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Fukuoka

Photo © ilyushin

Travel Guide Asia Japan Kyushu Fukuoka

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Introduction

Huge Ferris Wheel in Fukuoka

Huge Ferris Wheel in Fukuoka

© All Rights Reserved jbennett

Fukuoka, on the northern shore of the island of Kyūshū, is the capital of Fukuoka Prefecture and one of Japan's major trading ports. It is considered the gateway to southern Japan and is also the main city for Chinese and Korean culture.

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Events and Festivals

  • Hakata Yamasaka Gion matsuri (02 Jul 2013 - 15 Jul 2013) - It's a more than 700-year-old festival stil alive with traditions. Famous for its one ton float-racing, it has a 750-year history, attracts up to a million spectators, and in 1979 was designated an Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property. The sound of the Kaki Yamakasa has been selected by the Ministry of the Environment as one of the 100 Soundscapes of Japan. Address: Hakata the center of Fukuoka, Hours: All day long, Price: Free

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Weather

Fukuoka has a humid subtropical climate and it has hot humid summers and relatively mild winters. The city also sees on average about 1,600 mm of precipitation per year, with a stretch of more intense precipitation between the months of June and September. Along with much of the prefecture, Fukuoka City has a moderate climate with an annual average temperature of 16.3 °C, average humidity of 70% and 1,811 annual daylight hours. Roughly 40% of the year is cloudy. Winter temperatures rarely drop below 0 °C and it rarely snows, though light rain does fall on most days if not as consistently as on the Sea of Japan side of Honshu.[5] Spring is warm and sunnier, with cherry blossoms appearing in late March or early April. The rainy season (tsuyu) lasts for approximately six weeks through June and July, during which time the humidity is very high and temperatures hover between 25 °C and 30 °C. Summers are humid and hot, with temperatures peaking around 37 °C. Autumn, often considered to be Fukuoka's best season, is mild and dry, though the typhoon season runs between August and September.

JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Avg Max9.9 °C11.1 °C14.4 °C19.5 °C23.7 °C26.9 °C30.9 °C32.1 °C28.3 °C23.4 °C17.8 °C12.6 °C
Avg Min3.5 °C4.1 °C6.7 °C11.2 °C15.6 °C19.9 °C24.3 °C25 °C21.3 °C15.4 °C10.2 °C5.6 °C
Rainfall68 mm71.5 mm112.5 mm116.6 mm142.5 mm254.8 mm277.9 mm172 mm178.4 mm73.7 mm84.8 mm59.8 mm
Rain Days9.18.311.19.89.311.210.68.99.96.28.38.5

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Getting There

By Plane

Fukuoka Airport (FUK) is the main gateway to Fukuoka and the west of Japan. Destinations include most major Japanese cities and international destinations like Taipei, Beijing, Shanghai Pudong International Airport, Busan, Seoul, Qingdao, Guangzhou, Shenyang, Guam, Manila, Singapore, Bangkok and Ho Chi Minh City.

By Train

Fukuoka can be reached by train from Tokyo and many other cities. Check Hyperdia for schedules and prices.

By Boat

Mirajet has high speed ferries between Busan and Fukuoka, taking only 3 hours. JR Beetle, a Japanese based company, offers the same service.The Camellia-line ferry service is much slower (15 hours) but almost twice as cheap.

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Sleep

Budget

PropertyAddressTypePopularity
Fukuoka Youth Hostel6-7-23.Hakataeki Minami,Hakata-kuHostel-
Guest House Kaine5-9 Susaki-machi Hakata-kuGuesthouse86
Hakata Riverside Hostel4-213 Kamikawabatamachi FukuokaHostel87
Heiwadai Hotel Arato1-5-27 Arato, Chuo-kuHotel74
Heiwadai Hotel Five1-4-2, Imagawa Chuo-kuHotel-
Heiwadai Hotel Tenjin1-5-6 Maizuru Chuo-kuHotel80
International Hostel Khaosan Fukuoka11-34, Hiemachi Hakata-kuHostel81
Japanese Ryokan Kashima Honkan3-11 Reisen-machi Hakata-ku Fukuoka PrefectureHotel87
Mystays Inn Fukuoka Tenjin-minami3-14-20,Haruyoshi Chuo-kuHotel-
Yamamoto Ryokan3-6, Reisen-machi, Hakata-kuHostel-

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Keep Connected

Internet

Manga cafes are dotted along the streets of almost every city in Japan. For a very reasonable price (about ¥100 per 15 minutes), you receive a private cubicle with a PC with internet access at blistering Japanese internet speeds. The chairs are incredibly comfortable (making them an excellent place to sleep for the cash-deprived), and you can even order snacks and drinks from the staff.

A number of business hotels have Internet access available if you have your own device, sometimes for free. It is also possible to find Wi-Fi "hot spots" around many large cities in Japan, especially near tech-related businesses and large corporate buildings with unsecured wireless networks. 3G Wireless Data and Pocket Wifi are other options.

Phone

See also: International Telephone Calls

Payphones (公衆電話 kōshū denwa) are easily found, particularly near train stations, although with the popularity of mobile phones, public pay phones are not quite as numerous as they once were. Gray and green pay phones accept ¥10 and ¥100 coins and prepaid cards. Be aware that not all places with public telephones have phones that accept coins, so it may be worthwhile to buy a phone card for emergency use. Some of the gray phones, as indicated on the display, can make international calls. Pre-paid cards can be purchased at convenience stores, train station kiosk stores and sometimes in vending machines next to the phone.

Modern Japanese mobile phones (携帯電話 keitai denwa or just keitai) tend to operate on unique cellular standards not always compatible with the rest of the world. 3G phones using the UMTS/WCDMA2100 standard and equipped with a 3G SIM card will most likely work. If your phone is up to spec, double-check with your carrier if they have a roaming agreement with either SoftBank or NTT DoCoMo. Coverage is generally excellent, unless you are heading to some remote mountainous areas. If you have no 3G phone but still have a 3G-compatible SIM card, you can rent a 3G phone in Japan and slot in your card, allowing you to keep your home phone number in Japan. For a longer trip, you can also purchase a phone, but doing this legally requires an Alien Registration Card (or an obliging Japanese friend willing to front for you).

The easier way is to get a prepaid phone. Prepaid phones are sold in most SoftBank and AU stores. If you already have a 3G phone, go with Softbank as it can sell SIMs as opposed to au whose prepaid service is phone-based like most CDMA carriers. Prepaid phones use a "card" with a pass key to "charge" a phone with minutes. These prepaid calling cards, unlike the phone itself, can be found in most convenience stores. A prepaid cell phone is available for as little as ¥5000 plus ¥3000 for a 60-90 day call time package, which will get drained at a rate of ¥100 per minute (¥10 per 6 seconds for AU's prepaid service). Both SoftBank and AU offer prepaid phones.

Post

The Japanese postal service is excellent! Domestic and international mail service is very quick and reliable. The prices for sending letters, postcards and parcels vary depending on where you send if from and to which country you send it too, and of course depends on weight as well, so check this calculation page of Japan Post for more details. Post offices generally are open from 9:00am to 5:00pm on weekdays, closing at weekends and also on national holidays, though a few open on Saturdays from 9:00am to 3:00pm. Central post offices are sometimes open until 7:00pm, open on Saturdays from 9:00am to 5:00pm and on Sundays and holidays from 9:00am to 12:30pm. There are post offices in every major city and minor town. Another thing to remember is that the post office is one of the few places in Japan that is guaranteed to have ATMs that take international cards.

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Quick Facts

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Coordinates
  • Latitude: 33.5903547
  • Longitude: 130.4017155

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This is version 12. Last edited at 12:16 on Aug 21, 13 by Utrecht. 26 articles link to this page.

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