The Fukuoka prefecture in Kyushu, Japan, has a rich culture and history. From the capital of Fukuoka City to the scenic Itoshima Peninsula, there are plenty of secrets to discover
Fukuoka’s natural landscapes are a major drawcard for visitors, as are the region’s street food stalls and specialty dishes. A trip to this lesser-known part of Japan is about more than sightseeing: there are also plenty of fun activities for families in Fukuoka.
During this four-day Fukuoka itinerary, you’ll visit the historic Kokura Castle, try each destination’s signature cuisine, and watch the sunset over Sakurai Futamigaura, a seaside spot where gods are said to dwell.
Visit this region on your next family trip to Japan, and you’re sure to create memories that kids will treasure for a lifetime.
Discover the best itinerary for a four-day trip to Fukuoka below.
Day One: Fukuoka City and Itoshima Peninsula
On your first day in Fukuoka Prefecture, you’ll experience the wonders of the Itoshima Peninsula, known for its natural scenery and outdoor activities.
9am - Rent a car and drive from Fukuoka to Itoshima
Hire a car in Fukuoka City and depart for Itoshima’s beautiful coastline. It takes less than an hour to reach the ocean.
10am - Mataichi Salt Factory
Discover Itoshima’s traditional method of salt-making at Kobo Tottan, a salt factory operated by Mataichi Salt. This unique handmade salt is rich with ocean minerals.
10.45am - Hiking at Mt. Tateishi
Climb Mt. Tateishi to experience one of Fukuoka’s most breathtaking views. Just 210 metres above sea level, the mountain track is an easy hike for beginners and kids. It takes around an hour to reach the summit, where you can see panoramic views across the Itoshima Peninsula and as far as Saga Prefecture.
12pm - Visit Totoro Forest
Between the parking lot for Keya Daimon Park and the sea, the scenery at Totoro Forest is beautiful and fantastical, making you feel like you have wandered into the world of Ghibli.
12.30pm - Keya no Oto basalt cave
Keya no Oto, the largest basalt cave in Japan, is located on the northwest tip of Itoshima. The cave is 64 metres high and 90 metres deep. It was formed by erosion caused by Itoshima’s strong waves and has been designated as a national natural monument.
1.15pm - Lunch at an Itoshima oyster hut
Fresh oysters can be grilled on the spot at many oyster huts along the peninsula, operated by local fishermen. Their rich flavour is unforgettable!
3pm - Visit seaside Sakurai Futamigaura
After lunch, it’s a 40-minute drive to Sakurai Futamigaura, a beautiful seaside spot. In fact, the scenery is so breathtaking, local people believe that god resides in Futamigaura Bay.
Take unforgettable family photos at the iconic palm tree swing, and spend a relaxing afternoon in this calm and aesthetically pleasing place.
4pm - Itoshima’s spectacular sunset views
The sunset view from the coastline cannot be missed! See the two “husband and wife” rocky outcrops known as Meoto Iwa from Genkai-nada Beach, also known as Sunset Beach.
Day Two: Kitakyushu and Kokura
Experience the unique history and culture of Kokura, the historic castle town in the centre of Kitakyushu.
9am - Check out of your hotel and drive to Kitakyushu
You can reach the city of Kitakyushu in less than two hours via the Nishi-Kyushu Expressway and the Fukuoka Expressway.
11.30am - Tobikuru Trampoline Park
Ready to stretch your legs? Tobikuru, the only trampoline park in Kitakyushu, is a place where the whole family can have fun. The park has 10 trampolines as well as thrilling attractions like the “spider fall” where you fall through the rubber, and the “donut slide” which launches you into the air.
1pm - Have lunch and explore Kokura Town
3pm - Check into your accommodation
Settle into your accommodation for a two-night stay in Kokura. For the next few days, you’ll travel by train and on foot, so you can drop off your rental car too.
4pm - Delve into history at Kokura Castle
Take a leisurely stroll along the Purple River to reach Kokura Castle, located in Katsuyama Park. Built by Lord Tadaoki Hosokawa in 1602, Kokura Castle is characterized by its “karazukuri style”, with the fifth floor being larger than the fourth floor, and it was the only one of its kind in Japan at the time.
Inside the castle, there is plenty to see, including an impressive theatre that introduces the history of Kokura Castle, a chance to learn about famous Japanese samurai swordsmen and philosophers, and an observation zone that offers a 360-degree view of the city of Kokura.
In the area surrounding the castle, there are many footprints of literary figures with connections to Kokura as well as historical cultural assets.
5.30pm - Darumado's Yaki Udon
Yaki udon is a delicious stir-fried noodle dish, in which udon (thick wheat noodles) are tossed with meat and vegetables in a soy-based sauce. Not only is it a Kokura specialty, but yaki udon was actually invented at Darumado.
After World War II, food was scarce and sophisticated soba noodles were hard to come by. To satisfy Kokura’s noodle lovers, the restaurant’s owner used udon as an alternative to soba – creating a new dish.
Enjoy the view of the night port from Mt. Takatoyama before enjoying a stroll through the Cha Cha Town entertainment precinct with its roadside stalls and ferris wheel. At the event plaza on the first floor, regular events and live performances are held. You can also walk along Murasakigawa (the Purple River) to enjoy the view of Kokura. The best spots to see the city are from Tokiwabashi Bridge and Muromachi Ohashi Bridge.
Day Three: Kokura, Moji, Shimonoseki and Mojiko
Today, you’ll explore Mojiko Town by bicycle and sample the region’s top culinary specialty, ‘yaki curry.’
9am - Catch the train to Mojiko from JR Kokura Station
It takes 15 minutes to travel from JR Kokura Station to JR Mojiko Station by train.
10am - Hire bikes and explore Mojiko Town
Mojiko developed as a base for international trade and was once counted as one of Japan’s three major ports along with Yokohama and Kobe. Brick buildings built between 1870 and the 1920s remain today. The area’s vintage atmosphere makes it a popular tourist destination, known as Mojiko Retro. Take a family bike tour around the town’s top sights, including Mojiko Retro, Blue Wing Moji, Kanmon Strait Museum, the shuttle ferry, pedestrian tunnel, Mekari Park, and Kaikyo Plaza.
1pm - See the sights from Mojiko Observation Room
Head to the Mojiko Retro Observation Room for an incredible view. The observation platform is located on the 31st storey of a high-rise building, 103 metres above the ground, providing a panoramic view over the Kanmon Strait and Ganryujima Island.
Return your rental bikes before taking a sunset stroll around Chinzaibashi Park or Mojiko Station.
6pm - Mojiko Yaki (Grilled) Curry
Yaki curry is a dish of curry rice topped with cheese and eggs, all baked in the oven for a melty finish. Pick up the ‘Mojiko Yaki Curry Map’ when you arrive in town, with 25 restaurants to choose from.
Enjoy some of Kokura’s famous night views. First, there’s the incredible vista from the Kanmon Bridge or the Mekari Park Second Observatory. Alternatively, take a factory night view cruise to see Kitakyushu’s industrial hubs lit up. You can also cheer on a soccer match at the Mikuni World Stadium Kitakyushu, where you’ll see the local J3 League team Giravanz Kitakyushu in action.
Day Four: Kurosaki and Fukuoka City
Get creative with the kids – today is all about arts and crafts.
9.50am - Catch the train from Kokura to Kurosaki
The trip from JR Kokura Station to JR Kurosaki station takes 25 minutes by JR conventional line.
10.30am - Glass bead art workshop
Just a five-minute walk from JR Kurosaki station, you’ll find Garasu Kobo Daiki, where you can create your own glass bead artwork. Gem glass beads were first brought to Japan via the Silk Road during the Nara period (710-794). Domestic production began during the Heian period (794-1185) and reached its peak during the Edo period (1603-1868).
Enjoy lunch at Honten Tetsunabe, where you’ll find the famous iron pot gyoza (fried dumplings cooked in an iron pot). Then, take an afternoon stroll.
2pm - Catch the train from Kurosaki to Hakata
Catch the train from JR Kurosaki Station to JR Hakata Station, which takes an hour on JR conventional lines. At JR Hakata Station, transfer to the subway to get to Tenjin Minami Station.
3.30pm - KuMa Bear Art (Doodle Art) liquid painting
Kids and adults will have a blast with this colourful art activity! Create your own unique bear at Rakugaki Art using liquid paint.
5pm - Ride the subway back to Hakata Station
Head back to Tenjin Minami Station and take the 10-minute subway trip to JR Hakata Station.
If you have time, visit THE FLAVOR DESIGN STORE FUKUOKA. Here, you can create your own one-of-a-kind perfume by carefully choosing from more than 190 scents before checking into your one nights’ accommodation in Fukuoka City to enjoy a relaxing evening.
6pm - Enjoy Fukuoka’s famous street food
Enjoy Fukuoka’s delicious food stalls. The food stalls are also a place for heartwarming communication. Interacting with other customers and the stall owner is all part of the fun!
How to Get to Fukuoka
Flights to Fukuoka
It takes less than two hours to fly from Tokyo to Fukuoka, with airlines including Japan Airlines, Jetstar Japan, ANA, StarFlyer, Skymark, and Peach servicing the route. Most flights use Haneda Airport in Tokyo, while some use Narita Airport.
Fukuoka Airport is Japan’s most accessible airport, just a five-minute subway ride from the city’s main station, Hakata Station.
Regular one-way fares on JAL, ANA, and StarFlyer cost about 45,000 yen, while discount fares range from 16,000 to 35,000 yen. Options are Skymark, Peach and Jetstar Japan, with one-way fares between 5,000 and 25,000 yen.
Shinkansen (Bullet Train) to Fukuoka
You can catch the Tokaido-Sanyo Shinkansen (bullet train) from Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, and Hiroshima.
From Tokyo to Fukuoka (Hakata Station), the fastest route is the Nozomi train (approximately 5 hours and 23,000 yen). A Japan Rail Pass includes Hikari and Sakura trains, but Nozomi requires an additional fee.
Via the Hikari and Sakura trains, travel time is around 6 hours, and you’ll need to change trains at Shin-Osaka Station.