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Fukuoka (Kyushu)

Fukuoka is Kyūshū's largest city (and Japan's sixth largest) and still growing. It's made up of two former towns, the Fukuoka castle town on the west bank of the Naka-gawa and Hakata on the east. The two towns merged in 1889 as Fukuoka, though the name Hakata is still widely in use (for instance, it's Fukuoka Airport but Hakata Station). Hakata traces its trading history back some 2000 years, which continues today with visitors from Seoul and Shanghai. Among Japanese, the city is famed for its 'Hakata bijin' (beautiful women), SoftBank Hawks baseball team and hearty Hakata rāmen (egg noodles). Fukuoka's warmth and friendliness make it a great gateway to Kyūshū, and warm weather and contemporary attractions – art, architecture, shopping and cuisine – make it a good base for regional excursions.

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Scott and Experience Japan Travel planned the perfect trip for us. We decided to go to Japan for our honeymoon and thanks to Scott, I am confident that we made he right decision. We had a brief conversation with him initially and told him our interests and things and places that we would like to do and see, and he quickly developed an incredible itinerary that was EXACTLY what we wanted. We were only in Japan for 10 days, but we experienced SO MUCH! We had never been to Japan before, but were able to do so many things that we had envisioned ahead of time and so much more that we didn't even know about. From the gorgeous hotel accommodations and delicious food, to the breath-taking sight seeing and culture, this was truly a mind blowing vacation. Scott and his friend/coworker, Nao, even met up with us in Kyoto and showed us an incredible time. While in Tokyo, we had the rare opportunity to experience the Sanja Festival in Asakusa. The energy and enthusiasm of the crowd was absolutely intoxicating. The second we came out of the subway station, the streets were packed with people, shops, and food. The temple and shrines were beautiful, and the festival had these portable shrines and floats (I guess you would call them parade floats) that tons of people were carrying or pulling. Definitely a once in a lifetime experience! Nara was incredible. Not only are there thousands of deer that you can walk and mingle with (and feed!), the area is wonderfully spiritual. There were so many temples and shrines. Each one was so unique and so pretty. Arashiyama. MONKEYS!!!! Nowhere else have I ever been able to have so many monkeys just wandering around so close to me without a care in the world! We even got to feed them. They take the food right out of your hands! And the baby monkeys were freaking adorable! Drinking/Dining in Kyoto. The day that Scott and Nao met up with us was really cool. Scott took us to a whiskey distillery and beer brewery and Nao joined for sake and food/drinks after that. They took us to the Fushimi Inari Shrine (which was SO beautiful) and then to some local places after that. The local places I am sure we would never have had the opportunity to experience if it hadn't been for them. There was so much more that I want to share, but seriously, go see for yourselves! From the bottoms of our hearts, thank you guys! Best.... READ MORE

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