I had the opportunity to travel to Fukuoka to get my Korean E2 work visa. Little did I know that Japan would fascinate me that much! Here’s a list of the top things to do when in Fukuoka! The port city is located on the island of Kyushu, Japan, only a 3-hour ferry ride from South Korea’s Busan away. There’s actually a lot of things to do in Fukuoka, which makes for the perfect weekend getaway!
Here are the top 5 things to do in Fukuoka:
If you follow my blog regularly, you already know I’m a huge sucker for temples. I love buddha statues and I always get a comforting feeling when I’m at a temple. I’ve been to many places around Asia in Thailand, China, Korea and Laos but Japanese temples were still able to amaze me! Make sure to stop by the following three temples, all located near each other and free of charge to visit: Tochoji Temple, Jyotenji Temple and Shofukuji Temple. Tochoji Temple was my personal favorite with the stereotypically beautiful red pagoda and the largest wooden buddha statue inside a temple hall in the whole of Japan. Jyotenji Temple is great if you want to see a real Japanese zen garden!
One thing you should absolutely not miss when in Fukuoka is eating at a traditional yatai, a Japanese food stall. These portable restaurants have become harder and harder to find all over Japan but tourists and locals alike are still enjoying their flair and flavor in Fukuoka. You can get all kinds of different ramen noodle dishes as well as speciality meats, beer or sake for a reasonable price at a yatai. The best yatai in the city can be found around Tenjin subway station.
City Museum & Folk Museum
Even though the museum in Fukuoka aren’t free of charge, they are worth visiting! The entrance fee is pretty low and you can really get a grasp of the local culture and history! My first stop was the city musem since it’s located near the Korean Consulate where I had to go to get my E2 visa. It’s right behind the Fukuoka tower and offers a great selection of Japanese and Fukuoka artifacts. I especially liked the exhhiition of samurai armors and swords! The folk museum is another hidden gem located in the center of the city near the temples and Kushida shrine. It features a small but informative exhibition with a movie about the famous Yamakasa festival native to Fukuoka. Next to the museum, you can dive into a traditional Japanese house with garden and see artists weaving traditional cloth for kimono!
Kawabata Street & Canal City
Looking for great souvenirs, great Japanese food or some shopping? Kawabata and the nearby Canal City Shopping Mall is your destination of choice! Kawabata street is a outside pedestrian paradise with a roofto protect you from rain! You can find Japanese tea, hello kitty chopsticks and even kimonos for sale! On the southern end of Kawabata lies Fukuoka’s go-to shopping mall Canal City! It’s huge and it’s beautiful architecture gives you an outdoor feeling! You must absolutely try the iced green tea at the beverage store on the first floor near the fountain! It’s to die for!
Take the metro to “Kawabata” station!
This traditional shrine was my absolute favorite part of Fukuoka! I had never been to a shrine before and it was an absolutely amazing experience! All Japanese shrines belong to the shinto blief, an indigenious religion of Japan that focuses on ritual practices to connect with nature and its elements. The shrine is free of charge and a gem for temple lovers! The shrine was built in 757AD and is visited by locals who hope that “Okushida Sama”, the Shinto God of immortality will bless them with long life and success in business.
Tip: There are several water fountains around the shrine where visitors are supposed to clean themselves from within. Take the wooden spoon and fill it with water. Then, first wash your left hand, then your right, take a sip of water and drink it and lastly, use the remaining water to wash the handle of the spoon.
Go and Visit Fukuoka!
My trip to Fukuoka turned out to be such an amazing experience and brought up the desire to visit more beautiful places in Japan! Hopefully, with Korea being so close to Japan, I will be able to visit this amazing country many more times!
Have you been to Fukuoka? How did you like it?
Which of the 5 sites I mentioned interests you the most?
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