FUKUOKA

Find your Foodie Vibe in Fukuoka

Good vibes translate to foodie vibes. Prepare to indulge in an explosion of flavours. Fukuoka is a cultural melting pot of cuisines. Due to its central Asian location, China and Korea have influenced Fukuoka’s food culture creating one that is unique even to Japan. The fusion of two cities back in 1889, Hakata and Fukuoka, brings a vibrant and dynamic food scene and today, Fukuoka is a leading Japanese culinary destination. Discovering your favourite dining spots is part of the foodie adventure and enjoying the local cuisine.

The flavours of Fukuoka

Tenjin, Nakasu Island and Nagahama areas

Come sunset, Fukuoka’s famous and beloved yatai food stalls pop up across the city and line the streets creating a unique and warm atmosphere that is not to be missed. Dine with the locals, raise your glass and delight in traditional Japanese street food from yakitori skewers, oden hot pot, gyoza dumplings, tempura and some of the Tonkotsu style ramen, a specialty of Fukuoka. With over 100 stalls and each stall offering something original, it’s difficult to choose a favourite spot.

In and around Hakata Station and Nakasu entertainment district

That’s right. Ramen restaurants or ramen-ya can be found almost anywhere, particularly around busy locations such as trains stations, entertainment districts and roadsides. During your travels, you’re sure to be passing through Hakata Station, Kyushu’s largest and busiest station, which has a fantastic food offering on the upper dining floors of the station.

Tonkotsu style ramen

One of the main types of ramen, the base of Tonkotsu style ramen is pork bones which have been boiled down into a delicious white broth.

Chicken broth or pork fat are often added to take the flavours to the next level!

Founded in Fukuoka in 1985, Ippudo is now a global ramen chain, with its secret in the soup, which is cooked for 18 hours and aged for a whole day at a low
temperature. Their tonkotsu broth is rich but smooth like silk and has a deep flavour. Visit the first shop Daimyo Honten, or any of their other locations around the world to get a taste of Fukuoka.

Tonkotsu style ramen

One of the main types of ramen, the base of Tonkotsu style ramen is pork bones which have been boiled down into a delicious white broth.

Chicken broth or pork fat are often added to take the flavours to the next level!

Founded in Fukuoka in 1985, Ippudo is now a global ramen chain, with its secret in the soup that cooks for 18 hours and aged for a whole day at a low
temperature. Their tonkotsu broth is rich but smooth like silk and has a deep flavour. Visit the first shop Daimyo Honten, or any of their other locations.

Udon

Udon noodles are thick Japanese noodles made of wheat flour (thicker and chewier than soba noodles), widely available at restaurants across Japan and prepared in various hot and cold dishes. Written on a monument at Jotenji Temple in Hakata, is the proclamation that Fukuoka is the birthplace of udon
and soba noodles! Now you know they’re going to be good. Really good.

Goboten (gobo or burdock root tempura) udon is Fukuoka’s signature udon dish. You can find it in many specialty Udon-ya. Try Shungetsu-an, established back in 1890, near Jotenji Temple where their techniques and strict adherence to tradition makes the restaurant even more popular. Do as the locals do and order a side of Kashiwa rice balls and deep-fried burdock or round fish cake to top your noodles.

Motsunabe

Motsunabe is a beef or pork offal hot pot served with chives and cabbage in a rich flavoured soup with garlic and chilli.

Rakutenchi specialises in motsunabe; the first rakutenchi store opened in Tenjin in 1977.

Motsunabe

Motsunabe is a beef or pork offal hot pot served with chives and cabbage in a rich flavoured soup with garlic and chilli.

Rakutenchi specialises in motsunabe; the first rakutenchi store opened in Tenjin in 1977.

Mizutaki

Mizutaki is a chicken hot pot dish with seasonal vegetables in broth, served with ponzu, a citrus-based sauce. Its origins date back to the middle of the late 19th century in Fukuoka. Follow the locals or head to Toriden Hakata Honten. Toriden only use local ingredients from Kyushu and whole chickens to flavour the broth over six hours.

Mizutaki

Mizutaki is a chicken hot pot dish with seasonal vegetables in broth, served with ponzu, a citrus-based sauce. Its origins date back to the middle of the late 19th century in Fukuoka. Follow the locals or head to Toriden Hakata Honten. Toriden only use local ingredients from Kyushu and whole chickens to flavour the broth over six hours.

Unagi

Unagi Seiro Mushi, steamed eel, is one of Yanagawa’s famous local dishes. Is served steaming so that you can enjoy it piping hot until the very last bite!

Motoyoshiya specialises in Unagi no Seiromushi, considered as one of Yanagawa’s specialties, and known throughout Japan with a secret sauce recipe and preparation technique carefully passed down for more than three hundred years.

Photograph provided by Fukuoka City.

Sushi

Did you really go to Japan if you didn’t eat sushi? The coastal city of Fukuoka is a seafood paradise. Fresh, cheap and quality seafood is abundant.

Elevate your sushi game and head to Sushi Yasukichi for incredible Edomae sushi at this exclusive 2-star Michelin restaurant. Serving only an ‘omakase’ (chef’s choice) course.

Sushi

Did you really go to Japan if you didn’t eat sushi? The coastal city of Fukuoka is a seafood paradise. Fresh, cheap and quality seafood is abundant.

Elevate your sushi game and head to Sushi Yasukichi for incredible Edomae sushi at this exclusive 2-star Michelin restaurant. Serving only an ‘omakase’ (chef’s choice) course.

Photograph provided by Fukuoka City.
Photograph provided by Fukuoka City.

Fugu

Fugu, pufferfish cuisine, can feature mild-tasting white-flesh lagocephalus in summer and fall, or chewy and flavourful tiger blowfish in winter.

Hakata Izumi (Michelin guide restaurant), is a traditional Japanese restaurant offering the best of fugu cuisine since its founding in 1923. Discover dishes like no other!

Yakitori

Skewers of juicy chicken chargrilled over an open flame have been loved by locals for generations. Easily found in speciality Yakitori-ya, yatai and Kurume city which celebrates yakitori each October. Head to Naruto where you’ll find more than 100 kinds of meat and veggie skewers to choose from. Yes please!

Yakitori

Skewers of juicy chicken chargrilled over an open flame have been loved by locals for generations. Easily found in speciality Yakitori-ya ,yatai and Kurume where the city celebrates yakitori each October. Head to Naruto where you’ll find more than 100 kinds of meat and veggie skewers to choose from. Yes please!

Kaki goya

Spotted around the coastline of Itoshima you’ll find kaki goya or oyster huts where locals gather to barbecue fresh oysters and seafood during November to March.

Dazaifu’s Umegae Mochi

Umegae Mochi is a local specialty rice cake with azuki bean filling. Found in Dazaifu and along the pathway leading to Dazaifu Tenmangu shrine these particular little pockets of goodness are imprinted with a Japanese plum flower as its signature.

Dazaifu’s Umegae Mochi

Umegae Mochi is a local specialty rice cake with azuki bean filling. Found in Dazaifu and along the pathway leading to Dazaifu Tenmangu shrine these particular little pockets of goodness are imprinted with a Japanese plum flower as its signature.

Photograph provided by Fukuoka City.

Amaou Strawberries

Strawberries to rival the best you’ve ever had. Hakata Amaou strawberries are highly prized in Japan and only grown in Fukuoka prefecture. Go strawberry picking from December through to April. The name Amaou combines several Japanese words:

あ a: 赤い akai (red)
ま ma: 丸い marui (round)
お o: 大きい ookii (big)
う u: 旨い umai (tasty)

Local Markets

The waters of Hakata Bay and the Genkai Sea have provided the grounds for the popular Yanagibashi Rengo Market since the early 1900s. Loved by locals as the “pantry of Hakata” or “Fukuoka’s Kitchen” here you’ll find the freshest of seafood along with other local produce and specialty shops in a lively atmosphere.

Seafood lovers will enjoy a visit to the Nagahama Fish Market. It is Fukuoka’s largest commercial fish market and the fourth largest in terms of catch in Japan. There’s plenty going on with cooking classes, slicing demonstrations and fish auctions (early morning on weekdays) as well as restaurants serving up delicious seafood. Plan your visit as it only opens to the general public once a month.

Tanga Market, Kitakyushu’s kitchen, is another must-do; with around 120 stores selling fresh fish, daily dishes, local traditional food “Nukadaki”, and more, you’re bound to enjoy every minute of it!