Model course


tour course

Fukuoka is a popular destination in Japan because of its wealth of delicious food. There are many places where you can experience traditional culture, shop and enjoy the nightlife. The compact and easily accessible city center is close to the Fukuoka International Airport, which has direct flights to many Asian countries, and activities like cycling and horseback riding are only a 30-minute ride away on public transportation. The more time you spend in Fukuoka, the more you are sure to enjoy it, but this time, we’ve put together a list of the best places to visit, including eateries, natural scenery, historical sites and townscapes, if you’re only going to be in town for a short while.

  • DAY 1
    Hakata Old Town
    • Hakata Old Town is an area of historical temples and shrines that is within walking distance from the venue between or after events. Tochoji Temple, which has the largest wooden seated Buddha statue in Japan, and Kushida Shrine, which has long been the guardian deity of Hakata, are just a few of the many attractions scattered throughout this area. One of the best ways to enjoy Hakata Old Town is to take a leisurely stroll along the old backstreets. During your stay, why not try meditation at a Zen temple or sample the steamed buns, udon noodles and other delights that originated in this area before spreading throughout Japan.

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      23 minutes on a train
    • A short walk from the downtown area will put you in an area known for historical sites such as the ruins of the Korokan guesthouse and Fukuoka Castle. The ruins of Fukuoka Castle’s keep in Maizuru Park offer a panoramic view of the city. The park is also a popular spot for cherry blossom viewing in the spring, and available services include horseback riding for adults and children, kimono rentals, and drone photography.
      16 minutes on a bus / train
    • When the sun goes down, it’s time to hit the town. Fukuoka’s famous food stalls are a nighttime-only attraction that pop up throughout Tenjin and Hakata every night. Many of the stalls serve Fukuoka specialties such as ramen, yakitori and gyoza. Visiting several stalls and restaurants in one night is a popular way to enjoy the nightlife in Fukuoka. Engaging the other customers in conversation is another appeal of the stalls, so be sure to ask the other patrons to share their recommendations with you.

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  • DAY 2
    Enjoy Activities
    • If you’re an active person, Fukuoka is a great city for cycling. A 30-minute boat ride from the venue, the 10-km perimeter of Shikanoshima Island, which affords wonderful ocean views, is a great cycling spot with few ups and downs, and of course, it has a beach. You can rent road and mountain bikes right near the ferry terminal. Standing at an elevation of 176 meters above sea level, the observation deck in the center of the island offers a 360-degree panoramic view of the Uminonakamichi causeway and, on clear days, the city of Fukuoka across the bay.

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      1 hour on a bus/train
    • Fukuoka’s downtown consists of the two neighborhoods of Tenjin and Hakata. There are many places to shop and eat near the hotels, so you can pop out in between events to pick up souvenirs or relax in one of the cafes. Stretching 590 meters from north to south, the two-lane underground shopping arcade in Tenjin features around 150 shops. Not only is it great for shopping, it has direct connections to the major department stores and the train and subway stations, so it is always bustling. Meanwhile, Hakata Station, which attracts more business travelers, is the rail gateway to Kyushu. With rail and expressway bus connections to Honshu and direct access to the city subway, this transportation hub offers many ways to get around, and there are numerous shops in and around the station building (JR Hakata City). The station building also has several restaurants and izakaya (Japanese style pubs), which make it a popular spot with business travelers, tourists and locals alike.
    • One more thing…
      City Art Hopping
      One of the best ways to enjoy Fukuoka is to visit the artworks scattered throughout the city.
      Yayoi Kusama’s first outdoor sculpture, “Pumpkin,” is located in the plaza outside of the Fukuoka City Art Museum. Meanwhile, Henry Moore’s “Draped Reclining Mother and Baby” stands in the plaza in front of Hakata Station and Keith Haring’s “Untitled” can be found at the Fukuoka City Health Promotion Support Center in Maizuru.
    • There are artworks all over the city, from the easily walkable downtown areas of Tenjin and Hakata to the Seaside Momochi district, an area along the ocean that is home to landmarks like Fukuoka Tower and PayPay Dome. Here you can find public art, like Shin Myeongeon’s pink “Poodle,” which is nestled between two office buildings, and “Pinecone” by Etsuro Sotoo, a Fukuoka native who serves as the head sculptor for the Sagrada Familia cathedral in Barcelona.
    • Fukuoka City Wi-Fi
      There are more than 100 free Wi-Fi hotspots across Fukuoka City in public places including subway stations and other transport hubs, tourist information, and tourist attractions such as Fukuoka Tower, and shopping centres.

  • DAY 3
    Getting to Kokura from Hakata Station
    • Just a 15-minute Shinkansen ride from Hakata Station will put you in Kitakyushu, a city which offers a different atmosphere from Fukuoka. From Kokura Station, the entrance to the city where the castle is located, you can stroll through the shopping streets and experience the daily life of Kitakyushu. These include Uomachi Gintengai, Japan’s first ever shopping arcade. Kokura Castle is about a 15-minute walk from the station.
      36 minutes on a train
    • Kokura Castle was originally built in 1602, and the current castle keep was rebuilt in 1959. The inside of the castle keep is open to the public, and there you can learn about the city’s history and culture from the exhibits. The observation deck on the fifth floor affords a panoramic view of the Kokura townscape. At the adjacent Kokura Castle Japanese Garden, which you can see from the observation deck, you can enjoy viewing the garden from a refurbished feudal lord’s residence and even try your hand at tea ceremony.

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      9 minutes on foot
    • One more thing…
      July is Gion Festival Season!
      In July, Gion Festivals are held throughout Kitakyushu City. In Kokura, the heart of the city, practice for the Kokura Gion Festival, a summer tradition that dates back more than 400 years, begins in July, and the sound of the drums echoes throughout the town. The main event is held for three days centered on the third Saturday in July. During the Kokura Gion Festival, drummers beat the drums from both sides, a style of playing that is rare in Japan, and the highlight of the festival is the harmony between the epic drumming and the elaborately decorated floats.
    • Meanwhile, the Tobata Gion Festival, also known as Chochin-yama (literally, lantern floats), is a local festival that has continued for more than 200 years. The festival is held for three days centered on the fourth Saturday in July, with eight Yamagasa floats parading through the streets during the daytime with giant flags. At night, the floats are transformed into brightly lit pyramids with 12 tiers of 309 candle-lit lanterns, and from the evening of the second day, a competition is held with about 100 carriers hoisting each float.
    • After walking for about 10 minutes while enjoying the views of the old castle moat and stone walls, you will arrive at Tanga Market, whose retro atmosphere will make you feel as if you have stepped back in time. The market is a collection of row houses with more than 100 stores, both old and new, where you can experience the energy of Kitakyushu’s citizens first hand and enjoy  tasting foods as you stroll around.

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      11 minutes on a bus/train
    • TOTO Museum is also a must-see place, where you can view about 1,000 different display items and learn about the history and culture of plumbing fixtures in Japan. TOTO was the first Japanese manufacturer to produce seated flush toilets domestically, and it is also the inventor of Washlet® which instilled a new culture of sanitary cleansing in Japan.
      1hour 15 minutes on a bus/cable car
    • When it comes to night views, you won’t want to miss Mt. Sarakura. Ascend the mountain and take in what is considered one of the three most beautiful nighttime cityscapes in Japan. Kitakyushu, the industrial powerhouse of post-war Japan and a symbol of the country’s rapid economic growth, has an exceptionally beautiful night view overlooking the bay. The observation deck at the top of Mt. Sarakura, which stands at 622 meters above sea level, is accessible by one of the longest cable cars in western Japan and a slope car. Taking full advantage of the topographical features of the area, the observation affords an exquisite covering more than 200 degrees encompassing the Kanmon Straits as well as the bridges, factories and other famous places of Kitakyushu.
      1hour 20 minutes on a bus/cable car
    • There is no better way to end a trip to Kitakyushu than with fresh seafood! Kitakyushu is a sushi town that attracts gourmands from all over Japan and abroad. The city’s geographical location allows for a wide variety of seafood to be caught throughout the year, and both the chefs and locals are highly conscious of their food. There are many popular restaurants, so it is best to make reservations early.

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  • DAY 4
    • Moji Port, which opened about 130 years ago and supported Japan’s modernization as a key point for foreign trade, is now a popular tourist spot known as the Mojiko Retro district. The area is dotted with attractions such as the large brick buildings from the days when Mojiko was one of the three most prosperous port towns in Japan, the Kyushu Railway History Museum, which features exhibits that trace the history of Kyushu’s railroads, and Mojiko Station, a restored neo-renaissance style station that opened in 1914. We also recommend taking a rickshaw tour and listening to the driver’s running commentary. Baked curry rice topped with cheese and eggs is a specialty of the area that can be found on the menus of many restaurants.
      3 minutes on foot
    • You can rent a bicycle at Mojiko Retro and take a Kanmon ferry to Honshu (Shimonoseki City, Yamaguchi Prefecture) on the other side of the straits to enjoy cycling on two different islands, or you can walk through the Kanmon Tunnel Footpath (6:00-22:00), a 780-meter-long undersea pedestrian tunnel that connects Mojiko to Shimonoseki.
      The main reason to cross to the other side of the straits is to visit Karato Market, a popular seafood market where you can enjoy fresh seafood. In addition to restaurants where you can eat fresh fish, food and beverage services are available for the general public only on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and holidays. Be sure to try the sushi and seafood rice bowls.
  • Other Information
    • 4-day trip traversing Kyushu
      Another Highlights of 4 cities
      (Fukuoka City, Kumamoto City, Kagoshima City ,Kitakyushu City)