Fukuoka, the largest city on the southern Japanese
island of Kyushu, was the home of the samurai and today is
the terminus of the famous Shinkansen Line bullet train from
Tokyo, 730 miles (1,168km) away. Originally the town of Hakata
was the centre of the area, acting as a gateway to Japan from
the rest of Asia, which lies just across a short strait.
feudal town of Fukuoka, however, grew rapidly just across
the Nakagawa River, clustered around a castle. In the late
century the cities united under the combined name of Fukuoka.
The modern city is busy and bustling, with an international
flavour and plenty of innovative architectural development.
Tenjin underground shopping arcade brings the wares of the
world to Fukuoka, while a sandbank in the bay has been turned
into the largest entertainment district in western Japan with
more than 2,000 eating and drinking establishments congregated
under the neon lights. The Naka River promenade and riverfront
park make for pleasant strolls, while top class theatres, theme
parks and art establishments abound. There are some sightseeing
attractions in the city itself, and the surrounding area in
Kyushu Island has plenty to offer within easy reach of the
- Population: 1,300,000
on the northern coast of Kyushu
- energetic, lively and cosmopolitan
- largest city in Kyushu and expanding fast
international links to Korea and China
- food specialities:
Hakata ramen, nagahara ramen, mentaiko (spicy cod roe).
of Japan's most pleasant places to live
- major new developments
at Canal City and Hawks Town.
- home of the Hakata Gion