Fukuoka Castle (Maizuru Park) 福岡城跡 - 舞鶴公園
The grand ruins of this Edo period castle offer spectacular views
If you walk west in Fukuoka City from Tenjin Station for about 20 minutes, the sounds of the city will fade, and you'll find yourself on the edge of Maizuru Park. Within the park and beyond the moat are the walls of Fukuoka Castle.
How to Get There
Fukuoka Castle is accessible by train, subway, or bus plus a short walk.
From Tenjin Station, it is only a 20-minute walk to the castle area. Regular local buses stop at the castle as well. The nearest subway station is Ohorikoen, which is on the Kuko Line.
An historic castle defined by its walls
The walls of Fukuoka Castle are immense, and several lie concentric within each other. Each takes you higher and higher above the city, and at the very center, where the main keep used to stand, is a viewing platform that offers 360-degree views of the city and demonstrates the castle's strategic importance.
The castle, which was built for the daimyo Kuroda Nagamasa, was the residence of Fukuoka's ruling nobility until 1868, the start of the Meiji era.
The site was later occupied by U.S. military forces following the Second World War. By the time the inner castle was designated a National Historical Site in 1957, most of the original structures had decayed, been demolished, or burned down.
Gets crowded in sakura season
The castle grounds are home to hundreds of cherry trees, and a light-up festival is held in sakura season every year. This is peak time in terms of visitors, but throughout much of the rest of the year, you can enjoy the grounds without the thousands of people there to see the cherry blossoms.
The ruins of a korokan, an ancient guest house for foreign diplomats, were discovered in Maizuru Park in 1987, proving Fukuoka's importance as a port of entry to Japan during the Heian period (795-1185). The korokan is the only one of its kind to be discovered in Japan, and you can look it over for free.
Maizuru Park, which is also home to a number of the city's sports facilities, borders Ohori Park to the west.