20 Things To Do In Fukuoka

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Fukuoka is a city and port on the island of Kyushu, known for its beautiful beaches, temples and the ruins of 17th-century Fukuoka Castle. The Naka River runs through this city on Hakata Bay and with a population of around 1.6 million, it’s not as frenetic as Tokyo, Yokohama or Osaka yet Fukuoka is large enough to have a range of experiences to suit most travellers.

Are you looking for the best, most unique experiences in Fukuoka? From shrines to owls cafes to the best food spots in the city, here are 20 things to do in Fukuoka.

Fukuoka, Japan

Top Fukuoka Tour

  • Full-Day Tour – Visit 22 top attractions in Fukuoka by booking a full-day tour with a government-licensed guide.
  • Airport Transfer – Prebook your airport transfer from Fukuoka International Airport.
  • Night Tour – Go on a private night tour with a local to see the sights and taste local food.

20 Things To Do In Fukuoka

1- Visit Kushida Shrine

fukuoka Kushida Shrine at night
Seeing the Kushida Shrine at night is one of the things to do in Fukuoka for a great photo opportunity.

The Kushida shrine, or “Okushida-san” as often called by the locals, is one of the largest and more famous shrines in Hakata.

The shrine’s history dates back to 757 when it was built at the request of Emperor Konken in honour of the Amaterasu, Susanowo and Ohatanushi no Mikoto gods.

The shrine attracts visitors and devotees from all over the world, but it comes alive during the summer festival of Hakata Gion Yamakasa, a spectacular two-week festival in July.

Attending the festival is an excellent way to explore Japanese folk culture.

The shrine is easily reachable by subway in less than 10 minutes from the Nakatsu-Kawabata station. You can also visit Kushida Shrine and other attractions by booking this full-day tour with a government-licensed guide.

Kushida shrine is at 1-41 Kamikawabatamachi, Hakata Ward, Fukuoka, 812-0026, Japan.

2- Discover Pop Culture In Tenjin

things to do in fukuoka japan
Going shopping and eating is one of the fun things to do in Fukuoka. A popular shopping street extends from the west exit of Kanda Station on the Yamanote Line for over 300m and has over 100 shops.

Shopping, nightlife and pop culture are some things you’ll find in the Tenjin area of Fukuoka.

This district is known for its extensive choice of fashion boutiques, stores (including a vast underground shopping centre, the Tenjin Chikagai), high-end restaurants and general entertainment.

The heart of Tenjin is Oyafuko Street, a popular meeting place for young locals and the perfect spot to grab a coffee or a quick lunch.

If you’re a fan of jaw-dropping architecture, where design meets nature, you’ll love the Tenjin Central Park, a true green oasis in the city centre.

If you’re looking to experience a night like a local, check out the Daimyo area, where you’ll find plenty of little karaoke bars.

A local thing to do is book a private karaoke room for you and your friends and enjoy a fun evening. You can also explore Tenjin and other nightspots in Fukuoka on this private tour.

The Tenjin area can be found at Tenjin, Fukuoka-shi Chuo-ku , Fukuoka, 810-0001.

3- Enjoy A Tranquil Park

things to do in fukuoka in december Fukuoka city distance view with green trees in the foreground
Looking for things to do in Fukuoka city? You’ll find plenty here.

When visiting Fukuoka, check out the two main city parks: Ohori Park and Nishi Park.

Ohori Park’s signature landmark is a large pond that is almost a lake), featuring three small islands: Willow Island, Pine Island and Sweet Flag Island, all of which are connected by bridges to the park.

Walking through Ohori Park, taking in the natural landscape and the beauty of water is a calming experience.

Take a few hours during the afternoon to visit the park and take a break from the hectic environment of the city centre.

Just a 15-minute walk from Ohori Park, you’ll find Nishi Park.

If you love photographing city skylines, Nishi Park, with its excellent viewpoint over Fukuoka, is an ideal place to go.

Nishi Park is at 13 Nishikoen, Chuo Ward, Fukuoka, 810-0061. Ohori Park is at 1 Ohorikoen, Chuo Ward, Fukuoka, 810-0051.

4- Visit Nokonoshima Island Park

things to do in japan fukuoka sunset over Nokonoshima Island
Exploring Nokonoshima Island is one of the things to do in Fukuoka when you want to get out of the city.

In the heart of Hakata Bay, the stunning Nokonoshima Island Park is easily reachable by ferry from Fukuoka’s city centre.

You can explore the island in a day by walking around or renting a bike.

Nokonoshima offers a panoramic view of the city of Fukuoka and is also an attraction in itself because of the incredible seasonal blossoms that cover the island with vibrant colours all year round.

Depending on the season, you’ll be able to admire different flowers, from cherry blossoms and poppies in spring to cosmos and scarlet sage in fall and Japanese narcissus in winter.

Nokonoshima Island is at 〒819-0012 Fukuoka, Nishi Ward, Nokonoshima.

5- Ride The Yufin No Mori Express

things to do in fukuoka

For a charming and unique Fukuoka experience, book a ticket for a ride on the Yufin no Mori Express, the sightseeing train running from Hakata to Beppu.

Fans of vintage trains will be in heaven. Mori is the Japanese word for the forest.

With its wood-covered carriages and sage green painted walls, everything about this train’s interiors will remind you of the outdoors.

If you’re travelling with friends, book a carriage for yourselves, and if possible try choosing one at the front or rear of the train, for a better view.

You can catch Yufin no mori at Chuo-gai, Hakata-eki, Hakata-ku, Fukuoka-shi, Fukuoka.

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6- See The Cats At Ainoshima

things to do in tenjin fukuoka street cats
Another interesting thing to do in Fukuoka is to visit Ainoshima, a haven for street cats.

This small island is not only a natural paradise but is a cat heaven.

The number of feral cats living on the island is astonishingly high, with more than 200 cats roaming the park, attracting floods of cat lovers.

Cats on the island are friendly and accustomed to people, therefore easily approachable (always being mindful and respectful.)

Foodies should check out the Shima-no-Eki Ainoshima centre.

You’ll find a restaurant offering a local seaweed burger called Hijiki and the Hakata Ichibandori chicken curry on the second floor.

Ainoshima is at Ainoshima, Kitakyushu Shi Kokurakita Ku, FUKUOKA, 8020091

7- Visit Tochoji Temple

things to do in fukuoka Tochoji Temple
Tochoji Temple is one of the places to visit in Fukuoka.

Honouring the Kobo-Daishi monks, the Tochoji Buddhist temple is one of the prominent landmarks of Fukuoka, as well as one of the oldest ever temples dedicated to Tantric Buddhism in Japan.

The temple’s main attraction is the impressive Buddha black pine statue, almost one metre (3.2 ft) high and chiselled from a single wooden log.

The atmosphere around the temple is of tranquillity and serenity, perfect for spending a calming and spiritual couple of hours.

The smell of incense will clear your mind, while the gardens and the pagoda are perfect for photographers.

Tochoji Temple is at 2-4 Gokushomachi, Hakata Ward, Fukuoka, 812-0037, Japan.

8- Feel The Power Of Shiraito Falls

things to do in fukuoka prefecture Shiraito waterfall in autumn
Visiting Shiraito waterfall, especially in autumn, is one of the things to do in Fukuoka to enjoy the beauty of the region.

This 24m (78 ft) waterfall on the Itoshima Peninsula draws water from the Kawatsuki River.

Shiraito Falls is lovely to visit during the hottest months of the year when the body of water and the shade from the surrounding nature is stunning.

This is the perfect spot for a picnic, so a good idea would be to bring your own food or try fishing for river trout that you can grill on the premises.

Shiraito Falls are at 273-1 Kamiide, Fujinomiya, Shizuoka 418-0103, Japan.

9- Cycling Through Itoshima

fukuoka things to do Itoshima torii gate
Visiting the beaches of Itoshima is another of the relaxing things to do in Fukuoka.

Explore Itoshima by bike on a tour led by a local expert guide and see the prominent landmarks of the district, which is 30 minutes from the Fukuoka metropolitan area.

Itoshima is known for its beautiful natural landscapes, where rivers meet rice fields and eventually the ocean.

It has stunning white beaches decorated with classical Japanese arches painted white and red.

Itoshima is also home to a vibrant art scene, with arts and crafts studios and shops to visit.

Stop for a fresh seafood barbeque near the ocean but make sure you’re at Sakurai Futamigaura at sunset to watch the sun setting over the crimson sea.

Itoshima at 1-1-1 Maebaru-nishi, Itoshima-shi, Fukuoka-ken 819-1192.

10- Relax At Seaside Momochi Beach Park

things to do in fukuoka at night (2)
The SeaHawk hotel and baseball stadium in Momochi Seaside.

Seaside Momochi, Fukuoka’s promenade running along the Hakata Bay, is one of the city’s main attractions.

The area is lined with modern buildings and parks.

There are shopping options, dining spots and the white beach on Hakata Bay, where you can swim, sunbake or play volleyball on the white sand.

If you’re in the mood to learn some local history, check out the Fukuoka City Museum.

The Seaside Momochi Beach Park is at 2 Chome-902-1 Momochihama, Sawara Ward, Fukuoka, 814-0001, Japan.

11- Eat At A Yatai

things to do in fukuoka in november
Enjoying a Japanese meal is another of the things to do in Fukuoka.

To eat like a local in Fukuoka, look for a Yatai outdoor food stand which you will find spread across the city.

Local dishes to try are tonkatsu, yakitori or Hakata ramen.

Fukuoka’s Yatai are usually open from dinner time until 2 or 3 am, making them the perfect places to go for supper or a late-night snack.

The Yatai around Nakatsu Island are excellent, and there are Yatai at the Hakata Bay, in the northwestern part of Fukuoka.

12- Eat Tonkotsu Ramen

fukuoka japan things to do in june egg, pork and broth in a bowl
Tasting tonkotsu ramen is one of the things you must to in Fukuoka.

The most famous dish, the true icon of Fukuoka, is the tonkotsu ramen, a rich and creamy pork bone broth ramen.

You’ll find this dish everywhere, however, a historical place to try it is at Hakuryuken, a ramen shop founded during the 1950s.

Hakuryuken’s recipe includes a side of pork slices, spring onions and wood ear mushrooms.

If you’re looking for the best ramen spot near Hakata, try Genki Ippai Hakata.

Hakuryuken is at 2 Chome-5-23 Maidashi, Higashi Ward, Fukuoka, 812-0054, Japan. Genki Ippai Hakata is at Japan, 〒812-0034 Fukuoka, Hakata Ward, Shimogofukumachi, 4−31−1.

13- Visit The Fukuoka City Museum

The Fukuoka City Museum focuses on the history of Fukuoka, exploring every stage from the Chinese late Han dynasty period through to the Nakoku era.

The permanent exhibition also explores the city’s trade history with China and Korea through the centuries, from ancient times to contemporary Fukuoka history.

You’ll also learn more about the origin of the city’s most important festival, the Hakata Gion Yamakasa.

Fukuoka City Museum is at 3 Chome-1-1 Momochihama, Sawara Ward, Fukuoka.

14- Visit The Owl Café In Hakata

fukuoka owl cafe two owls
One of the unique things to do in Fukuoka is to visit an owl cafe.

Fukuro no Mise (Owl Cafe) in the heart of Hakata is an unusual place to have coffee.

The cafe has around 20 owls that are used to being around people.

Join the guides for a quick orientation on how to interact with the owls before enjoying an hour of cuddling and feeding them.

The Owl Cafe offers a unique interactive experience with the animals and you’ll get to enjoy a quick coffee too.

The Owl Café of Hakata is at 4-211 Kamikawabatamachi, Hakata, Fukuoka 812-0026 Fukuoka Prefecture.

15- Explore Nagahama Fish Market

The Nagahama fish market is open to visitors once a month, and the vendors entertain visitors with a tuna filleting demonstration.

Inside the fish market, you’ll be able to buy the best and freshest fish in the city or enjoy fish cooked for you in one of the many restaurants available.

Get there early in the morning as there’s usually a queue and, of course, all of the best fish gets bought or eaten first.

The Fukuoka’s Nagahama fish market is at Japan, 〒810-0072 Fukuoka, Chuo Ward, Nagahama, 3 Chome−11−3.

16- Relax In Manyo-no-Yu Hakata Onsen

Enjoy a peaceful day at the Manyo no Yu Onsen in Hakata.

The spring water comes from the Yufuin Metropolitan area and is one of the most pristine and high-quality hot springs.

The facility includes multiple Japanese-style spas and options to ensure a relaxing experience.

Traditional Japanese behavioural rules for the onsen are enforced, so be prepared to strip off.

This is a place to wind down and heal, with herbal teas, alkaline ionised water, yoga sessions and a wellness food menu.

Manyo-no-yu Hakata onsen are at 2 Chome-3-66 Yutaka, Hakata Ward, Fukuoka, 812-0042, Japan.

17- Party In Oyafuko-Dori

things to do in fukuoka at night
A night out on the town is a fun thing to do in Fukuoka.

Experience Fukuoka’s party scene in the Oyafuko-Dori district.

It’s the most popular nightlife spot for the under 30s crowd and Japanese youth flood this area of the city every weekend to dance, drink and have fun in its clubs and pubs.

Oyafuko-Dori is almost a red-light district and is not for the faint-hearted.

If you’re looking for excessive partying and a crazy hip-hop-style setting, this is the place for you.

The Oyafuko-Dori area starts at Oyafuko-street Chuo Ward, Fukuoka, Japan.

18- Learn To Cook Takoyaki

40 things to do in fukuoka takoyaki balls being cooked
Learning to cook takoyaki is one of the fun things to do in Fukuoka and a skill that will serve you well at dinner parties.

Take a cooking class led by local experts and learn how to make traditional Fukuoka takoyaki.

Takoyaki is typical Japanese street food, consisting of octopus fishballs.

Several cooking classes are available in the city, from group classes to private lessons.

Most classes will show you how to chop correctly, process the ingredients from scratch, make the batter and shape the takoyaki with a unique mould.

19- Explore Fukuoka Castle Ruins

things to do fukuoka castle
Exploring the ruins of Fukuoka Castle is one of the things to do in Fukuoka for history lovers.

Discover the ancient ruins of Fukuoka Castle and enjoy an afternoon in the Maizuru Park.

The park is lovely in the spring, the traditional Japanese cherry blossom viewing season.

Fukuoka Castle dates back to the Edo Period when the castle was the largest in the Kyushu region.

Today, you can admire the castle’s ruins as the original walls were destroyed during the Meiji Period.

Fukuoka Castle ruins can be found at 1 Jonai, Chuo Ward, Fukuoka, 810-0043, Japan.

20- Watch A Show At Hakataza Theater

things to do in fukuoka with kids
Watching a Japanese theatre performance is one of the things to do in Fukuoka.

Hakataza Theater puts on regular Japanese theatrical shows, symphony operas, musicals and even traditional Kabuki shows at affordable prices.

The latter is a traditional Japanese dance theatre with a distinctive exaggerated acting style, elaborate costumes and gaudy make-up.

Another type of local theatre to enjoy is a Bunraku (Japanese puppet) show put on for an adult audience.

Hakataza Theater is at 2-1 Shimokawabatamachi, Hakata Ward, Fukuoka, 812-0027, Japan.