The seaside city of Fukuoka is the capital city of the Fukuoka Prefecture in Japan and a cultural powerhouse not to be missed. There’s plenty to keep you busy for one day in the city, most of which can be seen for less than $100.
Start with breakfast at Tanya Hakata for a quick bite of beef tongue and coffee for just $5. This should fill you up enough for the climb to Fukuoka Castle. The 17th-century hilltop house was once part of a massive complex reserved for the elite class of Japan. Now, the remains of the turrets and towers provide an impressive insight to the city’s history. Entrance is free.
Next, check out the Sumiyoshi-jinja Shine. The shrine is one of the oldest sites in Fukuoka and a popular place for sailors to pray before heading out to sea. The Main Hall was rebuilt to resemble the classical style of 1623 and contains numerous artifacts, including a copper axe, old manuscripts and other items dating back to the Middle Ages. The grounds are surrounded by Japanese cedars and provide breathtaking views. Like all temples, entrance is free.
Stop for a quick lunch at Tempuradokoro Hirao Honten for some delicious tempura at only $7. Once stuffed, make your way to the Kyūshū National Museum. In 2005 it was Japan’s first national museum in more than 100 years and houses historically important artifacts alongside some of the country’s best artwork. Admission is less than $5.
You’ll also want to pay a visit to Kushida-jinja Shrine. Fukuoka’s oldest shrine, and one of Japan’s best known, boasts stunning Chinese zodiac carvings, and a gingko trees more than 1,000 years old. The shrine also hosts a prosperity festival in the summer. There’s no fee to visit.
Finally, finish off with a meal at Yamanaka. The fine-dining restaurant offers Hakata-mae sushi made with fresh seafood from Hakata Bay. It’s pricey, but one of the city’s top eateries for good reason. Expect to drop $40 for a small meal.
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