Did you know that Fukuoka has plenty of picturesque outlying islands? You can follow Japanese history, relish fresh seafood, admire the flowers of the four seasons, enjoy interesting activities, and more on these 5 islands that you can visit as a day trip from Fukuoka.
This island is connected to the main island of Fukuoka and is an area where you can experience history. It's a famous island where the national treasure King of Na gold seal was discovered. It's also quite popular as a power spot, and is home to Shikaumi Shrine, a shrine dedicated to the deity of safe sea voyages. The Gojinkosai, a festival that has continued for more than 1,000 years, is held here, and the festival includes performing arts that have been passed down since ancient times and a mikoshi (portable shrine) parade. This festival is registered as a cultural intangible property of Fukuoka, so it's recommended to people who want to experience traditional culture. There are also ten stone monuments bearing poetry from the Collection of Ten Thousand Leaves around the island, so it's definitely an island where you can fully enjoy history.
This island is about 10 minutes away from the Fukuoka ferry port. You can enjoy nature and the four seasons here. A particularly popular attraction is Nokonoshima Island Park. It's a natural park in the northern part of the island, and it's known for being a place where you can enjoy flora all year round. The sea unfolds right by the park, and the sight of the flower fields and the sea together is gorgeous. There are also lots of activities to enjoy as well, such as barbecuing, swimming in the ocean, and an original sport similar to mini-golf called Nokonoko Ball.
3. Munakata Oshima (Chikuzen Oshima)
This island is so blessed with water resources that people come from outside the prefecture specifically to fish here. Oshima Kaiyou Taiken Shisetsu Umingu Oshima, a facility on the island, is a place where you can fish without bringing anything with you. They rent fishing tools, so it's very popular with tourists. It's also the place of origin for the Tanabata (also known as the Star Festival) story, and every August 7th, they hold the Munakata Oshima Tanabata Matsuri festival. Why not wear a yukata (summer kimono) and stop by to participate in that summer festival, which has Tanabata-related events and stalls?
This island is about 35 minutes away from Hakata Port by ferry. The 2005 Fukuoka earthquake devastated the island, and most of the houses on the island were destroyed. Because of the residents' hard work, you can enjoy the new townscape that was built in just a few years. They also have a prosperous fishing industry, so you can enjoy delicious seafood. Kyodo Ryoshi Ryori Fukugenmaru is a restaurant where you can eat fresh sashimi and other dishes made from seafood that was just caught (reservations required). It's known to be so delicious that people come from outside of the island to try their food. You should definitely try to go if you can.
This island, which is visible from Itoshima, is a place where you can experience a traditional lifestyle. This island is free of trains, cars, and motorcycles, and the residents only ride bicycles or walk for transportation. There are still plenty of wooden homes here just as there used to be nationwide, and you can enjoy a Japanese townscape. It's also known as a cat island, so you can meet plenty of cats that live here freely. Why not spend a relaxing time here with a cat on this island, which offers a breath of fresh air that you can't enjoy in cities?
*Photo is for illustration purposes
If you visit islands like these, you can experience Japan's seasons, learn about history and customs, and meet the different types of people that live there. After you get your fill of delicious food on the main island of Okinawa, definitely stop by one of these outlying islands as well.
*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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