Situated in the north of the island of Kyushu, Fukuoka Prefecture occupies a key position as a link to Honshu, Japan’s main island. The prefecture represents the industrial hub of Kyushu, with nearly 40% of the island’s economy flowing from Fukuoka.
“Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine (dedicated to the God of Learning)”
Its geographic position has made Fukuoka the gateway prefecture to Kyushu for commerce and visitors alike, from within Japan as well as from overseas, particularly from other Asian countries such as South Korea. Air, rail and sea links are many and convenient, so visitors will find it easy to plan their Japan itineraries to explore this fascinating region of Japan.
The prefectural capital, Fukuoka City, is the largest metropolitan area in Kyushu and is Japan’s fifth-largest city. It is an international city renowned for its 2,000-year history of exchange with China and Korea. The city is modern and compact, while still enjoying scenery from the nearby mountains and sea. Fukuoka’s rich food culture is also not to be missed, with Hakata tonkotsu ramen noodles and its fresh seafood as just some of the many delicious choices. The vivid local culinary scene is highlighted by the outdoor stands or yatai that serve some of the city’s best food in an al fresco setting.
Rugby fans will also find much to state their appetites in Fukuoka. The island of Kyushu itself is one of the major hubs of Japanese rugby, and Fukuoka was the starting point of the sport here with the formation of the Kyushu Rugby Club by a group of Keio University graduates who were stationed in the city by their employer. Currently local rugby fans have strong favorites to cheer in the professional Top League and its Kyushu second tier, as well as school teams at the high school and university level.
Fukuoka Prefecture has many historic shrines, temples and castle ruins that give the visitor a sense of the region’s history and culture. These include the Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine (dedicated to the God of Learning) which is famous throughout Japan, the Kushida Shrine (renowned for the important role it plays in the annual Hakata Gion Yamakasa festival), and the sacred island of Okinoshima (the “island of the gods”) and associated sites in Munakata region, which are a candidate for World Heritage Site status. Visitors can also enjoy a romantic boat trip in Yanagawa, with its many canals.
“Hakata Dontaku Festival”
With around 20,000 participants, the Hakata Dontaku Festival, which is held in Fukuoka on May 3rd – 4th each year, is Japan’s largest festival. The Hakata Gion Yamakasa festival, which is held during the period July 1st – 15th and has a history going back around 700 years, has been designated an Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property by the Japanese government.
Fukuoka has a wealth of traditional arts and crafts, including Hakata dolls, Hakata-ori textiles, and Kurume Kasuri textiles. Fukuoka also boasts delicious traditional foods, with famous agricultural and marine products that include Karashi Mentaiko (spicy cod roe), Ramen noodles, Mizutaki (chicken broth hotpot), and Amao strawberries, among many others.
Venue – Hakatanomori Football Stadium
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