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Fukuoka (Kyushu)

Fukuoka is Kyushu'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 ramen (egg noodles). Fukuoka's warmth and friendliness make it a great gateway to Kyushu, and warm weather and contemporary attractions - art, architecture, shopping and cuisine - make it a good base for regional excursions.

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When we started thinking of visiting Japan we had no idea of where to begin and had a lot of suggestions from friends and family. We sent an initial inquiry whch was promptly answered followed by contact from Experience Japan Travel in Japan. This was followed by many emails and some Skype calls. Experience Japan was always available and in the end their planning, attention to detail, and suggestions taking into account many opinions led to a well-balanced, memorable and amazing experience. We were provided with great detailed itineraries and explanatory notes. Our trip basically consisted of Tokyo, Nikko, Kyoto and Osaka. The whole 14 days flew by so quickly and without any hitches making the holiday stress free. We had good and knowledgeable guides. Experience Japan Travel also took time out of their busy schedule and toured with us for half a day in Kyoto. I can highly recommend and in particular would like to thank Experience Japan for working with us so patiently and their supreme service to make this trip truly amazing for us. Overall the whole trip was enjoyable and memorable. We travel extensively (including a lot in Asia) and rate Japan as one of the best places to visit. The politeness, cleanliness, efficiency coupled with the shear beauty and history stand out. I really loved Tokyo and would like to explore it further. Nikko was also very nice and really enjoyed the hot springs at Kinagawa experience . The temples/shrines in Kyoto truly magnificent.... READ MORE

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