) has an average 24-hour temperature of 28.1°C (82.6°F) and highs usually hover around 32°C (90°F). The combination of hot daytime temperatures and high humidity (72%) results in a very high heat index and a very unpleasant atmosphere. 35°C (95°F) readings may occasionally be observed, but anything above this mark is rare. The all-time record high is 37.9°C (100.2°F). This part of the year is when the majority of the yearly precipitation falls. The best seasons to visit the city are undoubtedly spring and autumn, but keep in mind that the Pacific typhoon season lasts from mid-August to late September.
Fukuoka Airport (IATA: FUK)  is located in the east of the city, close to the city centre (domestic terminal is only two subway stops away from the JR Hakata Station - there is a ~10 min. free bus connecting the intl. terminal to domestic). Within the country, Japan Airlines and ANA fly to Fukuoka from most larger cities, including Tokyo (both Haneda and Narita), Osaka (Itami and Kansai), and Nagoya (Komaki and Centrair Airport). There are scheduled flights to most major cities in Mainland China and South Korea, as well as Taipei, Hong Kong, Singapore, Bangkok, Manila, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, but the only scheduled transpacific flights are to Honolulu and Guam. There is one direct flight between Helsinki and Fukuoka 3 times a week on Finnair (AY075/AY076).
The airport is split into two terminals, Domestic and International.
- The Domestic Terminal is on the airport's eastern side and handles flights from 5:30 AM to 10:30 PM. The subway station is located under the domestic terminal. In addition to the B1 level which has the subway station and 2 banks, the first and second floors handle arrivals and departures, respectively, while the 3rd floor has several restaurants and the 4th floor has an observation deck.
- The International Terminal is on the opposite side of the runway and requires a free 10-min bus transfer to/from the domestic terminal. Buses leave about every 10 minutes. International flights are handled from 6 AM to 9:40 PM. The layout is similar to the domestic terminal, however the 3rd floor also has several duty free shops and the 4th floor has 2 observation decks and a smoking room.
From Tokyo, flying to Fukuoka is much faster than the Shinkansen, and often cheaper. Discount airlines include Jetstar Japan  and Peach Air , both offering flights around ¥5,000, sometimes lower. This compares to ¥22,320 from Tokyo Station on the Nozomi Shinkansen. The flight takes two hours while the train takes five.
Hakata Station is the terminus of the Sanyo Shinkansen (north) and Kyushu Shinkansen (south). Sanyo Shinkansen services are offered from Kokura in Kitakyushu (20 min), Shimonoseki(30 min), Hiroshima (1 hr), Okayama (1 hr 45 min) and Osaka (2 hr 30 min), and through via the Tokaido Shinkansen from Kyoto (2 hr 45 min by Nozomi), Nagoya (3 hr 30 min by Nozomi) and Tokyo (5 hr by Nozomi).
If you have a Japan Rail Pass, you cannot use the Nozomi and Mizuho services, so if you are traveling from Tokyo or Nagoya you will have to take one of the two hourly Hikari trains from Tokyo and switch to a Sakura service at Shin-Osaka (alternatives are Shin-Kobe, Okayama, and sometimes Himeji). Travel time from Tokyo to Fukuoka using these trains is 6 hours. Also note that if you have a JR Kyushu Rail Pass, it is not valid on the bullet train from Hakata Station to Kokura, in Kitakyushu.
Another option from Tokyo is to take a westbound sleeper express such as the Sunrise Izumo or Sunrise Seto, leaving Tokyo around 10 PM, and then connecting to the Shinkansen at Okayama early in the morning, to arrive in Fukuoka just before 8:30AM (or by 9:15AM if you have a Rail Pass and use a Sakura service). While this takes much longer and costs more than the Shinkansen (from ¥25,000), it provides the benefit of doubling as lodging and transport.
From Kagoshima, Kyushu Shinkansen Mizuho and Sakura trains make the run to Fukuoka in 80-90 minutes at a cost of ¥10,170. As with the Nozomi service, the Mizuho service is not valid with the Japan Rail Pass. Most Sakura trains do travel through Fukuoka, connecting Kagoshima to Osaka with no transfers.
From Nagasaki, the limited express Kamome runs hourly (sometimes twice an hour), taking 2 hours and costing ¥4,710 each way.
For historical reasons, Fukuoka's train station is called Hakata. If you search for schedules to "Fukuoka" online, you will likely be given an itinerary for a totally different (and much less interesting) city in northern Japan.
Many overnight bus services run into Fukuoka from other parts of the country.
The Moonlight overnight bus runs from Osaka Umeda to Fukuoka in 9 hr 30 min (¥10,000 one way); The Kyoto overnight bus runs from Kyoto to Fukuoka, also in 9 hr 30 min (¥10,500 one way); and the oddly-named Dontaku runs from Nagoya to Fukuoka in 11 hr (¥10,500 one way).
Willer Express has a service from Osaka/Kyoto/Kobe from ¥4,800 with advance purchase tickets as cheap as ¥4,100. Other services are Nagoya (¥5,400), Okayama (¥4,300) and Hiroshima (¥2,500). They have an English website with online booking available. Discounts for tickets purchased 21 and 14 days in advance.
If you're really ambitious, Nishitetsu bus runs an overnight service, the Hakata, from the Shinjuku expressway bus terminal in Tokyo to Fukuoka non-stop. The ride, at just over 14 hr, is Japan's longest overnight bus service (¥8,000 for economy class ¥12,000 for high seasons, ¥15,000 for business class and ¥19,000 for 1st class, some roundtrip discounts are available).
JR Kyushu's Jet Ferry the Beetle  hydrofoils to Busan (South Korea). It runs five times a day and takes just under 3 hr for ¥13,000 (¥24,000 round trip discount fare; ¥20,000 round trip on weekdays). They are quick, but in 2005 one hit a whale and had to be towed back to Busan. Since then, the JR Kyushu Jet Ferry Inc. plays sounds that whales dislike using speakers to avoid further accidents. An economy-class ticket on the Meimon Taiyo Ferry  from Osaka to Kitakyushu costs ¥6,000 (20% discount if booked online); tickets in other price ranges are available.
Three times a week Kyuetsu Ferry Co.  runs a service to Naoetsu in Niigata and then on to Muroran in Hokkaido.
Bullet train on the cheap
Want to try out the bullet train, but put off by those high fares? Ride the Hakata Minami Line (博多南線) from Hakata Station. Originally built to connect to the train depot, the 8.5 km, 10 min ride uses Shinkansen equipment (¥290.)
Fukuoka is served by 3 subway  lines. The Hakata subway station, located under the JR Hakata Station, can take passengers straight to Fukuoka International Airport  (6 min, ¥250), as well as to Tenjin, the city's de facto downtown district, and other major stops. An all day subway pass Ichinichi joshaken costs ¥620, while a ticket to the next station Otonari kippu ¥100;, and most commonly traveled distances ¥200 and up. For foreign tourists there is also a 2 day subway pass for ¥720, but these require you to show your passport at purchase and cannot be bought at the subway stations. Like other major cities, Fukuoka also has its own prepaid IC and rechargeable card, Hayakaken, that can be used for local transportation as well as being compatible with other cards like Suica, Pasmo, Icoca and others in Japan's major cities on nearly all transportation lines. Note however that to use it your starting point and destination must be within the card's usable area and you cannot use the card to go between different card areas. While you can use and recharge the Hayakaken card in other major cities, any refund of the balance must be done in Fukuoka.
Fukuoka is well served by Nishitetsu  buses. Buses around the Tenjin and Hakata area cost ¥100. Outside that area, prices go up to about ¥440 for greater distances.
Downtown is small and compact enough to potentially wander around on foot. In the Tenjin area, Tenjin Chikagai (underground city) runs under Watanabe street and has many shops. It also connects the Tenjin and Tenjin Minami subways stations with most major department stores and the Nishitetsu Fukuoka station. There is a passenger tunnel which connects Hakata and Gion subway stations and is useful during the frequent rains in summer and the bitter cold winds in winter, the latter of which is close to some of Fukuoka's temples and shrines.
Taxis are ubiquitous in the central part of the city as well as main thoroughfares; they start from about ¥640 for the first 2km and thereafter about ¥90 for every 200m - not the cheapest way to go. Some drivers speak English, but it's best to have your destination written down in Japanese if you do not speak the language. For late nights, a surcharge may be added.
If you can get a hold of a bicycle, it is probably the best way to get around. Parking does become a problem in some areas, but in Tenjin there are long term (6AM-11PM) underground parking areas, which are free for the first 3 hr. BIC Camera's 8th floor, which is opposite Kego shrine, has free bicycle parking from 10AM-9PM.
In addition to the free parking in Tenjin, street bicycle meters are another great spot to park a bike. Much like many shopping centers around the world, it takes about ¥100 to release the bike lock, that wraps around the front wheel to be connected back into the slot. For a safer bicycle parking, use two bike locks and chain the front and back tires to the body of the bike.
Compared to other cities like Tokyo and Osaka, the Fukuoka subway is somewhat more expensive. However, many of its best sightseeing spots are not far from a subway station. For those using a bus as well as a subway, look into a Fukuoka Tourist City Pass. There are two versions, one that covers most of Fukuoka City and costs ¥820, plus another that includes travel to and from Dazaifu for ¥1320. Both passes allow unlimited travel for one day in their respective service areas on the subway, Nishitetsu and Showa buses, and JR Kyushu, as well as numerous small discounts on admission fees to several sightseeing spots and museums. However, only the pass that covers Dazaifu allows you to take the Nishitetsu trains. You will need to submit your passport to buy the pass and you must be in Japan on a Temporary Visitor Status. It can be purchased at the Tenjin, Hakata, and airport bus terminals, as well as Hakata Port International Terminal information desk, subway ticket offices in Tenjin and Hakata, and tourist information centers at Hakata and Tenjin Stations.
- The Gion area has several historical shrines and Buddhist temples, including the 8th century Kushida Shrine, starting point for the annual Gion-Yamakasa Festival, Tochoji with its 10.8 meter wooden Great Buddha, and Shofukuji, Japan's first Zen temple.
- Visit the ACROS building is Tenjin Chuo Park. ACROS has a rooftop garden which is open on weekends and holidays until 4PM, and makes for a good view of the city. The building has a terraced roof that merges with the park and contains some 35,000 plants representing 76 species. Just east of ACROS is the former Prefectural Guest House, featuring turn of the century architecture.
- Just northwest of Oyakuko St. is Nagahama, famous for Hakata's Nagahama ramen, with stalls (yatai) that get set up daily to handle the locals who are proud of their ramen. You will most likely smell it before you see it, and if you want a true Fukuoka experience is definitely worth a look if not a full meal.
- Tourists visiting Fukuoka should not miss the beautiful Ohori Park located two stops west of Tenjin on the subway. The park has a 2 km jogging track that is popular with locals throughout the year, and has a massive fireworks show every summer. Also, next to Ohori Park is a traditional Japanese garden, as well as Maizuru Park, featuring the ruins of Fukuoka Castle and a good view of the city. Maizuru Park is also a popular area for cherry blossoms, usually around the end of March to the start of April.
- About ten minutes on foot north of Ohori Park is Nishi Park, a hilltop park with quiet walking trails, a shrine, an ocean and city view, and in springtime with over 3000 cherry trees is one of the finest places to see cherry blossoms in Kyushu.
- Fukuoka is the home ground of the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks, check out a game at the Fukuoka Yahuoku Dome, which is about 15 mins walking distance from Tōjinmachi Station of Fukuoka City Subway. You can get an outfield unreserved seat for ¥1,000.
- Fukuoka tower (福岡タワー) This tower is 234 m and the entrance fee is ¥800, and the view from the tower is magnificent. On Christmas (25 December) and the Star Festival (Tanabata) on 7 July, this tower is decorated. During the rest of the year the view is best at night time. This is an iconic symbol of Fukuoka. There is a restaurant which commands a ¥300 sitting fee in addition to the meal. The menu is limited and the food is mediocre at best. Instead of paying the fee for the tower, just down the road is the Hilton hotel which has a bar at the top level. During daytime there is no table charge and if you order a cheap drink from the menu you can enjoy a similar view from a much nicer setting and get a drink.
- Near the Fukuoka Yahuoku Dome is a stretch of beach known as Momochihama, where visitors can enjoy a bit of swimming and sunbathing. While the water isn't as clean as the waters further west and east in Fukuoka, you can still take a refreshing dip. There are a few lovely patio restaurants and bars which are an ideal location to watch the sun set. The area behind the Seahawk Hotel is good. It's less crowded during the summer.
- Atago Shrine is a hidden gem near the Muromi Subway Station, with a superb view of the city and Hakata Bay from a hilltop. You can also see many storks that fly by and nest in the area. Walk west from the subway station across the Muromi Bridge until you see the Atago torii gate with the stairs heading up. Alternatively there is a side road you can walk up if you don't like stairs.
- Nokonoshima is a small (about 12 km around) island in the middle of Hakata Bay and offers some splendid hiking, swimming, and camping. It is easily reached by a 10 minute ferry ride from the Meinohama Port. It also has the Nokonoshima Island Park (¥1,000) that has several well manicured gardens and fields of flowers that vary by the season.
- If you are visiting in November, be sure to check out the sumo matches held in Fukuoka. You are bound to see some of the sumo wrestlers out on the streets doing a bit of tourism as well.
- Kabuki theatre is also an experience worth checking out. Check times and prices at the Hakata-za near Nakasu. If you don't want to stay for the whole show, or don't have so much money to spend, you can watch part of a show for about ¥800. Ask at the ticket office.
- Noh theatre is also a cultural experience that some may not want to miss. There is a Noh theatre in Ohori Koen. Many of the performances are free, get more information at the Rainbow Plaza (IMS building 8th floor). Don't worry, if you fall asleep during the play, it's almost expected. It's all part of the Noh experience.
- Yusentei Park was a former villa of the 6th lord of Fukuoka, built in 1754. It offers a wonderful traditional garden around a pond, and you almost forget there is a large city around you. It is best accessed by Nishitetsu Bus #12 from Tenjin or Hakata to the Yusentei bus stop. From there look for the large Daiei Sasaoka branch store and walk a minute or two southward from the store's west side along a river just past an Eneos gas station. Alternatively you can walk about 25 minutes south, down Aburayama Kanko-Doro from the Ropponmatsu subway stop to where the Daiei store is.
- The Nakasu area is next to Tenjin and is Fukuoka's red-light district, with over 3500 restaurants, as well as ramen stalls (yatai), shopping, pubs, hostess bars, rooftop beer gardens in summer, one last surviving movie theater, and sex trade. The neon lights on the Naka River are famous with over 60,000 visitors a day, and it has the busiest street in Kyushu.
- Uminonakamichi is a large sandbar that helps form the partial ring that makes up Hakata Bay. It has the large Uminonakamichi Seaside Park with many flower gardens as well as the Sunshine Pool, a summertime swimming pool that is western Japan's largest. The area also has Marine World, an ocean themed park with dolphin and sea lion shows, as well as a marine aquarium with 450 species.
- Shikanoshima is just beyond Uminonakamichi and forms the peninula that contains Hakata Bay. It has several sites of interest including Kin-In Park where a prized gold seal from ancient China was lost and rediscovered, the Mokozuka (a.k.a. Beheading Mound, where a ship from the first Mongolian invasion of Japan in 1274 was captured and over 120 Mongols were beheaded), the Kyukamura hot spring resort, and Shiomi Park in the middle of the island where an observation deck gives a splendid view of the ocean, bay, and city. There are no trains and buses are sparse, traveling about once per hour on weekdays and two hours on weekends. There are ferries every 30 minutes or so departing from the Port of Hakata. The best way to explore the island is to rent a bicycle from Shikashima Cycle, which is just a minute walk from where the ferry drops you off.
- Kashii Kaen is a smallish amusement park next to the Nishitetsu Kashiikaenmae train station, geared more for parents with small children. It has a small ferris wheel, tame roller coaster and the usual kiddie rides, but it also has some extensive flower gardens.
- Hakozaki Shrine is one of the more historical shrines in the area, located very close to the Hakozakimiyamae subway stop or JR Hakozaki Station. While its shrine buildings are above average (yet not overwhelming), it played an important historical role in being burned to the ground in the first Mongolian invasion of Japan in 1274, and you can see a stone anchor from one of the invading ships there. You can also see a bronze statue of Nichiren, a prominent Buddhist leader who predicted the Mongol invasions.
- Especially on weekend nights, the street that comes alive with youth activity is Oyafuko Street in Tenjin, which also has several ex-pat bars. It's only 400m long but swells with young people at night.
- Sumiyoshi Shrine is less than 10 minutes on foot down Sumiyoshi Street from Hakata Station and sits in between the station and the Naka River. The shrine was historically one of the most important in the area centuries ago, and in contrast to more recent shrines which have a Buddhist influence on architecture, Sumiyoshi has an older and more native straight shaped roof on its main hall.
- Rakusuien Garden sits next to Sumiyoshi Shrine and used to be the second home of a wealthy merchant family in the latter part of the 19th century. It offers a small yet elegant traditional Japanese garden that is rarely crowded, as well as a tea ceremony room. Open 9-5, closed Tuesdays.
- Shofu-en Garden is the former home and garden from the early 1950s of the owner of the Tamaya Department Store. It's easily reached in a 10 minute walk down Yakuin Odori towards the Fukuoka zoo from the Yukuin-Odori subway station. Few travelers make it to this place which has a lovely small traditional garden and several tatami rooms. Many weekdays you can have the garden nearly all to yourself.
Yamakasa participants waiting in line for their turn to pray at the shrine before the race
For a good listing of what's happening and places to eat and drink, the local monthly English language Fukuoka Now  magazine is a great start.
- The area is famous for 2 local annual festivals, the Dontaku (May 3-4) and the Yamakasa (July 1-15), both of which are some of Japan's oldest festivals and draw huge crowds..
- For a view of the bay, check out the Bayside Place Hakata Pier:a marine terminal for the regular service ferries for Tsushima Island and Hakata Bay cruise boats. The terminal building has a 8 m tall "Aquarium," with 6,000 fish. The Hakata Port Tower has an observatory 70 m above the ground, allowing for a great view of the port and the streets of Fukuoka.
- Rent bikes and tour about the city. There are a handful of shops that have reasonable prices. The cities best treasures are discovered while following any of the many paths or sidewalks. One webpage does advise of a rental facility near the piers, this is false as they have ceased renting bikes as of May 2011.
- In the summer, many of the department stores have beer gardens on their roofs, with buffet style courses and all you can drink for about 2 hours. If you have a bit of cash (around ¥3500) it's a nice way to spend a hot summer evening.
- The park behind Solaria Plaza, Kego Koen, is a great place to go to experience Tenjin's youth culture and do some people watching. Don't be surprised if some of these kids try to approach you for a bit of random conversation.
- If you haven't tried karaoke yet, why not try it now? There are many karaoke places to choose from, some with costumes you can borrow (just don't try to take them home). If you just want to go for a couple of hours, most places will charge by the hour; morning and afternoon hours being the cheapest. If you want to make a night of it, from 11PM, most have free time systems which mean nomihodai (all you can drink) and all you can sing for about ¥2,500, until 5AM.
- Get out of the city. Although Fukuoka doesn't seem like the premier beach destination city, there are quite a few beautiful beaches in and around Fukuoka city. Most are an easy train ride away. While surfing isn't very good during the summer, a few waves can be caught around Mitoma (take the subway to Kaizuka Stn, then transfer to the Nishitetsu Miyajidake line to Mitoma Stn. Takes about 20 min or so. From the station, it's a 10 minute walk to the beach. West of the city, Nijinohama and Futamigaura, are supposed to have nice waves. To get to Nijinohama, you'll need a car.
- Drive to Maebaru IC, head in the Shima(志摩) direction along Kendo 12. Go straight at the intersection in front of Shima town office and turn left at Nogita intersection in front of 7-Eleven. 50 min from Tenjin. To get to Futamigaura, take a SHOWA bus for Tani from JR Chikuzen Maebaru (so first take a subway to Chikuzen Maebaru if you are in Tenjin or Hakata). Get off the bus at Imuta (around 30 min). About a 15 min walk to the beach.
- From Hakata Station, head to the Hakata Machiya Folk Museum for a glimpse of the Hakata way of life. http://www.hakatamachiya.com/english/. It's about 15 min away from the station on foot, or a bit less if you exit on Gion station. From there, head over to Kushida Shrine, which lies in the heart of old Hakata.
- Canal City is just a hop and a skip away from Kushida Shrine. http://www.canalcity.co.jp/eg/index.html Canal City offers shopping, shopping and more shopping. However, if you've worked up a bit of an appetite while wandering Hakata, Canal City also offers several dining options for the hungry tourist. Indian curry, Japanese lunch sets, pasta, the famous Hakata ramen, sushi and fast food can all be found.
- Walk along the river towards Hakata-za, Fukuoka's Kabuki theater. On the way, from about 4PM, you'll see the yatai (food stall) vendors setting up their booths and preparing ingredients for the evening crowds.
- Alternatively, take a wander through the Nakasu Kawabata shopping arcade as you head towards Hakata-za. The arcade is a long, old-fashioned shopping streets with a variety of shops selling traditional Japanese goods among other items. Good for picking up souvenirs and other randomness.
- Wander back to the riverside for a yatai dinner, drink and a chance to experience Hakata life and culture. A few of the yatai vendors speak a bit of English. Just be careful about the prices, sometimes the yatai don't have menus, so be sure to ask what they have and how much things are.
- Tenjin is very much about shopping, above and below ground. Starting from the Central Post office on Showa-dori, head downstairs to the underground shopping arcade. All of the major shops and department stores are connected to the underground.
- Tenjin Core will provide you with a chance to see younger and more colorful fashion, ranging from frilly and cute to flashy and glam.
- Solaria Stage houses Incube, a shop with a variety of kitsch toys and gifts.
- IMS has quite a few clothing stores, but also has the Toyota Gallery where you can check out the latest models, the Artium gallery with new exhibitions every few weeks, Rainbow Plaza where you can get information about the city in English and the 12th and 13th floors with several dining choices.
- Daimaru and Mitsukoshi, towards the end of the underground shopping are large departments stores with more or less the same products represented in both. Both also house grocery stores and deli-style gourmet markets in their basements.
- Heading back to the surface, if you are by Daimaru or Mitsukoshi, you'll find yourself on Kokutai-Doro. Walking up this street can be a bit of a challenge at times as the sidewalk narrows and widens but the crowds don't go away. Head towards Nishidori and on the way, on your right just past the drugstore, you'll find Kego Shrine and Kego Park. Across the street is Bic Camera, for your electronic needs.
- If you continue on Kokutai-Doro, you'll get to Nishidori, easy to find thanks to the Apple store on the corner. Make a right and begin your wandering. The area to your left is Daimyo, full of funky little boutiques and shops. There are also a countless number of restaurants, lunch time being a great time to try out their specials.
- If it isn't too late (you haven't spent the entire day window shopping and being lost in Daimyo), head back to Nishidori and walk towards the Nishitetsu Grand Hotel. If you make a left and walk straight up that street, Meijidori, you'll eventually find yourself at the Fukuoka Castle ruins (Maizurujo). They will be on your left just about 5-10 minutes walk past the Starbucks and McDonalds. From late March through early April most years the area explodes with cherry blossoms and you can find big crowds going to see them.
- If you continue on down Meijidori, you'll find Ohori Park. There you can feed the ducks, fish or pigeons, rent a paddle boat to take on the pond or relax on one of the many benches in the shade of the trees. There is a Starbuck's on the park's east side. On the south side, there is the beautiful Ohori Park Japanese Garden, which most people simply blow past, so you can enjoy a lovely stroll through a traditional Japanese garden with almost no other people in the way. Every summer, around the beginning of August, a fireworks festival is held here.
- The Fukuoka Art Museum is also located in Ohori Park. While it isn't huge, occasionally the exhibitions are worthwhile and not overly expensive.
- Wander back to Meijidori and if you can't walk anymore, grab a bus back to Tenjin (天神). Get off at Daimyo 2-chome or Nishitetsu Grand Hotel Mae and head back into Daimyo for a bit to eat. A few places offer Happy Hour from 5-7, if you are looking for some refreshment before dinner.
There are several schools for studying Japanese in Fukuoka.
- Genki Japanese and Culture School (GenkiJACS), 1-16-23 Hakataekihigashi, Hakata-ku, Fukuoka-shi, Fukuoka, Japan, 812-0013 (5 minute walk from Hakata Station), ☎ +81 92 472-0123 ([email protected], fax: +81 92 472-0124), . Offers short programs: full and part time Japanese lessons in a small classroom style. Includes pop culture, tea ceremony, kimono and trips to experience Japanese outside of the classroom. Program open to schools and individuals. Home stays are also available. edit
- YMCA, Asahi Bulding, 2nd floor, 3-4-7 Tenjin, Chuuouku, Fukuoka City (5 minute walk north from Tenjin), ☎ +81 92 781-7410 ([email protected], fax: +81 92 712-4223), . Offers a 1 year program and sponsorship for student visas. edit
- Meiji Academy - Japanese Language, Culture and Internships (Meiji Academy), Office No. 605, Arrow Mansion #103, 5-1-26 Watanabedori, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka-shi, Fukuoka, Japan, 810-0004 (3 minute walk from Tenjinminami Station), ☎ +81 92 231-9557 ([email protected], fax: +81 92 231-9557), . Offers variety of internships in different industry fields, business courses, Japanese Language classes and cultural activities (Japanese Anime & Manga sub-culture, tea ceremony, kimono wearing, ancient martial arts, Japanese calligraphy and many more). In addition, information and support for foreign entrepreneurs in regards to the recent Start-Up Visa is also offered. Programs are available for schools and individuals from all ages. edit
- WAHAHA Japanese Language School (WAHAHA), Akasakamon Bldg. 4FL, 2-2-7 Maizuru, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka City (2 minute walk north from Akasaka Station), ☎ +81-92-737-2288 ([email protected] , fax+81-92-737-2289), . Offers short -term Japanese language course, Working holiday course, Business course, and etc. edit
- SUiTO FUKUOKA (SUiTO FUKUOKA), "1-29-2 (5 minute walk from the south exit of Nishitetsu Fukuoka Tenjin station), ☎ +81-92-724-1055, (fax : 092-724-1056),. FB Page : url="https://www.facebook.com/suitofukuoka?fref=ts" >Offers tourist information and cultural lessons on a wide range of different subjetcs such as kimono or calligraphy. Also has a restaurant where you can eat and drink traditional Japanese food and sake. edit
- Japanese School Asahi Nihongo (Asahi Nihongo), Yodo Bldg. 2F, 2-9-30 Daimyo, Chuou-ku (7 min walk north from Tenjin in the Showa Street on the left side towards Akasaka), ☎ +81 92 7166212 ([email protected], fax: +81 92 7166214), . Short-term Japanese school for foreigners, offering intensive Japanese courses, internships, and marine sports. edit
- Fukuoka Foreign Language College (FFLC), 1-8-27 Maidashi, Higashi-ku, Fukuoka-shi, Fukuoka-ken 812-0054 JAPAN (5 min. on foot from Maidashi Kyudai Byoin-Mae Station, Exit #3 (4 stops from Tenjin Sta.) on the Fukuoka City Subway Hakozaki Line), . Offers intensive and business Japanese courses in a friendly environment. Includes 100 cultural and social events per year to experience Japanese outside of the classroom. Provides support for finding employment in Japan. edit
Tenjin (天神) is Fukuoka's largest shopping district. You can find here, designer stores housed in towering retail blocks such as Tenjin Core, IMS, Vivre to the east, and Solaria Plaza Vioro to the west. There are also several large department stores, Iwataya, Daimaru and Mitsukoshi (all with food available.) Also, there are boutique areas, including Tenjin Chikagai, housed in a pleasant underground area adjacent to the Tenjin subway station and under Watanabe street. Nishi-Dori and Oyafuko-Dori (actually the same street, separated by Showa-Dori) contains a multitude of stores and restaurants, both mainstream and independent.
The Shotengai or shopping arcades are also good places to shop. In Tenjin, to the west of Solaria Stage you can find the Shintenjo Shotengai with great deals and a used kimono store. Near Nakasu, across from Eeny Meeny Miny Mo (a large mall), you can find the Nakasu-Kawabata shopping arcade. Here you can find traditional paper goods, Noren curtains and inexpensive bakeries. There are also many clothing boutiques that cater to the hostesses of Nakasu and various restaurants. At the southern end of the Nakasu-Kawabata Shotengai is the Kushida Shrine and a walkway to Canal City.
Over the past few years, the main shopping, eating and drinking area has been moving away from north Tenjin and the Oyafuko-dori street south towards Daimyo, Kego and Imaizumi. With a different feel to the commercial district of Tenjin, just to the west (past Nishi-dori) is Daimyo, an area filled with small, mostly independent shops, bars and restaurants. Plan on staying all day; for daytime shopping and eating dinner. On Sundays, this area is full of young people out shopping. For a similar feeling area, check out Kego and Imaizumi, two upcoming areas to the south.
A uniquely designed mall called Canal City, which houses clothing stores, restaurants, rare character shops - including a Studio Ghibli goods shop - and even a well-appointed theatre, is located midway between Tenjin and Hakata, next to the Nakasu entertainment district. If you have time, be sure to catch one of the hourly fountain shows held in the centre of the bowl-shaped complex.
Another large shopping area is the recently renovated Hakata Station area, called Hakata City.
It includes over 230 shops, restaurant floor, and roof observation deck. With regards to gift-giving, if you're pressed for time, take a quick look around the craft and boutique stores in Hakata Station before leaving. Many carry the white clay Hakata dolls that are unique to Fukuoka. Prices range from under ¥1,000 and up. Prices comparable to those found in Tenjin.
In case you are into cameras, computers or other electronics, you can find a huge Yodobashi Camera store right outside of Hakata station. Go out to the eastern side of the JR station (Chikushi Gate), go down 2 blocks and it will be on your right. In Tenjin, there are 2 large Bic Camera stores near Kego Park as well as an Apple Store close by.
The latest large shopping area to open is Konoha Mall Hashimoto, at the Hashimoto Station which ends the Nanakuma subway line. While perhaps not worth a special trip all the way there, it's worth a look if you happen to be anywhere near the area.
Don't miss out on the ¥100 shop. A great place to shop for souvenirs (although many items are made in China), dishes, toys and everything else you didn't think you needed. There is one located in the bus centre building next to Hakata Station. Another is in Daiei, in Tenjin behind the MINA building.
Hakata is famous for its style of ramen, which has a very pungent smell thanks to a pork rib broth called tonkotsu (豚骨). Enjoy it with pickled ginger and lots of sesame seeds. Save the broth, because you can order a refill of noodles (kaedama) for around ¥300 at many places.
- Ichiran (一蘭), 5-3-2 Nakasugawa, Hakata-ku (2 min from subway Nakasu-kawabata exit 2; five other outlets around town), ☎ +81 92 262-0433, . 24 hr, 365 days. A well known ramen chain, dedicated solely to perfecting tonkotsu. Buy a ticket from the vending machine outside (just hit the big top button) and take a seat at the counter. Each seat has a curtain in front and dividers on the side, so nothing distracts you from the noodle experience that awaits. Cellphones, children or conversation are not allowed. Hand over your ticket, receive a questionnaire on how you like your noodles (available in English at some outlets), and choose the middle option (基本 kihon, or "standard") for everything. In under a minute, a bowl of noodles will appear. If you want more noodles or an egg, press the button and ask for kaedama or tamago respectively. ¥650. edit
- Ramen Stadium, (5th floor of Canal City). Daily 11AM-11PM. This celebration of ramen offers 8 restaurants with every style of ramen between Kyushu and Hokkaido. Ballots collected at the center determine a monthly favorite. Place your order by purchasing a food ticket from the vending machine before entering the restaurant. edit
- Yama-chan. Tasty ramen and late night hours off the streets of Oyafukodori. Cut through the park behind the police box and you're sure to find it. Yama-chan is the owner. edit
Although there are restaurants all over town serving ramen at various price levels, some of the best joints are yatai, mobile food stalls. The stalls are set up early evening and can be found on major streets; particulary in Tenjin (near the post office), Nakasu and Nagahama-Dori. Although ramen and oden are the norm, you can find anything from yakitori to Italian cuisine. There are approximately 150 yatai throughout the city and are worth visiting for the food and social interaction. Unlike most Japanese restaurants, it is very common for customers at yatai to converse with one another even if they have never met before. The proprietors are usually very friendly and many yatais have regular customers who stop by on the way home from work or for a late night snack.
While most yatai are focused on serving the locals, certain areas of town have yatai that are mostly visited by tourists and can be a little bit shady about prices. Make sure you go to a yatai that has a menu with prices or you could find yourself paying much more than you expect for a bowl of ramen and a bottle of beer. Most yatai do not have English menus and proprietors who speak English are very rare. Most yatai have no problem serving foreign customers but do not be offended if you get turned away - they might be full or keeping the space open for customers who have made a reservation.
When trying to enter a yatai it is usually considered polite to get the attention of the proprietor and ask if you can have a seat. Make sure they know how many people are in your group. If you are with a large group of people it is best to split up into smaller groups and go to different yatai - more than four people can be hard to squeeze in if the yatai is crowded. And once you are in the yatai it is not uncommon to have to move over on the bench to squeeze in additional customers or change your location when a group of customers leave in order to more easily accomodate new customers. If the yatai sees a steady flow of customers you might want to move on after you have finished your meal in order to clear up some space for new customers but if there is some space open and you are enjoying the environment you can stay for a decent amount of time as long as you continue to order drinks. If you need to get the attention of the proprietor while you are in the yatai it is common to call them master or taisho(大将). If the name of the yatai ends with -chan there is a good chance it is the name of the owner. If you want to take pictures when you are in the yatai make sure to ask the owner and any customers who will appear in the picture.
- Mami-chan (まみちゃん), (Just west of the Watanabe-doori/Showa-doori intersection in front of the Fukuoka Financial Group Building), . Has ramen available, but is better known for the other excellent choices on their menu. They have a multi-lingual menu with pictures of everything they serve. At Mami-chan's, Mami, the proprietor is jovial and friendly, often serving a bit extra to customers and taking photos of everyone that passes through to put on her website. She usually serves a free grilled chicken wing to every customer so do not be surprised when you get something you didn't order a few minutes after sitting down. edit
- Kajishika (かじしか), (Just north of the Hotel Okura by the river). A popular Yatai run by a 23 year old girl and her father. It is featured in the media on a regular basis because of the young owner and has a slightly more modern menu than traditional Yatais. The inside of the Yatai is also very clean because they do not cook inside the Yatai. The interior of the Yatai is taken up by a large display of the food that they grill to order. There is no English menu and the selection changes every day. If you go late at night they run out of a lot of the food so go early if you are hungry. Most of the menu can be seen in the display case but the BBQ Short Ribs(骨付きカルビ) are very reasonable at ¥700 but not displayed in the case. There is also a nice selection of fresh seafood. edit
- Ebi-chan (屋台BAR えびちゃん), (South side of Reisen Park). More of a cocktail bar than an eating establishment, the owner and staff wear traditional bartender attire and serve up a wide array of mixed drinks. Drinks are usually ¥800 and there is ¥400 seating charge per person which includes a small dish of food to eat while you enjoy a well-crafted cocktail. There is also a female-only version of happy hour until 8:00 PM where cocktails are ¥500 for women. edit
Another regional product Hakata is famous for is the spicy mentaiko (明太子), or cod roe condiment, though in actuality these days it is all imported. Both products are widely available for tourists in JR Hakata Station as well as major department stores, although the mentaiko needs to be refrigerated.
Fukuoka is also known for having good gyoza (pork dumplings) and there are many places to try some. (They are a perfect appetizer/side dish for ramen, incidentally.)
- Ninoni (弐ノ弐), (5 Locations around Tenjin), . A chain of Gyoza restaurants that serves 3 types of dumplings along with Japanese-style Chinese food. They have a happy hour from 5-6:30 PM every day with half priced beers and fried Gyoza. The regular price for Gyoza is ¥250 yen for a plate of 7 and a draft beer will run you ¥450 making the happy hour one of the best deals in town. The Taipei style fried chicken is quite good and very reasonable at ¥380. edit
- Asahiken Gyoza, 2-15-22 Hakata Ekimae, Hakata-ku, ☎ "+81. edit
- Tetsu-Nabe (鉄鍋), (near Gion station in Hakata). There is another located in Nakasu, but the Hakata one seems to be the most popular. Be aware though that when you enter, you will be expected to be quick with your order as the place is usually very busy. edit
- Sancho Panza, Daimyo building 11511 (enter from Nishidori). has a fabulous lunch menu, most dishes around ¥700-800. Tasty wrap tacos and other Latin-American style food is on available. On weekends, there is often live guitar music in the afternoon. In the evening the restaurant also opens the floor to dance: salsa, bachata, merengue and the cha-cha-cha all make their appearance at some point. Usually a ¥500 charge. edit
- Propeller Drive, 1-13-30 Imaizumi Fukuoka, Japan 810-0021 (nearby the Tenjin train station), ☎ +81 92 715 6322. Propeller has a trendy feel, with chandeliers and mirrors hanging all around. Sunday through Thursday they have Happy Hour until 8PM, drinks are ¥300. Until 9PM they serve the Venus Special, a dinner set for ¥1,050. edit
- RingerHut. A chain restaurant that does Champon (a Nagasaki kind of Chinese noodle dish with seafood and vegetables). Some branches have a system where you put your money in a machine, push the button under the dish of your choice and give your ticket to the staff. Other branches you just order from the menu. edit
Lunch time is probably the best value for the money. Most restaurants will do lunch sets at 1/2 or 1/3 the price of their dinner sets, but serve the same course. If you have a bit more cash to spend and want to have a nice Japanese style lunch, the Grand Hyatt at Canal City and the Excel Hotel near Nakasu are both good. Most of the larger, nicer hotels in the area will serve beautiful lunch sets. Many restaurants and cafes in the area will have lunch sets under ¥1,000.
Yatai, or ramen street stalls, are plentiful from sundown around Tenjin, Nakasu, Nagahama, and Hakata Station, and present a great place to grab a bite to eat and drink while mixing with the locals.
The Tenjin area is abound with izakaya (Japanese pubs) that have picture menus which make it easy for the traveler who speaks no Japanese. Watami わたみ wara wara わらわら are two such chains. Shirokiya, another izakaya, is decent and fairly easy to find. It is on Nishi-dori, across from the Nishtetsu Grand Hotel above Kitamura Camera.
Daimyo is the main area for Japanese to go drinking and has some of the most popular nightclubs such as Infinity and Ibiza.
- Infinity Fukuoka, 1-12-52 Daimyo, Chuo-Ku, ☎ +81 92 711-8828, . Open 6PM-5AM every day except Mon 6PM-12AM. A standard in the hip hop bar/club scene, offers funky interior design with specials all week. Had a big upgrade in late 2019. edit
- Ibiza 1-12-56 Daimyo THE SHOPS. On the same road as Infinity, this club is very popular with Japanese and is packed every night. Open everyday 9PM-5AM.
- Morris is a chain of 3 bars. The original location, Morris, and the second location, Morris' Black Sheep are both located on the same street in Daimyo which is directly across from the Nishi Nihon City Bank. Black Sheep is easier to find because it is located on the street and has an covered seating area facing the street. Morris is on the 7th floor of the Stage Building but the sign is quite visible. The newest location, Hippo, is situated on the corner of the River Rain building by the river and has a nice outside seating area that offers a nice view of the changing colors of the Gate's Building. The menu at all three locations is essentially the same with some minor variations. All locations have a happy hour from 5PM-7PM. Guinness, Old speckled Hen ￥590 a pint, and cocktails are half price. Fish and chips. Around the corner from the KFC on Nishidori. Open from 5PM.
- Bar of the Future 1-14-15 Daimyo 2nd floor. Chill bar with an even mix of Japanese and foreigners. Thursday there's an international meetup from 8PM-10PM, which is busy. About 60 international beers. Good place to meet new people.
- Standing Bar SHIFT 1−15−27 Daimyo. Just across from Bar of the Future is the place where young Japanese go to get way too drunk. For ¥2000 you get 6 drink tickets (for men) and also free Jagermeister shots all night. The staff play drinking games with the customers. Interesting place if you want to check out how young Japanese party.
- Happy Cock, 9F, 2-1-51 Daimyo (5 minutes walk west from Tenjin Fukuoka Station). Ignore the suggestive name; this is a popular crowded spot for locals and foreigners alike. The British ex-pat owner is very friendly. All drinks ¥500; all-you-can-drink or all-you-can-eat-and-drink specials available early evenings and some nights ¥2500-3000. edit
- OZ ROO, 1-2-28-204 Daimyo Chuouku Fukuoka city (Near Fukuoka Tenjin or Akasaka station), ☎ 0927912865, . OZ ROO is an Australian Cafe & Wine Bar which was opened in 2015 by a Japanese owner who spent 15 years in Australia. This place is a little outback and very friendly place to meet local Japanese people. Free wifi available. Open 12-15:00 & 18:00-24:00. Closed on Tuesday edit
The Oyafuko-dori Avenue, just north of Nishtetsu Grand hotel is a street littered with bars, many listed below, and also has a club or 2 that re-open at 5 am for those wanting to last into the daylight hours.
- Off Broadway (2F Beans Bldg, Oyafukodori. ☎ +81 92 724-5383) in Tenjin is run by a friendly American expatriate and is a favorite with navy personnel passing through the region. Serves a great hamburger, but don't expect it to come too quickly. Happy hour from 6PM-8PM everyday.
- Fubar, (2 blocks north of Showa-doori on Oyafuko. 4th floor of the building next to Lawson 100). Fubar is known for it's All You Can Drink specials and hard working owner/bartender Jody. Fridays, Saturdays and days before public holidays require an entrance fee of ¥1500 for 2 drinks or an AYCD pass that is ¥2000 for women and ¥3000 for men. On Fridays the first 50 people to enter can get AYCD for ¥1000 and Saturday has AYCD for ¥500 for the first 50 women. Dancing is allowed until 1 AM and then it closes for a few minutes and reopens as a lounge until 3 AM. Dancing is not allowed after 1 AM and they will ask you to stop dancing if you attempt to dance. They are closed on Sundays and Mondays but Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday they are open and do not charge a cover for entry but still offer AYCD specials. Make sure you have proper ID that proves you are over the age of 20 or you will not be allowed in. The crowd is a good mix of foreigners and locals with music that is dance oriented. edit
- Club X, (3 blocks north of Showa-doori on Oyafuko. 6th floor of the Line 19 Building), . Club X is the largest club on Oyafuko and one of the more popular clubs in Fukuoka. They play a mix of Hip Hop and dance music and attract a large crowd. Club X operates as a club until 1 AM. When the sun comes up they reopen and allow dancing until they close sometime in the mid morning on weekends. The morning crowd largely consists of hard-partyers and people who work in host/hostess clubs and other entertainment related jobs. Entrance on weekends is usually ¥1000 with 1 drink for women and ¥2000 with 2 drinks for men but the price can change for special events which happen on a regular basis. In the morning the charge is ¥1000 for men and women with 1 drink. During the week they usually don't have an entrance fee and they offer ¥300 beer and shots between 8-10PM. edit
- The Craic and The Porter, 2F Kusano Bldg (Above ABC FLower shop on Oyafuko-dori) ☎ +81 92 4514-9516. A beer bar for "beer lovers." Features numerous, hard-to-find American and European imports by a very interesting American expatriate. An entertaining time is guaranteed for all.
- The Dark Room close to Off Broadway is the de facto hang-out for foreign rock bands playing in the area. The proprietor, Moses, ensures a good time in this multi-level indie hangout. Also has a 8th floor beer garden, which is a great place to kick back on summer evenings. Thursdays are ¥300 Corona beer night.
- Bar Bliss, Chuo-ku, Yakuin 2-choume 11-24 (7PM-2AM closed Sunday) (5 min walk from Yakuin station, 10 minute walk from downtown Tenjin), ☎ +81 92 713-2058. Bar/restaurant is a great place to meet interesting locals, variety of shochus and a wide range of western style foods. Guinness is served on tap. Eclectic mix of local Fukuokans. edit
- sugoroku mo-ta-. Excellent bar, very relaxed atmosphere and a great place to meet locals! The barman makes his own umeshu which is delicious. To get there, leave Asakusa subway via the 2nd exit, turn right, right again at the corner and walk for about 3/5 minutes until you come to a big crossing with a Family Mart a little way ahead of you. Go over the crossing, turn right, then take the first left, then the first right. Sugoroku mo-ta- is next to (what is currently) an Italian restaurant. The bar is quite small, so if you are in a group of more than around 5 you may find the bar doesn't have room for you! edit
Nakasu is the red-light district of Fukuoka and the largest red-light district in Japan west of Osaka. There are over 3,500 restaurants and stores in the island between two rivers and a large percentage of them are adult-entertainment establishments. During the daytime it is relatively quiet and most of the shops and restaurants are closed but in the early evening Nakasu springs to life as the "water trade" businesses open for customers. The area between Meiji-doori and Kokutai-doro has many hostess clubs and drinking establishments.
Other areas also have plenty of little bars around.
- Sam's Bar 1-1-24 Kego 3rd floor. English school by day, relaxed bar at night. Runs many events, with the Tuesday night meetup the most popular. Only a short walk from the Daimyo area.
- Tattoo (1-18-36 Imaizumi, Chuo-Ku. Open 6PM-4AM. ☎ +81 92 716-6119) and Propeller Drive (owned by the same guy and both located in Imaizumi) have Happy Hour from 6PM-8PM Su-Friday, drinks ¥300 yen.
- The ubiquitous Hard Rock Cafe chain has a Fukuoka outlet, situated in the JRJP building, next to Hakata Station.
- Bar Lagoon, Fukuoka-shi Higashi-ku Wajiro 3-7-20 Kopo 87. Owned by Satoshi. Get off at wajiro station and turn right at Family Mart. Closes sun rise. Awesome bar near Wajiro!!! Lots of locals and punk rock/surf style. Anything goes. Satoshi is very a friendly bar owner here. Opened in 2014. Beats anything in Oyafuko. Shochu 400 yen / Carlsberg on draft for 500 yen. FREE WIFI!! edit
- The Underground, Fukuoka-shi Higashi-ku Kashii Ekimae 1-10-28 (Second Floor of a big building in front of a pachinko store), ☎ 81-92-673-6148. The Underground is a bar in Kashii with an excellent atmosphere. They have a very large selection of whiskies. Also they have a very long counter so you can make many friends all night long. Beers start from 530 yen edit
- FROGTOWN, 1-3-4 Maizuru 2F, Chuo-ku Fukuoka City (From Tenjin Station walk down Nishidori Towards Oyafuka Going North Go first alley to the left for 3 minutes. On the right hand side Second floor 3 story building), ☎ 092-725-6227. As long as you are here it's DUSK TILL DAWN. Owner is very Chill. Lived in Cali for 20 years. Free wifi, Beers, Cocktails and shots start from 500 yen. Best mojitos in town. And they got food! edit
Careful, many Japanese bars will often have a table charge of ¥200-500 per person. This usually means you get a tiny bowl of nuts, chips or pickled octopus.
There are several hotels located around Hakata Station, as well as the Gion area, Nakasu, and Tenjin. Hotel options range from capsule hotels and reasonably priced western hotel rooms to more expensive tourist hotels.
- Guest House Nakaima 6-26 Reisenmachi, Hakata-ku. . Located in the city center, about 3 min from Gion Station, in the historical part of town, right next to Kushida shrine, the starting point of the Yamakasa festival. Convenient to major shopping areas, restaurants, and various entertainment. Free wi-fi and coin laundry available. Owner speaks English. Prices: from ¥2,500/night. ☎ +81 92 261-5070, booking by email: [email protected]
- Guest House Aloha Spirit 5-10 Watanabedori, Chuou-ku. . Located near Hakata Station. Look for a small sign on the gate that says "Aloha". Tenjin Station location shown on the website appears closed. Coin laundry available. Owner speaks broken English. Prices: from ¥2,300/night for 10 bed dorm. Great place if you're a Korean student. ☎ +81 92 406-8160, booking by email: [email protected]
- Guest House Kaine 5-9 , Susaki-machi, Hakata-ku. . Located in the city center, 7 min from Nakasukawabata Station. Rental bike and washing machine available. Free PC and Wifi. Prices: from ¥2,500/night. ☎ +81 92 402-9888, booking by email: [email protected]
- ESPA Hotel (pronounced "ess-pa"). A men-only capsule hotel about an 8 minute walk south of Hakata Station. Pleasant conditions (for a capsule hotel), an excellent spa, jacuzzi and sauna area, 24 hr restaurant as well as massage facilities available. About ¥4,000/night including spa entry, no tattooed customers allowed.
- Personal Hotel Omiya. Standard doubles for ¥4,800 at last check, and bookable online. Simple but cute, quiet and clean. Located <1 min from Yakuin Station, 7-Eleven, and a large grocery. However is on the Nanakuma line - not much there for tourists, transferring to the more useful Kuko line requires a 5-10 min underground walk along a long shopping corridor connecting the lines.
- Fukuoka Youth Hostel, Hakata-ku, 6-7-23 Hakata-eki Minami, (subway Hakata). ☎ +81 92 473-4555, . This hostel is part of the Japan Youth Hostels group and seems very new. The rooms range in price from ¥3,300-3,700 and are much bigger than the ones at Khaosan. The downside is that it's about 15 min further away from the Hakata station by foot and lacks the social atmosphere, that can be found at the Khaosan. No check-in until 4PM, but they'll let you put your bags in the room while you wait.
- Green Inn Capsule Hotel, Tenjin District, a bus ride from JR Hakata station. This places you within walking distance of the best entertainment areas in Fukuoka. Ask at JR Station Tourist Info for details. Its nice to have a walk home after drinking. Taxis are pricey.
- International Hostel Khaosan Fukuoka (インターナショナルホステルカオサン福岡), Hakata-ku, Hiemachi 11-34 (subway Hakata). ☎ +81 92 92 404-6035, . The first hostel in Fukuoka city. Dorm from ¥2,400. Free wi-fi.
- Media Cafe Popeye (internet cafe). An internet cafe that offers razors, tooth brushes, and a shower. Check in between the hours of 10PM to 8AM with options of staying 5-10 hrs. 5 hrs stay will cost ¥1,200 where as 10 hr stay is ¥2,600.
- Life Station Alpha (internet cafe) Right next to the Yodobashi round the corner from the station. ¥2,000 gets you a padded chair with wifi access for 12 hours overnight, and includes a 30-minute shower and free hot and soft drinks.
- Hotel Cabinas  If you can read Katakana letters you should be able to spot the big red sign reading カプセル (kapuseru) opposite you, slightly to the right, just as you leave Hakata Station. If you walk (cross over the big road, turn right at Starbucks, and it's immediately after 7-Eleven), it shouldn't take more than 3 min to get there. No women or tattooed customers allowed (you might get away with it if you have small/non-obvious tattoos, but it's a rule and they could throw you out for it if spotted). Big, clean and nice facilities. A standard capsule is ¥3,800, and capsules located in their own private rooms cost more; conversely various discounts can be used (buying a membership card, showing the "Offers" page on their website  on your phone when you check in) to get the price down to around ¥2,900. There are some English speaking staff, but it seems most of them know a lot of basic hotel-related nouns in English. Free Internet available on the 1st floor (2 PCs) and 2nd floor (5 or so PCs, plus Ethernet sockets where you can plug your own in). Check-in is from 4pm and check-out is before 11am. If you book the next day's stay when you check out, they'll let you leave your luggage in your locker all day. Be warned, checking out late will cost you ¥500/hr (¥700/hr after 4 hours). All services within the hotel (restaurant food/drinks; massages/body care) are paid for using your capsule number/key wristband, you settle your bill when you check out.
- Fukuoka Floral Inn Nishinakasu (フローラルイン西中洲), Chuo-ku Nishi-Nakasu 5-10 (subway Nakasu-kawabata), ☎ +81 92 735-1100, . Small but clean and quiet rooms, free Internet in lobby. Triples from ¥7800.
- Comfort Hotel Hakata Next to Hakata station. Rooms start at from ¥6,000. Free Internet (Ethernet cable in room), breakfast included. Smoking rooms may smell smoky, but non-smoking rooms do not.
- Toyoko Inn (東横イン) Four near Hakata station, one in Tenjin and one in Nakasu. Rooms start at from ¥5,800. Free internet and breakfast.
- Super Hotel Inn Hakata (スーパーホテルINN博多) Hakata-ku Kamigofuku Machi 11-32 (subway Gofukumachi), ☎ +81 92 282-9000, . Budget business hotel with free internet, breakfast, and your choice of pillows.
- Fukuoka Toei Hotel (福岡東映ホテル), 1-1-23 Takasago - Chuo-ku (10 minute from Hakata station by bus or taxi), ☎ +81 (0)92-524-2121, . Free Wi-Fi is also available in the whole building. edit
- Hilton Fukuoka Sea Hawk, 2-2-3 Jigyohama, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka-Shi, Fukuoka 810-8650 Japan (19 Minute walk from Tojin-machi station and next to the Fukuoka Yahoo! Dome. 1 minute walk from the Sea Hawk-mae Bus Stop.), ☎ +81 92 844-8111, . checkin: 14:00PM; checkout: 11:00AM. Located next to the Fukuoka Yahoo! Dome and situated in Momochi the Hilton Fukuoka Sea Hawk has over 1000 rooms and boasts 11 restaurants and four bars. It offers easy access to Momochi beach and has both an indoor and outdoor pool. There is also a shopping center inside the Hilton Fukuoka Sea Hawk with ample shopping and amenities like a beauty salon, florist, and even a convenience store. The rooms and restaurants offer great views of Hakata bay and the city of Fukuoka. edit
- With The Style, 1-9-18 Hakataeki-minami, Hakata-ku, Fukuoka-Shi, Fukuoka 812-0016 Japan (7 Minute walk from Hakata station and close to the airport), ☎ +81 92 433-3901 (fax: +81 92 433-3903), . checkin: 14:00PM; checkout: 4PM. A Ryu Kosaka designed upscale boutique resort. Italian dining, Japanese nabe, bar scene, rooftop outdoor spa and an intimate private stay guest lounge. The rooms are spacious and elegant with private balconies, stocked with a complementary mini-bar. English speaking staff edit
- Grand Hyatt Fukuoka, 1-2-82 Sumiyoshi, Hakata-ku ("in), ([email protected]). checkin: 12 noon; checkout: "3PM"url="http://fukuoka.grand.hyatt.com". Large bathrooms. Near to Hakata and Fukuoka train stations and the airport. Plenty of shopping and entertainment at Canal City. edit
- Hyatt Regency Fukuoka, 2-14-1 Hakataeki Higashi, Hakata-Ku (5 min walk from Hakata subway station), ☎ +81 9 2412 1234 ([email protected]), . 4 star hotel with 3 restaurants. edit
- United States, 5-26 Ohori 2-chome, Chuo-ku, ☎ +81 092-751-9331 (, fax: +81 092-713-9222), . edit
- Australia, 7th Floor, Tenjin Twin Building 1-6-8 Tenjin, Chuo-ku, ☎ +81 092-734-5055 (fax: +81 092-734-5058), . Hours M-F 9:00-17:30. edit
- People's Republic of China, 1-3-3 Jigyouhama, Chuo-ku, ☎ +81 092-713-1121 (, [email protected], fax: +81 092-781-8906), . edit
JR train tickets (set of 2 or 4) for one day travel on Limited Express trains are cheaper than individual tickets. The bullet train has cheap rates to Kitakyushu on the weekend (¥3000 return). Please be aware that you can travel by bullet train to Kokura Station using a JR Rail Pass or JR West passes, but you cannot do so using a JR Kyushu Rail Pass.
- Kitakyushu Hakata's often ignored little sister, Kitakyushu has a more industrial flavor but has Kokura Castle, the stunning Sarakurayama mountain overlook, and Mojiko Retro area from over a century ago.
- Beppu — and its 8 famous Hells (unique hot springs for viewing) is a potential day trip at 2 hrs via Sonic Limited Express trains (departing via Hakata Station), or a bit longer via bus.
- Dazaifu — a site of pilgrimage every new year for Japanese students, this small city has the beautiful Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine (dedicated to a Shinto deity of learning) and the recently built National Museum (Kyushu).
- Kurume — famous for its ramen noodles, 30 min from Tenjin by a Nishitetsu limited express train from Tenjin Station, or by bullet train and express trains from the JR Hakata Station.
- Yame — Land of Tea, picturesque mountains, also well known for traditional building groups.
- Yanagawa — about 45 minutes by a Nishitetsu limited express train from Tenjin, Yanagawa is famous for its canal boat rides and laid back atmosphere.
- Karatsu — Westward down the Chikuhi rail line and offers a quaint, relaxing seaside castle, mountain overlook, and pine forest.
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