Fukuoka’s Charming Atmosphere
Your train has arrived, your boat has docked. You take your first step off the Nozomi Shinkansen from Tokyo or the high-speed ferry from Busan and are overwhelmed by this western Japanese city. Unlike Tokyo or Osaka – both very spread out with little room for trees – Fukuoka, despite its skyscrapers, exhibits a charm usually seen in smaller cities like Matsuyama or Kumamoto.
Transportation: The Best Ways to Get Around
To ticket or kick it, that is the question. Now that you’re on the streets, what’s the best way to visit Canal City, or Fukuoka Tower? Would you like to run all the way to Ohori Park, or take the subway?
Cheap as ever, this is probably the only form of public transportation in Japan whose price hasn’t been affected by the economy or inflation in years. One 100-yen coin can take passengers on a single trip from Hakata Station all the way to Tenjin; perfectly routed to pass by Nakasu Island and Canal City. (More detail: See this map.)
(source: JR Kyushu)
JR Kyushu Pass
Although offered over the smallest train coverage in Japan, the JR Kyushu Pass offers an excellent flat rate for unlimited travel over three or five days. Hakata Station is a hub for trains at both the end of the Sanyo Line originating in Tokyo, and the recently completed Kagoshima Line. In addition, there is a Northern Kyushu Rail Pass for those only interested in going as far south as Kumamoto and Oita. You can’t be a Japanese resident to purchase the ticket, and it is required that you bring your passport to purchase the JR Kyushu Pass.
Fukuoka Tourist City Pass
With Uber and Lyft still fighting to make headway in Japanese cities, foreign tourists may find riding trains and buses preferable. In Fukuoka, 820 yen buys those visiting the city a one day’s unlimited travel ticket on local buses and subway trains.
Unfortunately, most of central Fukuoka isn’t especially convenient to subway stations, and a short taxi or bus ride is best. However, for those going as far as Fukuoka Tower or Ohori Park, the train is the way to go. And like all major Japanese cities, it’s the most efficient way to reach the airport. There are one-day unlimited subway tickets available for 620 yen. The pass is valid between Meinohama and Fukuokakuko, Nakasu-kawabata and Kaizuka, and Hashimoto and Tenjin-minami.