Population: 5,090 million
photo by Chris Gladis
Fukuoka Prefecture is a prefecture of Japan located on Kyūshū Island. The capital is the city of Fukuoka.
Fukuoka Prefecture faces the sea on three sides, bordering on Saga, Ōita, and Kumamoto prefectures and facing Yamaguchi Prefecture across the Kanmon Straits.
It includes the two largest cities on Kyūshū, Fukuoka and Kitakyushu, and much of Kyūshū’s industry. It also includes a number of small islands near the north coast of Kyūshū.
- FUKUOKA CITY
- Ranked 10th of the world's most liveable cities, Fukuoka was praised for its green spaces in a metropolitan setting. It is the most populous city in Kyushu, followed by Kitakyushu. It is the largest city and metropolitan area west of Keihanshin.
Fukuoka hosts more than 2 million foreign visitors annually. Nearly ten thousand international students attend universities in or near the Fukuoka prefecture each year.
Some of the main attractions include:
Fukuoka Castle located adjacent to Ohori Park features the remaining stone walls and ramparts left after a devastating fire during the upheaval of the Meiji Restoration. It has now been preserved along with some reconstructed towers constructed during the 1950s and 1960s.
Ōhori Park is also the location of one of Fukuoka City's major art galleries. There is a newly opened Kyushu National Museum in nearby Dazaifu.
The Marine Park, Uminonakamichi is located on a narrow cape on the northern side of the Bay of Hakata. The park has an amusement park, petting zoo, gardens, beaches, a hotel, and a large marine aquarium.
For tourists from other parts of Japan, local foods such as mentaiko, Hakata ramen and motsunabe are associated with Fukuoka. Yatai (street stalls) serving ramen can be found in Tenjin and Nakasu most evenings.
Fukuoka Tower is near the beach in Momochi.
- WHAT TO DO AND WHAT TO SEE
- The prefecture isn’t as popular as Fukuoka the Fukuoka City and Kitakyushu, but still offers a lot of nature hiking, natural gardens, traditional crafts, and some of the oldest temples, shrines, and festivals in Japan.
Since the best places are not overrun by tourists, it is possible to enjoy a leisurely adventure.
- GETTING THERE
- By plane
Fukuoka city's airport is the busiest on Kyushu and fields a fair number of international flights too (to South Korea, China and Taiwan). KLM is also runing regular direct flights between Amsterdam and Fukuoka.
It also has connections in Japan to fifteen other major Japanese cities. The airport is considered one of the most convenient airports in Japan and the only airport in Japan that is connected to a subway line.
Kitakyushu Airport but it is mostly served by commuter flights to and from Tokyo's Haneda Airport with some service to Naha. There are also regularly scheduled international flights to Busan, South Korea.
Fukuoka City and Kitakyushu City are both on the Shinkansen line that runs to and from Tokyo. The JR train system has several lines running across the prefecture, as well as from the Meinohama subway station in Fukuoka City to Karatsu in Saga.
Nishitetsu is a company which provides daily service all over the prefecture as well as up to and down from Tokyo.
Willer also offers long distance bus service to major cities in Japan.
- CLIMATE/ TEMPERATURE
- Fukuoka has a humid subtropical climate and it has hot humid summers and relatively mild winters.
The prefecture has a moderate climate with an annual average temperature of 16.3 °C.
Winter temperatures rarely drop below 0 °C and it rarely snows, though light rain does fall on most days if not as consistently as on the Sea of Japan side of Honshu.
Spring is warm and sunnier, with cherry blossoms appearing in late March or early April. The rainy season lasts for approximately six weeks through June and July, during which time the humidity is very high and temperatures hover between 25 °C and 30 °C.
Summers are humid and hot, with temperatures peaking around 37 °C.
Autumn, often considered to be Fukuoka's best season, is mild and dry, though the typhoon season runs between August and September.
- WHAT TO WEAR
- During summer, you should be fine if you wear a short-sleeved shirt, t-shirt or a dress, however a long sleeved shirt is highly recommended if you choose to go near water or to the mountains.
In the winter, be sure to bring warm clothes such as winter coat or jacket, hat, scarf and gloves.
For the spring and autumn a light jacket or a sweater should keep you warm.
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