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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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The trip was very well organized and a great introduction to Japanese culture as well as local living by getting exposure to modes of public transportation. We ere able to gain knowledge that gave us independence and a thorough appreciation of the subtleties of the culture. The guides were very helpful, although we didn't get to learn more of the language from them directly. We were VERY well fed and given hospitality everywhere we went, including the shops! Scott Kent planned everything out and organized everything in advance to make this a pretty smooth experience overall. Looking forward to coming back for more!... READ MORE

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