Want to visit Kyushu Island in Japan and don’t have a lot of time? Consider spending one day in Fukuoka (福岡市). This city is the capital of the Fukuoka Prefecture and located in the northern part of the island. It’s a metropolitan area that has plenty of tourist attractions from traditional shrines and temples to festivals.
While exploring Fukuoka in just one day isn’t ideal since there are so many incredible things to do that you can be occupied for several days, here’s a plan for making the most of your time there.
With this Fukuoka 1 day itinerary, we’re spending the time in central Fukuoka eating Hakata style ramen, visiting parks, going shopping, and seeing temples and shrines. We also have helpful travel tips on how to navigate this city.
Before you read through this itinerary, we wanted to let you know that Fukuoka is also referred to as Hakata. Why, you ask? Currently, Fukuoka city has two main areas – Hakata and Tenjin. Hakata was the former port city while “old Fukuoka” (now Tenjin’s shopping area) had samurais living there. The two areas officially merged on April 1, 1889, and the samurais clashed with the Hakata representatives, ultimately winning the fight to give the city the name Fukuoka. In present day, Hakata is still used to refer to Hakata Station and its surrounding historical area with shrines and temples.
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Map of Fukuoka
How to Get to Fukuoka
The efficient way to travel around Japan is on the shinkansen bullet train using your Japan Rail (JR) Pass. It’s worth it to get the JR Pass if you’ll travel long distances such as from Kansai or Tokyo to Fukuoka as it’s on another island. You won’t be able to use the pass for the Nozomi or Mizuho trains since those are the fastest trains but you can use the Sakura and Hikari trains which are still really fast. Reserve your seats at the shinkansen ticket office so you don’t need to worry about fighting for non-reserved seats.
Buy your JR pass here for a discounted price.
We’ll share information on how to get to Fukuoka from Osaka and Hiroshima as these are the two closest major cities to Fukuoka by shinkansen. As a reminder, you’ll need to go to Hakata Station (博多駅) for Fukuoka. Do not go to Fukuoka Station (福岡駅) as you’ll end up in Takaoka in Toyama Prefecture which is north of Nagoya.
From Hiroshima to Fukuoka
Take the shinkansen from Hiroshima Station (広島駅) to Fukuoka’s Hakata Station. It’ll take 1 hour and 19 minutes for the ride.
From Osaka to Fukuoka
From Osaka Station (大阪駅), take the local Tokaido-Sanyo line to Shin-Osaka Station (新大阪駅). From Shin-Osaka, take the shinkansen to go to Hakata Station. You’ll pass by Himeji, Okayama, and Hiroshima Station. You’ll need about 2 hours and 40 minutes for the ride.
From Fukuoka International Airport
Another option to get to Fukuoka is by a domestic or international flight. From the Fukuokakuku Station (福岡空港駅) at the airport, hop onto the local train on the Kuko Line and go two stops to Hakata Station. It’ll take 6 minutes to get to Hakata Station. It’s so easy!
How to Travel Around Fukuoka
There are trains managed by two companies – Japan Rail (JR) and Nishitetsu Rail. JR trains start from the Hakata Station while Nishitetsu Rail’s main station is at Nishitetsu Fukuoka Tenjin Station in the Tenjin area. The Nishitetsu line connects to the JR line via the Kuko Airport Line. You can use these lines to travel around Fukuoka.
Fukuoka has city buses that cost 100 yen ($.90) for adults and 50 yen ($.45) for children per ride. The buses connect with the Hakata, Kuramoto, Tenjin, and Yakuin Station. They’ll also pass by sightseeing stops such as the Canal City Shopping Center.
Another way to explore Fukuoka is by walking. Fukuoka city center is large so it will take some time to walk around. From Hakata Station to Canal City Shopping Center, it’ll take about 15 minutes by walking. Otherwise, it’s a lovely walk through the city as the sidewalks are wide and you can see the rivers when crossing several bridges.
What to Do in Fukuoka in One Day
1. Explore Temples.
Fukuoka has plenty of temples and shrines for you to visit. If you’re nearby the Hakata Station, stop by the Tochoji Temple and the Kushida Shrine in Hakata’s Old Town.
Tochoji Temple (東長寺) is a Buddhist temple that is known for its wooden Buddha statue and a five-story pagoda that is 26 meters (85 feet) high. The temple was founded in 806 A.D.
They have a Setsubun Bean Throwing Festival that occurs on February 3. The timing is in conjunction with the Lunar New Year as a celebration for spring. The festival is a way to ward away the evil spirit by throwing roasted soybeans.
Address: 2-4 Gokushomachi, Hakata Ward, Fukuoka, 812-0037, Japan (〒812-0037 福岡県福岡市博多区御供所町２−4)
Opening Hours: 9:00am-4:45pm
Kushida Shrine (櫛田神社) is a must-visit place in Fukuoka. The Shinto shrine was founded in 757 A.D and is dedicated to Ohatanushi, Amaterasu, and Susanoo. It’s a beautiful and peaceful area, especially around the main prayer hall.
The shrine is the main focus for the Hakata Gion Yamakasa Festival which is celebrated from July 1 to July 15. The festival consists of carrying Yamakasa (portable floats) that are over 10 meters (32.8 feet) high around the city. There is a Yamakasa on display at the temple.
Address: 1-41 Kamikawabatamachi, Hakata Ward, Fukuoka, 812-0026, Japan (〒812-0026 福岡県福岡市博多区上川端町１−41)
Opening Hours: 4:00am-10:00pm
Click to take a tour to explore these historical sites.
2. Eat Hakata Style Ramen.
If you love eating ramen, you most likely have had Hakata style / Fukuoka ramen. It’s also known as tonkotsu ramen since the broth’s base is made with pork bones. Tonkotsu broth has a rich and deep flavor that makes it the favorite of many. This type of ramen also has thinner noodles, topped with green onions and a slice (or more) of chashu (braised pork belly).
When you’re in Fukuoka, try one or more of these ramen shops below.
Read More: Mouthwatering Japanese foods to try
Ichiran Ramen (一蘭) is a world-famous ramen chain that serves classic tonkotsu. The ordering system is unique at Ichiran. After you pay for your ramen at the ticket vending machine, you get a piece of paper to customize your level of spiciness, dashi (fish flavor), garlic, green onions, noodle texture, and broth richness. If you ordered kaedama (extra noodle refill), you place a small metal plate on a sensor in the middle of your eating booth which notifies the waiter or waitress when you want it served.
What is special about this place is that you get the opportunity to sit in an individual booth to enjoy the flavors of your ramen. It’s the ideal set-up if you’re a solo diner or an introvert since you don’t need to talk to anyone. The person working behind the curtain takes your customized order and hands your food to you, only lifting the curtain for those two steps. The whole experience is very personal so you can fully experience all that the ramen has to offer.
If you’re visiting the restaurant with another person, you can still converse with each other but you’ll have to talk over the partition. To avoid disturbing others, using an indoor voice is best. For those with a large party, you’ll need to head to the main branch as there are larger group tables available.
The ramen at Fukuoka’s Ichiran itself is consistent with the other Ichirans in Japan that we’ve been to. Sometimes the noodles are cooked a little longer than what we’d like since we like super firm noodles, but that might be because we spend too much time taking pictures. The kaedama are always the perfect texture.
Recently we’ve seen a new Ichiran Ramen brand that has halal broth available in Osaka’s Dotonbori and Shinjuku-Tokyo.
If you love Ichiran Ramen, you can purchase a souvenir pack that has a soup base and noodles to go. Don’t worry if you miss it because you can easily find it at most major airports.
- There are over a dozen Ichiran restaurants in Fukuoka. Check out the listing here.
- The main branch is at 5 Chome-3-2 Nakasu, Hakata Ward, Fukuoka, 810-0801, Japan and is a multi-level building.
Opening Hours: Varies depending on the store. Sme shops are open for 24 hours.
Average Food Cost: 890-1,500 yen ($8.30-$14.00). You pay for food at the ticket machine.
Shin Shin Ramen
If you’re at the Hakata Station, try Shin Shin Ramen (博多らーめん ShinShin 博多デイトス店). This place always has a long line no matter what time of the day it is. The number one item is the Shin Shin tonkotsu ramen. We went during lunchtime and they have a combo where you can add gyozas or fried rice for a small cost. Many people added these to their ramen order.
The menu has other food items, especially during dinnertime. We tried champon which was average due to soggier noodles and soup that wasn’t as good as what a champon specialist could make. Nothing can beat the original champon in Nagasaki! The tonkotsu ramen, however, was great with firm noodles and a rich soup.
Address: Deitos in the Hakata Station, 1-1 Hakataekichuogai, Hakata Ward, Fukuoka, 812-0012, Japan (〒812-0012 福岡県福岡市博多区博多駅中央街１−1)
Opening Hours: 11:00am-12:00am
Average Food Cost: 1,000 yen ($9.30)
Ippudo (一風堂) is a popular ramen chain that has shops in Japan and international locations, such as Indonesia, Taiwan, Singapore, Vietnam, and more. It was established in Fukuoka on October 16, 1985, and then had a pop-up shop at the Shin-Yokohama Raumen Museum in Yokohama in 1994. The chain expanded to Tokyo and other areas in Japan before its first international location in New York City, U.S. in 2008. We’ve waited 2.5 hours in line for that location before, but wait times hopefully aren’t so bad now.
Ippudo has the original tonkatsu ramen along with other items such as Kara ramen (ramen topped with meat in miso and chili oil) and Akamaru ramen (topped with spicy miso). In Japan, some of the stores have specialty ramen flavors.
Unfortunately, we didn’t try Ippudo in Fukuoka during our trip since we already ate two bowls of ramen each earlier in the day.
Address: There are 6 restaurants in Fukuoka which you can find here.
Menya Kanetora (麺や兼虎) is not Hakata style ramen but a tsukemen shop specializing in dashi and spice. If you need a change of flavor, check out this place. They also serve ramen here.
Not sure what tsukemen is? You get a bowl of noodles and you dip your noodles into the soup. This broth at Menya Kanetora is different from tonkotsu. Its soup is made with pork bones yet there are also vegetables and fish. You can smell and taste the fish in this rich soup similar to the strong fishy ramen of Tokyo. With tsukemen, the noodles are thicker to give you more chewing texture.
What we loved about this shop is that you can choose your spice level. The level goes from mild, crazy, very spicy, and over the limit. I can tolerate pretty spicy foods and “crazy” spicy was a fire dance in my mouth. It was a little too spicy for me since my nose dripped continuously during the meal, but given another opportunity, I still wouldn’t change my choice. If you can tolerate “very spicy” and “over the limit” spicy, you have impressive superhero powers.
Regardless, the tsukemen is still delicious and one of our favorites in all of Japan. This place also cooks their soft-boiled eggs perfectly for their ramen!
Address: Japan, 〒810-0004 Fukuoka, Chuo Ward, Watanabedori, 4 Chome−9−18 福酒ビル 1F (〒810-0004 福岡県福岡市中央区渡辺通４丁目９−18 福酒ビル 1F)
Opening Hours: 11:00am-11:00pm
Average Food Cost: 880-1,000 yen ($8.20-$9.30). You pay for your food at the ticket machine.
3. Visit Canal City Shopping Center.
Canal City (キャナルシティ博多) is a must-visit place when you’re in Fukuoka. It’s a multi-level shopping center that has a 180 meter (.11 miles) long canal in the center of the complex. Since it rained heavily, this was our stop for shelter. This shopping center comprises multiple buildings so it does take a while to navigate through it. Use the floor guides to determine where you’re at since it’s like a maze. We loved how there was a multi level Muji store here!
The best part about Canal City is the free Fountain Show that occurs daily from 10:00am-10:00pm. Located outside in the corridor at the Sun Plaza, B1 floor, there is a light and water show that uses 3D images and projections. It’s a fun show to watch for a few minutes. The show is similar to what we’ve seen at Singapore’s Spectra Light and Water Show at Marina Bay Sands but on a smaller scale.
On the 5th floor in the Center Walk area, there is a section with 9 ramen restaurants. An Ichiran branch is also located here. You can never have enough ramen!
Address: 1 Chome-2 Sumiyoshi, Hakata Ward, Fukuoka, 812-0018, Japan (〒812-0018 福岡県福岡市博多区住吉１丁目２)
Opening Hours: 10:00am-9:00pm for shops, 10:00am-11:00pm for restaurants
Click here to take a tour for traditional Japanese shopping.
4. Walk through Tenjin Central Park.
Tenjin Central Park (天神中央公園) is a public park that has a unique building with plants growing on the sides. There is a stairway so you can see the view from the top of the building but it was closed on our visit. During the springtime, many visitors walk along the canal to see the cherry blossoms.
You can also cross the bridge and you’ll end up in the Hareno Garden. It’s a small park area that has a “Fukuoka” sign and a coffee shop.
Address: 1 Chome-1 Tenjin, Chuo Ward, Fukuoka, 810-0001, Japan (〒810-0001 福岡県福岡市中央区天神１丁目１)
5. Shop at Tenjin Underground Shopping Center.
You’re thinking, another shopping center? Tenjin Underground Shopping Center (also known as Tenchita) is located under Tenjin Station (天神駅) and is an impressive shopping area. Come here to see the impressive European inspired architecture from the stained glass to the elegant arabesque style ceilings and cobblestone ground. It also helps to visit this place when it’s pouring rain outside!
There are plenty of shopping and restaurants to eat here. The shopping area is long as it’ll take about 20 minutes one-way to get across on one side. There are two sides to browse through.
Address: Japan, 〒810-0001 福岡県福岡市中央区天神２−1004
Opening Hours: 10:00am-10:00pm for shopping, 10:00am-9:00pm for restaurants
Other Places to Visit in Fukuoka for 2 Days or More
We would love to return to Fukuoka and stay for 2+ days as there are so many incredible sightseeing activities here. Below are other places to visit in Fukuoka if you have extra time in your Fukuoka itinerary.
1. Go on a day trip to Dazaifu.
Dazaifu is a fabulous spot to go on a day trip from Fukuoka. It’s a sleeper area in the countryside that is the former government site of Fukuoka.
Currently, it’s known for its temples and shrines. The most visited shrine is Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine where people visit to pray for good luck on their exams and academic school year. The surrounding area is lovely with smaller shrines, temples, museums, amusement parks, and the surrounding seasonal plants. Springtime is beautiful with the plum blossoms and cherry blossoms.
Another interesting attraction in Dazaifu is to check out the ancient ruins of the former government sites.
Read more about our one day in Dazaifu here.
2. Eat mentaiko.
Fukuoka is known to have fresh mentaiko (pollock roe). There is a dedicated mentaiko restaurant called Ganso Hakata Mentaiju (元祖博多めんたい重) Visitors line up to try this specialty of Fukuoka. The must-try dishes include mentaiko wrapped in kelp and on a bed of rice to mentaiko tsukemen. All the mentaiko are made in-house.
Address: Located in the Tenjin Central Park (6-15 Nishinakasu, Chuo Ward, Fukuoka, 810-0002, Japan / 〒810-0002 福岡県福岡市中央区西中洲６−15)
Opening Hours: 11:00am-3:00pm, 5:00pm-8:00pm
Average Food Cost: 1,700-2,800 yen ($15.80-$26)
3. Stop by Yatai food stalls.
We heard about yatai (food stalls) that are set up throughout the city. They are small shops set up along a street where locals and visitors can enjoy food such as ramen and barbequed meats. It’s Japan’s version of hawker stalls in Singapore. There are stalls along the canal near Canal City.
Address: Japan, 〒810-0801 Fukuoka, Hakata Ward, Nakasu, 8, 那珂川 通り (〒810-0801 福岡県福岡市博多区中洲８ 那珂川 通り)
4. Visit Ohori Park and Maizuru Park.
Fukuoka doesn’t disappoint with its parks. Ohori Park (大濠公園) is a good place to visit to walk around to see nature, walk through the center of the lake, explore a Japanese garden and an Art Museum.
Neighboring the Ohori Park is Maizuru Park (舞鶴公園) where you can see ruins of Fukuoka Castle. This is a hot spot to see cherry blossoms during springtime.
Address: 1 Ohorikoen, Chuo Ward, Fukuoka, 810-0051, Japan (〒810-0051 福岡県福岡市中央区大濠公園１)
5. See Buddha at Nanzoin Temple.
Thailand is known for its reclining Buddha in Bangkok and Japan has its version in Fukuoka at Nanzoin Temple (南蔵院). This bronze Buddha is 41 meters long (134 feet). Please be respectful when visiting this temple.
Address: 1035 Sasaguri, Kasuya District, Fukuoka 811-2405, Japan (〒811-2405 福岡県糟屋郡篠栗町大字篠栗1035)
Opening Hours: 9:00am-5:30pm
Where to Stay in Fukuoka
Your Fukuoka accommodation should be close to the train station whether it’s Tenjin Station or Hakata Station so you don’t need to worry about walking or taking the bus. There are a variety of hotels and guesthouses that you can stay at depending on your budget.
Check out reviews and book a room in Fukuoka here.
We stayed at Hotel Mei which is a brand new hotel at the border of Hakata and Tenjin area. It’s only a 10-minute walk from the Canal City Shopping Center, 20 minutes from JR Hakata Station, or 5 minutes from Watanabe-dori Station via Kuko Line.
This hotel has minimal decor yet the rooms are spacious. There was enough space to lay down our luggage and walk around without bumping into each other at each step. Our room came with one standard double bed, desk, electric kettle, free coffee, mini-refrigerator, and pajamas to borrow. The bathroom is narrow, especially the shower like most budget hotels in Japan.
While our room didn’t come with breakfast, the hotel has an adorable cafe in their lobby area. The wall is Instagram friendly with the hotel name and wall of flowers. During lunchtime, the cafe sells fruits and cream sandwiches which looked delicious.
The cost of the room is $100-$800 per night depending on the room for 2 person occupancy. (We stayed in the cheaper room). Several rooms hold up to 4-6 people.
Reserve a room at Hotel Mei here.
Here are other options to stay in Fukuoka based on the positive reviews.
Fukuoka Hana Hostel – This budget-friendly hostel is catered to travelers who want to experience the Japanese sleeping arrangements with sleeping on tatami mats or those who want to meet other people in dorm rooms. The hostel also has a common area where guests can meet other people. Guests enjoy the location as it’s next to the Kushima Shrine. Cost is $55 per night for 2 person occupancy or $25 per night for a bunk bed for 1 person.
Book a room at Fukuoka Hana Hostel here.
FP Hotels – If you want to be next to the Canal Shopping Center and close to the JR Hakata Station, check out FP Hotels. Guests enjoy access to restaurants and convenience stores. The rooms are comfortable and some rooms include breakfast. Cost is $50-$120 per night for 2 person occupancy.
Make a reservation for FP Hotels here.
The Lively – This is a stylish hotel that is a few minutes walk from the Nakasukawabata Station. If you have up to four guests, there are rooms available for four people One of the main perks of this hotel is that they offer free beer to guests from 5:30pm-6:30pm. It’s an opportunity to meet other guests and relax. Cost is $180-$450 per night for 2 person occupancy.
Book a room at The Lively here.
We hope you get a chance to visit Fukuoka in the future. While this Fukuoka one day itinerary covers some of the sightseeing activities, we hope you can stay for two or more days to see what Fukuoka has to offer.
Need ideas on where to go in Japan? Check out our posts below for inspiration.
What would you like to see in Fukuoka? Let us know in the comments.
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You had me at Pork Belly broth laced Ramen!! Wow that just sounds so yummy! I know that the Menya Kanetora is not a true hakata style but I may have to join you in the “crazy” spice food challenge. Though I did learn a few years back to never go extreme hot while traveling cause the chef sometimes likes to punish tourists for arrogance. But it all looks so yummy and those slices of pork belly would add such great flavor!
As for the rest of Fukuoka, what a beautiful area of Japan. I love all the temples and shrines you discovered. I bet it is a lot of fun to see the Soy Bean throwing festival too. So, you definitely intrigued me with the history between the Samurai and the locals. Is there any sites that showcase the history of the samurais in the area?
Hi Eric. I know what you mean by going too extreme with the spicy flavors. It was surprising to see locals also eating the spicy ramen too! As with your question regarding the samurai history in Fukuoka, the closest exhibit that I could find is at Fukuoka City Museum. They have a general overview of the history of Fukuoka so it should mention the samurai history.
What a cool place to spend the day. Kushida Shrine looks gorgeous. I think hakata ramen would be my personal pick, which is your favorite?
Hi Derek. Glad you enjoyed this Fukuoka itinerary! We love Tokyo style ramen that has the dashi (fish) base. After visiting the Shin-Raumen Museum in Yokohama and seeing the different regional ramen flavors, we have more places to visit in Japan to try ramen.