Fukuoka (Pronounced Fu-Koo-Oh-Ka) is probably the Japanese city you’ve never heard of, however, Japan’s start-up city has SO much to offer.
A regular on Monocle’s favoured liveable city lists and located on the gorgeous island of Kyushu in the west of Japan, this city with the same name as it’s prefecture, is a place you need to check out.
1. It’s Not Tokyo.
As awesome as Tokyo is, it’s a bit obvious when visiting Japan, travelling to Fukuoka will give you a taste of real Japan, dare I say it.
Tokyo aside, this little gem has all the hometown feels of a large town alongside the sophistication of a buzzing city like Osaka, but with a beach.
Fukuoka has loads of little spots that are completely unique and ultra laid back, you can’t lose.
Oh and the people are wonderful.
2. It has a beach and loads of islands nearby.
When we think of Japan, Sakura, Sumo, Sake and Sushi come to mind, however, apart from the awesome Okinawa, we don’t normally think of a beach.
Fukuoka has wonderful weather during the summer months with temperatures reaching up to 31 celsius, why not catch a wave, play beach volleyball or top up your tan in the sand!
And with a ten minute commute from central Fukuoka to the Momochi seaside, it’s as easy as ever. Bored of the beach, catch a ferry to Nokonoshima Island park and
feel like you’ve been placed into a Ghibli movie.
Stroll through flower beds, buy little souvenirs and sing to yourself.
Slow motion scenes are optional.
3. The Airport is in the city, literally.
Fukuoka airport is actually in Fukuoka city. And it won’t cost you an arm and a leg to get to your holiday home. Feel free to lap up the convenience of a subway service which takes 15 minutes to the city centre.
When flying in, you can take in the whole city in one swoop, don’t be deceived, the city is compact, but with so much to explore.
It will only cost you about 260 yen (£1.91 or $2.39) to travel from Fukuoka airport to the city central via subway.
How’s that for convenience?
4. It’s the gourmet capital of Kyushu and maybe even Japan.
Literally all of Japan’s best food offerings are on display in this foodie heaven. Everything from the world-famous Hakata Ramen, Udon, Mentaiko, Motsunabe and so much more is readily available on pretty much every corner.
Oh and on every corner, you have the wonderful Yatai, outdoor food stalls with awesome food and drink and an imitate setting.
Oh and this place.
You could probably spend day one just trying out different ramen shops and blogging about it, yes, this job exists in Japan.
And if you don’t feel like eating Japanese food, you have food from all over the world, easy peasy.
5. The City is Pedestrian Friendly.
This may seem like a given in most modern cities, but you really appreciate the space you get when riding your bicycle on the pavements of Tenjin or the wonderful Ohori park.
Especially when you can get fined for riding your bicycle on the pavements of London. 🙂
Take in the city’s laid back vibe using various modes of transport, but I recommend you rent a bicycle, pack a bento, ride along the Naka river, pop by a shrine and explore.
6. It’s a Shopping Paradise.
Fukuoka is also a paradise for you shopaholics out there. Quirky stores are dotted around Imaizumi to the dazzling Canal City and Tenjin Core.
Other shops are also connected via underground shopping mall called Tenjin Chikagai, which has wi-fi and keeps you dry when it rains or the sun scorches you.
Yes, this place loves you very much. Here’s proof.
Not forgetting Kawabatadori with the widest range of independent stores, a short walk to the subway and the magical Kushida Shrine.
All in all, Fukuoka has something for everyone and we’re sure you’ll love it!