Fukuoka goes by many names including “ramen capital of the world” and “city of yatai” (food stalls). Its airport name is also humorously abbreviated as FUK. Beloved by locals and tourists alike, Fukuoka has a big city vibe but is easy to get around. And with the Fukuoka City Subway 2-Day Pass, it’s even easier – and cheaper! Next time you visit, be sure to pick up one of these passes before following our 48-hour guide…
9:30am – History & Culture
After landing in Fukuoka, take the Airport Line to Gion – a speedy seven-minute trip – and head to the Hakata Traditional Craft and Design Museum to study up on the area’s local crafts, Hakata ori (woven textiles) and Hakata ningyo (traditional dolls). Both crafts have survived the centuries and evolved, living on today in the form of contemporary art and design. For a better sense of the city’s history, stop by the Hakata Machiya Folk Museum, which lies just a block away. Next, walk over to Kushida Shrine, said to be founded as early as 757. Located in the heart of the city, this shrine is a must-see. View the elaborate festival float on display or test your strength with the Chikara Ishi, a giant stone waiting to be lifted by someone strong enough. You’ll spot a row of other stones that have been previously lifted by famous sumo wrestlers including yokozuna Hakuho Sho.
12:30pm – Lunch
Stroll from Kushida Shrine through Kawabata Shopping Arcade and either grab a bite at one of the cafés here or hold off to fill up on one of Fukuoka’s finest exports: tonkotsu ramen. For a taste of this local specialty, take the train from Nakasukawabata Station to Tenjin Station. From there, walk about five minutes to get to Ichiran Ramen’s Tenjin Nishidori location to sample quality ramen that you can adjust according to your personal preferences. Now that you’re all fueled up, take the subway over to Ohori Park to walk it off.
2pm – Nature in the City
Art, history, beautiful gardens and cafés are all contained in the vast green expanse of Ohori Park. For art, head to the Fukuoka City Art Museum, located in the southeastern part of the park. If history is more your thing, the Fukuoka Castle ruins and Fukuoka Castle History Exploration Hall offer dynamic virtual reality videos that bring history to life. A walk around the park’s pond is a welcome break from the bustle of the city, and the beautiful Ohori Park Japanese Garden is an oasis of painstakingly well-maintained seasonal shrubs and plants. Head south of the park for Fukuoka City Science Center, which has a cutting-edge planetarium and interactive exhibits.
6:30pm – Yatai Time
No visit to Fukuoka would be complete without an evening spent exploring the Tenjin area and its many yatai (food stalls). The yatai are great spots to sample Fukuoka delicacies and meet locals and fellow travelers. Get off at Tenjin Station and wander along the river or the main strip and be ready to be spoiled for choice. For a unique twist on yatai culture, head to Chez Remy, a stall run by a French chef who blends the best of two worlds: French cuisine and high-quality Japanese ingredients. Use Chez Remy as your starting point and then wind your way around other stalls as the night wears on.
10am – Sparkling Seas
Start the morning with some fresh air and stunning views of Hakata Bay. Hop off at Tojinmachi Station and take a leisurely stroll to Nishi Park, making sure to explore the many quiet temples along the way. Nishi Park sits on a hill facing the ocean and offers fantastic views of Hakata Bay and the Shikanoshima islands beyond. The park is also one of Japan’s top 100 cherry blossom viewing spots, so time it right and you’ll be met with a canopy of soft pink petals blossoming from approximately 1,300 cherry trees. Head to the top of the hill to visit Terumo Shrine, which is dedicated to feudal lords of the Kuroda clan, including Josui Kuroda, the founder of Fukuoka, and his son Nagamasa, the first feudal lord of Fukuoka Domain.
1pm – Shopping Steals
Make your way back from Nishi Park to Ohorikoen Station and from there zip over to Hakata Station for a bite to eat and some last-minute shopping. Hakata Station boasts multiple department stores and other facilities, making it easy to while away a few hours picking up souvenirs and exploring the latest trends before heading home. Many stores offer discounts or other special offers when you present your Fukuoka 2-Day Pass. When you’re ready to catch your flight, simply hop on the subway – the airport is just a five-minute ride away.
How to Buy the Fukuoka City Subway 2-Day Pass
Adults ¥720, Children ¥360
The Fukuoka City Subway 2-Day Pass allows unlimited subway rides for two days as well as discounts and special offers at select stores and facilities. Only international tourists staying on short-stay visas are eligible for the pass. Purchase the pass at a sales counter at Fukuoka Airport International Terminal, Hakata Port International Terminal, Hakata Station Information Center and other select locations.
More info at subway.city.fukuoka.lg.jp/eng/fare/two