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The city with the 3-letter airport tag of "FUK" where it is so busy planes have only 2 minutes and 18 seconds between each takeoff and landing, Fukuoka will leave you dizzy and maybe not inclined to bury your head in your laptop.
This is where billions of buses run around (the distance actually equates to 2,832 trips around the earth's circumference annually), there are more illegally parked bicycles clogging the sidewalks than anywhere else in Japan (about 4,500 of them), it is home to the oldest Zen temple in Japan and you will find the most "yatai" (mobile food stalls) in all of Japan. The city that has been destroyed 10 times during wars, but Fukuoka keeps bouncing back.
The capital of the Fukuoka Prefecture sitting on the northern shore of Kyushu Island in Japan, it is known for its swanky shopping malls, beaches and ancient temples. You will find the ruins of the 17th Century Fukuoka Castle to meander around at Maizuru Park, a 10m wooden Buddha in the central Hakata district's Tocho-ji Temple to gawk at and the Hakata Machiya Folk Museum displaying the daily life during the Taisho and the Meiji eras for the museum buffs to ponder over.
Laid-back Fukuoka is often overlooked by the tourist hordes and yet it has the 2nd highest number of bars, cabarets and clubs in Japan after Tokyo. Its history can be traced back some 2000 years and it is famous for its "Hakata ramen" aka egg noodles. The locals are friendly and there are plenty of architectural wonders to look at, shops to rub the numbers of your credit cards and luscious food to be indulged in either in the street or in a restaurant with proper seats. You can immerse yourself in Asian Art for a touch of culture at the Fukuoka Asian Art Museum dedicated exclusively to modern and contemporary art from Asian countries or party all night on the beach in the Momochi district where the hedonists hang out.
Whatever you do, make sure you take the time to hang out with the cute cats - yes of the feline variety - lurking everywhere on Ainoshima Island off Hakata Bay.
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