Travel Information

Fukuoka Castle

Sometimes also known as Maizuru Castle and Seki Castle, Fukuoka Castle (Fukuoka-jō) is a fine example of the type of lavish 17th-century hilltop home once preferred by the country's ruling elite.
While the large remaining structure is only a small fraction of the original castle's once massive complex - it's believed to have covered an area of some 47,000 square meters - it remains an impressive site, perched high atop a tall stone foundation overlooking the Naka River.
Highlights of a visit include exploring a number of the original castle gates, turrets, and towers within the extensive castle grounds (much of it now part of Maizuru Park). Also fun is exploring the ruins of an even older guesthouse once used for visiting diplomats, the only one of its kind in Japan.
A great time to visit is the first week of April during the Fukuoka Castle Sakura Festival. This event is famous across the country for its displays of more than 1,000 cherry blossoms. And if time allows, be sure to make a return visit to the castle and its grounds after nightfall - the illuminations are spectacular.

Hakata Gion Yamakasa

Hakata Gion Yamakasa is a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage. The ritual performed at Kushida Shrine to pray for the eradication of plague and disease dates back to the Kamakura period (1185-1333). The festival's climax is the Oiyama on the final day, when large decorated Yamakasa floats march through the city from early in the morning and compete to see which can reach the goal in the fastest time.
The energy of the men called “Kakite” who carry the Yamakasa is really impressive. In Hakata, the festival takes place over two weeks in the run-up to Oiyama Festival.



Kushida Shrine

Kushida Shrine is one of Fukuoka’s essential sights. Hakata Gion Yamakasa, a traditional festival in Fukuoka listed as a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage, is a Shinto ritual dedicated to Kushida Shrine. The large decorative Yamakasa floats used in the festival are displayed in the precincts of the shrine.
The shrine is located in the middle of Hakata, close to Nakasu, with easy access to the rest of the city. Don't miss the Chikara Ishi (power stone), which is believed to have been used by young men and wrestlers to test their strength, and the large tree known as Kushida no Ichou (Ginkgo of Kushida). At the entrance, pick up some umegae mochi (rice cakes) from the Kushida Chaya (teahouse).

Tochoji Temple

Tochoji Temple is an esoteric Buddhist temple known for its wooden Fukuoka Daibutsu (Great Buddha). It’s believed that this was the first Buddhist temple in Japan, built by Kukai in 806, and visitors can enter beneath the Daibutsu to experience a ”tour of hell and paradise”.
The temple is also famous for its vermilion five-storey pagoda and Rokkakudo Hall, with its extraordinary roof structure. In cherry blossom season, visitors can enjoy the architectural beauty of the temple against a gorgeous pink backdrop. Many visitors also come to the park to pray because it’s the graveyard of the Kuroda family, the three feudal lords of Fukuoka.

Ohori Park

The nationally renowned Ohori Park is a favorite place for the people of Fukuoka to relax. Together with the adjacent Maizuru Park, it's a great spot to visit for a stroll. The paved jogging course that circles the pond is always crowded with runners and cyclists. The park has a Starbucks, vending kiosks, restroom facilities, and benches, so you can easily spend the whole day here just taking a leisurely break.
Boat rentals are another popular feature, especially among families. There’s also a good selection of playground equipment for children to let off some steam. Other attractions include a Noh theater, a Japanese garden, and Ukimido gazebo.

Nanzoin Temple

Nanzoin Temple is the general head temple of the "Sasaguri Shikoku Sacred Temples” Buddhist pilgrim route. The nearest station, Kido-Nanzoin-mae Station, is about 20 minutes from Hakata Station. It’s renowned for its 41-metre-long statue of the Reclining Buddha, one of the world's largest bronze statues. Other impressive attractions include the main hall of Nanzoin Temple and the Daifudo Myo’o (a Buddhist deity).
According to an anecdote, the priest won the prizes for adjacent numbers in a lottery, making this place a famous mystical spot for would-be lottery winners. The nearby Nakamise-dori is a pleasant shopping street with restaurants.


Fukuoka Tower

Fukuoka Tower is one of Fukuoka's leading night view spots. The spectacular view from the observation deck, 123 meters above the ground, has been listed as one of Japan’s top 100 night views. Visit at sunset for views of the beautiful sparkling sea. Fukuoka’s seasonal illuminations are another highlight.
The restaurants here also offer great views. If you want to enjoy a romantic lunch or dinner, this is a great option. You’ll find a wide variety of candies, including the towering "Rainbow-coloured roll parfait" that’s a big hit on Instagram.


Kyushu National Museum

Kyushu National Museum opened in Dazaifu City, Fukuoka Prefecture, as the fourth national museum based on the concept of “mapping the formation of Japanese culture within an Asian historical perspective”. Its unique glass entrance design is eye-catching, and the building’s architectural aesthetics are also highly acclaimed.
With a wide range of special exhibitions and permanent exhibits, this museum is full of attractions that keep visitors coming back for more. Its valuable collection is unique to Kyushu, thanks to the area’s close ties to Asian countries.


Shofukuji Temple

Founded in 1195, Shofukuji Temple is known as the first Zen temple in Japan. The founder, Zen Master Eisai, was the person who introduced tea to Japan from China. The temple adopted its current layout when rebuilt in 1589, and in 1969 the entire grounds were designated as a National Historic Site.
The temple has many attractions such as the Chokushi-mon (imperial envoy gate), Musein-Ike Pond, Sanmon (temple gate), Butsuden (Buddha hall), and Hojo (priest's room), and sutra-copying and Zazen meditation sessions are also held here. The aroma of incense and the tranquil gardens are deeply soothing. The springtime cherry blossoms and the fresh greenery of summer are also exceptional. The temple is also famous for the number of cats that can be seen in its precincts.

Momochi Seaside Park

Momochi Seaside Park is a pleasant urban oasis with a long stretch of artificial sandy beach. The waterfront is a lovely, romantic place to stroll.
Local bathers fill the beach and enjoy beach sports here in summer. Barbecues and picnics are also popular. The beautiful sunset view is truly spectacular.