Fukuoka city is the largest on the island of Kyushu and is one of Japan’s 10 largest cities overall. Picked as one of the most liveable cities in the world by Monocle magazine, Fukuoka is famous for its local Hakata ramen – a ramen with thinner than normal noodles served in broth made from pork bones. The best place to get this ramen, as well as other dishes like grilled chicken skewers and hot pot, is at Fukuoka’s famous yatai, or outdoor food stalls. Nakasu Island is the best place to experience these stalls, though there are also stalls dotted around the city.
Fukuoka is very close to mainland Asia, and as a result has always been an important port. This is why the Mongols landed here when they invaded mainland Japan. It is also why the priest Eisai built the first Zen Buddhism temple in Japan here. The temple, called Shofukuji, still exists today. The grounds are open to the public, but the buildings themselves are closed off.