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At a glance

  • Adjacent to both the city and countryside, there’s a wide variety of stores as well as easy access to parks and mountains
  • The main street running northwest-southeast connects to Umi and Dazaifu and holds many points of interest
  • At the northwest end is the Shime Town Office and beyond that is Diamond City, a huge mall with a movie theater, clothing shops, and food court; to the southeast is Umi Town

Getting there

By train…

– JR Chojabaru Station on the Fukuhoku-Yutaka Line (change to the JR Kashii Line to reach Sue Chuo Station)

By bus…

– #370 from Tenjin Bus Center or Tenjin Chuo Post Office stop 19B (40-60 minutes); #37 from Hakata Bus Center platform 14 or the airport (15 minutes) – Catch highway buses from the main street of Shime in front of Fukuoka Bank and Best Denki; most buses also stop at Umi Hachimangu on their way to Umi Town

Getting around

All directions in Shime are given from the Tadomishimofuka intersection on the main street. From JR Sue Chuo Station, turn right out of the station, cross the tracks, and continue straight for about 1.5km. The road will eventually deadend at the main road in Shime, just in front of a large orange building, The Home Center (written in katakana). You will also find a Ringer Hut at that intersection.

Points of interest

Shime-Umi Walking Trail is pleasant and features Shime-Umi Friendship Monument at the town borders. It’s especially beautiful in sakura and ume season, a good place to jog or walk in the evening, and a nice trip to the store on the main road. It runs parallel to the main road on the east, from Best Denki in the north to Umi Park in the south, and you can enter from any side street in between.

Koshoji is a particularly large kofun (ancient burial mound) in the southern Shime/northern Umi area, a great place to climb to for cool breezes in the summer, a beautiful sunset and some conversation with the locals. It is clearly visible from the walking trail as you cross into Umi. There is a display detailing its history excavation.

Sarayama Park 皿山公園 Home to four mountains in Sue/Sasaguri (from tallest to shortest): Wakasugi Yama (若杉山), Kome no Yama(米ノ山), Takejou (岳城) and Sara Yama (皿山). It’s a pleasant place to have lunch as there are numerous picnic areas and pavilions in the park. The mountains make for some fantastic hiking, with amazing views from Kome no Yama and Takejou. Despite being the tallest (681m) and pointiest, Wakasugi has no real view from the top. It does, however, have a sprawling shrine complex, as well as a Buddhist temple accessible by crawling through a rock crevice. See the Sasaguri section for more info. If you want a real challenge, you can hike to the adjacent mountain range that runs behind Sue and Umi from the top of Wakasugi; there is a map at the shrine detailing how to make your multi-stop pilgrimage. Beware of the maps throughout the park though, as they are not to scale and can’t be completely trusted.
Getting there… To access the park, turn left as you come out of JR Sue Chuo Station and walk straight for approximately 30 minutes. Sarayama Park will be on the left, and there are signs pointing where to turn off the main road to get to it, though they may be in kanji only.

Umi Hachimangu is the most well-known of the many shrines and temples in the area. Because “Umi” sounds like the verb for bearing children (umu), women write the names of their babies on rocks in the hope that they will grow up strong and healthy. The enormous pile of rocks with children’s names is behind the shrine.
Getting there… From Shime’s main intersection, turn left. Once you reach Umi Town you’ll see a relatively busy intersection. Head straight through the light and cross the bridge. The shrine is just up ahead on your left. This is a long walk, so it might be best to go by bicycle. It’s also possible to take a bus from the main road in Shime; most buses going to Umi Town also stop at Umi Hachimangu.

Tsuki no Yu 月の湯 This inexpensive onsen is almost always open.
Getting there…Tsuki no Yu can be reached from the Higashi Hirao (東平尾) stop on the #37 bus; walk away from the airport up the side street and it will be on your left.

Eating and drinking

Isshin-Tei 一心亭 This Shime ramen shop is particularly recommended, offering tonkatsu, ramen and champon among other dishes. Located in the Meirindo plaza just south of the Tadomishimofuka interesection. Try the rachan, the Frankenstein offspring of a ramen-champon experiment. Til 9pm.

Shime Sushi is a block east of the main street, just north of the former Shime kyoshokuin jutaku.

Living there

Accion Fukuoka アクシオン福岡 This great sports club is about 15 minutes away from Shime by #37 bus (it has its own stop, in katakana). It’s ¥400 for two hours to use the various facilities, which include a training room with resistance machines, free weights, elliptical machines, treadmills and bikes. Also a bathing area in the locker room and a relaxation corner with massage chairs. No fee to join and you pay per two hours, with an extra fee per hour if you go over. Pay each time or buy a loyalty card for 4000, which offers one free session for every 11 paid. If it’s your first trip, you must attend an orientation which is held hourly until 7 pm. Most of the staff speak at least some English and are very friendly and helpful.

Best Denki is located at the Oteki intersection near Shime town hall, and a good rental selection run by GEO is next door. To get there from the main intersection, turn right and walk straight for about 15 minutes. It will be on the left side.

Joint is the closest grocery store to the former Shime kyoshokuin jutaku. A little expensive, but they carry almost everything an ALT could need.

Pet and Green is recommended for gardening supplies and plants.

Red Cabbage in Shime is located just as the main road enters Umi, on the left. Although unremarkable in other aspects, this Red Cabbage is a great source of food from home: nuts, peanut butter, spaghetti sauce in a jar, vegetarian mixes and Indian cooking sauces, among other things.

Seiyu is located just west of the Shime Honmachi intersection. To get there from the Tadomishimofuka intersection, walk for about ten minutes past Fukuoka Bank and turn left at the following intersection and you will see it. They have a decent grocery selection, but their wine and beer selection is the best in town.