Fukuoka Airport, previously known as the Itazuke Air Base, is an international and domestic airport serving the Fukuoka Prefecture in Japan. First established in 1943, the airport building today has a rich history as a military airbase, playing a key role in military battle during the Korean War and the Cold War. From 1951 onwards, it started serving more commercial purposes and has slowly expanded to become Fukuoka Airport today. Built in 1999, the International Terminal is the latest addition to this airport complex. Today, Fukuoka Airport is Japan’s fourth busiest airport, operating numerous domestic flights to almost every destination within Japan, and regular international flights to countries such as Korea, China, Taiwan, Singapore, and many others. Fukuoka Prefecture is also accessible via Saga Airport, located in the Kawasoe area of Saga, and Kitakyushu Airport, located in Kitakyushu area of Fukuoka. Fukuoka Airport has just one large airport runway which is straddled by the 3 Domestic Terminals on one side, and the International Terminal on the opposite side. The International Terminal is only accessible by road (not by the subway or train service), but a free shuttle service will take you to and from the domestic and international terminals. There are also a wide variety of services, and entertainment and dining options within Fukuoka Airport. Free wireless Internet, coin-operated Internet terminals, and coin-operated mobile device chargers are provided. While waiting for your flight, you can relax at one of the airport lounges, take in the view at the Observation Decks (open from 7.00 am to 9.30 pm), or take a photo to commemorate your holiday at one of their ‘neoprint’ instant photo machines!
Fukuoka Airport is conveniently located just 3 km from Hakata Station, the busiest train station in Kyushu connecting travelers to other parts of Japan. Fukuokakuko Station, the subway station at the airport, is located at Basement 1 of Domestic Terminal 2. The train ride to from the airport to Hakata Station takes just 5 minutes (2 stations) and costs 260 yen. The Japanese yen is the currency used in Japan. Public buses outside the Domestic and International Terminals will also take you to Hakata Station within 15 minutes, costing you 260 yen. Hakata Station is the number pit stop that will take you to other iconic travel spots on Kyushu Island, such as Kumamoto, Nagasaki, and Beppu.
Fukuoka city, which is the capital city of Fukuoka Prefecture, is also the largest city in Kyushu Island. With nearly 1.5 million residents, it is the sixth largest city in Japan. Due to its strategic and central location, Fukuoka has historically been an important harbour city and port, resulting in a rich, vibrant, and cosmopolitan local culture. It has close cultural ties with China and Korea, and also has a long history of contact with the West, even during times when Japan was isolated – making it a true melting pot of cultures. One of the most unique and popular festivals in Fukuoka is the Hakata Gion Yamakasa, held annually starting from the first half of July until its climax on July 15. During the apex of the festival, seven teams, each representing their neighbourhood from the Hakata district, compete in pushing intricately decorated festival floats along a 5 km route through the city. Those looking to soak in Japanese culture can spend their days strolling through the idyllic Ohori Park, or offer up a prayer at Tochoji Shrine, one of the oldest temples in Japan. Be sure to try out some local Fukuoka specialties, such as Hakata ramen, or motsunabe, a winter hotpot of beef or pork offal. Those looking for a fun night out can also check out Oyafuko-dori, the center of Fukuoko’s club scene. Literally meaning to ‘street of naughty children’, Oyafuko-dori is lined with an assortment of clubs, international bars, and live music bars. Known both for its laidback vibes and cool party culture, there is something for everybody in Fukuoka!
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