Discover Nagasaki Prefecture: From Festivals to Glamping and Island Hopping
Fukuoka Prefecture is one of my favorite prefectures on the Kyushu island. Fukuoka prefecture is super lively prefecture among all prefectures in Kyushu. People, there are very open and friendly. On top of it, their local food tastes incredible! The capital city, Fukuoka city is where you can find exciting things to do and exceptionally good food. If you are more like a nature lover, there are nature spots that you can explore as well! Getting interested to know more about Fukuoka Prefecture? Here I would like to introduce 10 best festivals to join by season and places you should see in Fukuoka prefecture. I hope you will consider visiting this fun and energetic prefecture by the end of this article.
★About Fukuoka Prefecture
★10 Best Festivals to Go in Fukuoka Prefecture by Season
– Kawachi Fujien (Spring)
– Cherry Blossoms in Yanagawa (Spring)
– Oitatsu Hachimangu Jinko Festival (Spring)
– Sunset Live Festival (Summer)
– Mitama Festival (Summer)
– Isla de Salsa, Latin Music Festival (Autumn)
– Dazaifu Lantern Festival (Autumn)
– Momiji Festival (Autumn)
– Jojima Sake Festival (Winter)
– Daizenji Omiyo Fire Festival (Winter)
★Places to Go and Things to Do in Fukuoka Prefecture
– Nokono Island, Shikano Island, Hiko Mountain and Senbutshu Limestone Cave for Exploring Nature
– Fukuoka Castle, Mojiko Retro and Munakata Shrine for Tracing the History
– Yatai, JR Hakata Building “Three Hundred Steps from the Station Alley” and Museum Haku Haku for Tasting Local Food
Fukuoka prefecture is in the northern part of Kyushu Island in Japan. It is one of the 7 prefectures of Kyushu area. Other prefectures in Kyushu are Saga, Nagasaki, Oita, Kumamoto, Miyazaki and Kagoshima prefectures. Each prefecture in Kyushu area has its unique features. It would be a good idea to explore other prefectures in Kyushu while you visit Fukuoka if you have time and chance. Getting back to Fukuoka, this prefecture is a junction to Kyusyu area. Shinkansen (bullet train) coming from Honshu goes through Hakata station, where you transfer to Kyushu line, which goes down to Kagoshima prefecture.
Also, there is an international airport in Fukuoka. You can fly to Korea, Taiwan or Hong Kong from there. The capital city of Fukuoka prefecture is Fukuoka city which is on the 9th place by population ranking in Japan. Fukuoka prefecture is surrounded by the ocean. There is Japan Sea on the north side, Inland Sea on the east side and Ariake Sea in Chikugo area.
Fukuoka prefecture is not only blessed with the sea but also with mountains. There are Tsukushi mountains stretching through the central part of the prefecture. People in Fukuoka are said to be open minded and friendly. They love to party and drinking based on my personal experience. Like any other prefectures in Japan, Fukuoka has its own unique culture. You will definitely get to like this fun and energetic prefecture! Let’s learn more about Fukuoka prefecture by joining local festivals that I am going to introduce later in this article. Before actually visit Fukuoka prefecture, here is the tourist video for you to check:
There are plenty of festivals you can join in Fukuoka prefecture by season. Most of the festivals and events in Fukuoka prefecture are very energetic and fun. I guarantee that no matter what festival or event you join, you will find something new about Fukuoka prefecture.Here are 10 festivals and events I recommend you see when you travel there. If you are wondering about other festivals and events in Fukuoka prefecture, please check here: https://festivalgo.huber-japan.com/page/2/?events_season&events_region&s=Fukuoka .You can find festivals and events that fit in your trip schedule.
Kawachi Fujien locates in Kitakyushu city in Fukuoka prefecture. It was featured by CNN as one of the most beautiful sites you should visit in the world in 2015. You might have come across the picture of this beautiful garden. There are a lot of people visiting to admire gorgeous looking wisteria blooming in spring from all over the world. If you plan to pay a visit to Fukuoka prefecture in spring, there is no reason for you to miss this spot.
The season for wisteria is short. Kawachi Fujien opens from late April to mid-May depending on the weather. You’d better check their official website (in Japanse) before you actually plan to visit the park. The admission fee for the garden varies from 500 Yen to 1500 Yen. It is highly recommended to get a ticket in advance to get in the garden as there is a slight chance to be turned away on the spot. You can get the ticket at a convenience store, such as Seven Eleven or Family Mart. Please inquire to the convenience store stuff if you are not sure how to operate the ticket machine. For more information about this amazing event. Please check the following link, URL https://festivalgo.huber-japan.com/events/4160/
Hanami is one of the big spring events in Japan. From the end of March to the beginning of April, you will see people gathering under the Cherry Blossoms over food and drinks everywhere. Fukuoka is not an exception. If you are interested in joining this Japanese traditional spring event, Cherry Blossoms in Yanagawa is the best one for you. Yanagawa river runs near the Chikugo River. It has an easy access from the central part of the city. Visiting there would become a nice opportunity for you to have some fresh air and enjoy stunning Cherry Blossoms.
The best season to visit Yanagawa is when the cherry trees flourish. I would recommend you being there at the very end of March to the beginning of April. You can either bring your homemade food or buy some in the convenience store and enjoy a potluck with your friends. There are a few kimono shops where you can try wearing kimono. Also, there is a river cruise around Yanagawa Station. Strolling around the river would be a nice idea but joining a river cruise would make your trip more memorable. For more information about this event, check the following link, URL: https://festivalgo.huber-japan.com/events/3271/
There is a place named Miyako District in Fukuoka prefecture. Saigawa locates in Miyako District where this festival takes place. Saigawa looks like a typical rural area of Japan featuring rice fields and fruit farms. This typical Japanese town gets super energetic when Oitatsu Hachimanhu Jinko Festival starts in May.
Oitatsu Hachimangu Jinko Festival is a three-day event. It celebrates the unity of the local community and its traditions. This event is held at Oitatsu shrine along the Imagawa River. What you will see there is a bunch of local men in happi (traditional Japanese festival clothes) carrying eight gigantic, 15 meters high portable shrines and chanting. There will be food stalls lined up by the street side. Enjoy traditional Japanese festival food! For more information about this festival, please check the following link: https://festivalgo.huber-japan.com/events/1383/
Sunset Live Festival is the event for music and art lovers. It started in 1993 by the guy who opened “Beach Café Sunset” at Ito island’s surf point. Only 500 people joined for the first event, but soon it became one of the hottest events in Kyushu that attracts over 15,000 people from all over Kyushu and other prefectures. The concept of this festival is “Love and Unity”. Also, this festival promotes local craftsmanship. That is the reason why this event is about music and art.
Sunset Live Festival takes place at the beginning of September. It is still super hot in Fukuoka around this time. The tickets for this event can be purchased at their Official Website (for 2018, only in Japanese). One day ticket costs 7,000 Yen and for two days ticket, you need to pay 13,800 Yen. The music playing at this festival varies including reggae, ska, acoustic, R&B, rock, punk and jazz. It will definitely push your mood up! There will be food and drink vendors lining up at the venue. So, don’t worry about being hungry or thirsty. Let’s sing and dance like crazy at this event with local people! You can check how to access the venue or what else you can do during this festival at, URL: https://festivalgo.huber-japan.com/events/1168/
The middle of August is a season called Obon. This is when most Japanese people take days off from brutal work and go back to their hometown to commemorate ancestors. Mitama Festival is one of the events that celebrate and commemorate ancestors. This is a special occasion for you to learn Japanese traditional Obon custom.
This festival is a four-day festival. It lasts from August 13th to 16th during the Obon season. The venue for this festival is Gokoku Shrine in Fukuoka city. The highlight of this event is hypnotizing lanterns. Over 6000 lanterns are lit up and surround the venue with warm lights. There will be music concerts, drum performance, and Syamisen (Japanese traditional instrument) play going on during the festival. Also, you can enjoy flea night market at the venue. If you want to know more about this festival, please check the following link, URL: https://festivalgo.huber-japan.com/events/1008/
Do you sometimes feel the urge to dance with passionate Latin Music like me? If so, this Isala De Salsa, Latin Music Festival is the one for you to go. This festival has 20 years history and became popular among people who love Latin dance and music in Fukuoka prefecture. It takes place at the beach. It would not be too bad to feel Latin vibes while you are in Fukuoka. Let’s get passionate and dance like crazy, huh?
This festival is a two-day event. However, in 2018 it was held on September 2nd on Sunday for one day due to the typhoon. The venue for this event is Nokono Island. There is a ferry connecting the island and Fukuoka city. The admission fee for this event is 4,500 Yen. You can get tickets through plus or ticket pia (Both only in Japanese). For the event in 2019, please refer to the official website. Let’s enjoy Latin music from Japan and abroad. You will be overwhelmed with the Latin power at this festival! Please check for details about this festival at, URL: https://festivalgo.huber-japan.com/events/1058/
If you ever visit Fukuoka Prefecture, Dazaifu Shrine is one of the must-see spots in Fukuoka. The shrine worships Michizane Sugawara who was a politician and professor in the ancient times. There are small shrines that worship him all over Japan. Dazaifu Shrine in Fukuoka is the head shrine of those small shrines. There are always thousands of visitors in this shrine from other places in Japan to pray for the success in education. This shrine is also appointed as one of the famous tourist spots in Fukuoka.
This festival takes place at the end of September for two days. It started only 2 years ago. There will be around 10,000 candles decorating the shrine and the view is astonishing! Each year that festival has different themes. There will be Kagura performance which a shrine maiden dances with the bell and sacred music. Those lanterns and the performance will bring you to a mystical world. You can visit Kyushu National Museum before the festival. It is within walking distance from the venue of this festival. Learning about Japan and going to this festival will make your day perfectly educational. For more information about this festival, please read the following article, URL: https://festivalgo.huber-japan.com/events/3244/
Momijigari is another Japanese traditional custom when people enjoy colors of leaves turning bright like orange and red. Japanese people travel to other cities or prefectures to seek for the beautiful spot to do Momijigari in autumn. Aburayama Shimin no Mori Park (油山市民の森) is one of the greatest Momijigari spots in Fukuoka. Why don’t you enjoy and feel the beginning of autumn in this famous Momijigari spot?
Aburayama Shimin no Mori is a public park for citizens located at the eastern side of Mt. Aburayama in Fukuoka city. The easiest way to access this park is by car. If you have an international license, it would be better to rent a car. You will enjoy a car ride from the city to the venue. The park is 90 hectares large and there is a hiking trail you can walk down. The best season to go there is either at the end of October or November when the park gets features colorful autumn foliage. You can enjoy the beautiful view from the bridge in the park or sky tower. For more information about the park and Momiji event, please refer to the following article, URL: https://festivalgo.huber-japan.com/events/1400/
Yes, I know the winter is cold. We all need something to warm up our bodies during this cold and nasty season. If there is a festival where we can warm up our bodies and experience traditional Japanese beverages, there is no reason to skip it. The Jojima Sake Festival makes our desires come true. This is a brewery hopping festival where you can try many types of Japanese sake and stay warm. What a perfect event for the winter!
This festival takes place in the middle of February at Jojima town in the southern part of Fukuoka Prefecture. Jojima town is known as a famous place for sake brewing in Japan following Nada in Hyogo Prefecture and Fushimi in Kyoto Prefecture. This event attracts around 110,000 sake lovers from all over Japan. You can try out local sake and amazake (sweeten sake) at this festival. If you get hungry, there is a huge hot pot and the local special food at the food booths at the venue. It matches with sake very nicely. If you are a sake lover, why don’t you hit this sake hopping event? For more information about this festival, please read the following article, URL: https://festivalgo.huber-japan.com/events/3262/
Daizen Omiyo Fire Festival is a very special event, which takes place on the first week of January in Kurume city of Fukuoka Prefecture. This event has over 1600 years of history and is one of the major fire festivals in Japan. The concept of this festival is to protect the town from the devil. Please enjoy this holy historical event while you are there.
This event starts at around 7:00 p.m. and ends at 11:30 p.m. The venue of this festival is Daizen temple Tamata Gu. There is a train running from Hakata station. The venue is not difficult to find from the nearest station – Daizenji Station. The most spectacular thing at this festival is the huge burning torch that makes the venue really blight. You will see half-naked guys carrying fire torches and the atmosphere of the festival is holy yet stunning. Because of its long history, this festival is registered as an important intangible cultural property. If you are looking for some traditional festival to join, why don’t you consider dropping by this festival? For more details about this festival, please click on the following link, URL: https://festivalgo.huber-japan.com/events/1391/
Other than those festivals introduced above, there are so many places to go and things to do something fun in Fukuoka prefecture. As I mentioned in the introduction of this article, this prefecture is blessed with the ocean and mountains. Especially Fukuoka City is the place full of entertainment. If you do not have enough time to explore the whole Fukuoka prefecture, it is worth spending time only in Fukuoka city. Also, you can visit natural spots or the ocean side for relaxing. Regardless of your nature, city person or nature person, Fukuoka prefecture offers you whatever suits your expectations. Try the delicious local food, explore nature and entertainments in Fukuoka Prefecture. In this section, I picked 10 best places you should visit in Fukuoka. Please take a look and see if you can find something that intrigues you.
This island has an easy access from the center of the city. It only takes 10 minutes by ferry from the city. After the short ferry ride, you will be surrounded by nature. The circuit of this island is just 12km. This island is famous for seasonal flowers and the ocean. You can totally forget about hustle and bustle of the city there. There are some historical areas such as Soda Mounds and abates to explore. The best season to visit this island would be either spring or summer. Enjoy beautifully spreading rape fields in spring or lay down on the beach in summer. Here is the official website of this island for more details, URL: http://nokonoshima.com/en/
Shikano Island is another island that belongs to Fukushima prefecture. This island is connected with Fukushima city. The best way to access the island is by car. It just takes 30 minutes from Fukuoka city. Driving along the road which is surrounded by the ocean is amazing! If you are a bike rider, bike riding to the island is another way to access Shikano Island. This island is known as gourmet heaven. Because it offers various types of fresh seafood cuisine. Those seafood dishes will definitely satisfy your stomach and eyes. The best season to visit this island is in the summer. You can enjoy hiking, bike riding, camping, and swimming or surfing! For more information about this island, please check the official website, URL: https://qkamura.or.jp/shikano/sightseeing/
If you want to be isolated from the city Hiko Mountain is the place for you to go. This mountain is 1200 meters tall. It is one of the best hiking spots in the prefecture. Along with the hiking trails, there are many historical remains from the ancient times. You will find solemn secret caves that were used for training of mountain priests. The best season to visit this mountain is autumn. The mountain shows its beautiful features with colorful foliage. Walking down the trail with such a view will be super refreshing. If you are not interested in the hiking, don’t worry, you can climb the mountain with ropeways. Enjoy the fresh air and autumn view in the mountains. For more information about this mountain, please visit the following website, URL: http://www.soeda-kankou.com/area01/ (Only in Japanese)
Senbutsu Limestone Cave is a secret tourist spot. It is located in Kita Kyushu city. Going through this limestone Cave is pretty adventurous. This Limestone cave is 1200 meters long and after the first 900 meters, there is no light to see the path. The space in this cave is very narrow. You must slide between limestone and go under it. On top of it, the last few meters of this cave you have to walk in the water in the darkness. Are you ready for this adventure? The temperature in this limestone cave is around 14 degrees. If you plan to challenge this cave, please bring your jacket just in case you get lost in it. You can get more information about this scary cave here, URL: http://www.senbutsu-cave.com/ (only in Japanese)
Due to its location, Fukuoka prefecture was a gateway to ancient Korea and China. The transportation system was relatively developed in the Edo period; Fukuoka was a strategic point for traffic. Exploring historical spots in Fukuoka Prefecture deepens your knowledge about Fukuoka and Japan. There are many historical spots to visit in this prefecture where you can feel the stream of history. In this section, I will introduce some historical spots that you must visit in Fukuoka prefecture during your next trip.
Fukuoka castle is in Hakata City of Fukuoka prefecture. The castle is called Maizuru castle as the feature of the castle looks like the crane flying into the sky. Most of the castle was destroyed during the Meiji period. Ye,t there are some remains from the Edo period, such as a memorial tower, Najima gate, and Shimonohashi gate. Those historical remains are registered as prefectural and city tangible cultural properties. There is Fukuoka castle ruins visitor center where you can learn the history of Fukuoka from a different perspective through old maps and models. For more information, please visit the official website, URL: http://fukuokajyo.com/ (Only in Japanese)
Mojiko Retro is one of the famous historical spots in Fukuoka Prefecture. It locates in Kitakyushu city. In this spot, you can feel the air of the Taisho Era when Japan was flourishing through trading with foreign countries. There are many buildings that were built around that time. Mojiko developed as the center of logistics in Japan. It was one of the important ports which contributed to Japanese economy back then. Walking around this area makes you feel as if you are in Europe. The best time to visit Mojiko Retro is evening. The reflection of the sunset on the retro looking architectures in the area looks very romantic. You can also enjoy shopping and tasting local food there at the restaurants. You can learn more about this place at the official website, URL: http://www.mojiko.info/ (Only in Japanese)
Munakata Shrine locates in Munakata city in Fukuoka prefecture. It is the head shrine for several thousands of Munakata shrines scattering around Japan. This shrine worships three daughters of Amaterasu Onokami – the greatest Japanese god and dedicated to safe traveling. It is a perfect place to visit for a traveler like you. Also, Munakata shrine is registered as the world heritage in 2017. The grounds of this shrine are pretty vast. You can walk around and check the architecture of its buildings. Each of them has specific style depending on the time they were built. If you are interested in Japanese ancient religion and architecture, visiting this shrine would be an excellent opportunity to witness different periods. For more information about this shrine, please visit its official website, URL: http://www.munakata-taisha.or.jp/index.html
When people hear about Fukuoka, what comes their mind is food! Fukuoka is famous for offering great food starting from Hakata Ramen (Japanese noodle soup), Mentaiko (seasoned cod roe), Motsu Nabe (Japanese hotpot) and more! Also, Fukuoka is famous for its Yatai (food stalls) culture. Exploring nature and historical places is, of course, important, but if you ever come to Fukuoka, you definitely have to try their local food! After all, we love eating and tasting gorgeous local food while we are on the trip, right? Here are some places you can try goodies in Fukuoka prefecture!
Yatai is only a Fukuoka thing. You do not see Yatai lined up on the streets as many as in Fukuoka in the other prefectures of Japan. Yatai means a food stall. It is something that you often see at the festivals. But Yatai in Fukuoka is different from those. You can sit in front of Yatai and have food there. There are 5 famous Yatai areas in Hakata City. The ones you have to go are Nakasu and Nakagawa-machi areas. You will see over 22 Yatai lining up next to each other along the riverside. I am pretty sure you can find the one you like among those Yatai. My recommendation is Hakata ramen. Please try and taste the Pork based delicious Japanese noodle soup! Find about more about Yatai, and go to the official website, URL: https://yokanavi.com/en/yatai/
Strolling Yatai would be very exciting and fun. But what if you are super starving right after you get to Fukuoka Prefecture? In this case, I recommend you dash in Three Hundred Steps from the Station Alley in JR Hakata Station. (駅から３百歩横丁) In this alley, you can try out Fukuoka traditional food straight away. This place gets super packed during weekends as everybody knows what they can get there. What you should try in this famous alley is Motsu Nabe (Japanese hot pot) at Ikkei. The official website of this alley is here, URL: http://www.jrhakatacity.com/jrjp_hakata/ (Only in Japanese)
Mentaiko (seasoned cod roe) represents Fukuoka prefecture. From the moment you get in there, you will see a red chunk of meat looking products everywhere. They are called Mentaiko. If you are not vegetarian, you should try out this special local food. In Haku Haku museum, you can not only taste casual Mentaiko food at the café but also make your original Mentaiko. Museum Haku Haku also offers a chance to learn about food culture in Fukuoka prefecture through exhibitions. If you are curious about the food and history of Fukuoka, this museum should be on your travel list. For more information about this facility, please check the following link, URL: http://117hakuhaku.com/ (Only in Japanese)
Thank you for reading this article to the end. I hope it made you feel like visiting Fukuoka prefecture. It is difficult to mention every single event and a great spot in Fukuoka in one article. As you can guess, this prefecture offers great festivals and events to join. And the nature Fukuoka has is amazing. You can enjoy the nice ocean view and mountains. One last thing, please go and try out Fukuoka foods as much as possible. You will be surprised how Japanese food is diverse and delicious.
If you want to find more about this fascinating prefecture, try Huber. and find locals who can help you to sketch you travel plans, will suggest you the best places to visit according to your wishes and will bring you to local festivals! Your trip will be more rewarding if you connect with local people prior to your trip. For more information, please click on the banner below.
If you are in Fukuoka during Golden Week in the beginning of May, you must see the most popular traditional festival of Kyushu – Hakata Dontaku Festival! It has over 830 years of history. And is one of the most famous festivals in the region indeed. It gathers more than 2 million people every year. Come and enjoy watching colorful festival cars, delicious local food and of course dancing with locals! For more information on Hakata Dontaku Festival, please click on the link below.
Image courtesy of Tomomarusan
The food presented during Matsuri is pretty different from the one you get at the restaurants in Japan. Besides, there is a certain charm in grabbing some snack from a food stall and diving back into the festival crowd. I am sure that you will discover something new about Japanese festival food from the following article!
A lot of people when they get to a Matsuri for the first time feel themselves a bit lost. They confuse about what is happening around. If you are new to Japanese Festivals or want to know an alternative way of how you can enjoy these events, the following article will provide you with a set of helpful tips on how to choose a proper festival and activities you should try there. Please don`t hesitate to take a look at it!