5 Reasons Why You Should Visit Fukuoka
This is a guest contribution from a 17 year-old young Japan enthusiast – Kana of ameblo.jp/haganeruneelisa/
Fukuoka (福岡) , is the 6th largest city in Japan and is situated on the northern shore of the island of Kyushu in Japan. I visited Fukuoka as a youth ambassador to my hometown Ipoh, Perak under a sister city student program, about 2 months ago for 9 days.
When I came back from Fukuoka, I visited a retired Japanese couple from Osaka, who are now living in Ipoh. When I told them that I visited Fukuoka, and their very first reaction was:
“ Heee~ So Kana-san you visited Fukuoka? Ahhh yes indeed Ipoh and Fukuoka city are sister cities.. But to us Osakans like us,we see Fukuoka as a countryside! Hahaha!”
Now,this is HOW my friends see Fukuoka:-
“ Oh hey Kana you’re going to Fukuoka? Is it like Tokyo or something? Things must be expensive there, it’s Japan after all.”
“ Kana! You’re going to uh…what was it again? Fukaoka?? Or was it Tokyo??”
“Ehh no-lah,Fukuoka is like at the southern part yo.Damn far away from Tokyo lah friend ahaha. Go there by airplane also takes like an hour.”
…That’s what I answered them.You can’t blame them, not everyone knows where and what Fukuoka actually is…LOL And that’s the reason why I’m writing this, 5 reasons WHY you should visit FUKUOKA! \ o /
5 Reasons Why You Should Visit Fukuoka
REASON 1: It’s a great place for you to see another side of Japan.
Let’s put metropolitan cities like Tokyo aside. Fukuoka isn’t a bad choice if you ask me.
Well yeah, personally I have never been to Tokyo before, and going to Fukuoka was my first ever trip to Japan. But HEY! Why don’t we look at the bright side?
Instead of going to Tokyo or any other super duper busy-like metropolitan cities, try going to Fukuoka! To me it was like going to another side of Japan. I was expecting it more to be a little bit like Tokyo or Osaka, but I’ve never been so wrong in my life! HAH!
It was unexpectedly more quiet than I thought. And when I think of it, if feels a lot like my home town Ipoh! If you’re planning to see another side or Japan, do visit Fukuoka yo!
REASON 2: Fukuoka’s Hakata Ramen is just irresistible.
(Source from Google-sensei, but mine looked almost the same as this!)
Hakata Ramen is a MUST TRY when you’re in Fukuoka!
Seriously, what’s the point of visiting Fukuoka when you’re not gonna try their Hakata Ramen? The Hakata Ramen is originated from the Hakata district of Fukuoka. It has a rich, milky, pork-bone tonkotsu broth and rather thin, non-curly and resilient noodles. Often, distinctive toppings such as crushed garlic, beni shoga (pickled ginger), sesame seeds, and spicy pickled mustard greens (karashi takana) are left on tables for customers to serve themselves.
My Japanese friend on Twitter personally recommended me the tonkotsu one, but I chose takana when my foster mom brought me to the ramen shop….LOL.
Like any restaurants you see in Japan, all you have to do is, choose the ramen you want from the vending machine, pay up, get your ticket , and BOOM!, the Hakata Ramen will be served in no time. What shocked me the most was that most restaurants serve you cold water even though it’s winter there, and hell yeah it’s freezing cold,brrrrr. I heard it regulates your body temperature…??
REASON 3: Shrines.
Throughout my stay in Fukuoka, I’ve only visited two shrines in Fukuoka. But I’m pretty sure there are more shrines out there!
The first shrine I’ve visited was Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine which is located at Dazaifu.
Here’s the link to the shrine: http://www.dazaifutenmangu.or.jp/en
I went there when my foster parents and I had some free time in the morning, before attending a Hakata Doll Workshop in ACROS Fukuoka. Most people visit the shrine to pray to “学問の神様”,known as the god of studies in English.
The second shrine I visited was Kushida Shrine! According to my friend’s foster father, the Hakata Gion Yamakasa is held there annually.
“Hakata Gion Yamakasa (博多祇園山笠? Japanese festival Hakata Fukuoka. Its rites centre on Kushida Jnja float Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property. Ministry of the Environment 100 Soundscapes of Japan ”
–source from Wikipedia.
It was December at that time, so you can say that I didn’t get to go to the festival or anything. And be sure to pray at the Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine, just for the sake of good grades! LOL!
REASON 4: Things aren’t as expensive as you think.
Souvenirs you said, it’ll be nice you said…
When my friends found out that I was going to Japan, BATOOM!!
Everyone’s asking for souvenirs! I guess it’s pretty normal for people to ask you for souvenirs? No? But some were pretty demanding, if you’re facing the same problem as me, it’s okay bro, just tell them that things are freaking expensive in Japan!
But in my case, the souvenirs sold in Fukuoka was surprisingly cheaper than I expected. I didn’t realize that until I came back to Malaysia. I brought approximately 70,000 yen, and I came back with 31,000 yen. Accommodation and food were not a problem for me, well yeah since I was staying with my host family, watch out Captain Obvious is lurking around yo!
If you’re visiting Fukuoka and you’re searching for last minute souvenirs, no problem lah! No worries! While you’re waiting for your flight back home, just head to a duty-free shop and get a box of green tea Kit-Kat. Now you don’t need to be worried about the “Made in China” souvenirs.
My foster mother got me a box actually, there are 10 smaller boxes inside, with 3 packets of Kit-Kats inside! I’m not sure about the price, but I’m sure you can save a lot by just buying one whole box of Kit-Kat and distribute it to your friends!
To be honest when I was in Fukuoka, I certainly think that everything was affordable. 😀
REASON 5: They have the best Mentaiko in Japan.
“Mentaiko (明太子) ) is the marinated roe of pollock, and cod including is a common ingredient in Japanese cuisine. Mentaiko originated from myeongran jeot (명란젓) of Korean cuisine and was introduced to Japan after the Russo-Japanese War. Toshio Kawahara (川原 俊夫Kawahara Toshio), a Busan-born Japanese, adapted Korean mentaiko to Japanese tastes in Fukuoka in the 1950s. The typical seasoning and flavor is different in Japan.”
—source from Wikipedia.
Mentaiko is a must-try food when you’re in Fukuoka! When I contacted my Japanese friend, telling her that I would be going to her place, Fukuoka, the first thing she told me was:-
“You’re coming?! Wow I should get you some cans of Mentaiko for you! Do you know what’s that?? Are you fine with Mentaiko??”
I didn’t know what Mentaiko was,so I searched it up on Google and to be honest it doesn’t look appetizing to me at all! But when my host family served Mentaiko on a very fine night for dinner, I certainly fell in love with it!
I’m just saying it from a foreigner’s point of view, it actually tastes better than Nattou if you ask me. But Nattou is still good! Except for the fact that the stickyness annoyed me a bit though ^^’.
Mentaiko is practically one of the Fukuoka’s famous specialities! Once you pop it into your mouth and bite it, it feels like a mini explosion or something! LOL! The one I tried was slightly spicy, but it was bearable. But if you hate cod roes, you better not try this ^^’’,but this is really good! You might change your mind after trying this! J It’ll be an awesome souvenir too!
Last but not least, do visit Fukuoka when you’re in Japan! They have a lot more things to offer than you expect! Thanks for reading!