Festivals of fire, breathtaking beaches, and one very relaxed Buddha
Some of Fukuoka Prefecture's best attractions are just a short journey outside of Fukuoka City . From incredible natural gems to ancient sites, there's plenty to see.
- Home to Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine and the historic government seat of Kyushu, the Dazaifu area is packed with history and culture
- A sunny peninsula full of beaches and mountains, Itoshima is Fukuoka City's summer getaway
- Marvel at Nehanzo, a statue of an enormous reclining Buddha over 41 meters in length
How to Get There
The area around Fukuoka is well-connected by public transport from the city, including JR lines which you can ride with a JR pass.
Hakata is your main hub for getting out of the city with Hakata Bus Center and train lines available. Renting a car and traveling at your own pace is also an option to dig deeper into Fukuoka and its surroundings.
The ancient capital Dazaifu
The city of Dazaifu is one of Fukuoka Prefecture's best-known spots. It was established as the island's capital during the 7th century and flourished throughout much of Japan's early history. Trade and political relations with the continent were all carried out from here.
Dazaifu is home to Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine , a shrine dedicated to Michizane Sugiwara. The shrine is situated in beautiful grounds, which contain some 6,000 plum trees.
Also in the area is Mt Homan , a great half-day hike, and the Kyushu National Museum which is dedicated to local and Japanese history.
Nanzoin Temple and the bronze Buddha
Nanzoin Temple enshrines Nehanzo, an enormous reclining Buddha statue cast in bronze. The statue is 41 meters long, 11 meters high, and weighs around 300 tons, approximately the same as a jumbo jet. The temple is the starting point for the three-day, 44 km Sasaguri Pilgrimage.
Munakata & Okinoshima shrines
Within the bounds of Munakata City and Okinoshima are three Munakata Taisha Shrines that have been designated UNESCO World Heritage Sites. While access to Okinoshima Island and the shrine there is strictly forbidden, the other two Taisha shrines are open to visitors. Many of the treasures found on Okinoshima Island are now housed at the largest and most easily accessible of the three shrines, Hetsu-miya Shrine in Munakata City.
Itoshima summer living
To the west of Fukuoka is the Itoshima Peninsula , the main summer destination for locals. On the peninsula's northern shore are some world class beaches, an active surfing scene, and Meoto Iwa, the sacred wedded rocks. To the south lie dramatic mountains, great hikes and the thundering cascades of the Shiraito Waterfall.
Fire and music festivals
Numerous festivals take place throughout the prefecture and are a short journey from Fukuoka City . January's Daizenji Fire Festival is one of Japan's three biggest fire festivals, while the summer's Sunset Live Festival sees tens of thousands of people descend on the beaches of Itoshima for two days of live music. Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine hosts numerous festivals throughout the year, the best of which celebrate the blossoming of the shrine's plum trees.