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Fukuoka


One-day trip

Fukuoka


Visiting the most crowded festival in Japan 'Hakata Dontaku' and the God of learning in the town that has fostered history and culture since ancient times.
*Traveling
Hakata Station > (7 minutes by subway) > Gion Station > (5-minute walk) > Kushida-jinja Shrine > Hakata-machiya Furusatokan Hall > (10-minute walk) > Nishitetsu Fukuoka Station (20 minutes by Limited Express/local train) > Nishitetsu Dazaifu Station > (5-minute walk) > Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine > (3-minute walk) > Kyushu National Museum > (5-minute walk) > Komyozen-ji Temple > (8-minute walk) > Nishitetsu Dazaifu Station > (20 minutes by train) > Nishitetsu Fukuoka Station > Subway Tenjin Station > (5 minutes by subway) > Ohori Park > (3 minutes by subway) > Nishijin Station > (10 minutes by bus) > Fukuoka Tower

Canal City Hakata
A 7-minute subway ride from Hakata Station takes you to a large shopping mall that runs along a 180-meter canal. 'Canal City Hakata' contains movie theaters, live theaters, hotels, restaurants and stores. In addition to shops selling fashion items, there are also plenty that sell fun products like Disney characters, Pokemon, Studio Ghibli characters and comic book characters.

Kushida-jinja Shrine
Situated nearby is the 'Kushida-jinja Shrine', dedicated to the god guarding the town of Hakata. This shrine is also the departing point for parades at big festivals such as 'Hakata Dontaku' on May 3 and 4 that attracts the largest number of visitors in Japan, and 'Hakata Gion Yamagasa' held from July 1 to 15.

'Hakata-machiya Furusatokan' Hall
The 'Hakata-machiya Furusatokan' Hall stands in front of this shrine, and a century-old folk house has been moved here to serve as a museum introducing the lifestyle and culture of Hakata about 100 years ago. You might catch a demonstration of actual hand weaving of Hakata-ori textiles and traditional craft production.

*Traveling
Walk towards Tenjin, and then take the Limited Express and a local train on the Nishitetsu line from Nishitetsu Fukuoka Station to get to Nishitetsu Dazaifu Station.

Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine
A 5-minute walk from there is the 'Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine' dedicated to Sugawara Michizane (845-903), the god of learning. Many believe that prayers offered here have the power to expel evil and ensure family safety as well as boost academic skills, so 6.5 million people visit this shrine every year. Lucky charms, notebooks, pencils and 'hachimaki (headbands)' worn as a sign of devotion to making ones best effort are very popular as souvenirs.

One unique product is the beautiful 'Saifu goma' top. Because a top rotates freely around its center, it is a beloved lucky charm for the growth of a child.

There are many sights to see inside the shrine such as the oldest Torii gate in Kyushu, the main building built in 1591 and the two-storied gate. Outside, there are splendid gardens that surround a pond with a red bridge. Around the middle of February, 6000 plum trees burst into bloom. In June during the rainy season, 30,000 purple irises bloom along the water front creating a breathtaking sight.

Kyushu National Museum
The 'Kyushu National Museum' stands in the forest and a tunnel connects it to the Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine. The displays featured in the 'Main Exhibition Rooms' on the 4th floor are exclusive to Kyushu, an area that has retained a profound connection with Asia since ancient times. The floor is laid out to convey the developmental progress of Japanese culture from the viewpoint of Asian history, and each exhibition is designed in a manner to inspire people to think about the roots of intercultural exchange. In the entrance hall on the 1st floor is the unique 'Ajippa' area where you can enjoy the experience of Asian culture.

Komyozen-ji Temple
Walk another 5 minutes from the museum to get to the 'Komyozen-ji Temple' built in 1273 by a monk related to the Sugawaras enshrined in the Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine. The stones, moss and white sand of the gardens are arranged to form a beautiful image well worth a visit. It is exceptionally beautiful here in autumn when the leaves turn red and yellow.

*Traveling
Return to Nishitetsu Fukuoka Station from Nishitetsu Dazaifu Station.

Ohori Park
Change to the subway at Nishitetsu Fukuoka Station and go to Ohori Park. This park opened in 1929 on the site of Fukuoka Castle. It is modeled after Lake Xi Hu (West Lake) in China and has a Japanese garden, Noh theater and art museum. If you have a chance, why not take in a Noh play?

Fukuoka Tower
Travel to Nishijin Station by subway and then take a bus to 'Fukuoka Tower'. Rising to 235 meters, this is the tallest tower standing on a sea front in Japan. A grand panoramic view is commanded from the observation room (123 meters high) on the top floor. You can, of course, also enjoy the night view with its beautiful lights. The exterior of the unique triangular structure is covered with 8000 half-mirror panels.

Yahoo! Japan Dome
Around the tower you'll find restaurants facing the ocean as well as shopping and other facilities. The Hawks Town Mall stands next to 'Yahoo! Japan Dome', the home of the professional baseball team. There are brand shops such as Nike and Levi's, family stores such as Toys'R' Us and an open-air hot spring.

Marine World Umi-no-nakamichi
There is a high-speed boat landing nearby, so if you have time you can visit the national 'Umi-no-nakamichi Seaside Park', which takes about 15 minutes by high-speed boat. The facilities in this vast park include an amusement park with a huge Ferris wheel, the 'Dobutsu-no-mori (animal forest)' where you can spend time watching all kinds of animals, and also bicycle paths, a swimming pool and open lawn spaces, so you will not run out of things to do even if you spend the whole day there. The 'Marine World Umi-no-nakamichi' aquarium has exhibitions with themes based on the Tsushima Straits flowing near Fukuoka. The aquarium is designed to provide various attractions such as a large panoramic aquarium, dolphin and sea lion shows and water tanks where you can get a close up look at how the fish live.

Food Stalls
Return to Tenjin and enjoy some food at the food stalls, which are a specialty of Fukuoka. Many of them sell Hakata ramen noodles renowned for their thinness, and tasty pork bone soup with a simple relish, generally with toppings of just leeks and Chinese-style barbecued pork.

You can add a little red pickled ginger, white sesame and takana (a kind of leaf mustard) to suit your own taste. You can also indicate how well cooked you would like your noodles. If you order 'kae-dama (second helping)', you can have a second serving of just noodles.

Karashi Mentaiko
Another popular local product of Fukuoka is karashi mentaiko, spicy-seasoned Alaska pollack roe flavored with red pepper powder. The flavor seems somehow related to the active exchange between Fukuoka and the Korean Peninsula.

*Photo (C) Fukuoka Convention & Visitors Bureau *Photo (C) Fukuoka Pref. Tourist Association




 

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