Planning a Luxury Trip to Fukuoka City
Fukuoka is a city in Japan’s southern island of Kyushu that thrums with energy. A major hub of trade and travel, this lively metropolis has long welcomed influences from abroad and around Japan, infusing it with cosmopolitan tastes and a unique atmosphere found in few other places. The city is filled with countless opportunities to experience the best of what Japan has to offer – historical sites, traditions and customs, thriving food cultures. Here are a few of our picks for a refined and luxurious stay in Fukuoka.
Stay in Style at the Ritz Carlton, Fukuoka
The Ritz Carlton has long been synonymous with luxurious accommodations and high-quality service. Their Fukuoka branch is the perfect point from which to begin your exploration of this cosmopolitan city, with unmatched Japanese hospitality that is sure to leave a lasting impression. Against the backdrop of the Fukuoka skyline and Hakata Bay, this hotel stands out from the rest in several ways. Six in-house dining venues serve gourmet local and foreign cuisine, welcoming guests inside elegant and sophisticated interiors that feature regional crafts and artisans. After a long day in and around this southern Japanese city, the Ritz Carlton, Fukuoka is your private oasis to feel at home away from home.
The Ritz Carlton, Fukuoka
World-class Sushi in Kasuga City
Fine dining is hardly in short supply in Japan, but a meal at Kiku Zushi in Kasuga City, just south of Fukuoka, sets itself apart with a particular focus on high-quality ingredients and exquisite taste. Rice from a single farmer in Saga Prefecture and freshly caught seafood from around Kyushu are only part of what makes this restaurant so special. Kiku Zushi is located in a quiet residential neighborhood, where the building’s simple exterior defies the depth of flavor and devotion to the craft that award-winning head chef, Yusuke Seguchi, demonstrates with every dish.
In this classy and refined establishment, Chef Seguchi has honed his craft to the highest degree to deliver sushi to your plate one piece at a time, making it an unmissable stop for any foodie hungry for an authentic taste of Fukuoka.
Discover Fukuoka’s Yatai Food Culture
In Fukuoka, you don’t have to look far for a delicious bite to eat. Step out of hotel dining and restaurants to enjoy the city’s famous street food stalls called yatai. These stalls popped up on street corners during the Showa period, and even now, yatai culture is emblematic of Fukuoka City. The stalls are located in two main areas, Tenjin and Nakasu, and there are maps available online to guide you to your perfect match.
Yatai are a truly unique way to access parts of local culture that simply aren’t present in traditional sit-down establishments.
The stalls usually seat only a few people at a time sitting shoulder-to-shoulder, making it a great way to engage with locals and enjoy local food, from the region’s famous Hakata ramen to meat skewers and crispy tempura. The yatai’s bright red lanterns cast a warm and lively glow on the streets, adding to the festive atmosphere that is unique to Fukuoka and its thriving food culture.
Celebrating Culture at ACROS Fukuoka
As a cosmopolitan hub, Fukuoka has made strides to create a flourishing, globally-minded space for cross-cultural exchange and exploration. At ACROS Fukuoka, an important space celebrating the city’s immensely diverse culture and a vibrant crossroads of past and present, locals and travelers alike can engage with exceptional art and culture.
Musical performances are a large part of ACROS Fukuoka’s activities, as its elegant stage has attracted groups from across Japan, as well as internationally renowned musicians such as Yo Yo Ma, the Hamburg Symphony Orchestra, and the Israel Philharmonic. After a day spent under the Kyushu sun, seeing a live musical performance at ACROS Fukuoka just may be the perfect prelude to a relaxing evening.
A curated collection of traditional crafts and art from around Fukuoka Prefecture is also well worth the visit. On display at Takumi Gallery on the 1st and 2nd floor are a number of emblematic traditional crafts from the region, from Hakata Ori obi belts and Kurume Gasuri indigo-dyed fabric to ornate Hakata dolls and elaborately carved Buddhist altars. Visit the gallery for an introduction to these local heritages and take home some beautifully crafted, highly refined souvenirs!
The wide range of contemporary and traditional culture celebrated at ACROS Fukuoka adds depth to any visit to the city, where everything, from food to art, is likely the starting point to discovering something more profound.
Sophisticated Fun at Ohori Park
Nearby Hakata Bay and in the city center is Ohori Park, an area full of lush greenery encircling a lovely pond. Just a stroll away from the busy city streets, Ohori Park offers boat rentals for a refreshing paddle and a beautifully maintained Japanese garden traditionally styled with stones, water, azaleas, and more.
There are several relaxing places to dine inside the park, from French cuisine at the Boat House, which still retains the table and chair used by Marilyn Monroe when she visited, to local Yame tea and sweets at Ohori Terrace.
Also in the area are the Ohori Noh Theater, where Japanese traditional theater performances are held, and the Fukuoka Art Museum, whose collection includes works by both Japanese artists from Kyushu and works by internationally renowned artists such as Andy Warhol, Marc Chagall, and Jean-Michel Basquiat, as well as tea ceremony implements and ancient Buddhist art. A visit to Ohori Park is much more than a walk in the park; there are sights to see, food to eat, and many things to do to satisfy any mood!
The Highlight of Hakata Bay
Momochihama Seaside Park is another wonderful location for an afternoon outing. This waterfront park is an upscale beach area with several dining establishments and shops. Particularly attractive is the Marizon, a charming seaside resort just minutes from the bustling downtown Fukuoka area. The Marizon is built in the style of a laidback western beach town around the themes of nature, sea, and adventure, where you can engage in a wide variety of activities. Window shop or enjoy an ice cream with dazzling sea views in the gentle ocean breeze, browse water sports shops or take a ride on a jet ski if you are feeling more adventurous. The park’s panoramic views of Hakata Bay are unparalleled, making the Marizon a lovely spot to spend some leisurely time.
Among the many cities in Japan that are worth visiting, Fukuoka stands out as a diverse, energetic hub that offers countless high-end activities for lovers of food, culture, and adventure. A luxury stay at the Ritz Carlton, Fukuoka or similar accommodation is just the start of a wonderful experience in this world-class city.
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