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10+ Best Overnight Trips From Fukuoka, Kyushu

You’re in Fukuoka, Japan and wondering how to spend your time. Look no further as this post is full of ideas for weekend (or extended weekend) trips you can do from central Fukuoka!

Fukuoka is one of the most convenient places I have ever traveled to given the proximity of its airport and easy-to-use network of transportation including Shinkansens, subways, trains, and buses. Because of this, Fukuoka makes for an excellent base to explore other areas of Kyushu and beyond.

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This post lists some of the more popular trips as well as lesser-known gems that even many locals don’t know about. Keep reading for my top overnight and long weekend trip recommendations from Fukuoka!

This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission if you purchase through my links, at no extra cost to you. I am also affiliated with Craft Inn Te and UNA Laboratories which are mentioned. This is not a sponsored post and all opinions are my own. Please read the full disclosure for more information.

Itoshima, Fukuoka

One of my favorite places to visit during any time of year is Itoshima. Just one hour away from central Fukuoka by public transportation or car, you can easily head over to Itoshima on a day trip, or spend more time relaxing on a longer overnight trip.

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The area is just far enough away from the main city that you’ll be able to enjoy a quiet atmosphere full of nature and fresh seafood.

How to Get to Itoshima

By Car: From Hakata Station, the drive to Chizuzen Maebaru takes around 35 minutes.

By Public Transportation: From Hakata Station, take the orange Airport Line towards Chizuken Maebaru Station. The ride is about 40 minutes.

What to Do

Go on a bike ride: In the spring and summer, one of my favorite things to do is rent a bike and explore the coast of Itoshima. Check out this Itoshima bike guide!

Explore nature: There are many interesting sites to visit including Keya no Ohto and Mt. Tateishi. If you are visiting in the fall, check out the Nijo Red Rice fields that exhibit unique fields of art.

itoshima-hiking-mt-tateishi-view

Try Surfing or SUP: Itoshima is a popular surfing spot, so if you are looking to give it a try, Itoshima is the perfect place!

itoshima-surf-shop-lessons-beach

Hit the beach: Beach lovers will have a hard time choosing where to spend their time as there are many beautiful places to choose from including Anego Beach, Keya Beach, and Futamigaura. For the full list of things to do in Itoshima, check out this post!

anego-beach-itoshima-sunset

What to Eat

Seafood: Being a peninsula, the seafood in Itoshima is fresh and delicious. Enjoy a meal next to the sea at Kihachisou, or cook up your own seafood at a local oyster hut. (Oyster huts are an Itoshima specialty that are only open during the winter season.) Read more about Itoshima Oyster huts here)

oysters on a charcoal grill, Itoshima, Kyushu

Cafes: Cafes are also aplenty! With a bike, you can visit multiple in a day while soaking up the freshness of Itoshima’s nature. Some of my favorite cafes include the Sunflower Cafe, Sunset Cafe, and Koko Cafe. Read more about Itoshima’s cafe scene here!

Where to Stay

While there aren’t nearly as many hotels and accommodation options in Itoshima as in Fukuoka City, you can still find a variety of options. The most central area to stay is near Chikuzen Maebaru Station. For budget travelers/backpackers, Itoshima Guesthouse and Backpackers TOMO is a great option for a convenient and affordable stay. The owner is kind and will be able to recommend local restaurants and activities.

Itomshima Guesthouse and Backpackers TOMO kitchen

If you are looking for a more comfortable stay, Kihachisou is a hotel located right by the water that has an onsen that looks out into the sea and an attached restaurant that serves the fresh catch of the day. The rooms are simple Japanese-style tatami rooms, but the ocean view is what makes this place so great. Reservations are available by phone only.

Yufuin, Oita

Yufuin is located in Oita prefecture, which is to the northeast of Fukuoka. Along with neighboring Beppu, it is one of Kyushu’s top hot spring areas.

yufuin-onsen-town-oita

Does relaxing in a hot outdoor bath and gazing at a snowy mountain in the distance sound like the kind of weekend for you? If so, pay a visit to Yufuin to enjoy soaking in the onsens, eating, and shopping.

How to Get to Yufuin

By Car: From Hakata Station, the drive is about 1.5 hours.

By Public Transportation: From Fukuoka, you can reach Yufuin in just under two hours either by bus or train. If you plan to travel from Hakata Station by bus, book your tickets early as seats are limited and only a few buses run each day.

You can make reservations up to one month in advance from the Highway Bus website here. For travel from Beppu, another popular onsen spot in Oita, transit takes 50 minutes by bus.

What to Do

Bathe in an Onsen: as one of Kyushu’s famous onsen spots, a visit to Yufuin begs a trip to one or more of the local onsens. One of my favorite places to visit is Yamanohotel Musouen

This ryokan is a few minutes away from the center of town and boasts magnificent views of Mt. Yufu. Visit the outdoor bath as a day-tripper, or stay overnight for a more relaxing time. Book a stay at Yamanohotel Musouen.

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Shop along the main street: There are various shops and cafes along the main street of Yufuin. Slowly walking down it and popping into the different shops is a great way to enjoy the afternoon.

At Donguri No Mori you’ll find a wide variety of Studio Ghibli memorabilia, homewares, and stationery. At Craft House Hachinosu, browse the assortment of wood-based, handcrafted goods including accessories and homewares.

What to Eat

Oita Wagyu: Oita’s special wagyu beef is called bungo beef. Pop by Yufu Mabushi Shin to try their richly marbled wagyu meat that comes drizzled with a glaze atop a bed of rice. The specialty set includes an appetizer platter, soup, and a variety of spices to enhance the meat.

yufuin_bungo_beef

Spicy Citrus Yuzu Kosho: Yuzu koshou is a citrus paste with a spicy punch. It is a specialty of Oita prefecture and is often paired with gyoza, yakiniku meats, and noodles.

Yakumiya is located on the main shopping street in downtown Yufuin and is a specialty yuzu kosho store. Try different types of yuzu kosho and find other unique spices like yuzu furikake (seaweed flakes).

For more things to do and eat in Yufuin, check out this post! Top Things to Do in Yufuin, Oita – A Kyushu Hot Spring Town

Where to Stay

While I have only bathed at Yamanohotel Musouen, I have heard their accommodations are top-notch. I plan to stay there on my next visit! Some other recommendations from my friend who lives in the area are Yasuha and Yufuin Tsuka No Ma which both also boast their own onsen facilities.

Yame, Fukuoka

A lot of people come to Japan for the glitzy lights and bustling craze typically found in the streets of Osaka and Tokyo. But far away, a small city called Yame offers visitors a very different scene. 

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In Yame’s Fukushima District, traditional white-washed buildings line the quiet streets. Visit Yame for a calm trip, delicious green tea, and a peek at Japan’s slower pace of life.

How to Get to Yame

By Car: From Hakata Station, the drive is about 1 hour.

By Public Transportation: From Hakata, take the train / Shinkansen to Kurume JR and then ride the local bus into the main area. From Tenjin, take the Nishitetsu train to Kurume Nishitetsu Station, then ride the local bus to the center of Yame.

What to Do

Visit the Tea Fields: One of the things Yame is most famous for is its sprawling tea fields and high-quality gyokuro green tea. The Yame Central Tea Plantation is open to the public where you can view the sprawling tea fields year-round.

Going by car is the easiest way, but adventurous travelers can visit by foot via the Yame Olle hiking course or by bike. See my bike adventure to Yame’s tea fields below! (I recommend using a different type of bike).

Shop Traditional Kyushu-made Products: Yame is known as an area of craftsmen and was once a merchant town. Today, many artisans still reside in the area, quietly perfecting their craft.

At Unagi no Nedoko, explore the curated selection of goods, all made by Kyushu craftsmen. You’ll be able to find unique items such as indigo-dyed apparel, Kurume Kasuri fabric, Koshiwara patterned pottery, bamboo crafts, and more.

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Meet local Artisans: If you are looking to interact with local craftsmen and learn more about traditional crafts through hands-on experiences, sign up for a tour with UNA Laboratories.

Tours in and around Yame include a craft walking tour, indigo dyeing, and tea making and tasting. Learn about my first-hand experience visiting a local indigo dyer and weaver here: Hands-on Indigo Dyeing at Aizome Kasuri Kobo – Yame, Fukuoka

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What to Eat

Green Tea: Green tea and green tea snacks are a must-try when in Yame. Yabeya Konomi Honya is one of the oldest tea wholesalers in Kyushu and has been established for over 300 years.

Green Monster is located at the Yame Central Tea Plantation on the top of a hill that offers great views of the fields below. Enjoy a cup of tea here while enjoying the magnificent view.

Where to Stay

Craft Inn 手 [té] is a Japanese-style inn that immerses guests in a world of traditional Japanese crafts. I visited here with my mother as we were looking for a unique Japanese experience away from all the crowds.

We had a lovely time at Craft Inn Te and were impressed by the coziness and the inn’s beautiful details. Book now or learn more here:  Craft Inn 手 [té]: An Immersive Art Experience in Yame, Fukuoka.

If you are just looking for a simple and affordable option in Yame, the Yame Green Hotel is a classic business hotel offering basic amenities. The hotel isn’t particularly special, but you will be hard-pressed to find a more reasonably priced place to stay in the area.

Kurokawa Onsen, Kumamoto

Kurokawa Onsen village is a quiet place nestled in the mountains of Kumamoto, Kyushu. The hot spring village is in Minamioguni, far from the highway making it a special place to retreat into nature. The area has a unique onsen hopping program that draws hot spring lovers from all around.

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How to Get to Kurokawa Onsen

By Car: The drive from Hakata is around 2-3 hours depending on which route you take.

By Public Transportation: For those without a car coming from central Fukuoka, the Kyushu Bus from Hakata Station will be your best option.

There are only a few buses that run each day so you’ll want to book your seats early. Seats can be booked up to one month in advance from the Kyushu Bus website. 

By bus, the ride from Fukuoka is about three hours. It’s a bit of a long trip, but there is wonderful scenery to enjoy along the way. (The bus also has free wifi which is convenient!)

What to Do

Go Onsen Hopping: If you’re heading to Kurokawa Onsen, you’re most likely going to want to take part in the area’s popular onsen hopping called “Yumeguri” (湯めぐり). There are almost 30 different ryokans in the village so you have a lot of options to choose from. Read this full guide about onsen hopping in Kurokawa: Kurokawa Onsen Village: Onsen Hopping and Overnight Stay.

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Nature Walking: Aside from onsen hopping, there are also walking trails around the village that go to different observation points, through a little forest, across rivers, and more. These are perfect for travelers who want to see a bit more of the area without too much difficulty.

See my trip to Kurokawa including onsen hopping and a nature hike in the video below!

What to Eat

Kaiseki Meal: Kumamoto has many regional specialties including mustard lotus root, raw chicken, river fish, and horse sashimi. The best way to try a bit of everything that the area has to offer is to have a course meal which is usually provided by the local ryokans.

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Tofu: Vegetarians will want to pay a visit to Tofu Kisso, a restaurant that specializes in all plant-based meals.

Where to Stay

Kurokawa Onsen is extremely popular during the winter season, so if you plan to visit, book your lodgings and transportation early.

I stayed at Ryokan Ichinoi during my trip and loved it. The staff was friendly and the provided meals (dinner and breakfast) were also delightful. I highly recommend Ryokan Ichinoi if you’re visiting Kurokawa Onsen! (Read more about Ryokan Ichinoi here)

kurokawa-onsen-village-ryokan-ichinoi

Yanagawa, Fukuoka

Yanagawa is a small city located an hour’s train ride south of Fukuoka city. Nicknamed “the Venice of Japan”, it has quiet streets and canals that can be traveled via punt. But to set expectations, unlike its nickname, Yanagawa is not that similar to Venice. (Way less water, development, boats, architecture, people, etc).

Yanagawa Canals and Cherry Blossoms
Yanagawa Canals and Cherry Blossoms

How to Get to Yanagawa

By Car: From Hakata Station, the drive to Yanagawa Station is 1 hour.

By Public Transportation: Take the Nishitetsu line train from Nishitetsu Tenjin Station to Nishitetsu Yanagawa Station. The ride takes about an hour and costs ¥860 each way.

What to Do

Go on a boat ride: Something you must do if you visit Yanagawa is canal punting! Embark on a leisurely one-hour ride through the city, enjoy the peaceful scenery, ride under low bridges, and hear your guide sing traditional Japanese songs. These tours are generally only available in Japanese)

Yanagawa canal punting guide

Girl’s Day Festival: If you visit in March / April, you’ll be able to enjoy the Hina-matsuri celebrations. The city is decorated and several events are held to pray for the good fortune and happiness of the local girls. Learn more about the Girl’s Day Festival here.

Ohina-sama boat parade, Yanagawa
Ohina-sama boat parade

Japan Thrifting: The area around Yame is known for producing traditional textiles and indigo-dyed fabrics. West Coast Yanagawa is a huge second-hand store that has a large selection of goods including handwoven fabrics and kimonos at a fraction of their original cost.

Cherry Blossoms or Wisteria Viewing: Depending on when you visit, you may be able to see the beautiful cherry blossoms in Takahata Park, or the purple, hanging wisteria that grows at Nakayama no Ofuji.

Cherry Blossoms and Lanterns in Takahata Park, Yanagawa

See what a trip to Yanagawa is like below.

What to Eat

Unagai (Eel):  Seiromushi is the most popular unagi dish in Yanagawa which is comprised of specially sauced rice and fillets of charcoal-broiled eel. There are many eel restaurants, but one of my favorites is Ganso Motoyoshiya which provides an extremely elegant dining experience.

Seriomushi- steamed unagi rice with a liver soup on the side

Fried Shrimp: Another place offering great seafood is Yoake Chaya (夜明茶屋). My favorite item from here is their massive fried shrimp which are so crunchy and juicy.

Learn more about Yanagawa here: Weekend in Yanagawa: Hina-matsuri, Canal Punting, and Cherry Blossoms.

Where to Stay

One of the top luxury stays is Yanagawa Tachibana-tei Ohana. Ohana is the former residence of the Tachibana family, a clan of feudal lords who ruled the Yanagawa domain during the Sengoku and Edo periods. Guest rooms overlook the large Shoten garden, and a vast tatami hall can be used for large events like weddings.

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Here you can feel the history of the Tachibana family which spans over 400 years. See availability for Ohana.

A more budget-friendly option but still a wonderful place to stay is a bed and breakfast called Hatago B&B. The woman in charge of the b&b is very friendly and the Japanese room I stayed in smelled wonderfully of tatami. Read more about Hatago B&B here.

Miyajima, Hiroshima

Just a ferry ride away from Hiroshima mainland is a small island known as Miyajima or Itsukushima. This peaceful piece of land is famous for its beautiful floating torii gate, nature spots (Mt. Misen and Momijidani Park), seafood, and deer.

Miyajima Island Itsukushima Shrine

How to Get to Miyajima

By Car: While you can take your car on the ferry to Itsukushima Island, it’s not really necessary and may pose more of a hindrance. I recommend leaving your car when coming to visit this island.

By Public Transportation: From Hakata Station, take the Shinkansen to Hiroshima Station (just over 1 hour). From Hiroshima Station, take the local train to Miyajimaguchi Station (30 minutes). From Miyajimaguchi Station, take the Ferry over to the island (10 minutes).

What to Do

Hike Mt. Misen: For energetic nature lovers, a hike up Mt. Misen is a must.

Visit Itsukushima Shrine (Day and Night): Miyajima is famous for its floating torii gate and sprawling vermillion shrine that kisses the water’s edge. Itsukushima Shrine is a designated World Heritage site and offers beautiful views both day and night.

Stroll Momijidani Park: If you are looking for a great place to see fall foliage in Japan, look no further than Momijidani Park on Miyajima Island. Around November, the park sparks to life with trees blanketed in vibrant hues of yellow, orange, and red.

Momijidani Park in Miyajima, woman on a bridge with umbrella

Even if you plan your visit outside of Momiji season, Momijidani Park is still a nice place to take a stroll.

For the full guide about Miyajima Island, see here: What to do on Miyajima – Overnight Stay and Day Trip Guide!

What to Eat

Oysters: For a no-fuss oyster meal, head over to Kaki Fuku Maru. This little oyster shop is small and can only seat about six customers at a time. Kaki Fuku Maru’s specialty is grilled oysters with a variety of toppings. Butter garlic is one of my favorites, but I also enjoy the spicy oil, and miso flavors.

garlic butter oyster at kaki fuku maru

Momiji Manju: This is Miyajima’s famous confectionery that is shaped like a maple leaf (which is called momiji in Japanese). It is traditionally made with a red bean paste filling, but many stores sell an assortment of other fillings like custard, apple, chocolate, and chestnut.

Check out more things to eat on Miyajima Island here: Best Food to Eat on Itsukushima Island (Miyajima).

Where to Stay

For the ultimate luxury experience, you will want to stay at a ryokan (Japanese-style inn) which comes with beautiful Japanese rooms, full-course meals, and attached bathing facilities. I stayed at the Miyajima Grand Hotel Arimoto the first time I visited the island and was not disappointed in the least.

A more affordable and simpler place to stay is Sakuraya. This hotel is located super conveniently by the water near the ferry port. It has Japanese-style rooms and a small public bath you can enjoy during your stay.

Iki Island, Nagasaki

Though technically located in Nagasaki, Iki Island is quite easy to get to from Fukuoka’s Hakata Port.

On the island, enjoy relaxing on the many beaches, taking a boat cruise across aqua-blue waters, or visiting the many different shrines.

How to Get to Iki Island

By Car: If you want to bring your car to Iki Island, you must make a special reservation for the ferry that departs from Hakata Port. With this, you will be able to bring your car on board and use it while on the island. Rental vehicles are available as well.

By Public Transportation: The best way to get to Iki Island is by ferry or jetfoil. The ferry takes about 2 hours and is 2,960円 for the cheapest seat. (A free spot in the open space). The jetfoil takes about an hour and is 5,850円 each way. Call to make reservations, or buy tickets directly at the ticket booth. (Jet foil seats are limited so reservations are recommended). See more about the ferry and jetfoil here.

What to Do

Beach Hopping: A visit to Iki in the summer calls for a stay at one of the many beaches. Take a boat to Tatsunoshima Island for a secluded mini island vibe, or head to Kuyoshi Beach for a wide open space.

Boat Cruise: Even if you aren’t planning to go to the beach, the Tatsunoshima Boat Cruise is a lovely ride that takes you along the perimeter of the island to see breathtaking views of the volcanic rocks.

Shrine Visits: Did you know that Iki Island is home to over 1,000 shrines? One of my favorites is Kojima Shrine whose appearance and accessibility change depending on the tide. During high tide, the shrine floats on an island above the sea, while at low tide, you can walk across the rocks to see the shrine up close.

Harunotsuji Ruins: A very unique place to visit on the island is the Harunotsuji Ruins! This area is a designated special historic site of Japan and features the ruins of the ancient kingdom. Walk around the open space, peek inside the restored buildings, and get a taste of what life was like centuries ago.

Fans of these ruins will also want to check out the Iki Koku Museum as well.

Monkey Rock and Devil’s Footprint: If you want to see cool rock formations that are aptly named and surrounded by stunning coastal scenery, don’t forget to add Monkey Rock and Devil’s Footprint to your travel plans!

See more things to do in this Iki Island video guide!

What to Eat

Pufferfish: An island specialty is pufferfish! While this lean fish doesn’t really have that much flavor, it’s worth trying it out to see if the collagen-rich fish is something for you. Enjoy eating pufferfish cooked in a variety of ways be it fried, simmered, or raw as sashimi.

Shochu: When it comes to drinks, Iki shochu is another island specialty! On the rocks is my favorite way to drink this beverage.

Where to Stay

I stayed at Iki Kaneya Bekkan during one of my latest trips. It was a standard ryokan with tatami floors, futon beds, and a view of the water. There was also a small indoor public bath. You can try to book here, but if dates show as unavailable, I recommend trying the main website and using Google Translate.

Nagasaki / Sasebo, Nagasaki

Visiting the neighboring prefecture of Nagasaki is a great way to see more of Kyushu and explore an area that is known for its eclectic mix of different cultures. Nagasaki and Sasebo are two easy-to-access cities on the JR train lines. Though a bit far from each other, you can spend a night in each place, for a full Nagasaki experience.

How to Get to Nagasaki

By Car: From Hakata Station, it is about 1.5 hours to Sasebo and 2-2.5 hours to Nagasaki.

By Public Transportation: From Hakata Station, it is about 2 hours to both Sasebo Station and Nakasaki Station.

What to Do

Explore the Kujuku Islands (Sasebo): For beautiful sea views, hop on the Kujukushima Sightseeing Cruise that leaves from the Pearl Sea Resort. See the different island formations, and take in the nature of Saikai National Park. Get your tickets in advance here. (If you will be traveling on a JR pass, or if you plan to visit the neighboring Aquarium or Zoo and Botanical Garden, you should buy tickets in person instead as you will receive a discount).

Shinchi China Town (Nagasaki): Walk over to Shinchi China Town, Japan’s oldest China Town. Here you will find intersecting streets with restaurants and shops selling an assortment of Chinese fare including the area’s famous champon and sara udon.

Visit during Chinese New Year (two weeks that fall during late January and early March) to see the area alive with beautifully illuminated hanging lanterns.

Nagasaki Peace Park: Near the Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum are the Nagasaki Peace Park and Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Hypocenter Memorial commemorating the location where the atomic bomb was dropped in 1945.

What to Eat

Champon: Nagasaki is probably most known for this soup noodle dish. While somewhat similar to ramen, the toppings of seafood, pork, and veggies are usually fried before being added on top of the noodles, and the soup base is rich and creamy.

Sara udon: This crispy noodle dish is topped with wok-fried veggies, meat, and seafood all coated in a thick sauce. It’s a nice change from soup noodles and if you like crispy things like me, it’s a dish I recommend!

Lemon Steak: This dish consists of thin pieces of beef sizzled in a lemon soy sauce. Don’t expect a thick-cut piece of steak as the meat that comes is quite thin. The tangy lemon helped cut the richness of the meat and was a combination I had never had before. If you have the chance, try out this interesting dish!

Sasebo Burger…? Sasebo Burgers are famous in Nagasaki and are quite sought after by those who haven’t had an American burger before. Feel free to try this dish, but for me, it’s not worth the hype it receives.

For more ideas of what to do and see in Nagasaki, check out the video below.

Where to Stay

Nagasaki: Hotel Ikeda is a simple and convenient hotel right by Nagasaki Station. It is within walking distance of popular sightseeing spots like Megane Bridge and China Town making it a good budget-friendly option.

Sasebo: Perched high on a hill, the Yumihari no Oka Hotel is the place to go for sweeping views of Sasebo’s sea and islands below. While the route up the mountain to the hotel is a bit windy, a hotel shuttle is provided for transfer to Sasebo station. The public bath has huge glass windows that provide bathers with a lovely view of the scenery below.

Izumi, Kagoshima

For another more remote getaway, how about a farm stay in Izumi Kagoshima? Easy to access on the Shinkansen and close to popular Kagoshima-chuo Station as well, head south for a weekend in Kyushu’s southernmost prefecture! (Not including Okinawa)

How to Get to Izumi

By Car: The drive to Izumi Station from Hakata takes about 3 hours.

By Public Transportation: Using the Shinkansen from Hakata Station, you can reach Izumi Station a little over 1 hour.

What to Do

Farm Stay: Enjoy meeting locals and seeing their lifestyle by joining a farm stay experience! Help out on the field, explore the surrounding area, and exchange stories with friendly hosts. Learn more and request a farm stay experience here.

Explore Sakurajima: Close to Izumi is Kagoshima-chuo station. In this area, you can either go to a local park to see the famous volcano, Sakurajima, or take the boat to the island and embark on a tour via bike or bus.

What to Eat

Kurobuta Tonkatsu: One of Kagoshima’s specialty regional dishes is succulent and crispy black pork tonkatsu. During one of my latest trips, I found a place that serves delicious tonkatsu, perhaps one of my favorites I’ve had in Japan. Read more here: The Best Tonkatsu I’ve Eaten: Berkshire Kurobuta

Kurobuta Tonkatsu Meal in Kumamoto

Black Pork Shabu Shabu: Another black pork specialty is shabu shabu. Enjoy thinly sliced cuts of this special meat that melt in your mouth after a quick cook in tasty dashi broth. Two of my favorite places are Ajimori and 黒豚しゃぶしゃぶ SATSUMA .

Where to Stay

During the farm stay in Izumi, you will be able to stay overnight in a traditional Japanese home with the host family.

Near Kagoshima-chuo Station, a simple business hotel with a nice public bath and breakfast included is Silk Inn Kagoshima.

Okagaki (and Munakata), Fukuoka

Okagaki and neighboring Munakata are two spots in Fukuoka that are lesser known but have unique charms of their own. Munakta is home to Munakata Taisha which is a collection of three sacred shrines.

Okagaki has a nice beach area, a dedicated bike path, and a luxurious seafood restaurant. Come to this part of Fukuoka if you are looking for a quiet escape rich with Japanese tradition and cuisine.

How to Get to Okagaki / Munakata

By Car: From Hakata Station, the drive to Hatsu Beach is a little over an hour.

By Public Transportation: To reach the part of Okagaki where I stayed near Hatsu Beach, take the JR line to Ebitsu Station. (About 45 minutes from Hakata). From Ebitsu station, take a taxi (15 min) or use the local bus (30 min).

What to Do

Go on a bike ride: Rent a bike from the local tourism office and hop on the dedicated bike bath by the sea from Ashiya Seaside Park to Munakata Roadside Station. The route is beautiful, and the bike-only route makes for a pleasant ride no matter your level. Stop by the Munakata Roadside Station for local delicacies, and Munkata Shrine to see this special UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Rooftop Spa: If you stay at the hotel I did, enjoy the private rooftop bath and steam sauna that come included with the room! Make reservations for these once you check-in.

What to Eat

Sushi Yatai: If you want a unique dining experience of being able to look out into the ocean while watching chefs prepare a seafood meal before you, then you’ll want to visit the Sushi Yatai. This place is pretty popular, so make reservations in advance. I got their special dancing abalone course which came with sashimi, a set of nigiri, cooked abalone and veggies, and seafood soup.

Where to Stay

Yahataya was a great renovated hotel that I stayed in right by the beach! The rooms were bright, clean, and so new. My favorite part about the hotel was the included private rooftop spa (reservations necessary) and proximity to the renowned Sushi Yatai. The main website is in Japanese only, but you can see the automatically translated version here.

Hatsushiro is another hotel just across the street. I didn’t stay overnight here but had a filling seafood lunch course in the restaurant. With great proximity to the beach, this is another hotel you can check out as an alternative to Yahataya.

Busan, Korea

This might not be the weekend trip you are thinking of, but get this, traveling from Fukuoka to Busan, Korea is generally faster and cheaper compared to flying to Tokyo. (There is also a ferry that runs straight out of Hakata Port to Busan making the trip easy by sea as well.)

After hearing that it’s quite popular for Korean visitors to come to Fukuoka for the weekend and vice-versa, I realized that this international trip is great to do if you have a bit more time in Fukuoa but want to hop out of the country to get a taste of Korean lifestyle, eat some Korean food, do a visa run, etc.

How to Get to Busan, Korea

By Air: From Fukuoka Airport to Gimhae International Airport (PUS), the flight is a mere 55 minutes! Just don’t forget to check the entry requirements as you will be entering another country.

By Boat: Another convenient option is to take the Queen Beetle Ferry which departs from Hakata Port. The ferry takes about 3 hours and 40 minutes. Learn more about taking the ferry here.

What to Do

Learn to Cook Korean Food: Take a cooking class to learn how to make authentic Korean dishes and shop for ingredients at a local market. I had an awesome time booking through Cookly for a cooking class in Seoul, but there are also classes in Busan you can try out!

Haedong Yonggungsa Temple: Further up north and right by the water on a cliff is this is an ornate temple. A bit out of the way but worth the trip!

Gamcheon Culture Village: This is a beautiful place to walk around that offers views of colorful buildings and the sea. In the area, you’ll also find BIFF Square and Jalgachi Market which is full of fresh seafood.

What to Eat

Spicy Hot Pot: Korean cuisine is full of delicious soups. One of my favorite meals was a braised short rib soup with whole octopus. This spicy hot pot was packed with ingredients and even though we chose medium spicy, it was hot! Try out this dish at Sinchon Yangpuni, Seomyeon.

Fried Chicken: Almost every other day, I ate fried chicken. Korean fried chicken is delightfully crispy and there are lots of special flavors that can be sweet, spicy, and garlicky. The batter is light on Korean fried chicken making it pair perfectly with beer. There are tons of fried chicken shops, so try many to find one that suits your taste.

KBBQ: And of course, you need to experience Korean BBQ! Typically pork or beef cooked over charcoal coals, Korean BBQ is a meal that’s easy to enjoy with friends. Again there is no end to KBBQ restaurants in Busan, but one that I especially liked that had great meat was here.

Where to Stay

For easy access to restaurants and nightlife, one of the top areas to stay is in Seomyeon. Hotel tt Seomyeon was a great place with comfortable rooms and minimal noise.

Taipei, Taiwan

Just like Korea, Taiwan is another country so close to Fukuoka, that it can be considered a destination for a long weekend trip. Add Taiwan to your list if you are craving delicious boba tea, bustling night markets full of food, or ornate temples.

How to Get to Taipei, Taiwan

By Plane: From Fukuoka Airport to Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, the flight is only 2.5 hours.

What to Do

Visit Night Markets: No trip to Taiwan is complete without a trip to a night market! With so many, the choice can be overwhelming. While a classic destination is Shilin Market, I quite preferred Raohe Market since it had more interesting food offerings and fewer people.

Learn to Make Taiwanese Food: If you have ever wanted to know how to make Taiwanese soup dumplings or other specialties like beef noodle soup and bubble tea, then a cooking class is for you! I had a great time during this Cookly class and was so surprised at how wonderfully our dishes turned out.

Climb to the Top of Elephant Mountain: For a magnificent sunset view, muster up the strength to climb the stairs up Elephant Mountain It’s quite a steep climb, but the view at the top with Taipei 101 in the background is worth it! Read more about Elephant Mountain: National Palace Museum & Elephant Mountain.

For more activities outside of Taipei, check out these posts: Shifen Waterfall, Shifen Old Town, and Juifen. Taroko National Park, and Hualien.

What to Eat

Beef noodle soup: A classic Taiwanese dish is this flavorful beef soup with noodles and some veggies. Soul-warming and delicious, this is a great meal to fuel up during the day.

Xiaolongbao soup dumplings: These small steamed dumplings come with a special surprise inside. Piping hot, flavorful soup! Once you’ve had a bite, you’ll instantly know why this is such a popular dish and keep eating more.

Boba Milk Tea: Boba milk tea originated in Taiwan and eventually exploded across the world to become the favorite drink of many. You’ll find shops and stalls selling this drink in many places you go, so you’ll have many chances to try all kinds of different flavors and toppings including colorful jellies and popping juice balls.

Want to know you to cook Taiwanese dishes yourself? Try out this Taiwanese cooking class where you learn to make all of the above!

Where to Stay

For a high-end hotel located a bit further from the main area, consider the Taipei Marriot Hotel. Service here is exceptional and the staff can help you book a private taxi to explore more of Taiwan on your own. Read about my Taiwan taxi day trip here: Taiwan Day Trip: Shifen Waterfall, Shifen Old Town, and Juifen

taiwan_shifuen_waterfall

Travelers on a smaller budget can consider T.O. Hotel – Taipei station. This hotel is located within walking distance of local markets and is close to the National Taiwanese Museum. (The windowless rooms are a bit dreary though, so I recommend a windowed room).


Well, that wraps up the list for 10+ of my favorite weekend trips from Fukuoka! I hope this gives you some ideas to add to your itinerary next time you visit Kyushu!

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