Are you planning your next vacation to Japan? If so, make sure to include Fukuoka in your itinerary.
Located on the northern coast of Kyushu Island, Fukuoka is a lively and exciting city that offers an array of attractions perfect for all types of travelers.
From majestic shrines and temples to delicious local cuisine, here are the best things to do in Fukuoka, Japan.
1. Visit Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine
One of the top sites to visit while in Fukuoka is this beautiful shrine dedicated to Sugawara Michizane, a powerful scholar and politician from the Heian period.
The grounds feature many stunning features like a five-story pagoda, two museums, and a grand festival stage.
Located south of Fukuoka City, the Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine is one of the best things to do in Fukuoka Japan.
Dedicated to Michizane Sugawara (the God of Learning), the shrine site has been a place of worship since 919. It’s known for its beautiful gardens and historic buildings, offering a serene and peaceful atmosphere.
Don’t forget to take a look at the large red torii gate which stands guard at the entrance of the shrine.
You can also explore its fascinating museum, observatory, and traditional tea house. This is an absolute must-visit during your time in Fukuoka.
2. Explore Ohori Park
Stroll through the peaceful gardens at Ohori Park to enjoy a serene break from city life.
There’s also an impressive Japanese garden with blooming cherry trees in spring, as well as ponds filled with colorful carp fish.
Ohori Park is one of the best things to do in Fukuoka, Japan. Located in the heart of Fukuoka, Ohori Park is a stunning expanse of nature and culture.
It features an impressive lake surrounded by lush greenery that creates a peaceful atmosphere to enjoy walking or jogging around the park while admiring the cherry blossoms in the spring.
There is also a historical district located inside the park, with temples and shrines that make for great photo opportunities.
The best time to visit Ohori Park is during cherry blossom season when the park comes alive with blooming flowers and visitors enjoy picnics and snacks.
3. Take in the Views from Fukuoka Tower
As one of the tallest towers in Japan, Fukuoka Tower stands at 234 meters high and offers panoramic views of the city below. This tower is similar to the Tokyo Skytree as well.
At night, it is illuminated by over 10 thousand LED lights making it a popular spot to watch sunsets or take pictures of the stunning illuminated skyline.
Fukuoka Tower is one of the best things to do in Fukuoka, Japan. It stands at 234 meters tall, making it the tallest seaside tower in Japan.
When you reach the observation deck at 123 meters, you can enjoy stunning views of the city and surrounding islands.
The tower also boasts a few other attractions such as a glass floor and an interactive kiosk with information about local culture and history.
For those who are feeling adventurous, there is also an outdoor rope course to explore! You can even try your hand at the popular Sky Walk where you can walk along the edge of the tower and take in breathtaking views of Fukuoka from above.
At night, don’t miss out on the LED light shows that turn this iconic landmark into something truly special.
Whether during the day or night, Fukuoka Tower is definitely one of the best things to do while visiting Fukuoka.
4. Sample Hakata Ramen
Don’t leave Fukuoka without trying the city’s famous Hakata ramen. With its thick, rich pork-based broth and silky noodles, this hearty dish is a must-try for all food lovers.
If you’re looking for the best bowl of Hakata ramen, then look no further than Fukuoka. As one of Japan’s best-known regional foods, this delicious dish has its own unique flavor created by a combination of pork and chicken broth cooked with garlic, ginger, and other seasonings.
The best way to enjoy it is at the many ramen restaurants located in the city – some even offer different types of Hakata ramen made with soy sauce or miso as well as specialty toppings like egg yolk or green onions.
Whether you prefer your ramen hot and spicy or light and flavorful, you’ll be sure to find something that will satisfy your taste buds in Fukuoka.
5. Take in a Traditional Performance
Enjoy an evening of traditional Japanese theater with a performance at Sumiyoshi Grand Theater. This classic venue has been around since 1772 and features both kabuki and bunraku puppet shows that are sure to please any culture buff.
Fukuoka is home to some amazing traditional performance arts. From the best Kabuki theater in Japan to traditional Rakugo storytelling, Fukuoka has it all. Kabuki is a unique form of theater where the actors wear elaborate costumes, paint their faces in symbolic colors and perform dramatic stories of love, loyalty, and betrayal.
Rakugo is a traditional form of storytelling with an element of humor that dates back to the Edo period.
It’s best appreciated when seeing it live so be sure to check out one of the shows if you’re visiting Fukuoka.
Lastly, take in some bugaku, a court dance dating back centuries that features stunningly dressed performers dancing in time to music played by musicians on drums and flutes.
All three performances are great options for exploring traditional Fukuoka culture.
6. Visit Kushida Shrine
Kushida Shrine is one of the best things to do in Fukuoka, Japan. The shrine is dedicated to the guardian god of Hakata city and was first established in 757 AD.
Located in the middle of downtown Fukuoka, this beautiful shrine was built back in Emperor Koken.
The grounds feature bright red buildings surrounded by ancient trees, making it the perfect spot for a peaceful stroll.
It is a popular spot for locals and tourists alike due to its historical significance and stunning architecture.
Visitors can explore the main hall, which houses several statues of gods as well as numerous ancient artifacts or take a stroll around the grounds to admire various features such as stone lanterns and ponds.
There are also many traditional festivals held at Kushida Shrine throughout the year where visitors can watch colorful parades or purchase hand-crafted souvenirs from local vendors.
The shrine also hosts numerous events including performances by taiko drummers and kimono wearing geisha.
Kushida Shrine is one of the best places to visit in Fukuoka if you want to experience traditional Japanese culture.
7. Shop at Nakasu Island
This bustling shopping district is the best place to find local souvenirs, fashion items, and even gourmet food.
The best part about it all is that most of the shops can be accessed by boat, making it an enjoyable browsing experience as well as a fantastic way to explore Fukuoka’s riverside cityscape.
Nakasu Island is a must-see in Fukuoka! A mere stone’s throw away from the city center, this thriving entertainment district offers something for everyone.
From tasty food stalls to bustling bars and clubs, Nakasu is always buzzing with activity. For those looking for something more sedate, there are plenty of traditional Japanese shrines and temples to explore.
Be sure to check out the vibrant Canal City shopping mall too – it’s a great place to pick up souvenirs or have a bite to eat.
With so much to see and do, Nakasu Island is one destination that should not be missed when visiting Fukuoka.
8. Visit Hakata Station Building
Hakata Station Building has something for everyone, from shops and restaurants to amusement parks and a theater.
It’s also home to the beautiful Yafune-Kannon Temple, where you can take part in traditional Buddhist ceremonies or purchase souvenirs from local artisans.
Hakata Station Building is one of the best things to do in Fukuoka Japan. Located at the heart of the city, Hakata Station Building offers a range of activities, including shopping, dining and entertainment.
The station building houses many popular stores such as Uniqlo, Bic Camera and Tokyu Hands.
There are also numerous high-end restaurants and cafes to choose from. Additionally, there is an outdoor plaza which hosts regular events like live music performances and markets.
With its convenient location and diverse offerings, visiting Hakata Station Building is definitely one of the best things to do in Fukuoka Japan.
9. Enjoy the Nightlife at Canal City
Canal City is a massive shopping and entertainment complex that has become a must-see destination for visitors.
There are plenty of restaurants, stores, theaters, and even an artificial beach to enjoy in the evening.
10. Explore Fukuoka Castle
Fukuoka Castle is a popular spot for locals and visitors alike. Take a stroll through the castle grounds, then head up to the top of the tower for stunning views of downtown Fukuoka.
Fukuoka Castle is one of the best things to do in Fukuoka, Japan. The castle was built by the powerful feudal lord Kuroda Nagamasa in 1608, and it stands as a monument to his power.
The castle grounds are now part of a sprawling park that also includes remnants of the original citadel walls, three magnificent gates along with two guard towers, and more than 600 cherry blossom trees.
Visitors can explore the many historical structures within the castle grounds, including towers, turrets and a five-story main keep.
There is also a museum on-site that details the history of the castle and its role in Japan’s past. For an even more immersive experience, visitors can take boat tours around Fukuoka.
11. Shop at Tenjin Underground Arcade
Tenjin Underground Arcade is one of Japan’s best shopping areas. With its endless maze of shops, cafes, and restaurants, it’s a great place to find unique gifts and souvenirs.
12. Sample the local cuisine
Fukuoka is best known for its infamous ramen noodles, but there are plenty of other delicious dishes to try. From seafood specialties like mentaiko (seasoned cod roe) to traditional Japanese dishes like tonkatsu (fried pork cutlet), the city has something for every palate.
13. Visit Shofukuji Temple
Shofukuji Temple is the oldest Zen temple in Japan and one of Fukuoka’s most important historical sites. It’s best known for its beautiful Japanese garden and the famous “Rakan statues,” which were built in 1252.
14. Relax at Uminonakamichi Seaside Park
Uminonakamichi Seaside Park is a great place for families. With its beautiful beaches, gardens, and amusement parks, it’s the perfect spot to enjoy some quality time with loved ones.
15. Catch a Game at the Fukuoka Dome
Sports fans will definitely want to check out the Fukuoka Dome, home to professional baseball and soccer teams. It’s also the best place in town to see big-name concerts.
Thoughts and Conclusion
These are just some of the best things to do in Fukuoka Japan! From historic sites to vibrant nighttime spots, there’s plenty to explore in this captivating city. So make sure you add these attractions on your next trip.
You can also check out Best Things to Do in Yokohama and Things to do in Shibuya.