Whether you're here on a visa run, or here just for a quick getaway, Fukuoka is an amazing place to explore either by yourself or with a small group of friends/family. Here is our guide to exploring the Fukuoka area on a budget!
Hakata Port Tower
There are two towers in the Fukuoka area- the Hakata Port Tower and the Fukuoka Tower. The Hakata Tower is free, although the only drawback is that there is a barbed wire surrounding the observation deck and it is not quite as tall as the Fukuoka Tower. Nevertheless, it still gives you a nice, clear view of the city, particularly at nighttime!
The Kushida Shrine is located right in the heart of Hakata (get off at Gion station though). It is a small, but popular shrine both for tourists and locals alike. This shrine is built as a place for prayer of peace for the city. (Half of the shrine was blocked off for repairs so I only got to explore a bit of it).
Canal City is a huge indoor/outdoor mall that spans across three buildings. Yes, this is a guide on exploring Fukuoka on a budget but no doubt you will want to sit inside a building with AC and free wifi. This mall has a good mix of both local and non-local brands and a a few tax-free shops that are catered to tourists. No guarantees how much money you'll be tempted to spend here though.
Another reason to stop by Canal City is Ramen Stadium, located on the 5th floor of the South Building. The entire floor is filled with 5-6 different popular ramen stalls from across Japan. These stalls change every few months so your best bet is to just do a random pick when deciding which stall to try!
The little strip of land between the Naka River and the Hakata River is actually known as the red light district in the area. However, putting that thought aside it is still nice place to stroll along the canal in the evening hours. Try the food or have a drink at the popular Yatai stalls that line up the canal for a full Fukuoka experience!
Just 30-40 minutes away (by train) is Dazaifu Shrine. This is a popular shrine among tourists and Japanese students as many would come here to pray right before exams. Don't forget to take a picture with Totoro (at the Ghibili store!), snap a picture of the iconic Starbucks storefront, and try the Umegai-mochi! (
Are you an English teacher from South Korea doing an E2 visa run in Fukuoka? Leave us a comment below and we'll send you a sample itinerary for your trip!