Discover the “REAL” Japan

Fukuoka is not just considered by locals to be Japan’s most pleasant and livable urban center, but recently it also became very popular amongst many Western travellers.

Fukuoka is the oldest city in Japan with a long history of cross-cultural trade and close relationships with its neighbors, yet it has preserved so much of Japan’s culture. Due to its unique geographical location and cosmopolitan flair it is known as the gateway into Japan.

Fukuoka is the perfect place for a first-time visitor to Japan to experience the REAL Japanese lifestyle. Indulge in all the culinary, cultural and social activities this city has to offer while making friends with locals.

Top Ten

There are many good things to say about this city and its warm-hearted people, so we summed up our top ten things to check out while in Fukuoka.

1.Japan’s Ramen & Yatai Capital

If you love Ramen (Noodle Soup) especially the nationwide famous Tonkotsu-Ramen (pork bone broth), you are at the best spot. There is no other city in Japan with such a variety of Ramen places to try. Moreover almost 70% of all Yatais (Mobile Food Stalls) in Japan are located here. Meaning you will be served all kinds of freshly prepared local foods. Only in Fukuoka is this old street style dining culture still present and also a vital place to make friends with fellow locals. Make sure to come with a large appetite!

2.Japan’s Greenest Urban City

Recently Fukuoka became the 5th largest city and only metropolitan region in Japan with a growing population. It is undisputably an urban jungle, but it’s also the greenest one you can find over here. From downtown, hop on your bicycle and in about 15 minutes you will be at the beach. Add another ten minutes and it’s about time to go hiking in the mountains.
Where else can you have all this in one city?

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3.Get Around Quick And Convenient

From the airport to downtown in less than ten minutes via subway; only in Fukuoka. Other treats such as 100Yen buses to Hakata and downtown Tenjin are just another proof of the very affordable transportation system. And if that’s even too much, don’t worry. You will soon discover one thing: Bicycles, everywhere! Almost any corner of the city is easily accessible within less than 30 minutes via bicycle, and yes, they can be rented almost anywhere. It’s also a good way to exercise and stay healty.

4.Affordable Living Costs

Japan is expensive? – Not if you call Fukuoka your home. With rent prices almost one third of Tokyo’s downtown condominiums, cheap food on every corner and very affordable pubs and cafes to spend a fun night out with friends, this is the best place to be a student or even to settle down.

5.Largest Traditional Festivals

Fukuoka’s residents have a reputation of enjoying life and having a good time, as any visitor can see when visiting one of several local festivals held throughout the year. The largest and most important ones are Dontaku and Hakata Gion Yamakasa. The latter one was recently included by UNESCO as “Intangible Cultural Heritage” due to its customs of having a street race by large teams, who are carrying huge wooden towers of over ten meters through the whole city. It is an annual spectacle where thousand of visitors come to enjoy this centuries old festival and immerse themselves in the mystical spirit that surrounds this celebration.

6.Fukuoka is YUMMY!

Ok, ok, we spoke about Ramen, but that’s not all! Fukuoka is widely known for being the place of origin of many Japanese delicacies. From Hitokuchi Gyoza (tiny fried crispy dumplings) to Mizutaki (chicken hotpot) as well as locally produced Wagyu (highest quality of beef) or any kind of fresh seafood you can think; Fukuoka has it all! For adventurous travellers, some restaurants even offer the option to go fishing inside their restaurant’s giant aquariums!

7.Largest Host of International Conferences

Nowhere else in Japan are more international conferences, fashion shows, exhibitions, concerts and music festivals held than in Fukuoka. Its close proximity to South Korea, China and Taiwan combined with regular international flights attracts a lot of foreign music performers, especially worldwide known KPOP Stars.

8.Explore Southern Japan & the Rest of Asia

Make Fukuoka your base for exploring the Southern Japan and hop on a cheap direct flight to any large city in Asia for a weekend trip. South Koreas largest port city Pusan is also less than three hours away by ferry. Yes, everything is easily accessible from here and even more important: Cheap! Strongly recommended for low-budget travellers and backpackers!

9.Startup City Japan

Fukuoka was the first city introducing a new special visa: ‘Startup Visa’. This visa enables foreign entrepreneurs to start their business here and get all the support that they need in English/Japanese. From opening a bank account, business seminars, networking events, free consulting services with lawyers, solicitors, tax accountants, etc. Everything can be found at the Startup Café Fukuoka and Meiji Academy also offers full covered support including translations of governmental documents from English, German, French, Croatian, Serbian and other languages into Japanese.

10.Place To Be

For many years in a row, several magazines (7th most livable city, Monocle 2016) and websites named Fukuoka as one of the worlds top ten places to live, work and study. We ourselves are convinced and many visitors to Fukuoka do agree that these statements are true. The thing that makes places most livable is a good environment to live and work, yet the most essential part should not be forgotten: The People. Coming here means you are not a guest, but much more: one of us! Fukuoka has a reputation of welcoming new residents from around the world and many made therefore this city their new home. It’s time for you to see it yourself.

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