19 Responses

  1. Henry LAX
    Henry LAX at |

    For starters, both of the those food pictures clearly illustrated what’s you’ve missed out —

    Fukuoka, specifically Hakata, is THE home of ramen.

  2. David Huberman
    David Huberman at |

    We had an industry conference there and one of the attendees nailed it when he described Fukuoka as the Baltimore of Japan.

    1. James K.
      James K. at |

      Baltimore is a nice city for a day or two though. Seems like Fukuoaka could have been as well

  3. David Huberman
    David Huberman at |

    We had an industry conference there and one of the attendees nailed it when he described Fukuoka as the Baltimore of Japan.

  4. Alvin
    Alvin at |

    Welcome to Japan.
    Its a very automated, self-service country, and for most foreign tourists, its not obvious what to see minus Tokyo and Kyoto (where the beaten path exists). Add in a reserved culture and language barrier, and its hard to find local sights.
    In many parts, cities aren’t the attraction, or at least major ones (looking at you, Nagoya). Fukuoka is close to Nagasaki, known for its Portuguese influences as an early trading port. Hakata Ramen, from just east of Fukuoka, is one of the most popular types. The city of Shimonoseki, east of that, is known for blowfish. Japan is easy to get around on a short layover, but harder to feel fully immersed.

    Also, Jetstar Japan and Spring Airlines Japan are some new players in Japan’s LCC field. Theres also Starflyer, a budget premier airline linked with ANA.

  5. Jon
    Jon at |

    You go to get the FUK luggage tag ! I have seen them for sale at airline memorabilia shows for $5.00 !

  6. Tim Murphy
    Tim Murphy at |

    I stayed a night there when I was studying in Japan. The nightlife was pretty good, tho nothing like Tokyo. There’s an interesting old town to check out—Hakata. But I sandwiched my visit between Nagasaki (very sobering) and Karatsu (relaxing on the beach).

  7. Charles M. Kunz
    Charles M. Kunz at |

    I had a day there last year. I enjoyed some temples I found downtown, lunch in the underground mall and then nearby Nokonoshima Island which is an enjoyable ferry ride away

  8. Raymond Kwan
    Raymond Kwan at |

    No one I know sees Fukuoka as a tourist destination. So much to see in Kyushu, it’s always just a gateway. Having said that, the foodstall (yatai) scene in the evening along the river is great.

  9. Bruce Schobel
    Bruce Schobel at |

    Oh, FUK.

    1. Tim Murphy
      Tim Murphy at |

      I told Seth that he should fly FUK—>SIN ????

  10. CYP
    CYP at |

    You missed out on the Yatai’s: https://blog.gaijinpot.com/yatai-fukuoka-street-food/

    It’s especially unique to Fukuoka – it’s one of the top ten street food cities in Asia and has the best street food in Japan. Definitely not a touristy thing – my wife did all the ordering (she’s Japanese), something more locals. do.

    1. Ron Mexico
      Ron Mexico at |

      Rent a bike. Ride around.

  11. Raymond Kwan
    Raymond Kwan at |

    Just want to add that it’s standard in Japan now to have letters for Subway lines, followed by a number for each station. Very useful and consistent.

  12. Alastair Majury
    Alastair Majury at |

    Thanks for sharing and the tips about the subway, regards Alastair Majury

  13. Andy
    Andy at |

    Fukuoka Ramen is actually a lunch time thing. You definitely blew it but it’s not your fault. There is a lot of bad advice floating around about Fukuoka. For instance Ramen Stadium categorically sucks and eating there would be the equivalent of visiting the seaside of Maryland or Maine and eating your meals at Sizzler and Red Lobster. Anyone who recommends that you to you is an idiot about ramen (most Japanese and virtually all foreigners) and should not be trusted to give you any advice. Ippudo Ramen is also not worth a visit unless you like safe Ramen without too much flavor or MSG. Ichiran is fun for tourists and their tonkotsu ramen is actually not bad at all but it’s really high quality fast food for busy people and late night gamers.

    Fukuoka is about deep Tonkotsu Ramen (literally pork bone, not to be confused with Tonkatsu which is probably an import word originating from “cutlet”). You can tell a good Tonkotsu restaurant is nearby at lunchtime because the smell of boiling bones will extend many blocks away, you simply follow the smell and look for a line of people waiting outside. If you are right by the train station Hakata Issou is maybe the closest decent deep tonkotsu house. But be prepared for a line at lunch. I’m partial to Hakata Daruma in Chūō-ku for the great soup flavor and cleaner taste. Some people like a fattier soup. Every deep tonkotsu aficionado in Fukuoka has their favorites. You can get this ramen style elsewhere in Japan but it just doesn’t compare. The Yatai foodstalls in Fukuoka are mostly famous because street food has disappeared from Japan and these are the only relics. If you are a foreigner who doesn’t speak Japanese, prepare to be heftily overcharged by these establishments for food that is non-memorable.

    Fukuoka is also a place to get live squid sashimi. The squid is actually fully dispatched after they pull one from the aquarium for you. It just retains the ability to twitch when you apply lemon juice or soy sauce. The chef will fry the rest for you after you eat the sashimi if you like. Many restaurants can do the same with fish. High end sushi is extremely good in Fukuoka. Much better than any restaurants you are likely to get into in Tokyo. Kawahagi is a summer specialty fish and is eaten with it’s liver as a topping or sauce. It’s a prized delicacy. Amazingly good. You should also try Mentaiko (spicy fish roe) at any local Isakaya bar or restaurant. You can have it grilled but foreigners will like it better in an omelette.

    The real magic of Fukuoka besides ramen is Motsunabe, a stew of finely prepared beef intestine. It’s intoxicating and maybe the best B-food dish in Japan along with good quality Oden. Fukuoka plays with the reputation of eating offal as a private underground affair and a few of the most fun Motsunabe restaurants are sort of secret places with no sign where you have to walk up a random staircase or empty alley to find the restaurant. But it’s also easily found in high end establishments or the train station. Even if you are not an offal fan, it’s truly delicious and you may change your mind. Offal is prized in many parts of Japan, and of extremely high quality, so it’s a great country to try it.