For most gaijin (that’s what they call you if you’re not born Japanese), the most iconic city of Japan is either Tokyo or Kyoto. Well, for my 2 friends who has lived in Japan (one is gaijin and the other is pure Japanese), they still think Fukuoka is the best city to live in Japan above all.
Fukuoka has everything a city could offer. Delicious food (famous for Hakata ramen and gyoza), wonderful ume (plum flower), not too cold temperature (for the position is in Kyushu, southern part of Japan), and incredible view.
I headed for the famous Hakata ramen in front of Hakata station. The location is in basement 1st floor. The booth is so personal that you cannot even see the waitress. It was like some kind of election booth. You just need to fill the preference paper they gave you and press the bell. I called it preference paper since instead of all kinds of various ramen they provide, you fill the precise ramen dish you want to eat. Example: soft noodle or a bit hard, with leek/no leek/lots of leek, double portion of noodle/not, etc.
After you finished doodling, you just need to press the button and the waiter will came to your booth (which set with shades so you cannot see each other) and take your order.
Trust me, once in your life, go try some famous Hakata ramen.
Ps: There is also a good place near Tenjin station (one stop after Hakata station if you’re riding subway) with basic ramen just around ¥170
Another thing to note about Fukuoka’s greatness is how you could go to the airport in a short distance with subway. Since I find Kansai international airport is located so far from Osaka’s downtown (it’s located in a set up island), I think this fact has become one of Fukuoka’s great point.
If you went to Fukuoka in March, make sure to stop by at Dazaifu temple and have yourself a spectacular view of ume flower blooming all the way. Yes, I also thought that Japan only famous for sakura while ume belongs to China.
Aside from that, Fukuoka has a great beach. Of course, all beaches in Japan has a great view and clean waters, but Fukuoka managed to have it all.
Do I dare to go again to Fukuoka?