Fukuoka - Tips

 

 

Weather

 

Fukuoka has humid subtropical climate.
Fukuoka summers are hot and humid. Winters are relatively mild and temperature rarley drops below zero.
Usually, Spring (March/April/May) and fall (Septmber/October) are the best seasons to visit Fukuoka.

 

Clothes & Shoes

 

If visiting in winter, bring a good jacket as it can get cold. Bring a good pair of walking shoes as you will be walking a lot in Fukuoka.
Clothes and shoes are Asian size (0-9) for women and (s-m) for men. Finding clothing/ shoes may be difficult in Fukuoka if your size is outside these parameters.

 

Local transportation

 

Pickup local map in English at JR Hakata Station or any Tourist visitor center. Tourist attractions are well connected by the JR trains/Subway network and/or bus system
The subway system and public buses are inexpensive, organized, efficient, and the fastest way for local commute in and surrounding areas.
Fukuoka's Taxi cabs are efficient and affordable; make sure to have destination address written in Japanese in case your driver does not speak your language.

 

JR Rail Pass

 

JR rail passes are worth purchasing if you plan to travel to many cities in Japan in specific timeframe. You must buy a JR rail pass outside of Japan. You cannot purchase these JR Rail passes in Japan.
If you plan on going only to one or two cities buy roundtrip tickets for the Shinkansen (bullet) train. Make sure to get reserved seats if possible for any train. Japanese trains are fast, roomy, clean, comfortable, and efficient.

 

Eating

 

Japanese love good food- simply prepared but always elegantly presented. There are many local restaurants and cafes serving Tonkotsu Ramen, Takoyaki, Okonomiyaki, Negiyaki, Taiko-Manju, Udon, Yakiniku or very fresh Sashimi/ Sushi at reasonable prices. Most local restaurants have English menus and usually located in alleys along the main streets. FYI: Many times Lines for restaurants can be long so be patient- most are worth the wait.
Many local restaurants are tiny so try to eat earlier or later, especially if you have a large group/family. Another affordable option for meals are Bento boxes. They are sold in trains stations and in the food section of large department stores.
Some restaurants have ticketing machines for meals. Simply select and pay for your meal choice, and go into the restaurant with your meal ticket/token. After a few minutes you will be served!
Japan has many bakery shops. Eat at a bakery. Get a tray and sample any of the delicious, fresh, and affordable breads and sweets for a nice snack or breakfast!

 

Restaurant Tipping

 

Tip is not expected and will be refused if you offer in most places in Japan. In most local restaurants after finishing a meal go straight to the counter and place your money on the money tray next to the front entry door to pay your bill.

 

Safety

 

People are friendly and always ready to help strangers.
Although Fukuoka is safe, it is a big city and you should consider these safety tips:
Be aware of your purse or backpack, especially when on crowded subways or buses.
Don't walk around by yourself late at night. Always know where you are going and how to get there before you leave.

 

Language

 

English, Korean, and Chinese are spoken by most hotel front-line staff, mall shops, big restaurant, and tourist places. However, languages other than Japanese are not widely spoke.
Japanese is the most commonly spoken language.
Remember to carry your hotel card and/or a map in case you need to ask directions. Tourist counters at Stations and big hotels have maps of attractions in English, Korean, and Chinese and to make visitors life easy.
Downloading a language translator on your smartphone can be helpful in communicating with others in Japanese.

 

Electronic Japanese Toilets

 

You will encounter toilets with electronic features all over Japan. The multiple buttons can be confusing initally, however are easy to use. They are basically automated bidets. Hotel have toilet paper in the bathroom as well.

 

Electricity (Power)

 

If visiting from outside, 100 Volts (as compare to U.S./Canada are 110-120 Volts) power supply.

 

Culture Corner

 

Rule for Queques: Don't try to cut a queque. Japan is a very orderly and polite society and taking your turn is a big rule to keep. Money/ credit cards are never directly given from hand to hand. This is considered impolite. Put your cash or credit card on the money tray provided and pick up any change/ receipt from the tray.