Have fun in friendly Fukuoka.
Fukuoka is Kyushu‘s capital city and an important hub of exchange due to its proximity to the rest of Asia – it’s location on the island’s northern shore puts it closer to Seoul than Tokyo. It’s also the sixth largest city in Japan and growing. Just across from the Korean peninsula and the edge of China, Fukuoka was one of the first cities in Japan to be exposed to continental culture and has been welcoming visitors from across the Korea strait for more than 2000 years.
Fukuoka is actually two cities merged together; Hakata to the east and Fukuoka to the west, with the Nakagawa river in between. The city is still referred to as Hakata in many contexts; the famed local dish is Hakata ramen, made with a rich and creamy pork-bone broth, while every year the Hakata Dontaku port festival attracts more than two million people to watch the traditional parades and dancing throughout the city
Attractions are all within easy reach of one another, including the ruins of Fukuoka castle in the middle of the city, and Japan’s first zen temple Shofukuji, a short walk from Hakata main station.
Yatai or open-air food stands are a great place to soak up the city atmosphere and sample some delicious Kyushu fare right up until the early hours of the morning. There are more than 150 to try but the most popular area is Nakasu island, in the heart of Fukuoka, where stalls line the riverbank offering up typical dishes of grilled skewers and hot pot to be washed down with quite the challenging choice of alcohol.
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