The FINA World Swimming Championships are the second most important international aquatics competition after the Olympic Games, with about 2,400 swimmers from about 190 countries and regions competing to be the best in the world. As one of the world's leading sporting competitions, which is expected to attract about 500,000 visitors, the next championship will be held in Fukuoka City, Japan.
FINA World Masters Swimming Championships, which typically attracts more than 10,000 swimming enthusiasts from about 100 countries and regions, will also be held at the same time.
Fukuoka, Kumamoto and Kagoshima, the host cities for the FINA World Masters Swimming Championships, are some of the most popular tourist destinations in Japan. During the championships, we hope you will also take time to enjoy the culinary delights, culture, sights and many other attractions that each of these cities has to offer.
Fukuoka is an energetic city that bustles with activity as the political, economic and youth fashion center of Kyushu. As a gateway to Asia, Fukuoka boasts many international flights and excellent accessibility. Fukuoka is also known as one of the best gourmet cities in Japan, with a wide variety of food stalls and Japanese-style pubs that you can enjoy with friends and family. Within walking distance of Marine Messe, the venue for the World Swimming Championships, is Hakata Old Town, which features a cluster of temples and shrines. Here you can experience Zen meditation and other aspects of traditional Japanese culture.
Located nearly smack in the middle of Kyushu, Kumamoto provides great access to other parts of Kyushu thanks to the Shinkansen Line. Kumamoto Castle, built by Kiyomasa Kato in 1601 over a period of seven years, is the symbol of the city. The downtown area around the castle town is full of life, and the tram that run through the city are a great way to hit all the major sights. Kumamoto is one of the few cities in Japan whose entire water supply comes from natural groundwater, so it is also a prosperous agricultural center. Kumamoto ramen and watermelon are just a few of the local delicacies you can enjoy during your trip.
Formerly known as Satsuma, Kagoshima played an important role in Japan's samurai history. Sakurajima, which looms large over Kagoshima City, is an active volcano and a great tourist spot that offers many activities for visitors. Sengan-en, the former villa of the Shimadzu clan was registered as a World Heritage Site in 2015 as part of the Sites of Japan's Meiji Industrial Revolution. The richly flavored Kurobuta pork, raised on the sweet potatoes that Kagoshima Prefecture is famous for, is a popular local delicacy even for travelers from other parts of Japan.