Points of Interest


One of Fukuoka's most famous attractions are the nightly food stands called Yatai. The Yatai offer many different types of Japanese foods, including ramen, oden, gyōza, yakitori, and tempura. They're scattered throughout downtown Fukuoka. A map and list of food stands is available from YOKANAVI, a Fukuoka tourism website.1

A photo of Yatai in Fukuoka. It's late at night, and the signs of many food stands illuminate the sidewalk. There's many patrons at each stand.
Yatai in Fukuoka (aumo)

Fukuoka also lays claim to the oldest Zen Buddhist temple in Japan.2 While you're not allowed to step foot inside the buildings of Shōfukuji Temple, you can still take in the scenic temple grounds.3

A photo of a path inside the Shofukuji temple grounds. The foliage is very green and well-kept. To the left is a belfry.
A path with a belfry in the Shofukuji temple grounds (Japan Guide)

The third main point of interest in Fukuoka would be the Canal City shopping complex. Canal City Hakata provides "about 250 shops, cafes and restaurants, a theater, game center, cinemas, two hotels and a canal running through the complex".4 If you're feeling a bit homesick, Canal City has plenty of shops for brands that you would find in the US. However, Canal City also boasts a large amount of Japanese stores, including its 5th "Ramen Stadium" floor which is entirely dedicated to different kinds of ramen.5

A photo taken on a bridge between two parts of Canal City towards a display of Evangelion characters. Shown are Shinji, Asuka, Rei, and a fourth character I don't know the identity of because I've never watched Evangelion. Hexagonal signs saying HAKATA are displayed in the style of Evangelion's EMERGENCY warnings.
A collection of hanging cutouts advertising Canal City's Evangelion display on the floor below (Google Maps)

And finally, another historical location to visit in Fukuoka would be the ruins of its once-famous castle. The best time to visit is near the beginning of April, as the park around the castle is a prime spot for cherry-blossom viewing.

A photo of Fukuoka Castle ruins with pink cherry-blossom trees in the background.
Fukuoka Castle ruins, with cherry-blossom trees in the background (Japan Guide)


Uchiko is quite like a time capsule for Japan: it is known for its preservation and restoration projects. The two main attractions here, the Yōkaichi Old Town and the Kamihaga Residence, are discussed in Cultural Backgrounds. The Kamihaga Residence is available to tour with a tour guide, which is recommended.6

The Uchiko History Museum, offering more in-depth explorations into the lives of Uchiko residents of the 19th and 20th centuries, lies just outside Yōkaichi Old Town. Most of the written material is in Japanese, and tour guides do not seem to be available.

[Here will be an image of the inside of the Uchiko History Museum, to emphasize that all inside text is in Japanese.]

Every year during the 4th Sunday of April, Uchiko holds its Kawanobori River Festival, in which residents recreate the experience of the rafting once used for the transport of logs.7

A chain of 16 rafts, with a Japanese person standing on 10 of them. Almost everyone is wearing a kasa. They are paddling down a river using some sort of long stick.
A photo of the raft floating event (Uchiko Sanpo)

Kurobe Gorge

As the Kurobe Gorge Railway is mainly a tourist attraction nowadays, there's plenty of stops and things to see. At the first station, Unazuki Station, which you will depart from on the railway, there's many things you can explore beforehand. Of historical interest may be the Kurobe River Electric Memorial Hall, detailing the importance of the Kurobe Dam in Japan's industrialization efforts. Additionally, the Yamabiko Walkway offers a nice view of the Shin Yamabiko Bridge.

A red bridge is running over a blue river. Steep hills, not a single spot without tall, lush trees, line the area. A tourism trolley runs along the tracks on the bridge.
A photo of the Shin Yamabiko Bridge (Toyama Tourism)

The second station, Kuronagi Station features a bridge, Atobiki Bridge, and an onsen, Kuronagi Onsen. The third station, Kanetsuri Station, is connected to an observation deck that allows one to observe the Mannen Yuki, or Ten Thousand Year Snow.

The final station of the Kurobe Gorge Railway, Keyakidara Station, features a large pedestrian bridge, Okukane Bridge, leading to Babadani Onsen and Meiken Onsen, which are both also ryokan (Japanese-style inns).

A photo taken on one end of a red bridge crossing a gorge with a flowing river underneath. On both sides of the gorge there are beautiful green trees.
A photo of the Okukane Bridge (Japan Trip Magazine)


Yokohama is one of the most populated cities in Japan, second to Tokyo. As such, there's plenty to do. Yokohama is equipped with the largest of Japan's three Chinatowns, popular for its unique mixing of Chinese dishes into a Japanese style.

If you're looking for a more low-energy experience, Sankeien Garden is a Japanese-style garden featuring traditional Japanese buildings. Of course, it's a garden, so there's not much to "do": you are meant to relax, explore, and take in the scenery.

A Japanese tea house partially obscured by trees. The stones in front of the house are visibly wet from rain.
The Rindōan Tea House inside the Sankeien Outer Garden (Sankeien Garden)

Yokohama is also home to Hakkeijima Sea Paradise, an amusement park with a few aquariums. Entrance into the park itself is free, as it is lined with various shops and restaurants, but the areas with rides or aquariums have entrance fees.

The set of three aquariums, Aqua Resorts, consists of the Aqua Museum, Dolphin Fantasy, and the Fureai Lagoon. In the Fureai Lagoon, one is allowed to touch some of the animals, and for an extra fee, can sign up for a guided tour where even more interaction, such as feeding, is allowed.

A view from an underground aquarium into many many schools of fish, and some rays.
A part of the Aqua Museum (Japan Guide)


Furano's most famous attraction is its flower fields. One of the most popular places to get a good look at flower fields would be Farm Tomita. Most of the flowers enter full-bloom around June and July, but many fields will be flowering by May.8

A flower field in Hokkaido. Closest to the photographer are yellow flowers with long petals, and behind those are purple flowers with short petals. Far away are white, pink, and red flowers.
A photo of a flower field in Hokkaido (Kunihisa Ogawa, requested via Twitter)

Another one of Furano's attractions is its cheese factory. The factory, which also sells ice milk ("ice milk" and "ice cream" are by law different in Japan due to dairy content9) and bread, offers workshops for making various dairy products. You should call in beforehand to reserve, and make sure that you reserve on a day when enough people will be attending. Furano Cheese Factory offers menus in both Japanese and English on which prices and requirements are listed.10

Four people taking part in a butter-making workshop. Three are shaking jars with dairy inside to create butter, and the fourth has a lump of butter on a wooden block in one hand and a butter paddle in the other.
A photo taken during one of Furano Cheese Factory's butter-making workshops (Furano Cheese Factory, requested via email)
Five or six (unclear) people taking part in a cheese-making workshop. At the present moment, they're pouring some milk-like product into some machine.
A photo taken during one of Furano Cheese Factory's cheese-making workshops (Furano Cheese Factory, requested via email)

Finally, if you're willing to go out of your way, a good sight-seeing location would be the Blue Pond about a 2 hour bike-ride from Farm Tomita. You are not allowed to enter the pond, much less drink the pond water, but the intent is for it to be a good resting or tourism spot.11

A photo of the Blue Pond near Shirogane Onsen. The photographer is on a muddy path, facing slightly towards the pond. The pond is a stunning, bright teal blue. The surrounding trees, and the trees in the pond, are tall and thin.
A photo of the Blue Pond (Japan Guide)