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Photo By: PIXTA/ふくおかクロニクル
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Rakusuien Tea House

Take a break from the hustle and bustle of central Hakata in this quiet Japanese garden.

By Elizabeth Sok

If you take a backstreet leading out from one of the smaller exits of the massive Sumiyoshi Shrine complex, you’ll find your way to the entrance of Rakusuien. Although the city of Fukuoka opened Rakusuien to the public in 1996 as a Japanese garden complete with a tea house, its history stretches back almost a century earlier and was once the home of a wealthy merchant family.

As you walk through the entrance, you’ll notice the unique construction of the walls leading the way toward the garden. Called Hakata-bei, these were constructed using materials recycled from the destruction of war in centuries past.

The Garden


Photo by: PIXTA/SHOCHAN Can you spot the suikinkutsu?

Entering the garden, you’ll come into a space that appears small but is packed with many little features that make this a worthwhile detour. Several types of trees call this garden home, including Japanese maples and cherry trees which explode in pinks and whites in late March and early April.

As you walk through the garden, you may notice the gentle chime of a bell ringing not too far away. Blending into the ecosystem here is a suikinkutsu, a musical ornament typically found in Japanese gardens that harnesses droplets of water to create a pleasant bell sound. Make your way around the pond, and stop to enjoy the small yet powerful waterfall before taking a seat at one of the benches that surround the water. There, take a moment to appreciate the serenity of this place, a mere short walk away from the largest station in all of Kyushu.

While buying your ticket, pay the extra little bit of cash for a bag of fish food. You won’t be disappointed and may even find yourself coming back to the entrance to buy some more! As you cross the wooden bridge that separates the two ponds, throw some food to the koi gathering below. Walking around the larger pond, you’ll come across a few points from which you can feed them again. The pond’s inhabitants won’t be far behind. For kids, adults and fish alike, this experience is a treat for all involved.

The Tea House

Photo by: PIXTA/ m.Taira End your stay with a cup of green tea and traditional Japanese sweets.

Need a break, but still want to enjoy the beauty of the garden? Head inside the tea house and order a snack of green tea and traditional Japanese sweets. Choose a seat overlooking the garden to take in yet another fantastic view of this easily overlooked oasis.

Things To Know


Hours: Open from Wednesdays to Mondays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Closed on Tuesdays, and Wednesdays when Tuesday is a holiday, as well as from December 29 to January 1.  

Admission fee: High school students and adults (¥100); elementary school and junior high school students (¥50); children younger than elementary school age and seniors are free. 

How To Get There


By train

Take the Airport Line or Nanakuma Line to Hakata station. Go out the Hakata Exit side and grab a bus or take a walk to the garden.

By bus

Take the 6, 6-1, or Local  ¥100 bus and get off at the TVQ bus stop. The garden is about two minutes away on foot.

By foot

From Hakata station’s Hakata Exit, walk for about twelve minutes on Sumiyoshi-dori. Turn right on Kokutetsu Street and keep an eye out for the garden on your left side. 

Where To Stay

APA Hotel Hakata Ekimae 3-chome
  • 3-11-6 Hakataeki Mae, Fukuoka-shi Hakata-ku, Fukuoka, 812-0011 Japan
  • ¥7,700 - ¥77,400
  • 3.94/5 (88 reviews)
  • 0.0 km
Hotel Unizo Hakataeki Hakataguchi
  • 3-6-7 Hakataeki Mae, Fukuoka-shi Hakata-ku, Fukuoka, 812-0011 Japan
  • ¥9,405 - ¥31,730
  • 4.21/5 (514 reviews)
  • 0.1 km
Hotel Hokke Club Fukuoka
  • 3-1-90 Sumiyoshi, Fukuoka-shi Hakata-ku, Fukuoka, 812-0018 Japan
  • ¥8,075 - ¥25,900
  • 4.25/5 (6,146 reviews)
  • 0.2 km
Sutton Hotel Hakata City
  • 3-4-8 Hakataeki Mae, Fukuoka-shi Hakata-ku, Fukuoka, 812-0011 Japan
  • ¥7,700 - ¥45,600
  • 3.71/5 (1,435 reviews)
  • 0.2 km
Hotel Wing International Select Hakata Ekimae
  • 3-22-19 Hakataeki Mae, Fukuoka-shi Hakata-ku, Fukuoka, 812-0011 Japan
  • ¥8,407 - ¥56,046
  • 3.97/5 (795 reviews)
  • 0.2 km

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