Vegetarian's Japan Guide

The Ultimate Fukuoka City Guide

Fukuoka, the capital of Fukuoka Prefecture, is one of the best cities in Japan to experience unique Japanese culture and enjoy a wide range of recreational activities. The city also has abundant historical attractions and destinations with breathtaking scenery for you to discover!

To assist you with planning, we have come up with the below list of attractions in Fukuoka that we think are worth your time. They are listed according to their distance from JR Hakata Station.

☛ If you fly into Fukuoka, Airport Transfer Services to the top destinations in Kyushu are available for you to utilize.
☛ Bring your passport with you. Before you purchase an admission ticket, check with the staff to see if there are any discounts for international visitors.
☛ Purchase the Fukuoka City Subway 1-Day Pass to explore the city center!

Explore Fukuoka City With a Guided Tour

If you prefer a guide to introduce you to the charms of Fukuoka, how about joining one of the below tours?

Activities to Enjoy in Fukuoka City

The Cherry Blossom and Fall Foliage Season in Fukuoka City

  • The cherry blossoms season varies for each attraction, but the majority of the cherry trees bloom between mid-March to the beginning of April
  • Again, the fall foliage season in Fukuoka City varies depending on where you go. Generally speaking, the autumn color can be seen from mid-November to early December

Attractions around Hakata Station

Ⓒ 福岡市

Hakata Station, Fukuoka City’s main transport hub, is surrounded by many fascinating attractions. You can easily create a one-day itinerary by strolling around the spots that interest you.

So if you don’t have much time to explore the entire city or don’t want to spend time traveling, check out our Hakata Travel Guide for ideas of where to go and dine!

Kego Shrine (警固神社)

Looking for a place to take a break from the shopping and eating in the Tenjin area? Head to Kego Shrine, where you will find a free foot spa for your tired feet, a sacred water fountain to rehydrate, and a pair of smiley foxes to cheer you up!

For more information, refer to our Kego Shrine article!


Tenjin Central Park (天神中央公園)

Just a 5-minute walk from Fukuoka City Subway’s Tenjin Station (天神駅), Tenjin Central Park is a popular spot to admire cherry blossoms in early spring. Along the Naka River (那珂川), a cherry blossom tunnel is formed by 50 cherry trees. Taking a leisurely stroll at the riverbank is one of the most relaxing things to do when the pink flowers announce the arrival of spring!

At other times of the year, you can head to ACROS Fukuoka for its sky garden and enjoy some soy-based drinks and desserts at Soymilk Cafe TOFFEE Park!

For more information, please refer to our Tenjin Central Park article.

Fukuoka Red Brick Culture Museum (福岡市紅磚文化館)

Those who like architecture will want to stop by the Fukuoka Red Brick Culture Museum. The building that was completed in 1909 was designed by the Meiji period’s representative architect Tatsuno Kingo (辰野金吾), and his colleague, Yasushi Kataoka (片岡安).

The building that was once the Kyūshū branch of Nippon Life Insurance Company (日本生命保険株式会社) looks similar to Tokyo Station. And this isn’t by coincidence because Tatsuno Kingo also designed Tokyo Station. In fact, the two buildings were constructed around the same time!

After the insurance company was relocated in 1966, the building was used as a historical museum until 1990. In 1994, the interior was restored to reflect its original construction and was opened as Fukuoka Red Brick Culture Museum.

The word “museum” is misleading as you won’t find many exhibits in the building. Instead, it is a place for collaboration and study groups.

That said, it is a nice quiet place to appreciate Fukuoka’s history through architecture.

You can refer to HERE for a virtual tour of the building.

Fukuoka Red Brick Culture Museum’s Opening Hours and Access Information

  • Fukuoka Red Brick Culture Museum is open from 9 am to 10 pm daily except Mondays and from the 29th of December to the 3rd of January.
    • If Monday is a public holiday, it will close the next business day.
  • From Fukuoka City Subway’s Tenjin Station (天神駅), it is around a 5-minute walk.

Ōhori Park (大濠公園)

The Ōhori Park was modeled on China’s beautiful Xi Lake (西湖). It is just amazing to have a park that is almost 400,000 square meters in size within the downtown part of the city!

The best way to enjoy the park is to stroll around the garden’s massive lake, hop onto a little boat, or even a hydro cycle. The Japanese garden is also a highlight of Ōhori Park.

For more information, please refer to our article on Ōhori Park!

Ⓒ 大濠公園

Maizuru Park (舞鶴公園)

Ⓒ 福岡市

At the west of Ōhori Park, Maizuru Park is one of the Top 100 Cherry Blossom Spots in Japan. At the same time, the Fukuoka Castle Ruins were also chosen as one of the Top 100 Japanese Castle in 2006.

So the message is clear. The two parks next to each other go hand in hand. They each have their characteristics and are worth visiting if you have time to spare.

For more information on the attractions in Maizuru Park and the flower calendar, please refer to our Maizuru Park article.

Nishi Park (西公園)

North of Ōhori Park, Nishi Park is another of Japan’s Top 100 Cherry Blossom Spots.

In the Edo period (1603 – 1867), it was where Fukuoka Domain’s Tōshōgū Shrine (東照宮) was located. The shrine was completed in 1652 as a gesture of loyalty to the Tokugawa shogunate.

The shrine was desecrated when the era moved into the Meiji period. But it was later renovated into a park in 1881, with hundreds of cherry trees planted in 1885.

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Ⓒ 西公園

Across the park, four observation decks overlook Fukuoka Bay and the cityscape surrounding the park. The observatories are also great places in Nishi Park to adore the 1,300 cherry blossom trees from late March to early April. Like Maizuru Park, the trees are illuminated during the cherry blossom season.

Mid-April to early May is the azalea season in Nishi Park. From late November to early December, it is another destination in Fukuoka for fall foliage hunting.

How to Get to Nishi Park

From Fukuoka City Subway’s Ōhori-Kōen Station (大濠公園駅), it is only around a 10-minute walk.

Momiji Hachimangū Shrine (紅葉八幡宮)

So, where to head for the fall foliage in Fukuoka City?

The autumn foliage in the precinct of Momiji Hachimangū Shrine (紅葉八幡宮) in the city center makes its name worthy. From late November to early December each year, the maple (or Momiji) trees from the torii gate to the worship hall color the precinct vividly, attracting thousands of pilgrims to visit the shrine!

For more information, please refer to our Momiji Hachimangū Shrine article!

Hakata Traditional Craft and Design Museum (はかた伝統工芸館)

In addition to Hakata Machiya Furusato-kan, you can also increase your understanding of Japanese culture through handicrafts by seeing Fukuoka’s craftworks at Hakata Traditional Craft and Design Museum.

The museum was originally also located next to Kushida Shrine. But in 2019, evidence emerged that a trading port from the Heian period (794 – 1185) might have been located close to the museum. So the museum was temporarily relocated to the second floor of the Hakata City Museum in April 2021.

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Ⓒ 福岡市

Inside the museum, you can take a closer look at intricately made craftworks such as the Hakata-ori (high-quality silk fabric made in Hataka), Hakata dolls, and a type of glassware called Multiple Layered Glass (a glass artwork made by various pieces of glass of different colors and properties). Special exhibitions on a variety of themes are also held in the museum.

On Sunday afternoons, you can participate in craft workshops, including weaving and doll-making, to make your own handicrafts.

If you are interested in joining one of the Sunday workshops, email [email protected] for more information and reserve your spot. Note a fee is payable to join the workshop.

Hakata Traditional Craft and Design Museum’s Opening Hours and Access Information

  • The museum is open from 9:30 am to 5:30 pm daily except Mondays and from the 28th of December to the 4th of January.
    • The last admission is at 5 pm.
  • Except for workshops, there is no fee charged in the museum.
  • From Hakata Station (博多駅), take the Fukuoka City Subway and get off at Nishijin Station (西新駅). The museum is then a 15-minute walk.
  • You can also take a bus from Hakata Station and Tenjin. For more details, please refer to the access information official website HERE (down at the bottom of the page).

Fukuoka Tower (福岡タワー)

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With a height of 234 meters, Fukukawa Tower is Japan’s tallest tower on the beach shore. From the tower’s observation deck, you can get a panoramic view of Fukuoka City and Fukuoka Bay. In fact, the impressive night view from the tower’s observation deck was chosen to be one of the Top 100 Night Views in Japan!

For more information, please refer to our article on Fukuoka Tower!

Momochi Seaside Park (シーサイドももち海浜公園)

Did you know that there is a beach on the outskirts of Fukuoka’s city center?

Momochi Seaside Park, in front of the trendy-looking Fukuoka Tower, is a park by the sea with white sand covering a large part of its ground. In the hot summer, you are welcome to dive into the cool water to chill down!

For more information about the park, please refer to our article on Momochi Seaside Park.

Ⓒ 福岡市海浜公園

Washio Atago Shrine (鷲尾愛宕神社)

Ⓒ 福岡市

The Washio Atago Shrine in Fukuoka is one of Japan’s Three Great Atago Shrines. Located on the top of a 68-meter-high hill, the shrine is famous for its scenery of sunrise, cherry blossom, and night view. Although there is a range of things that you can pray for at Atago Shrine, the most uncommon thing pilgrims pray for is to quit smoking and drinking!

For more information, please refer to our Washio Atago Shrine article.

Nokonoshima Island (能古島)

While Fukuoka is a city that is relatively laid back compared to other big cities in Japan, if you are looking to add a natural spot to take a rest from eating and shopping in the city center, consider Nokonoshima (能古島). This island boasts a seemingly endless field of flowers throughout the year and a gorgeous beach! The small island receives around 200,000 tourists yearly!

For more information, please refer to our article on Nokonoshima Island.

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Hakozakigū Flower Garden (筥崎宮花庭園)

If you are seeking a hidden flower and fall foliage spot around Fukuoka’s city center, Hakozakigū Flower Garden might be the one you are looking for.

The Japanese strolling garden of Hakozakigū Shrine was built in 1987 to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the large tea event held by Toyotomi Hideyoshi in 1587 and the completion of the Hakozakimiya-Mae Station (箱崎宮前駅).

This garden is most famous for its 20 different kinds of peonies. The 600 peonies usually bloom in January, February, and April. But other flowers also color the garden throughout the year!

  • Peony: January, February, and April
  • Plum blossom: February
  • Shidare-zakura cherry blossom: early April
  • Hydrangea: June
  • Lily: June
  • Licorice: September
  • Fall foliage: Late November to early December

In addition to the Japanese-style strolling garden, a hydrangea garden is open for you to visit in June. The garden has around 3,500 hydrangea plants of 100 different varieties.

For information about Hakozakigū Shrine, please refer to the official pamphlet HERE.

Tip: While the French restaurant La Saison doesn’t have a vegetarian menu, it has a cafe where you can enjoy a cup of tea and some traditional desserts. It is open from 11 am to 4 pm daily except Wednesdays.

Hakozakigū Flower Garden’s Opening Hours, Admission Fee, and Access Information

  • Hakozakigū Shrine is open from 6 am to 7 pm.
    • The shrine office is open from 8:30 am and 5 pm.
  • The flower garden is open from 9:30 am to 5 pm daily except Wednesdays from January to the 10th of December.
    • In winter, the garden closes at 4:30 pm.
    • The garden is open daily in January, February, April, and June.
  • The hydrangea garden is open from 9:30 am to 5 pm in June.
  • The admission fee varies from 100 yen to 500 yen.
  • From Fukuoka City Subway’s Hakozakimiya-Mae Station (箱崎宮前駅) and bus stop – Hakozaki (箱崎), the garden is around a 5-minute walk.

Uminonakamichi Seaside Park (海の中道海浜公園)

Located away from Fukuoka’s city center, the Uminonakamichi Seaside Park is another destination in the city, with flowers blooming all year round. The 350-hectare park is also home to around 500 cute animals for visitors to see up close!

In summer, many locals visit the park to escape the heat to the largest outdoor leisure pool in western Japan. And when the Christmas lights are set up in December, the park is one of the most romantic places in Fukuoka!

For more information, please refer to our Uminonakamichi Seaside Park article.

Ⓒ 海の中道海浜公園

Shika Island (志賀島)

Ⓒ 福岡市

The road stretching further from Uminonakamichi Seaside Park leads to a small island where the locals enjoy nature and beach activities. The island is also where Japan’s first national treasure was found.

For more information about this island which is filled with historical and natural elements, please refer to our Shika Island article!

Shōfūen Garden (松風園)

Close to the Tenjin shopping district, Shōfūen is a nice little place to stop by for a change. The garden was restored from the garden of a private residence and opened to the public in 2007.

The private residence belonged to Tanakamaru (田中丸善八翁), who owned Kyūshū’s biggest department store in the 20th century (now closed). The tea room Shōfū-an (松風庵) is preserved in its original condition.

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Walking along the stone approach stretching from the garden’s gate is like walking into a house buried in a mountain. The Japanese garden at the end of the approach was designed to resemble Suruga Bay (駿河湾) and Mt. Fuji. If it isn’t clear to you which is what, the big mountain-like rock is Mt. Fuji, and the lake is Suruga Bay.

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The tea room Shōfū-an was constructed by Kyoto’s famous carpenters. The materials used were from Kyoto as well. So if you don’t have time to visit Kyoto during your trip, at least you can see Kyoto elements in the garden.

When you get to the main residence, if you are thirsty, how about ordering a bowl of matcha green tea and enjoying the view of the charming garden?

The fall foliage season at Shōfūen starts in mid-November and peaks in late November.

Tip: If you can’t climb the stairs, there is an escalator beyond the gate.

Shōfūen’s Opening Hours, Admission Fee, and Access Information

  • Shōfūen is open from 9 am to 5 pm daily except for Tuesdays and from the 29th of December to the 1st of January.
    • If Tuesday is a public holiday, it will close on the next business day.
  • The admission fee is
    • 100 yen for adults
    • 50 yen for junior high school students and younger
  • From Tenjin Station (天神駅) or JR Hakata Station (博多駅), take the Nishitetsu bus route no. 56 or no. 58 and get off at Kyōkai-mae (教会前) or Kyūden Taiikukan-mae (九電体育館前). From the bus stop, it is around a 5-minute walk.
  • If you don’t want to take a bus, it is a 15-minute walk from Fukuoka City Subway’s Yakuin-ōdori Station (薬院大通駅), or it is a 25-minute walk from Nishitetsu’s Yakuin Station (六本松駅) or Hirao Station (西鉄平尾駅).

Yūsentei Park (友泉亭公園)

Ⓒ 福岡市

Another place to visit for a tranquil Japanese garden is Yūseitei Park. The park was renovated as the villa of the 6th Lord of Fukuoka in 1754. In 1981, the garden was opened to the public as the first strolling water garden in Fukuoka City and is now a popular spot for people to admire the beauty of Japanese gardens.

On the ground of the one-hectare park, various typical Japanese garden features can be seen, including two tea houses, a waterfall, and the main residence.

One of the best spots to admire the large pond in the park is from the corridor of the main residence. You can even order a bowl of matcha green tea with a traditional sweet here and get a feel for what it was like to be the lord of a domain!

The best time to visit Yūseitei Park is definitely between mid-November and mid-December for fall foliage hunting. The scenery in the park is so stunning that it ranks fourth out of all of Fukuoka City’s autumn foliage spots!

From late winter to early spring, the camellias in the park are another feature that attracts tourists.

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Tip: If you plan to visit Yūseitei Park during fall foliage season, arrive before noon to avoid crowds.

Yūsentei Park’s Opening Hours, Admission Fee, and Access Information

  • Yūseitei Park is open from 9 am to 5 pm daily except for Mondays and from the 29th of December to the 1st of January.
    • If Monday is a public holiday, it will close the next business day.
  • The admission fee is
    • 200 yen for adults
    • 100 yen for junior high school students and younger
  • From Tenjin Station (天神駅) or JR Hakata Station (博多駅), take the Nishitetsu bus route no. 12 and get off at Yūseitei (友泉亭). From the bus stop, it is around a 5-minute walk.
  • You can also take routes 13, 16, 54, 96, or 113 and get off at Yūsen Chūgakkō (友泉中学校). The park is then a 10-minute walk away.
  • If you don’t want to take a bus, it is a 25-minute walk from Fukuoka City Subway’s Ropponmatsu Station (六本松駅).

Tip: You can get 20% off the admission fee with a valid One-Day Fukuka Subway Pass (地下鉄一日乗車券).

Iimori Shrine (飯盛神社)

If you are passionate about hiking and historical and cultural spots, you might want to have the Iimori Shrine, south of Hakata, on your itinerary.

In the good old days, the shrine’s precinct covered the entire Mt. Iimori, where each of the three sub-shrines was scattered (Jougū (上宮), Chūgū (中宮), and Gegū (下宮).

The shrine was erected in 859. In the Kamakura period (1192 – 1333), Iimori Shrine was the head shrine of as many as 73 shrines. But after the civil wars in the 14th century, most of the Iimori Shrine was desecrated. The Chūgū was restored in 2002, whereas the Gegū at the bottom of Mt. Iimori was reconstructed in 1650.

In Gegū’s Precinct

The main god here, Izanami no Mikoto (伊弉冉尊), looks after people’s relationships. Next to Gegū’s worship hall, there is a moraine sweetgum tree. As the leaves of the tree are hard to tear, pilgrims treat the tree leaves of the more than 350 years old tree as charms.

Previously, a Buddhist temple was in the south of Gegū’s worship hall. Currently, only the Monju-dō (文殊堂) that enshrines Manjushri (文殊菩薩) remains standing. Because Manjushri is known as the wisest Bodhisattva, the shrine is a popular place for students to pray for academic success. The stream flowing from the side of Monju-dō is known as the Water of Wisdom (Chie no Mizu, 知恵の水). It is the water that the pilgrims bring home, hoping they will become smarter after drinking it.

At the back of the main worship hall, there is a unique torii gate that is white and red in color. It marks the ground of the sacred tree called Meoto-sugi cedar (夫婦杉). Apparently, the seemingly two separate cedar trees share the same root, resembling the idea of marriage. So locals call it couple cedar (Meoto-sugi) and pray to it for a happy marriage.

Next to the cedar trees, there is a simple hut with a demon statue inside. Throwing balls at it is a simple ritual that you can perform to chase away bad luck!

On the 9th of October each year, a horseback archery event is held in the precinct. The event is part of a ritual to show appreciation for a good year of harvest.

The Chūgū Shrine and Jougū Shrine

Speaking of hiking, the Chūgū Shrine is around a 15-minute hike from the Gegū Shrine. While you can also drive up, the parking spaces there are limited.

There are three mountain trails from the car park which lead to the summit of Mt. Iimori at an altitude of 382.4 meters. Although the scenery along the trails is awesome, come prepared. The 20 to 30-minute hike isn’t for everyone. Depending on which route you choose, you might need to do some rock climbing!

Please refer to HERE for Mt. Iimori’s English map.

For more information about the shrine, please refer to the official website HERE.

Iimori Shrine’s Opening Hours and Access Information

  • Iimori Shrine’s office is open from 9 am to 5 pm.
  • From JR Hakata Station, take Nishitetsu’s bus and get off at Iimori Jinja-mae (飯盛神社前). The shrine is then a 5-minute walk away. As there are a couple of bus routes that you can board to get to the Iimori Shrine, please use Google Maps to plan.

Mo Mo Land (もーもーらんど油山牧場)

Just a 30-minute drive from Hakata, Mo Mo Land, located at the hillside of Mt. Abura (油山), is a great attraction for children and farm animals lovers. Probably because of the range of activities on offer and its location, the 47-hectare farm receives around 400,000 visitors each year!

If you aren’t exactly an animal person, you can still enjoy the farm through the soft-serve ice cream made from freshly squeezed milk and enjoy the clear and wide view of Fukuoka’s cityscape framed by the surrounding nature. You can even see airplanes taking off and landing at Fukuoka Airport!

For more information on the farm and the surrounding attractions, please refer to our Mo Mo Land article.

Karan no Taki Falls (花乱の滝)

Another spot in Fukuoka City for you to hike into the wild is the hiking trail to Karan Falls. While not super magnificent, the 15-meter high waterfall has a shallow waterfall basin that some mountain worship practitioners still stand underneath for training!

Karan no Taki Falls, surrounded by a pine forest, is secluded and serene. You are almost guaranteed a private natural session when you get down there.

The waterfall was named “Karan” because the falling water splashes look like flower petals dancing in the air. As a popular spot for mountain training, some also say the waterfall was named after a practitioner named Karan.

☛ Please wear non-slip shoes. The promenade down to the waterfall isn’t well-maintained and is slippery.
☛ There are no toilet facilities around the waterfall.
☛ The road to the waterfall is narrow. Please use public transport if you aren’t confident in driving.

How to Get to Karan no Taki Falls

The easiest way to get to the waterfall is to drive to the trailhead to the waterfall. From there, it is just around a 100-meter walk down to Karan no Taki Falls.

If you want to take public transport, get off the bus at Suigenchi-mae (水源池前). The waterfall is around a 20-minute walk from the bus stop.

From Hakata Station, there is no direct service to Suigenchi-mae. Please refer to Google Maps to plan.

Bōzugataki Falls (坊主ヶ滝)

If you love trekking, you can hike even further to another waterfall called Bōzugataki. The waterfall is located at the trailhead to Mt. Kanayama (金山). Because monks used to undertake harsh training here, the waterfall was named monk, or Bōzu in Japanese. At the side of the waterfall, there are also a couple of Buddha statues placed by pilgrims many years ago.

Many like to hop into the waterfall basin during the warmer season to cool down and escape the summer heat.

In autumn, the waterfall is gorgeously decorated by the fall foliage that people also call Momiji no Taki.

The clear stream flowing down Bōzugataki Fall is also one of the water sources for Fukuoka’s citizens.

Important: You will be walking on a steep dirt road to Bōzugataki. So choose your footwear carefully.

How to Get to Bōzugataki Falls

  • Bōzugataki is around a 50-minute trek from Karan no Taki Falls.
  • From Tatarase (多々良瀬) bus stop, it is around a 35-minute walk.

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