Beginners’ guide to onsen bathing (and check our recommended spots in Kyushu)
What’s so great about Fukuoka?
Well, it’s known nationwide as one of Japan’s nicest cities. The Japanese say it’s sumi yasui (easy living). That’s what makes Fukuoka a great place to visit too.
If you have lived or travelled in Osaka or Tokyo you will understand. Those huge megacities for sure have everything you need but what a horror to live in and to travel around.
Fukuoka on the other hand is just the right size.
Fukuoka is big enough to have everything you need …
Japan hub train station
A crazy lively city center with a thriving, throbbing heart
… but not too big. I mean, not huge and overwhelming, not a monster city. It won’t eat you up or drive you crazy …
The centre of Fukuoka has everything all in one place. It has one centre, one heart, big enough to give you everything you need but small enough to walk around.
You can reach just about anywhere in the city centre on foot or by a short hop by bus, subway or taxi. Nothing is too far and the mountains and the ocean are just a spit away.
Fukuoka: International and Cosmopolitan
The island of Kyushu has welcomed foreign visitors for centuries. When Japan was completely cut off from the outside world the one small gateway was into Kyushu.
What does this mean for you?
It means you won’t be stared at, people won’t avoid you and many people will be happy to chat. Heads won’t turn as you pass by.
You won’t be a freak-show.
Fukuoka after dark
The nightlife in Fukuoka is not to be missed. For the drinker, the stroller or the eater you will find everything you need and much much more.
It’s crazy, lively, fun and safe.
From the most extravagant well-lit and lively bars to the small and intimate Japanese nook. Whatever your drinking habit you will find the best of it here.
The locals usually head to Nakasu (see photo top of this page). It’s famous for being one of the largest red-light districts outside of Tokyo. Despite this it’s a wonderful place to simply stroll around. Take in the lively neon-lit atmosphere and get the feel for a real Japanese nightlife area. Stop in one of the many bars for a glass of sake (Japanese wine) or shochu (Japanese whiskey). Kyushu is well known for its breweries and distilleries and you will always find the local production riding high in the international awards.
Hint (from my drinking days): Iichiko (いいちこ) is a good, reasonable-priced shochu found in most bars.
After you’ve had a drink stroll to the riverside area and enjoy the many yatai food stalls and local restaurants.
Fukuoka has long held the reputation as one of Japan’s coolest cities
Jack Heslehurst (Japan specialist writer)
The younger crowd will head straight to the excellently-named Oyafuko-Dori (‘the street for children out of parental control’). It’s lined with some of the hippest and wildest clubs around. You’ll find Hip-Hop, Jazz, Trance, Techno and a ton of expat bars. It’s been wild as hell since I first lived in Fukuoka 20 years ago and hasn’t tamed since. Just don’t take your dad.
Once again, the really great thing about Fukuoka is that it’s just the right size. Start your evening in the heart of the city and you won’t need anything but your legs to get around. Forget the queue for the train or the bus or hunting down a taxi.
That’s the really great thing about nightlife in Fukuoka. You can go out for the evening without anything specific in mind. Just walk along the riverside entertainment quarter and see where the evening leads you.