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Of all the major Japanese cities, Fukuoka has historically faced outside of Japan; this bustling southern port – the largest city on Kyushu – was the gateway for Korean, Chinese, and later Dutch and Portuguese trade. This legacy of openness to the outside world can still readily be seen and experienced in modern Fukuoka. Once two distinct cities staring at each other across a river, Hakata and Fukuoka are now seamlessly joined, providing visitors with a wide range of activities to partake in, sights to see, and flavors to be savored.
Perhaps due to its outward-facing past, contemporary Fukuoka’s best claim to fame lies with its delectable regional cuisine, with Fukuoka-style Hakata ramen leading the way. Hakata ramen’s cloudy, piquant pork broth called tonkotsu pairs brilliantly with pickled ginger and sesame seeds. Keep in mind that most ramen joints will refill your bowl, so save that broth! The best place to slurp Hakata ramen is at one of the yatai booths set up along the Nakagawa River; side up to one of these at night and you’re likely to find yourself deep in conversation with a local, language barriers be damned. The flowing beer from local craft breweries such as K’s Brewing Company and Suginoya certainly helps keep the conversation moving.
Most hotels in Fukuoka are clustered around the major strain station hubs: Hakata Station, and near Gion and Tenjin. You will find a wide range of Fukuoka accommodation options here, from budget and business hotels for those looking to stretch their yen, to high-end resorts from world-class hoteliers. The Hilton Fukuoka Sea Hawk, one of the city’s tallest skyscrapers and a noted landmark, sits next to the Fukuoka Dome and across from Momochi Beach – the perfect spot to lounge in the lap of luxury. Of course, Expedia has a host of Fukuoka hotels for you to browse at your convenience.
Fukuoka is best experienced on foot, especially if one plans on staying in the central area around Hakata. Stroll over to Maizuru Park (especially if you are in town for cherry blossoms in late March / early April), and then head over to the Machiya Folk Museum to see how old-town Hakata looked once upon a time. If shopping is on your itinerary, do not miss Tenjin: meander down Showa-dori and choose from an impressive array of upscale department stores such as Daimaru and Mitsukoshi, or duck onto one of the many side streets for some more off-beat fashion options. Halfway between Tenjin and Hakata stands the eye-catching, spherical Canal City shopping complex with multiple floors dedicated to a collection of restaurants and cafes.
Let Expedia help with your next Fukuoka hotel booking – we have the widest selection of available rooms and the best rates around. With all the money you can save by booking with Expedia, you could practically buy your own yatai booth and start selling delicious Hakata ramen yourself!