Kitakyushu, an area known for its delicious food and beautiful scenery, has plenty of recommended sightseeing areas. Here are 5 of them.
1. Kanmon Bridge
This bridge that connects Shimonoseki, in Yamaguchi, and Kitakyushu, in Fukuoka, over the Kanmon Straits is 1,068m long and 61m above the surface of the ocean. If you drive, you can enjoy the scenery from the Dannoura parking area (outbound) or the Nukari parking area (inbound). However, the recommendation is to walk the Kanmon Tunnel pedestrian road. The road isn't over the sea, but actually a rare undersea pedestrian street. You take an elevator to and from the tunnel. The border between Yamaguchi and Fukuoka prefectures inside the tunnel is a popular photo spot. Definitely take a picture there!
2. Tanga Market
This is a lively market that has about 120 food-related stores, mostly focusing on seafood but with items like vegetables, meat, dried foodstuffs, and more. It's known as Kitakyushu's kitchen because they offer not just wholesale items for business but ingredients for regular families as well. The recommendation here is the "daigakudon." After you take a walk around the market and check out what you want to eat, you can buy a bowl of white rice at Daigakudo, almost smack-dab in the center of the market. Then you create your own rice bowl by adding any ingredients you like from other shops. Once you have the bowl of rice, shopkeepers will call out to you. That interaction is one of the joys of this meal. You can add whatever you want, whether it be sashimi, fried foods, chicken - what type of rice bowl will you make? Once you finish it, head back to Daigakudo to eat!
3. Mojiko Retro
Moji is a port town that flourished as one of the country's leading trade ports around 120 years ago. Plenty of modern architecture from the period still exists for sightseeing, such as the wooden Mojiko Station and the brick Old Moji Customs Building. In its golden age, boats from China and Europe would come and go, and you can see traces of that in the architecture and food culture of the area. Baked curry is a dish from the Western world that has become a representative dish of Mojiko around the country. The collaboration of the retro townscape and the new city, as well as sightseeing, gourmet, and lodging, can all be enjoyed in Mojiko Retro. It's lit up from lunch time to the evening, so please enjoy that sight.
*Photo is for illustration purposes.
4. Shimonoseki Marine Science Museum Kaikyokan
Cross over the strait from Kitakyushu to Shimonoseki in Yamaguchi, and you can visit a museum that offers exhibitions that you can only see in Shimonoseki. Shimonoseki is famous for fugu (blowfish), a high-class dish. This aquarium boasts an exhibition of the world's largest collection of more than 100 varieties of blowfish. Also, the tidal pool on the 3-4Fs that recreates the whirls of the Kanmon Straits is a must-see. On sunny days especially it merges with the actual Kanmon Straits in the background and it feels like you're peeking into the middle of the ocean. Sometimes you might be able to see fish riding the whirls, which can be up to 2m deep. It's recommended that you visit here along when you visit Kanmon Bridge and Karato Market.
5. Moji Retro Beer
This restaurant has the only beer brewery in the Moji/Kitakyushu area. The local beer made here is brewed in the orthodox European-style. Since it's made in small quanitites, you can always have fresh beer! The very popular stone-oven baked pizza goes perfectly with this local beer. It's on the shores of the Kanmon Straits, so this is a recommended spot where you can enjoy the beautiful sight of the ocean while drinking delicious beer.
All of the areas mentioned can be enjoyed in one day. Please enjoy the fresh ocean air and the charms of Kitakyushu to their fullest extent.
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.
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