Fukuoka City, with the largest population in Kyushu (1,202,000) and the 8th largest in Japan, is the capital city of Fukuoka Prefecture, located in the northern part of Kyushu Island, the southernmost of the four main Japanese islands. Blessed with a mild climate all year round, Fukuoka, from long ago, flourished as a trading port and contributed immensely in bringing foreign cultures into Japan, most notably during the Nara and Heian periods (710-794/794-1191). Because it is so close to the Asian Continent, continental culture, the basis of Japanese culture, was imported to Japan through the Fukuoka area at the dawn of the nation's history. The Mongolians who conquered China and established the Yuan Dynasty there attempted invasions of Japan twice, both times in vain - in 1274 and in 1281 - in this area.

Fukuoka also plays an important role in the fields of politics, culture, economics, and communication. Fukuoka is an international gateway to southern Japan and a key jumping-off point for touring Kyushu Island. International direct flight services are available from Pusan, Seoul, Taipei, Hong Kong, Manila, and Honolulu. Domestic airway and railroad networks link Fukuoka with major cities throughout Japan. Hakata Station is the terminus of the Japan Railways (JR) principal lines in Kyushu, namely, the Nippo Line for Beppu, Miyazaki, and Nishi-Kagoshima; the Kagoshima Line for Kumamoto, Yatsushiro, and Nishi-Kagoshima; and the Nagasaki & Sasebo Lines for Saga, Sasebo, or Nagasaki. These four lines are convenient for tourists traveling around Kyushu Island.

Tourist Information (English spoken):
Located in JR Hakata Station: Tel. (092) 431-3003. Open daily 9:00-7:00

Transportation to Fukuoka: Hakata Station is the terminus of the 1,177 km (735 mile) long Tokaido-Sanyo Shinkansen that originates in Tokyo. Fukuoka Airport offers flights to all major airports in Japan, as well as many foreign cities. Fukuoka Airport is located close to the city center, and is connected by city subway with JR Hakata Station (10 minutes) and other major parts of the city.

Places of Interest in Fukuoka Prefecture:

Fukuoka City

The area got its name in 1600 when Nagamasa Kuroda, a feudal lord, was assigned there and named his new castle "Fukuoka"Jo. From then on the area to the west of the Nakagawa River, where the samurai lived, was called Fukuoka, while the area east of the river, where the merchants and craftsmen resided, was called Hakata. Fukuoka natives still proudly call themselves Hakata-kko, even after the politicians chose "Fukuoka" as the name for the whole city. The city is divided by the Naka River into two parts - the "Hakata" Area on the east side of the river and the "Fukuoka" Proper on its west side. Hakata Area has developed as a trading merchant's town and even now has the face of a commercial and trading center. On the other hand, Fukuoka was a castle town of the feudal lord Kuroda in the Edo Period (1603- 1867) and functioned as a center of politics, foreign diplomacy, and military affairs in western Japan at that time. Today, Fukuoka occupies an important position in the city administration. In 1889 the castle town "Fukuoka" and commercial town "Hakata" were unified into the present Fukuoka City. Although Fukuoka has developed into the most modern metropolis in Kyushu, people there preserve traditional industries and cultures as can be found in local products such as "Hakata-ori" silk textiles or "Hakata-Ningyo" dolls. Hakata Dontaku Festival on May 3rd and 4th and Hakata Gion Yamagasa Festival from July 1st to July 15th are held and people parade in the streets in mass dancing troupes, supporting colorful floats.

Transportation in Fukuoka:

There are two traffic centers in Fukuoka City - JR Hakata Station and downtown Tenjin. The terminus of both the City Subway and Nishitetsu Railways are located in Tenjin. The Nishitetsu Railways offers services in the directions of Dazaifu, Kurume, Yanagawa, and Omuta. The City Subway has two lines; Ichi-go Line (Line No. 1) operating between Hakata and Meinohama, where you can connect with the JR Chikuhi Line, and Ni-go Line (Line No. 2) between Nakasu-Kawabata and Kaizuka. Fukuoka has an extensive network of bus lines which connect major sightseeing spots in and out of the city. Two bus terminals are located in the city - Fukuoka Kotsu Center at Hakata Station and Fukuoka Bus Center at Tenjin. At these centers you can not only take bus services within the city but also out of the city for destinations like Saga, Kumamoto, Nagasaki, etc. A One-Day City Bus Ticket of the Nishitetsu Bus Company is available for 600 which is valid within the 170 yen fare zone in the city. An added plus is that Nishitetsu Bus Services cover almost all the city sightseeing spots.

Map (not clickable)

Sightseeing in Fukuoka


Dazaifu, with its incredible shrine, and fascinating temples, is almost close enough to be a suburb of Fukuoka. A day trip is a good idea, and when followed by a peaceful night in the country in nearby Futsukaichi Onsen, an even wiser choice.

Transportation to Dazaifu:
A Nishitetsu line train will take you to Futsukaichi railway station from Tenjin in Fukuoka in 20 to 30 minutes. From Futsukaichi, you'll have to change for the two-station ride to Nishitetsu-Dazaifu railway station. Alternatively, you can take a JR train from JR Hakata station to Kokutetsu-Futsukaichi (the JR station) and then a bus to Nishitetsu-Futsukaichi.

Sightseeing in Dazaifu

Places of Interest Around Fukuoka Prefecture