What to do in fukuoka?

HotbotBy HotBotUpdated: July 3, 2024

Fukuoka, the largest city on the island of Kyushu in Japan, is a vibrant blend of urban sophistication and historical charm. With its rich culture, stunning natural scenery, and delicious cuisine, Fukuoka offers countless activities and experiences for travelers. Here are some of the best things to do in Fukuoka.

Explore the Historic Temples and Shrines

Tochoji Temple

Founded in 806 by the revered Kobo Daishi, Tochoji Temple is renowned for its massive wooden statue of Buddha, known as the Great Buddha of Fukuoka. Standing at 10.8 meters, it is one of the largest seated wooden Buddha statues in Japan. The temple grounds also include a five-story pagoda and an underground passage known as the 'Hell Tour,' which aims to educate visitors on Buddhist beliefs about the afterlife.

Kushida Shrine

One of Fukuoka's oldest and most important Shinto shrines, Kushida Shrine is dedicated to the deities of Hakata. It is especially famous for its role in the annual Hakata Gion Yamakasa Festival, which features elaborately decorated floats. Visitors can also admire the giant wooden torii gate and the intricately carved wooden floats on display year-round.

Indulge in Local Cuisine

Hakata Ramen

Fukuoka is the birthplace of Hakata ramen, a rich and creamy pork bone broth noodle soup. Numerous ramen shops, known as yatai, are scattered throughout the city. Some of the most famous ones include Ichiran and Ippudo, where you can customize your bowl to your taste.


Motsunabe is a hot pot dish featuring beef or pork offal, simmered with vegetables in a savory broth. It’s a popular dish to share with friends or family, especially during the colder months. Try it at well-known restaurants like Hakata Motsunabe Yamanaka.

Visit Museums and Cultural Centers

Fukuoka Art Museum

Located in Ohori Park, the Fukuoka Art Museum houses a diverse collection of modern and contemporary art, including works by Salvador Dalí, Joan Miró, and local artists. The museum also features traditional Japanese art, such as calligraphy and ceramics.

Fukuoka City Museum

For those interested in the history and culture of Fukuoka, the Fukuoka City Museum is a must-visit. The museum's permanent exhibit offers insights into the city's past, showcasing artifacts from the ancient to the modern era. Highlights include the Gold Seal, an ancient Chinese artifact given to Japan in 57 AD.

Enjoy Outdoor Activities

Ohori Park

Ohori Park is a vast urban oasis featuring a large pond, walking paths, and beautiful gardens. It’s an ideal spot for a leisurely stroll, jogging, or paddle boating. The park also hosts various cultural events throughout the year, making it a lively spot for both locals and tourists.

Fukuoka Tower

Standing at 234 meters, Fukuoka Tower offers breathtaking panoramic views of the city and Hakata Bay. The observation deck, located 123 meters above ground, provides stunning vistas, especially at sunset or during nighttime when the city lights sparkle.

Shopping and Entertainment

Canal City Hakata

Canal City Hakata is a sprawling shopping and entertainment complex with over 250 shops, restaurants, a cinema, and even a canal running through it. The complex often hosts events and performances, adding to its vibrant atmosphere. Don’t miss the dynamic fountain shows held regularly.

Tenjin Underground Shopping Mall

For a unique shopping experience, head to the Tenjin Underground Shopping Mall. This extensive network of underground passages is lined with boutiques, cafes, and specialty stores. It’s a great place to escape the weather while indulging in some retail therapy.

Experience Local Festivals

Hakata Gion Yamakasa

Hakata Gion Yamakasa is one of Japan's most exhilarating festivals. Held every July, the festival features teams of men racing through the streets carrying massive, decorated floats. The event is steeped in tradition and offers a thrilling spectacle for spectators.

Hakata Dontaku

Another major festival, Hakata Dontaku, takes place in May and attracts millions of visitors. The festival includes parades, traditional dances, and performances, creating a lively and festive atmosphere throughout the city.

Relax at Onsens and Hot Springs

Futsukaichi Onsen

Located just outside Fukuoka in Chikushino, Futsukaichi Onsen is a historic hot spring resort with a history dating back over 1,300 years. The natural hot springs are said to have healing properties, making it a perfect spot for relaxation and rejuvenation.


While a bit further afield, the picturesque town of Yufuin, about two hours from Fukuoka, offers a tranquil escape with its numerous onsen resorts, scenic views of Mount Yufu, and charming streets lined with artisan shops and cafes.

Day Trips from Fukuoka


Dazaifu is a historic town just a short train ride from Fukuoka, known for its beautiful Tenmangu Shrine, dedicated to the god of learning. The town also features the Kyushu National Museum, which showcases the cultural heritage of the region. Wander through the enchanting Komyozenji Temple’s moss garden for a serene experience.

Nokonoshima Island

Nokonoshima Island is a delightful getaway located in Hakata Bay. The island is famous for its seasonal flower fields, including cherry blossoms in spring and cosmos in autumn. Enjoy a picnic in Nokonoshima Island Park or take a leisurely bike ride around the island.

Hidden Gems


Known as the "Venice of Kyushu," Yanagawa is a charming canal town where you can enjoy a serene boat ride through its historic waterways. The town is also famous for its delectable eel dishes, which can be savored at local restaurants.


Itoshima, a coastal area west of Fukuoka, is a hidden gem known for its stunning beaches, scenic drives, and artisanal food producers. Visit the iconic Sakurai Futamigaura, a pair of sacred rocks connected by a shimenawa rope, especially beautiful during sunset. Explore local cafes, organic farms, and craft breweries for a taste of the region's culinary delights.

Whether you're drawn by the allure of ancient temples, the excitement of local festivals, the serenity of natural landscapes, or the flavors of regional cuisine, Fukuoka promises a diverse and enriching experience. Each corner of the city holds a new discovery, inviting you to explore and immerse yourself in its unique charm.