Fukuoka is the biggest city on the island of Kyushu in southwestern Japan. It is only the fifth largest city in the country, but still has a population of more than 2.5 million people, counting its greater area. More importantly, Fukuoka is a rising city with a good reputation, often featuring on lists that ranks the most attractive and livable cities in the world.
An important benefit of being in Fukuoka is that you have greater access to all the neighbouring countries in East Asia. You can take the ferry to Busan, the second-biggest city in South Korea, or take a short flight to metropolitan cities such as Taipei or Shanghai. Unlike many other Japanese cities, Fukuoka does not feel too closed or overly crowded. The Hakata bay are always near and you can take a day’s trip to beautiful islands such as Nokonoshima in the north.
Fukuoka has many attractions around its city centre. Close to the seaside area of Momochihama is Fukuoka Tower, 234-metre tall skyscraper with great views over the city. If you follow the beach to the east, you will see the Hawks town entertainment complex and the Fukuoka Dome, home to the local baseball team Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks. The entertainment area around the stadium has many shopping galleries and plenty of restaurants.
One of the most famous landmarks in Fukuoka are the street stalls called Yatai. These tiny outdoor restaurants serve mostly Hakata-style ramen and can be located in central areas such as Tenjin and Nakasu. The area around Tenjin is filled with shopping boutiques and nice cafes and offers nonstop entertainment from early morning to late at night.
If you happen to be in Fukuoka in July you do not want to miss the famous Hakata Gion Yamakasa festival, the oldest festival in Fukuoka. It is celebrated for more than two weeks and features many special events and traditions.