8 Best Things to Do in Fukuoka, Japan

Although not as popular of a destination as Tokyo, Kyoto, or Osaka, Fukuoka, Japan is another of the country’s metropolitan cities that is worth a visit. Massive shopping centers, scenic city parks, and ancient shrines are just a few attractions that draw travellers here. During your visit to Fukuoka, you can experience the Sakura season when the cherry blossom trees are in bloom – a time of year when it is highly recommended booking a trip to this Japanese city. However, these top things to do in Fukuoka, Japan are worth experiencing no matter what time of year.

Take a stroll through Ohori Park
What is it:
This massive park is a prominent landmark in central Fukuoka. The word “ohori” means moat in Japanese, and the lake here was once part of the moat of the Fukuoka castle. The park surrounds the lake with bridges that connect to the small islands. It’s a scenic, budget-friendly attraction in Fukuoka.

Why do it: During cherry blossom season, tourists flock here to view the blooming trees. However, Ohori Park offers up plenty to do year-round. Take a casual stroll, enjoy some waterside dining, or rent a paddleboat. There is also a playground and a Japanese garden here too.

Good to Know: There is no admission to Ohori Park, however, there is a small fee to enter the Japanese garden.

See the city from above at the Fukuoka Tower
What is it:
The Fukuoka Tower is a pinnacle of the city, featuring 360-degree views from its 400-foot-tall observation deck. This tower is the tallest seaside tower in the country.

Why do it: Whether you visit the tower during the day or night, there is bound to be an incredible view of Fukuoka’s cityscape. It is recommended to visit the tower at night, as it is illuminated with various animations. You can check out the animation schedule on the tower’s website.

Good to know: There is an admission fee to access the observation deck, however, it is very affordable. Once you take the elevator up to the observation deck, there are plenty of photo spots and fun exhibits.

Explore Tochoji Temple
What is it:
This Buddhist temple is home to the largest wooden seated Buddha in the country. Tochoji Temple offers plenty of photo opportunities too, like the five-story pagoda and the big cherry blossom tree at the entrance.

Why do it: Easily accessible by bus or a close walk from Hakata Station, Tochoji Temple is a centrally-located Fukuoka attraction that is budget-friendly, as there is no admission fee.
Good to know: The temple hours are from 9am to 5pm.

Visit Nanzoin Temple’s giant reclining Buddha
What is it:
Located at the Nanzoin Buddhist temple, the giant reclining Buddha statue is over 130 feet long and weighs over 300 tons.

Why do it: This bronze statue is one of the biggest of its kind in the world, making it a bucket-list-worthy experience. Aside from the statue, the temple offers a peaceful outdoor experience, as it is located on a mountain hillside with lush greenery and trickling streams.

Good to know: There is a dress code at the temple. Avoid wearing short skirts or shorts and cover any large tattoos.

Shop at Tenjin Underground Mall and Hakata Station
What is it: There are two iconic spots to shop at in Fukuoka: Tenjin Underground Mall and Hakata Station.

Why do it: From high-end luxury designer brands to specialty bakeries to pop-up shops for small businesses, shopping is a must-do while in the city.

Good to know: Plenty of stores accept international cards, including Visa and Mastercard. So it’s not always necessary to carry cash if you intend to shop at the malls here.

Bike around Uminonakamichi Seaside Park
What is it:
Uminonakamichi Seaside Park, known as one of the best parks in Fukuoka, is located on the peninsula of Hakata Bay.

Why do it: This sprawling park is best known for its incredible flower blooms, however, there is more to do here than just stroll the grounds (although that’s a great experience too). Since the park is so large, you may want to rent a bike and explore the network of cycling trails here. During the summer, hit up the seasonal waterpark. Or, if you’re visiting in December, view holiday lights here.

Good to know: On one end of the park, you’ll find Marine World, an aquarium that is home to over 350 species of marine animals.

Visit a Shinto Shrine
What is it:
Experience the history and architectural beauty of a Shinto shrine while visiting Fukuoka. The Kushida Shrine and the Chikuzen Sumiyoshi Shrine, two of the oldest shrines in the city, are both located in central Fukuoka, making them easily accessible for travellers staying in the city centre.

Why do it: Not only are the shrines great places to snap a photo, there are some attractions that are noteworthy too. The Kushida Shrine is home to the largest otafuku mask in Japan, which is set up during the winter months. While at the Sumiyoshi Shrine, you’ll want to high-five the statue of the sumo wrestler, as it’s said that if you touch his hands, you gain some of his strength.

Good to know: Popular events occur at both of the shrines, so you may want to do some research before heading there to see if your visit aligns with one of the noteworthy festivals. For example, one of Fukuoka’s coolest festivals, Hakata Gion Yamakasa, occurs at the Kushida Shrine in July every year.

Interact with digital art at teamLab Forest
What is it:
This museum is not like any other; it is a digital art experience with various interactive exhibits. TeamLab is an art group that hosts various art exhibits throughout the country. The one in Fukuoka focuses on a “forest” theme. Named teamLab Forest, explore digital art by interaction, from “catching” digital animals to wandering through light-filled “prairies”.

Why do it: Lights, colours, and sounds come together for an unforgettable experience. Digital art fills every room, so expect a sensory intake like no other. You’ll definitely want to bring your camera along, as there are plenty of unique spots to take photos.

Good to know: Wear adequate footwear, as there is uneven terrain in some of the exhibit rooms.