Our last city in Japan was Fukuoka. After three weeks of traveling the countryof the rising sun, we thought we saw it all. But Fukuoka surprised us – so many shopping centres, you can spend 1 week there to explore them.
Preparing for our onvards travells, we visited just the »must sees«, while we were trying to find last souvenirs, gifts and some new clothes.
We went to the tourist information counter at Hakata station to investigate – what to see and do in the city. As Fukuoka is also a seaside town, my first intetion was going there. But the lady at the office said, it is not soooo nice, we should spend the day downtown. So we did and went to these places:
They said it’s the most important shrine in the area, so we went there. The temple grounds are not very big, but they are packed with torii gates, smal shrines, trees and other temple stuff.
This is a long shopping arcade with around 100 shops next to Kushida shrine and not far from the huge Canal City Hakata shopping Mall.
Canal City Hakata
This mall is easily comparable to the big shopping malls in Bangkok. It is hude (although I still prefere Bangkok <3) with designer brands, electronics, restaurants and all other money spending monsters. Every full hour there’s a fountain music show and on weekends musicians perform in the atrium.
This is a shingon temple, we visited only because of the beautiful pagoda. Afterwards we found out the temple is pretty awesome: this is the oldest shingon temple on this island and also in Japan (built 807), it has many sacred statues, which can be seen only once a month or even once a year and the pagoda, which got our attention has Buddhas ashes. It was sheer luck that we chose to visit this temple.
ACROS stands for Asian CrossRoad over the Sea and is a beautiful building and a melting pot for cultural, international and information exchange. The building itself is an eye-catcher, interesting especially for architecture. From the inside it is white and the atrium is rising high up to the roof, but from the outside it looks like hanging gardens. The rooftop garden goes on into green terraces and evetually merges with the park on the ground. You can climb to the top (free) and you’ll get a revarding view.
The castles isn’t as big and preserved as the ones in Tokyo, Osaka or Kochi, but you can still visit some remains and stroll throgh the park.
It was a lovely sunny day, perfect to pay a visit to Fukuokas biggest park. In the centre is a big pond and you can guess only once what you can do there. J Of course: rent a swan-looking paddleboat and cruise around for 30 minutes (700 Yen – yes, more expensive than Ueno park in Tokyo).
The shrine itself is pretty small, but it feautures the biggest torii gate in Japan!
We visited all these attractins in one day and by foot with some time for shopping. 😉 So don’t vorry, you’re not in a rush and add more shrines and Buddhas to your visit, or drive down to the ocean and soak up some sun and salt.