5 Recommended Sightseeing Spots Not Far From Fukuoka
There are many attractive cities and famous sightseeing spots around Fukuoka. Here are five recommended spots that are just 1 - 2 hours away from Hakata Station by train and other modes of transport where you can go to on a day trip.
Anego no Hama is a place where the sand makes this mysterious sound like singing when people walk on it, a phenomena called "nakisuna" ("singing sand"). It's a sound caused by the friction of quartz sand, and is apparently heard only on clean beaches. There used to be about 90 singing beaches in Japan, but now there are only 20 of them, making them precious spots. Even at Anego no Hama, the singing of the sand stopped around 1960 due to the changes in the environment, but began to be heard again by around 1994 thanks to the cleanup activities and efforts of local residents in the area. This crescent-shaped sandy beach along Coastal Road 202 measures 1.1km in length and about 20m in breadth, and is famous as a spot for taking in the beautiful sunset. Lend an ear to the singing sound of the sand that was brought back to life by the commitment of its residents and marvel at the gorgeous sunset at the Genkai Sea.
*Photo is for illustration purposes
Thanks to the landscape of the castle town that flourished in 1185 - 1868 remaining intact, Akizuki Castle Town is sometimes called “Little Kyoto”. This town that is not advertised as a sightseeing spot is actually best explored on foot. Designated as a National Important Preservation District for Groups of Historic Buildings, this town is home to the Akizuki castle ruins, samurai mansions, and other precious landmarks, and you can go around the major tourist spots in this area in just about an hour. Sugi no Baba, the 500m road in front of the castle, was the horse riding training area for samurai, but now it's lined with cherry blossom trees and visited by many people every year. This town has kept the mossy stonewall said to be a remnant from the 1600s on the riverbank and rice fields that blend into the town’s landscape, along with the town division, canals, road grid and the row of old buildings, exactly to how they looked during those days. Going to Akizuki is like slipping in time to the Edo Period (1603 - 1868). This town is not just a historical site, but is also a sightseeing spot where you would want to feel the atmosphere of the castle town while slowly walking around town.
*The picture shows the Akizuki Castle Ruins’ Nagayamon gate
Tachibana-shi Teien is the garden of the Tachibana family that has been kept for more than 400 years. This entire area has been designated as a national site of scenic beauty, so it has become a precious historical heritage that requires protection. Tachibana-shi Teien is famous for the gorgeous Japanese garden Shotoen (rippling pine garden) that is made up of 1,500 garden rocks and 280 pine trees, with a pond garden that symbolizes the ocean with small, large, and rocky islands laid out on it. Wild ducks migrate to this garden in the winter, giving visitors a chance to see lovely scenes. Further, you can tour the Ohiroma Great Hall right next to the front door of the guest house Seiyokan Annex, where the Tachibana family received important people at that time, as well as the Tachibana Museum. After visiting the gardens and buildings, head straight to the Taigetsukan Restaurant where you can eat cuisine unique to the Yanagawa area while looking at Shotoen. Tachibana-shi Teien is a sightseeing spot in the riverside district of Yanagawa that opens the residences of daimyo feudal lords up to nobility over the years in order to convey their history.
Admission to this site is 500 JPY, but guests staying at the Yanagawa Banshu Tachibanatei Ohana are free to enter the gardens.
3. Tachibana-shi Teien (Tachibana Family Gardens)
There are many companies offering rides on ferryboats downstream the Yanagawa called "kawakudari," and while the rates vary depending on the number of people riding, the course and the company, a ride on these boats roughly costs 1,500 JPY. By riding on a boat maneuvered by a single bamboo pole, you get to take a truly enjoyable downstream journey where you sometimes need to lower your head when passing under bridges, pass by other ships several times along the way, and skim along the water. When it rains, you can borrow a raincoat, and during winter, you can take in the sights while under a kotatsu (heated table). Akaribune, boats with lights, are available in the summer for guests who wish to drink alcohol at night. And if you’re lucky, you just might see a bridal boat carrying the bride and groom to their wedding. Kawakudari is recommended to those who wish to spend their time in an at-home atmosphere while listening to the stories and songs of the boatman and exchanging greetings with boats and people that pass by.
4. Yanagawa Kawakudari
Opened 120 years ago, Mojiko is a port that prospered and became regarded as one of Japan’s three largest ports along with Kobe and Yokohama. With many modern buildings from those days still remaining, this district has become a popular sightseeing spot with an exotic atmosphere in the air. European ships enter and depart from this international trading port, giving birth to a lot of dishes that fuse Western and Eastern influences. Of these dishes, the most well-known dish of Mojiko is yakicurry (baked curry), which is made by putting curry, cheese, and eggs on rice and then baking them together gratin style. This port also holds various events, especially during weekends, so it could get quite crowded on those days. They also recreate the “banana tatakiuri” event, in which bananas were sold through auction thanks to their high-class status. Why not join while listening to the rhythmical sales pitches for the products? Mojiko is a port town where the retro town from 120 years ago is fused with the new town, and where guests will be able to enjoy the sights, food and accommodations. Come and marvel at everything they have in store for you, from taking a stroll around the townp to the lighting of the town at night.
These are some sightseeing spots that can be visited on a day tour from Fukuoka and that have impressive sceneries, so wander off to the outskirts of Fukuoka and drop by these places.
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.