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Fukuoka – Hakata

Fukuoka is a harbour city located in Japan’s southern island called Kyushu. It’s about 2 hours south by flight from Tokyo or 1.5hr via high speed train from Hiroshima. Today’s Fukuoka is the product of the fusion of two cities when the port of Hakata and former castle town of Fukuoka were united. Hakata remains the name of Fukuoka’s central districts and their main railway station.

This area is very laid back and best known for their Tonkotsu (Pork bone base) ramen & Yatai (open air food stalls). We met great locals while dining in their Izakayas (bar/pubs). They happily acknowledge us and show appreciation to us for visiting. We received similar encounters over the last 2 months travelling through Japan. Each city has their own specialties and charm but their hospitality are always at the highest level and surpasses anything we experienced elsewhere around the world.

We spent the most time in one country during this journey in Japan and certainly our admiration for the people, food and culture has grown many folds. And also met new friends which we look forward to seeing again.

 

 

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City view from the Roof of the Fukuoka Tower

 

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Fukuoka Tower is the tallest seaside tower in Japan.

 

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Fukuoka Tower was built on reclaimed land out of Hakata Bay.

 

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The tower was a major feature in the 1994 Japanese film Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla, in which it was also destroyed in the climatic battle between the titular monsters.

 

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Locals bike along the boardwalk by the beach with the convenience of vending machines along the way.

 

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Fukuoka’s open air food stands – Yatai are the city’s best known symbol.

 

There are about 150 Yatai stalls scattered around Fukuoka. They are not a common sight in Japan as it's not easy to obtain a Yatai license today.

There are about 150 Yatai stalls scattered around Fukuoka. They are not a common sight in Japan as it’s not easy to obtain a Yatai license today.

 

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Ichiran a local place which specializes in Hakata style tonkotsu ramen.

 

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Nearly every region in Japan has its own variation of ramen, from the tonkotsu (pork bone broth) ramen of Kyushu to the miso ramen of Hokkaido.

 

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Gyoza served with a crispy top. They often pour batter on top to create a good crunch for the dumplings.

 

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Single stall ramen shop and they serve your ramen thru the straw curtain in front.

 

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Many Izakaya bars are found underneath the Hakata train station where the locals come for food and drink after work.

 

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A favourite with beer in Japanese Izakaya Butabara – Grilled pork belly skewers.

 

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Local delicacy seasoned cod roe over rice.

 

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Everyone’s favourite, chicken karaage.

 

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Always leave room for some red bean and green tea ice cream with shave ice dessert.

 

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Yodabashi Camera near Hakata station is a chain of electronic stores that can be found all over japan. It’s kinda like a Future shop on steroids.

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Typical school uniform throughout Japan. Their backpacks (Randoseru) are made of high quality leather and expected to last the entire elementary term. Most are handmade and upwards of $350 USD+. Synthethic materials are common as it’s lighter and slightly cheaper.

 

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Locals bike everywhere.

 

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Taxis waiting inline for their next fare.

 

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Even scooters are parked with precision.