Our Japanese reporter shares three excellent reasons why you should stop by this ramen joint the next time you’re in Fukuoka. No excuses!
Fukuoka Prefecture is a major tourist destination in Japan, drawing people form all over the country all year round. But what’s unusual about the prefecture is that, despite its great many visitors, it doesn’t have any particularly famous sightseeing spots. Most people come for the food alone—a fact which should give you an indication of how good it is.
That’s why our reporter, Takashi Harada went in search of something worth gawking at in the otherwise wonderful land of Fukuoka and came across something that every visitor ought to see: the “World’s Largest Buddha statue” nestled deep in its mountains.
When traveling in Japan, there are a number of quick and easy ways to see the whole country. You can take the Shinkansen, Japan’s bullet train that excels at speed and comfort. There are also a number of budget airlines including Peach, Air Asia, and Skymark Airlines that can make your trip quicker, but force you to sacrifice some amenities for a lower cost.
But if you have the time, there is no better way to travel around Japan than by hitting the open roads. Just like the US, there are many quirky best-kept secrets accessible only by car that are worth visiting. Some of the best places that really connect you with the locals are the roadside rest stops called Michi no Eki (literally “roadside stations“) that are perfect for taking a toilet or sleeping break, but are also hubs for local food, crafts and history.
Want to find the best roadside stations to visit? The travel website Trip Advisor has assembled a list of the best Michi no Eki for 2015, so gas up the car, it’s time for a road trip.
What would modern life be like without the humble toilet? Actually, we’d rather not think about that.
Many of us around the world should direct our thanks to TOTO Ltd., the world’s largest manufacturer of toilets and the very company that invented the washlet. In fact, Friday, August 28 marked the grand opening of the new TOTO Museum in Fukuoka Prefecture, where the company was originally founded in 1917.
Takashi Harada, our Japanese reporter who proclaims that he couldn’t survive a day without a washlet, immediately made a bee line to the new sanctuary to give thanks to the toilet gods and to learn a bit about the historical evolution of the toilet.
Everyone loves strawberries, right? Not only are they pretty hard to beat on the deliciousness scale, but they have the ability to ward off allergy symptoms and can even occasionally taste like peaches. Not bad for a little red fruit–or big red fruit if we’re talking about the Guinness World Record-breaking strawberry recently harvested in Fukuoka.
You guys, it’s May, so that means you can finally go see the beautiful wisteria tunnel that we told you about last October! If you find yourself anywhere near northern Kyushu or have time for a weekend getaway, head to Fukuoka Prefecture’s Kitakyushu City. If you think we’re exaggerating or doctoring the pictures to make them more beautiful (we’re not), at least trust the opinion of the Japanese Twitter users gushing over the wisteria’s beauty!
Living in the Japanese countryside has many advantages, from access to the freshest produce to breathing clean air, but for many who love the big city, the slow-paced lifestyle and lack of attractions can make rural life quite boring.
But one Japanese man living in a town outside of Fukuoka in southern Japan is showing us life doesn’t have to be boring when you have access to several dozen scarecrows, old softball uniforms and an open rice field. Every November after the rice is harvested, he dresses scarecrows up as softball players and has them “play” a month-long game, keeping score the entire time.
If you have ever had the pleasure of visiting the southern Japanese city of Fukuoka, you probably know about its amazing food that has people from all over the country booking trips there just to stuff themselves silly. Between the rich, pork broth and firm noodles of the famous Hakata Ramen and the spicy delight that is mentaiko (marinated cod and pollack roe), Fukuoka is a place visitors leave having to loosen their belt a few notches.
With so many delicious things to come out of the city, an online poll set out to see which dishes people think are the epitome of the Fukuoka food scene. Click below to see the results and vote on what you think is the best food to come out of Fukuoka!
Criminals have to come up with some pretty extravagant excuses for why they commit crimes. Sometimes, their reasons are really out there. Take the Oscar Pistorius case, for example. He acknowledges that he fired the shots that killed his girlfriend, but claims that he thought he was protecting her from a possible intruder. It’s then up to the courts to determine whether or not the defense’s theory holds any water. But what do you do when the working theory is, “Amaterasu, the sun goddess, told me to kill my mother.”
Anyone who has visited Japan during hanami (cherry blossom viewing) season will definitely agree – they’ve got some really gorgeous flowers over there. But Japan’s not all sakura, you know! In fact, there’s a veritable cornucopia of beautiful blooms to appreciate at different times of the year. If you’re too impatient for the springtime sakura, you can get a head start by checking out the plum blossoms that start to peek out during the tail-end of winter. And if you’re still not satisfied after feasting your eyes on the sakura itself (or feasting on snacks during hanami, as the case may be), why not plan a summer visit to the “Wisteria Tunnel” located in Kitakyushu, Fukuoka Prefecture?
How far would you go to pass a test? At all points in our life, tests determine whether we succeed or fail with little remorse for how much grueling effort actually went into studying for it. One test in Japan is extremely taxing and foreigners and Japanese alike shudder at even the thought of taking it. We are talking about the Japanese driver’s license test and one first year high school student from Fukuoka who had failed the written portion 20 times, finally resorted to cheating in order to try and pass it.
They say girls love sweets because the endorphins released when eating them help to get rid of bad moods and make everything better. But if we’re being honest, most people of any gender want their foul moods to be whisked away by the delightful taste of sugary sweets! However, sometimes your problems can’t be solved with just cakes and ice cream and you still have so much pent-up frustration that can only be released by DESTROYING something. If you run into this kind of situation, we have the perfect solution for you: a popular sweet from Korea that must first be smashed with a hammer before you can enjoy it.
What started off as a basic robbery attempt turned into a mortifying experience for one wannabe robber in Fukuoka Prefecture. Seriously, either the konbini gods were conspiring against him or he met his ultimate match in an old woman, but either way, his attempt at crime was completely foiled thanks to an unusual series of events.
Aliens. We’ve always speculated on their existence. Do they already live among us or are they waiting in space to make their appearance suddenly and violently known to us? We recently believed that they might be real with their sudden attendance at a baseball game earlier this year, but those aliens were ejected from the stadium and locked away before we could get their story.
Perhaps, we will now ascertain the truth! Five cousins of the aliens from Independence Day have crashed their brown, corrugated spaceship in Japan and finally we have the proof we’ve always longed for. More about why they’re here, how long they’ll be staying, and how we can learn more about them after the jump.
Everything has been coming up Tokyo lately. Recently ranked no. 1 on a Trip Advisor survey, Japan’s capital city has now come in at No. 2 on Monocle’s list of most livable cities for 2014. That’s two positions up from their ranking last year!
Cities across the world were ranked based on criteria such as economics, society, functionality, as well as ease of everyday living and happiness of people. But it’s not just Tokyo that’s feeling the love recently – two more Japanese cities made it onto the list of great places to live!
Road signs are a dime a dozen out there. The typical driver usually only focuses on what is directly in front of their car, oblivious to almost everything else. Advertisers know though, that it is possible to catch the eye of the driver. They choose strange images or bold words to catch their attention. It really works! How many times can you remember looking at a sign because it was abnormal?
A small town in Fukuoka Prefecture has been taking notes and have come up with their own unusual traffic signs to help slow down cars on some of their dangerous roads.
Up-and-coming artist Mondo draws with a somewhat skewed sense of proportion very much like any other 10-year-old boy. However, from beneath the superficiality of his sometimes jarring contours, the unmistakable sense of his subject can be felt.
The impact his images create has been earning him a lot of respect around his hometown of Fukuoka and recently a growing fan-base around Japan. In addition to his public appearances where he draws visitors’ portraits, he has a blog on which he posts a daily illustration displaying his ever-growing talents. Check out his work after the jump.
Tamago kake gohan is fairly simple Japanese dish. Simply take a raw egg and put it on some rice. If you’re feeling extra adventurous you could always mix some soy sauce in with the egg for an added zing.
Being so simple you’d think it doesn’t really matter how you get it. However, our ever-plumping reporter Kuzo recently found a place that serves up a tamago kake gohan like no other. For starters, the eggs have yolks so strong that you can pick them up with your fingers.
This morning Japanese websites all over lit up with pictures of Fukuoka-based idol Kanna Hashimoto. After images including the one above broke on message boards, idol fans across the nation tipped Hashimoto as their choice for the next superstar calling her “seriously, an angel” and admitting “I hate idols, but she’s cute…”