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Fukuoka City

Fukuoka City

Fukuoka City is the capital of Fukuoka Prefecture. While not as famous as Tokyo or even Nagasaki, Fukuoka City – or Fukuoka-shi (福岡市) – is the sixth-largest city in Japan and has been consistently rated among the top 10 cities in the world to live – and to shop!

Fukuoka is home to restaurants, fashionable boutiques, bars, clubs, music and bookstores. With various other activities and attractions, those who are lucky enough to be placed here will be the envy of JETs throughout Kyushu.

The city’s two most famous districts are Tenjin and Hakata. Tenjin is the central shopping area, with nightlife concentrated in the surrounding neighborhoods of Nakasu, Daimyo, Yakuin and Akasaka. Hakata is the transportation hub of Fukuoka and Kyushu, and home to a train station that rivals most small towns in Japan for number of shops, food options and people.

Fukuoka-shi is famous for its Yatai – small, mobile food stalls seen dotting streets and riverside in Tenjin and Nakasu, serving ramen or other local delicacies. When Japanese people from other cities ask where you’re from, don’t be surprised if they ask about the ramen!

A city rich in both culture and history, Fukuoka is notable for having produced a larger number of successful musicians than any other city in Japan, and is home to a number of live houses, dance clubs, and hosts annual music and film festivals.

Fukuoka City History

Built on a long history of trade with the rest of Japan, Fukuoka City has developed around its reputation for diplomatic and merchant activity. During the Edo period Fukuoka was actually two distinct and separate cities: the samurai town situated west of the Naka river, home to the castle of Fukuoka’s first feudal lord (Now Maizuru Koen); and the nearby merchant town of Hakata, which was located east of the river. United in 1889, the city is now divided into seven wards: Higashi, Hakata, Minami, Chuo, Jonan, Sawara, and Nishi. All but Jonan and Minami are adjacent to some part of Hakata Bay.

(Read More, from 200-1100 AD)
(Read More, the Pre-History of Fukuoka)

Hakata & Nakasu

At a glance Hakata is a neighborhood housed in a train station – it has more shops and restaurants (230) in its 8 floors than most inaka towns, and  the population of transient rail passengers averages in at around 350,000 people per day. The station even has its own rooftop shrine! Here you can find …

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Tenjin

At a glance Tenjin is the hub of urban youth culture in Fukuoka and the go-to destination for visitors when they’ve finished a day of traditional Japanese culture elsewhere. Tenjin proper is Fukuoka City’s central shopping-drinking-dining district. The surrounding neighborhoods of Yakuin and Daimyo, and Watanabe-dori, are all within easy walking distance of the Solaria …

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Marinoa, Momochi, Nishijin

  At a glance Part of Fukuoka’s seaside, the Marinoa-Momochi-Nishijin areas are where you can catch Fukuoka’s baseball team, the Softbank Hawks, at the indoor Yahuoku! Dome. If you want to see the sun, you can cruise the beach within sight of the Fukuoka Tower. There are also libraries, museums, amusement parks and plenty of …

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Fukuoka Bay Area

At a glance Only a short ferry ride from Hakata Bay lie three of Fukuoka’s most famous islands: Nokonoshima, Shikanoshima and Uminonakamichi (not technically an island). Each island has its own charms, from the sprawling gardens and ferris wheel of Uminonakamichi to the nighttime sakura viewing and retro feel of Nokonoshima. You can also find …

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Ohori Koen & Zoological and Botanical Gardens

At a glance Ohori Koen is an enormous man-made lake split by a  walkway of interconnected islands. Nearby, you can explore the ruins of Fukuoka’s castle, visit the art museum or enjoy a walk along beautiful lotus blossoms and gardens. Getting there Well served by the subway and Nishitetsu buses from Tenjin. Points of interest …

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Kashii, Higashi Hirao-koen, Hakozaki

At a glance Home to Fukuoka Avispa’s Hakata no Mori Stadium located in Higashi Hirao-koen. Includes Hakozaki Shrine, and is the home of an enormous flea market! Kashii is home to Kashii Shrine, Aeon Mall Kashiihama, and Island City, an artificial island becoming one of the most popular residential areas in the city. Festivals Higashi Ward …

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Getting Around Fukuoka City

The Fukuoka City Subway consists of three lines, all accessible via the Tenjin Chikagai under Solaria Stage. The subway is hard to get lost on, with strategically placed maps in Romaji at each entrance, exit and door. Trains stop at every station and all stops are announced in English. The system is relatively simple because …

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Entertainment in Fukuoka

Entertainment in Fukuoka City Cinemas Most cinemas in Fukuoka City are in Tenjin and Nakasu, but small, private cinemas dot the city as well. For show times in English, visit www.fukuokanow.com and click on “Cinema Guide.” Cine Salon Praveria in Nishijin is a good bet for more artsy films. Cineterie Tenjin is the best place for …

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Gay/Lesbian Fukuoka

Whether you’re a full-fledged family member or just looking to explore a different segment of the society, Fukuoka does have some bars catering to the queer community. Gay bars are concentrated on a street block in Sumiyoshi [map], an area located roughly between Canal City and Tenjin. Leave your preconceptions at home; in Sumiyoshi, you …

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Places to Sleep

Missed the last train home? If an internet cafe doesn’t appeal, try a love or capsule hotel. They’re more common than you might think! Capsule Hotels Generally segregated by sex, capsules are located in business areas for over-worked (or drunk) businessmen who miss the last train. They often offer amenities such as bath facilities, snazzy …

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