Fukuoka Guide | 2 Day Itinerary with Kids

Last I visited Fukuoka was 5 years ago in 2016. Back then I didn't have a kid, I was travelling solo so I did a tour around Kyushu in 3 days, making it to Fukuoka, Nagasaki, and Kumamoto. This time around it'll be an even shorter 2 days and with a toddler. I'm tagging along to my husband's work trip, so essentially it'll be just me and the kid doing the touristing. 

So, here's what you can see in 2 days, using only public transportation and visiting only kid friendly places: 

1) Uminonakamichi Seaside Park 

If anyone can compare to the famous "Hitachi Seaside Park" of Kanto region, it would be this park for Kyushu. It not only has beautiful flowers all year round, it also has all kinds of fun activities such as mini-golf, waterside park, large outdoor trampoline, and even a summer waterpark with 6 pools (water slides and wave pools). They also have an animal forest where you can interact with Capybaras, feed sheep, and pet guinea pigs. Sprinkled throughout the park are resting areas that sell food, beverages, and have kid's playground beside to occupy the busy little ones while mom and dad take a rest. 

Depending on the season, different flowers will be blooming. However you should expect flowers from January to November. Their major flowers include Cherry Blossoms, Tulips, Nemophila, Lupins, Roses, Hydrangea, and Kochia plus autumn Roses. 

I would recommend this as a half day trip at a minimum. The park is really large and requires a lot of walking. Trains also don't run too often, so make sure you check the schedule on google maps in advance. Ideally you want to catch the JR train from Hakata to Kashii (Kagoshima Line) then transfer to the Kashii Line to Uminonakamichi Station. However the Kashii Line runs every 30-40mins, if you miss the train you can take a taxi to the park from Kashii which costs around ¥3,000 one way. 

⌲ Entrance: ¥450 (age 15 and over), Free admission for those younger than 15. 

⌲ Hours: 9:30am - 5:30pm

⌲ Bicycle rental: ¥500/3hrs or ¥700/day (Kid's bike ¥300 or ¥400) 

⌲ E-scooter rental can be found near the Uminonakamichi Station Gate

Check out their detailed English map here: https://uminaka-park.jp/en/img/en/top/guide.pdf 




(Above: the park sells diapers and baby wipes for those who need it)

If you can't manage to visit Uminonakamichi Seaside park (I know it can be a big trip for some little ones), another options is to go to Ohori Park and Maizuru Park. There are plenty of flowers to enjoy there and also multiple large playgrounds. It's city center and easily accessible by the subway line. 


2) teamLab Forest 
If you haven't heard of teamLab, you need to try this location. Tickets for teamLab Tokyo is expensive and it's super crowded on weekends. But in Fukuoka it's way less crowded so the experience is so much better. Essentially it is interactive/immersive art work using light, sound, and objects. You walk through series of rooms that have artwork presented in different lighting and you can interact with it. For teamLab Forest, there is an app which lets you "collect" animals you see in the first section. 

Please note that it's very dark inside, there are slopes and bumps as a part of the display so anything which will touch the ground other than your feet aren't allowed (think strollers and tripods). If you have a baby or young child that can't or refuses to walk, you'll need to carry them. 

Was it scary? I think it depends on the kid. My 2 yo already can identify quite a lot of animals, but it did take him a few minutes to understand the display enough to not be scared. But once he got it, he was happily chasing all the animals and jumping up and down on the slopes. 

Buy your tickets online in-advance here (scroll down and pick "チームラボフォレスト 福岡 - SBI証券") https://ticket.e-zofukuoka.com/#/order?id=undefined 

⌲ Prices: ¥2,200 (16yo and above), ¥800 (4yo - 15yo) 
⌲ Hours: 11am - 8pm (Weekend opening is at 10am) 
⌲ Subway Station: Tojinmachi 

3) Dazaifu Area 
If you want a bit of culture, history, and amusement park fun all in one, then Dazaifu is your spot. This was the government center of Kyushu for over 500 years and was established in the 7th century. 

After getting to Dazaifu, the first thing you'll notice is a long stretch of shops leading up to the gate of Dazaifu Tenmangu. Once you get into the grounds of thee Shrine, you can either visit the shrine, thee museum, or head east to Dazaifu Amusement Park. 

I picked to come here specifically for the Amusement Park. A lot of times when we find amusement parks, there aren't many rides for little kids under 3yo. It's so heartbreaking for me to see my son just wanting to get on a ride but then there are height or age restrictions. But at the Dazaifu Amusement Park, almost every single ride is for all ages. It also has this really nostalgic feeling of the 80s/90s so I even saw quite a few groups of adults enjoy the park. Entry is only ¥600 for adults, and for kids over 3 years old it's ¥400. Once you get in, the rides will require additional costs, anywhere from ¥100 - ¥500 per ride. There's a coin exchanging machine by the vending machines. 

⌲ Amusement Park Hours: 10:30am - 4:30pm (weekdays), 10am - 5pm (Weekends)
⌲ Access: take a bus from Hakata to Dazaifu (40min ride, ¥610 per adult). You can take a train too but it requires 2-3 transfers, the bus ride is very comfortable and a direct drop off door to door. 

(Left photo: Hakata Station's Bus Terminal. The bus for Dazaifu is on the ground floor right when you walk in. Right photo: follow the pink strip on the floor for the Dazaifu bus)


(Below photos are the vending machines for bus tickets. They are ¥610 per adult. You can also use IC cards like a Suica)


(Below photo is the bus stop at Dazaifu. You line up here to go back to Hakata Station. The bus schedule for Hakata is on the Red one on the right side)

4) In Fukuoka City Center: Kushida Shrine
This is the iconic Shrine within city center. Each year during the "Hakata Gion Yamasaka Festival", you will see large shrine displays weighing about 1 ton being carried. This is also known as float racing. Decorative ones are called "Kazariyama Floats" and you can see two permanently on display at Kushida Shrine.  

5) Shop Here - Kawabata Shopping Arcade (Shotengai) & Canal City Hakata Mall 
After a visit to Kushida Shrine, you can head right next door to Kawabata Shopping Arcade. It's an indoor shopping street area selling all kinds of traditional Japanese goods such as Japanese dolls/lucky cats, chopsticks and other traditional kitchenware, kimonos, and also just little souvenir trinkets. There are also many food options here available. Near the northwest end is a shop that sells buddhist items, and they have a free omikuji station at the entrance! 

Canal City Hakata is a modern mall that has everything you can imagine. There are many restaurants, shops with both western and Japanese brands, and there's an arcade area within the large Hamley (British toy store). This place has tons of small kid's rides, there's also an endless selection of Gacha Gacha machines, and a mini indoor playground for kids. For adults, try the taiko drumming game or mario kart! And every 30mins there is a fountain show with lights and music! The music changes for each performance so you'll see a new one every 30mins. 

6) Eat Here - Kirby Cafe
While Fukuoka is famous for their ramen, this is something that everyone probably already recommends to you. However if you are traveling with kids, the Kirby Cafe is an adorable option! It is in Canal City mall and it's not crowded at all. The Kirby Cafe in Tokyo Skytree always has lines before opening even on weekdays. Another thing worth mentioning is that if you order certain food items, it'll come with a free coaster, postcard, or even bento box to take home! The front of the cafe has tons of Kirby merch too if you'd like to get one as a souvenir. 

7) Bonus - The Fukuoka City Sign 
It took me a while digging up this location. I had to tour around on google maps till I found it. This is in "Hareno Garden East & West" and is right in city center! This is the perfect spot for a souvenir postcard photo to send to friend and family. 

I hope this blog post was helpful for you finding places and planning an itinerary. Enjoy your trip to Fukuoka! 

No comments:

Post a Comment