Best Things to Do in Fukuoka

Photo by Lonely Planet

As the capital city of Fukuoka Prefecture in Japan and the biggest city on the island of Kyushu, Fukuoka is an amazing place to discover Japanese culture. It has a historical side in the way of temples, shrines and ancient buildings, while also staying modern. Its location along the sea also offers some great beaches, and Fukuoka flights are plentiful.

Here are the best things to do during your visit to Fukuoka, Japan.

Visit the Hakozaki Shrine

This is one of the most important shrines in this part of Japan, and has some fascinating history. During the Mongolian invasion of Fukuoka in 1274, the original shrine was destroyed by fire, and then rebuilt shortly after to the gorgeous structure it is today. It features a stone anchor representative of Mongolian ships, and a statue of Nichiren, a prominent Buddhist scholar who foresaw the invasion.

The Noodles Cannot be Beat

Fukuoka has delicious food all around, but one of the best spots to check out is Nagahama, which offers many delicacies. The famous Nagahama ramen stalls (called ‘yatai’ in Japanese) are where you can sample amazing chewy noodles cooked by experts. Walk the stalls, let your nose be your guide and go for anything that strikes your fancy – or has the longest line (that’s when you know the food will be good.)

Try Your Hand at Karaoke

Everyone loves to be a star, at least for five minutes! Japan is widely known for its Karaoke bars, and there are a number of them all over town. You usually pay to be there by the hour, and food and beverages are served, all at one price. Some even have elaborate costumes available, so you can really do it up. Grab a drink, peruse the selection of songs, pick your favorite and get up on stage! You never know, you may find you have a talent for it! 

Go to the Top of Fukuoka Tower

At 234 meters high, this is the best place to see the city below. Have lunch or dinner at the top floor restaurant – dine while looking out onto the glittering city. It is one of the national symbols of Fukuoka, and the entire building lights up at night.

Visit Sumiyoshi Shrine

Located close to the Naka River, this was one of the most important shrines during Fukuoka’s days of old. While many shrines in the city were designed in the traditional Buddhist style, Sumiyoshi is thought to be older in style, with a straight roof covered in epiphytes, which is unusual for a shrine of this kind. If you are interested in architecture and history, this shrine is not to be missed.

Watch a Sumo Match

To get a taste of true Japanese culture, a good sumo wrestling match can be very entertaining. It celebrates the culture of Japan, and if you are here during the month of November, it is prime sumo season, with many matches taking place throughout the month. Not only is the sport fascinating to watch, the costumes of the referees can be elaborate.

Spend Some Time at the Beach

A good spot for sunbathing is Momochihama, which is close to the Yahoo Japan Dome. After catching some rays, take a dip in the sea to cool off. Then as the day draws to an end, visit one or two of the bars and restaurants scattered along the shoreline. People come to unwind and to catch a great sunset over the water.