Yatai food stalls may be the first things that come to mind when you think of Fukuoka, but it is also famous for its rich nature. This time, we introduce five things to do in Fukuoka in the spring.
1. See the tulips at Nogata Riverside Park
This is a grand spring event befitting of Nogata, the city of flowers in northern Fukuoka. Initially, 1,000 tulip bulbs were planted by volunteers, but now 35,000 colorful tulips bloom along the banks of the Onga River. The Nogata Tuliip Fair is held between late March and early April every year, so check it out. There is also a low-water crossing (a bridge with no banisters to prevent it from washing away when it goes underwater at high tide), which feels almost like you're walking on water when you cross it. This is a destination recommended for both couples and families.
2. See the cherry blossoms at Kokura Castle
This is a castle in northern Fukuoka, about 20 minutes on foot from JR Kokura Station. Kokura, which faces the Kanmon Strait between Kyushu and Honshu, has long had a castle as a strategic location in land and sea transportation, and has been the scene of several battles. Today's castle tower was rebuilt in 1959. This historic site becomes a spot to view cherry blossoms in the spring, with approximately 300 trees blooming in the vicinity. This is a popular spot where you can see the splendid stone walls and castle made using the norazumi method that does not use any hewn stones together with the cherry blossoms. The plaza in front of Kokura Castle is open to the public till 10:00 pm during the cherry blossom season so you can enjoy the blossoms at night. The blossoms are usually in bloom between late March and mid-April every year.
3. Enjoy fantastic views in Uminonakamichi Seaside Park
This is a national park on Umi no Nakamichi, a reef that juts out to the north of Hakata Bay in northern Fukuoka. It is a park both adults and children can enjoy all days with a massive open field, a children's playground with activities like go-carts, a flower museum built on the image of a roofless museum of flowers, and an animal forest where you can meet a variety of animals. A particular recommendation during the spring is the flower hill in the large open field. The sky-colored nemophila flowers blanket the massive 15,000-square-foot flower field from late April to early May every year. This is a wonderfully scenic spot you won't want to miss if you're in Fukuoka in the spring.
4. Pick strawberries full of the flavor of spring
Fukuoka is actually the country's second largest producer of strawberries. Among the large variety of strawberries, the Amaou is a popular variety from Fukuoka known for its large size and balance between sweetness and acidity. Strawberry picking is a great way to eat as much of these strawberries as you want. There are many farms near Fukuoka where you can go strawberry picking. A recommended farm is Strawberry Fields (Chikushino Strawberry Farm). the largest strawberry farm in Kyushu that is just a 5-minute taxi ride from Harada Station and 20 minutes away from JR Hakata Station (reservation required). Until May 5, 2017, the price is 1,900 JPY per adult for all you can eat in 40 minutes, and 1,600 JPY between May 9 and May 31. In addition to Amaou, they have varieties such as Kaorino and Yumenoka, so you can compare them. Other strawberry farms also offer strawberry picking from around early January to mid-May, usually for below 2,000 JPY.
*The image is for illustrative purposes only
5. Go hiking in Aburayama Shimin no Mori
This is a forest rich in nature within the city limits of Fukuoka. In the spring, wildflowers such as noble orchids, honeysuckle, and Gentiana zollingeri quietly bloom among cherry blossoms and rhododendrons. There are several hiking courses that are maintained, so it's invigorating to walk in the fresh spring air, enjoying the landscape that has just woken up from the winter. There is also a thrilling 53m suspension bridge suspended 30m above ground, the refreshing Shiranami Falls in the Mizu no Mori forest, and the Chuo Tenbodai observatory at an altitude of 347m, from which you can see the entire city of Hakata as well as Hakata Bay.
The refreshing falls in Mizu no Mori
There are ways to enjoy spring that can only be experienced in Fukuoka. Please thoroughly enjoy the coming of spring there.
*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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