Have you ever wanted to see and experience a Shinto shrine or Buddhist temple by yourself? Or have a walk in a real traditional Japanese garden?
If your answer is positive then you have to come to Fukuoka and visit 8 the most splendid gardens and holy places around the city. Only there you can find some of the oldest and most famous shrines and temples in Japan. Besides that , beautiful gardens and parks are inviting you for a stroll or a cup of delicious Japanese tea.
So here are the most amazing spots, which you definitely shouldn’t miss when you come to visit wonderful city of Fukuoka.
Maizuru Park and Castle ruins
In Maizuru Park you can find ruins of Fukuoka castle. Long time ago it was the largest castle in Kyushu. Today only ruins remained , but you can still feel the former great glory . This scenery is ideal for walks and the paths will lead you to some amazing views. Especially in spring you will lose yourself in gaze at beautiful cherry blossoms and in autumn you will get fascinated by the vibrant colors of the autumn foliage.
Ohorikoen is a beautiful park in the center of Fukuoka with a large pond and a rich nature. You can have a walk around the pond or rent a swan shaped boat to have a little boat tour. It is the perfect place for having a picnic and relax. There is also a beautiful Japanese Garden and Noh Theater where you can experience the fascinating world of traditional Japanese art.
Japanese Garden: entrance fee: 240 yen; opening hours: 9:00 – 17:00; closed on Mon.,
Tue when Mon is a holiday, Dec.29-Jan.3
Atago jinja, was built in AD 72 and is one of the oldest shrines in Fukuoka and a real insider tip for a beautiful view over the city, especially over the bay of Fukuoka and it is for free. People visit this shrine to pray for love, marriage, exams, jobs, their cars and many other things. Just try it out and maybe your wishes will come true.
It is said that Sumiyoshi shrine in Fukuoka is the oldest shrine in Japan. The present buildings were constructed in 1623 under command of the Daimyo Kuroda Nagamasa. This shrine is well known among worshipers for god and guardian of sea voyages in the past. These beautiful sacred grounds, which give you the impression of a secret garden, are really worth to see.
Kushida jinya – founded in 757 , times when Hakata was the place of trading and diplomatic missions with China, and is Fukuoka’s most important shrine. It’s often called “Okushi san” by the locals, which shows their affection for this particular shrine. Because of the enshrined god of Ohatanushi-no-mikoto, it has a connection to Isejingu in Mie prefecture. In July it hosts the Yamakasa Gion Matsuri, which is the biggest festival in Fukuoka.
Tochoji was built in the 9th century as head temple of Shingon Buddhism Kyushu sect and it accommodates the largest sitting Buddha statue in Japan, with a height of 10.8 m and a weight of 30 tons. On the grounds you can also see a typical vermillion five-storied Buddhist pagoda.
Rakusui-en is a small but amazingly beautiful Japanese garden, where you can enjoy a cup of tea in a calm and relaxing atmosphere. If you wish, you can also experience a traditional tea ceremony.
Opening hours and fees: 9:00-17:00, closed on Wed.; 100 yen
Shofukuji, built in 1195 by Ei Risen the founder of the Rinzai sect of Japan, is called the first Zen temple in Japan. Although you cannot enter the buildings, just seeing the “Mountain Gate”, the Buddhist temples and its beautiful sacred grounds makes it worth to go there.
Hopefully you got interested in Fukuoka’s 8 most splendid gardens and holy places. So please come and see all these wonderful spots by yourself! Fukuoka is waiting for you!