Hakata Machinaka course(English)

Introduction to Fukuoka

Welcome to Fukuoka!

Ladies and Gemtlemen,
You are very appriciated for taking Fukuoka Open Top Bus.

Fukuoka city is located on the east side of the Japanese Archipelago.
>From Fukuoka to Seoul, Korea is same to Osaka at the distance, also
from Fukuoka to Shanghai, China is same to Tokyo.
Taking advantage of such geographic situation, Fukuoka keeps developing
as the international gateway on bussiness and sightseeing.

Recently the population of Fukuoka is about 1 million and 470 thousand, same scale with Barcelona in Spain and Philadelphia in U.S. You would
enjoy cherry blossom and “Hakata Dontaku Minato Matsuri ” festival in Spring, sea and soul-stirring “Hakata Gion Yamakasa”, the portable shrinerace in Summer, poetic and historical streets strolling in Autumn and as the best season of delicious fishes in Winter.

Fukuoka is listed as one of the most comfortable cities in the world by the foreign friendly people at the city designed of adjoining suburb and rich nature.

Well, let’s go on the drive!

※For more information, please click on the photo.


(1)Hakata Riverain・Hakataza Theater



(2)JR Hakata Station



(3)CANAL CITY Hakata



(4)Kushida Shrine



(5)Ohori Park



(6)Fukuoka Castle Ruins



(7)Keyaki Dori Avenue




Tenjin used to be a Buke town, which means a samurai town of Fukuoka, but the center of commerce had gradually moved to this area after the Meiji period. And now Tenjin has grown into the biggest shopping and entertainment center of western Japan.
Now you can find many department stores and fashion buildings around the area. Every weekend, local residents have a blast in the Tenjin area, and visitors from all over Kyushu and even from Yamaguchi prefecture will come to Tenjin for a shopping spree.
‘Watanabe-dori Avenue’ is the main street of the area. It runs through Tenjin from north to south. During the day time, Tenjin area is crowded with lively shoppers and busy business men between office buildings and business hotels.
However, from evening to nighttime, the Tenjin area transforms into streets filled with food stalls. Tenjin also has a great underground shopping street called the ‘Tenjin Underground Shopping Arcade’, which runs beneath Watanabe-dori Avenue. You can find more than 150 stores lined up on its 590m long shopping arcade.
Some good news for you is that free WiFi connections are provided in this underground shopping arcade.
In the near future, the free WiFi zone will be expanded. The lobby area of Fukuoka City Hall and City Hall Plaza will have free WiFi connections too.


〈Tips in Fukuoka〉
Hakata Dontaku Festival

Now, let me introduce the spring festival representing Fukuoka.
Hakata Dontaku Port Festival is said to be “the festival that gathers the most tourists in Japan”. About 2 million spectators will visit Fukuoka for the festival during Golden Week in the spring.
The word Dontaku comes from a Dutch word “Zondag” which means holiday.
Hakata Dontaku Port Festival has more than 840 years of history, and is held annually on the 3rd and 4th of May.
Young and old, both men and women in their favorite costumes clap flat wooden spoons called “Shamoji” in the parade. They also dance on the stages and open-spaces all around the town, which fills the area with the Dontaku spirit.


〈Gourmet Information〉

Now, if you want to fully enjoy the night in Fukuoka, then one thing you can’t miss is Yatai, which are food stalls. Fukuoka has the biggest number of Yatai in Japan. We have about 150 different stalls around the city.
You can find Japan’s nostalgic vibe once you open the ‘noren’ curtains of Yatai. Great food and great people are waiting for you to join them anytime! Enjoy the warmth and friendly talks with the chef and other diners while you dig into delicious Fukuoka dishes! Visit Yatai and try Hakata Tonkotsu ramen, or other popular Japanese cuisine such as Oden and Yakitori. Some Yatais might even serve cocktails and Tempura, so you might be surprised when you go to different stalls.


Tonkotsu Ramen

Tonkotsu ramen literarily means pork bone noodle soup. In Japan, we have three different types of famous ramens. One is Miso ramen mainly in Sapporo, Hokkaido and soy sauce soup ramen mainly in the Tohoku area of the main island and Tonkotsu ramen mainly in Fukuoka.
Fukuoka’s Tonkotsu ramen is very distinctive with its thick milky white broth. An interesting and unique point about this ramen is that rather thin noodles are used. The reason is tht Hakata people have quick tempers and thin noodles take little time to prepare!
For local residents, Tonkotsu ramen is a “light after-drink meal”, and most people are more in favor of heavy Tonkotsu broth rather than light soy sauce broth. When you order ramen, you can choose how well you would like your noodles to be cooked. “Kata” means al dente, “Futsu” means normally done and “Yawa” means well-done and soft. Remember these three words and you are ready to order. And one more thing, another unique system only in Fukuoka-something called “Kaedama” meaning an extra serving of noodles. When you finish the noodles but you are still craving more, please take the challenge to order “Kaedama” to go with the remaining Tonkotsu soup in your bowl.



The very first company in Japan that made Karashi Mentaiko, which is chili pepper cod roe, was a company from Fukuoka named Fukuya.
Mentaiko originated in Korea. When it came to Japan,it changed a bit and a touch of Japanese style was added. After a few alterations it became a big hit. Fukuya never applied for a patent and instead, they have made the recipe open to the public, and because of that Mentaiko became Fukuoka’s specialty food. Many companies now boast varieties of products using mentaiko. Fukuoka has used mentaiko with many innovative variations, and has even further developed Fukuoka’s food culture. Its spicy and rich flavor is very appetizing simply with rice, but it is also widely used for spaghetti sauces or in omelets.



Motsunabe is a type of hot pot that originated in Fukuoka, It is made with beef or pork offal (guts), which we call “Motsu”. These ingredients are considered to be low in calories and high in nutritional value. Motsunabe is not Motsunabe without heaps of cabbage and garlic chives, and the broth is usually seasoned with miso paste, or soy sauce or salt. Obviously, every restaurant will compete to create their own original broth flavor. Please put rice or Chinese noodles in the pot to finish off your Motsunabe, and it should top up your stomach too.



Yakitori is commonly known as Japanese char-grilled skewers, mainly using chicken meat. Fukuoka is well-known for its high standards of taste and the quality of Yakitori so you can just walk into any Yakitori restaurant and find delicious char-grilled skewers. If you are keen to try out alternative tastes, just sprinkle some chili pepper powder on it or dip it in the Yuzu zest and pepper paste. Normally they will serve sliced cabbage salad, seasoned with vinaigrette dressing after you have ordered yakitoris. In between your orders you can enjoy it as a side salad. A lovely nutritious fact to share with you is that it is normally free to refill the cabbage so you can enjoy these delicious char-grilled skewers and have your fiber at the same time.


Fukuoka Souvenirs TOP10

The Top 10 Fukuoka Souvenirs!
No.10 Yame tea
No.9 Hakata no Hito
No.8 Tsuru no ko
No.7 Mentaiko
No.6 Niwaka Senbei
No.5 Hakata Nagahama Ramen
No.4 Castella
No.3 is Chikushi Mochi. Chikushi mochi is a rice cake made with soybean flour and served with brown sugar syrup. Every time you put it in your mouth, its sweet scent will give you happiness.
No.2 is Hiyoko. Hiyoko is a cute bird shaped sweet. People have loved it since it was invented almost a century ago.
And Fukuoka’s most popular souvenir is Hakata Toorimon. Hakata Toorimon is a sweet that is right between Japanese and Western styles. The sweet white bean paste made with butter and condensed milk is softly wrapped with thin pastry, which has an elegant scent of milk.
When you have a chance please try these popular souvenirs of Fukuoka!