Learn Japanese in Fukuoka: Location
Fukuoka City is the largest city in Kyushu, South-Western Japan. Its moderate climate, beautiful scenery and great location have made it poular with travellers worldwide. Fukuoka is clean, safe and has excellent amenities and offers a good quality of life. It is close to both mainland China and Korea and has excellent train and air connections to the rest of Japan. The central city zone is home to just 1.4 million people and is large enough to ensure there is plenty to do, see and try but nowhere near as daunting as tackling life in Tokyo can be – Fukuoka city centre is built on a human scale and is a comfortable living and study environment for Westerners looking to experience Japan, it’s culture and it’s language without becoming lost in the crowd.
Summers are warm, winters mild, earthquakes and typhoons are rare.
In addition, Fukuoka is bursting with culture: its many art galleries, excellent museums, and theatres will give you your fill of the arts, while the night-life is some of the best in the country.
The modern Kyuhsu National Museum is a must see for any culture vulture with a taste for Japanese artefacts The Asian Art Museum is located on the top floor of one of the most high-class department stores in the city, with constantly-changing exhibitions of art from around Asia and a welcoming atmosphere that attracts a young crowd.
Hakata-za is Fukuoka’s famous “kabuki” theatre, where the biggest names in Japanese theatre come to perform. It’s not cheap, but the spectacle is definitely worth it! For a more affordable option, there are often free Noh and Kabuki performances in the Ohori Park Noh theatre.
The night-life in Fukuoka has a huge variety of venues where you can enjoy just about anything from a cup of ‘sake’ with friends in a quiet ‘izakaya’ to a crazy night of dancing at a top club. Izakayas (Japanese pubs) exist on virtually every corner and offer wide array of alcoholic beverages and foods (both cooked and otherwise!). As Fukuoka is famed for its ‘shochu’ (a spirit made from either rice, wheat, barley or potato), a glass of shochu along with some ‘sashimi’ (raw fish) and you could easily be mistaken for a local! If clubbing is more your thing, Fukuoka will have something to suit you. There’s an extraordinary variety of music, ranging from hip-hop to trance to regular Pop. Look out for ‘nomihodai’ (drink as much as you want) deals, which allow you to pay once at the door and then drink for free all night.
Fukuoka’s renowned cuisine and warm-hearted people will make your stay here a pleasure. The city is full of wonderful restaurants, and its hard to visit an Izakaya (local restaurant) without making new friends. Fukuoka has more restaurants per person than anywhere else in Japan! The competition means restaurants have to be great to survive. Experience the freshest fish, the spiciest wasabi, and the best that Japanese cuisine has to offer.
There’s a wealth of fabulous Japanese food on offer, so you’ll never need to eat the same thing twice, but almost everyone starts with sushi. As Fukuoka is a major port, the fish are brought straight from the water to your table. One restaurant even lets you catch your own fish, then tell the waiter how you’d like it cooked!
Fukuoka is the home of “ramen”, (a delicious noodle soup) often given a bad reputation by the instant noodle variety, but some of the up scale ramen restaurants here will change your mind!
Another Fukuoka speciality is “yatai”, portable street restaurants that are set up every evening and serve a small menu of hot food. After dark some of the main streets in Fukuoka are lined with these tiny restaurants, which are a great place to meet people. Walk around the Tenjin and Nakasu areas, and pick one at random, for a great evening out!