Why did we begin our trip in Fukuoka, the nearest point among Japan’s main islands to Asia mainland (and it is closer to Seoul than to Tokyo)? Convenience and weather. More than 90 direct flight are available between the city and Tokyo. There is a direct train from the airport to the city’s main transportation hub and we could be in our hotel in less than 15 minutes. And the weather tends to be warmer in southern Japan earlier in spring.
Two cities came together in 1889 (the port city of Hakata and the former castle town of Fukuoka) to become one city called Fukuoka. Today, Hakata remains the name of the one of the city’s central districts and also the name of the main railway station. The city is Japan’s fastest growing urban centre and a national strategic special zone for start-ups. The city’s “liveability” and short commutes with lots of parks, nearby mountains, and beaches attract many entrepreneurs to the city and it has the country’s youngest populations.
In Japan, traditions and cultures and architecture—old and modern—blend seamlessly. This makes any walking tour unique because there are often surprises around the corners.