Fukuoka is one of those cities that everyone falls in love with. Home to some of the best cuisine, shopping and nightlife in Japan, you’ll soon see why this little gem of a city blows travellers’ minds.

Fukuoka is one of the most up-and-coming cities in Japan. A lively sports atmosphere, a rich history, and arguably one of the best food scenes in Asia, Fukuoka is absolutely one of Japan’s best-kept secrets.

Although the centre of the city is WILD, exciting and full of everything a Japanese city should be,  you’re also only a 20-minute drive from mountains and beaches. Fukuoka gives you the best of both worlds and I’m all about it.

Fukuoka is an incredible city, but it is sprawling and huge. Packed with loads of different neighborhoods, deciding where to stay can be a daunting task. Especially if you’ve never visited the city.

That’s where I come in! I’ve explored this epic city and created this guide on where to stay in Fukuoka to make your decision-making a hell of a lot easier. I’ll dive into my top five areas to stay in and what makes each unique. I’ve even thrown in some of the best activities in each spot.

So, keep scrollin’ and let’s get into the good stuff.

Where to Stay in Fukuoka

Looking for a specific place to stay? These are our highest recommendations for places to stay in Fukuoka.

when to visit fukuoka

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Richmond Hotel Fukuoka Tenjin | Best Hotel in Fukuoka

The Richmond Hotel is our choice for the best hotel in Fukuoka. This charming two-star hotel is set at the centre of the Tenjin neighborhood. It is within walking distance of great dining, shopping, nightlife and sightseeing options. It is comprised of 248 contemporary rooms with modern amenities and comfortable beds.

Common de Hostel & Bar | Best Hostel in Fukuoka

This hostel is centrally located in the Hakata Ward. It has large rooms with comfortable beds, a spacious shared lounge and an on-site bar. They also provide an American or vegetarian breakfast each morning. This is our pick for the best hostel in Fukuoka.

If you love hostels, you should check out our list of the coolest hostels in Fukuoka!

Spacious Japanese Studio | Best Airbnb in Fukuoka

This studio is beautifully designed in a modern Japanese way. It’s a bit further from the centre of Tenjin but still within 5-8min walking distance, depending on where you want to go to. The building was recently renovated, so all amenities are new and high quality. If you want to discover the streets, you’ll find yourself surrounded by a lot of nice places to eat and have a drink too.

Fukuoka Neighborhood Guide – Places to Stay in Fukuoka

FIRST TIME IN FUKUOKA
Tenjin, Fukuoka
FIRST TIME IN FUKUOKA

Tenjin

Tenjin is Fukuoka’s downtown core. It is a neighbourhood known for its world-class shopping, unique dining, cultural attractions and vibrant nightlife. With so much to see, do and eat, its no wonder Tenjin is our top pick for where to stay in Fukuoka if you’re visiting for the first time.

ON A BUDGET
Hakata Ward, Fukuoka
ON A BUDGET

Hakata Ward

Hakata-Ku is the ward that makes up the city centre of Fukuoka. It is where you’ll find the vast majority of Fukuoka’s top cultural, religious and historical sites and is home to vibrant neighbourhoods like Tenjin and Nakasu.

NIGHTLIFE
Nakasu, Fukuoka
NIGHTLIFE

Nakasu

Nakasu is a small island located in the Naka River. It is part of the Hakata Ward and is situated next to the Tenjin neighbourhood. This neighbourhood is one of the most famous in the city.

COOLEST PLACE TO STAY
Daimyo, Fukuoka
COOLEST PLACE TO STAY

Daimyo

Located at the centre of the Chuo Ward, Daimyo is, without a doubt, the coolest neighbourhood in Fukuoka. Daimyo is a neighbourhood brimming with boutiques.

FOR FAMILIES
Nishijin, Fukuoka
FOR FAMILIES

Nishijin

Nishijin is a neighbourhood located on the eastern side of Fukuoka. It is well-connected throughout the city and is just five minutes via subway from Tenjin.

Fukuoka is a massive and sprawling city.

It is the capital of the Fukuoka prefecture and is the largest city on the southern island of Kyushu.

Fukuoka is a modern city famous for its unique and delicious culinary scene, as well as its world-class shopping. You could easily spend a few days exploring Fukuoka.

The city is divided into seven wards. Each ward is home to a number of neighborhoods that offer something different for travellers. To get a good feel for the city, we recommend you visit at least three or four different neighborhoods depending on the nature of your trip.

Tenjin is Fukuoka’s downtown core. It’s a hub for history, culture, good food, great shopping and lively nightlife.

To the west of Tenjin is Nakasu. A small island on the Naka River, Nakasu is a buzzing and vibrant neighborhood that has a whole host of nightclubs, cafes, restaurants and bars. This is also where you can enjoy a tasty riverside meal at a Yatai.

Continue travelling east from here and you’ll arrive in Hakata Ward. Bursting with history, charm and stunning nature, the Hakata Ward has a great variety of landmarks and attractions, as well as delicious restaurants and good-value accommodations.

Set west of Tenjin is the Daimyo neighborhood. A hub for hipsters and artists, this trendy neighborhood is brimming with cool vibes and colourful décor. If you’re someone who likes to be where the cool kids are, Daimyo is the neighborhood for you.

And finally, Nishijin is a neighborhood located in the Sawara Ward. It is an excellent base for families and has everything from an artificial beach and pristine parks to professional baseball and interesting museums.

Still not sure where to stay in Fukuoka? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered!

Fukuoka’s 5 Best Neighborhoods to Stay in

Now, let’s take a look, in more detail, at the five best neighborhoods to stay in Fukuoka. Each is a little different from the last, so be sure to read each section carefully and pick the neighborhood that’s right for you!

#1 Tenjin – Where to stay in Fukuoka first time

Tenjin is Fukuoka’s downtown core. It is a neighborhood known for its world-class shopping, unique dining, cultural attractions and vibrant nightlife. With so much to see, do and eat, its no wonder Tenjin is our top pick for where to stay in Fukuoka if you’re visiting for the first time.

This neighborhood is nothing short of a shoppers paradise. Here you’ll find a great selection of shops and boutiques selling everything from high-end and high-street fashions to local handicrafts and one-of-a-kind pieces.

But that’s not all! Head beneath the streets and explore the Tenjin Underground Shopping Centre. The largest underground shopping area in Kyushu it stretches approximately 1 kilometre and here you can shop until you drop no matter the weather.

Tenjin, Fukuoka

Things to See and Do in Tenjin

  1. Admire the beautiful and serene Suikyo Tenmangu Shrine.
  2. Eat at a Yatai, one of Fukuoka’s famous food stalls.
  3. Explore the shops of the Tenjin Underground Shopping Centre.
  4. Go for a stroll through Tenjin Central Park.
  5. Grab drinks at NYC-theme bar, Off Broadway.
  6. Marvel at the Kego Shrine.
  7. See a collection of great works by local artists at the Fukuoka Prefectural Museum of Art.
  8. Shop until you drop on Shintencho Shopping Street.
  9. Take in great views of the city from the ACROS rooftop garden.
  10. Wander along Oyafuko-dori, a 400-meter long stretch that’s home to temples, dance clubs, restaurants and bars.

Hotel WBF Fukuoka Tenjin Minami | Best Hotel in Tenjin

Thanks to its excellent location and spacious rooms, this is one of our favourite hotels in Fukuoka. The WBF Fukuoka is conveniently located in the middle of the city and is in close proximity to restaurants, cafes, shops and the metro. Rooms are outfitted with air conditioning, coffee/tea supplies and free wifi.

Richmond Hotel Fukuoka Tenjin | Best Hotel in Tenjin

The Richmond Hotel is our recommendation for where to stay in Tenjin. This charming two-star hotel is set at the centre of the neighborhood. It is within walking distance of great options for dining, shopping, nightlife and sightseeing. This hotel is comprised of 248 contemporary rooms with modern amenities and comfortable beds.

Spacious Japanese Studio | Best Airbnb in Tenjin

This studio is beautifully designed in a modern Japanese way. It’s a bit further from the centre of Tenjin but still within 5-8min walking distance, depending on where you want to go to. The building was recently renovated, so all amenities are new and high quality. If you want to discover the streets, you’ll find yourself surrounded by a lot of nice places to eat and have a drink too.

Trip Pod Fukuoka – snack & bed | Best Hostel in Tenjin

This delightful hostel is located at the heart of Tenjin. It is close to shops, restaurants and cafes. Rooms are spacious and stylish with minimal furnishings and shared bathrooms. They also offer a variety of unique and tasty Japanese snacks.

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#2 Hakata Ward – Where to stay in Fukuoka on a budget

Hakata-Ku is the ward that makes up the city centre of Fukuoka. It is where you’ll find the vast majority of Fukuoka’s top cultural, religious and historical sites and is home to vibrant neighborhoods like Tenjin and Nakasu.

In addition to being the top destination for history and culture, the Hakata Ward boasts the finest capsule hotels in Fukuoka, along with a high concentration of budget accommodations. From backpacker hostels to good-value hotels, this ward is packed with options that will fit budgets of all shapes and sizes.

Love to eat? Well, Hakata is for you! This ward is packed with delicious restaurants and riverside stalls serving local delicacies like Tonkotsu ramen, motsunabe and mentaiko.

Hakata Ward, Fukuoka

Things to See and Do in Hakata Ward

  1. Admire the Kushida Shrine, built in 757, and its 1,000-year-old gingko tree.
  2. Catch an incredible performance at the Hakataza Theatre.
  3. Explore the zen gardens of the Jotenji.
  4. Indulge in delicious local cuisine at Ichiran.
  5. Learn about the culture and lifestyle of Hakata in the Meiji and Taisho periods at the Hakata Machiya Folk Museum.
  6. Marvel at the Tochoji Temple.
  7. See an excellent collection of modern and contemporary art at the Asian Art Museum.
  8. Shop for local handicrafts at the Kawabata Shopping Arcade.
  9. Try mentaiko, a spicy form of Pollock roe that is especially popular in Fukuoka.
  10. Visit Shofuku-Ji Temple, Japan’s first Zen temple founded in 1195.

Hotel Eclair Hakata | Best Hotel in Hakata Ward

Hotel Eclair Hakata is centrally located in Fukuoka. It provides easy access to the city’s top attractions and landmarks and is surrounded by restaurants, shops and bars. It offers a range of modern features, including air conditioning, kitchenettes, and beauty accessories. You’ll also enjoy an on-site coffee bar and a beauty centre.

Hotel Hakata Place | Best Hotel in Hakata Ward

This modern three-star property is our favourite hotel in Hakata Ward. Rooms are well-equipped with kitchenettes, free wifi and flat-screen TVs. They provide a variety of services, including laundry facilities. There is also an on-site restaurant that serves delicious Japanese and seafood cuisine.

Common de Hostel & Bar | Best Hostel in Hakata Ward

This hostel is centrally located in Fukuoka. It has large rooms with comfortable beds, a spacious shared lounge and an on-site bar. They also provide an American or vegetarian breakfast each morning. This is our top pick for where to stay in Hakata Ward.

Very cheap apartment | Best Airbnb in Hakata Ward

This apartment is in the central Hakata. You’ll need 5min to walk to Hakata station. After 5min the other way, you’ll find canal city with big shopping centres. The location is truly ideal. The Airbnb itself is very affordable. You get a full apartment that accommodates up to 4 guests. It’s clean, spacious and equipped with good amenities. However, the kitchen has no utensils. You’ll have to bring them yourself.

#3 Nakasu – Best area to stay in Fukuoka for nightlife

Nakasu is a small island located in the Naka River. It is part of the Hakata Ward and is situated next to the Tenjin neighborhood.

This neighborhood is one of the most famous in the city. It is where you’ll find Fukuoka’s neon-lit entertainment and red light district, and is packed with bars, clubs and restaurants, as well as karaoke parlours and gaming arcades. If you’re looking to experience Fukuoka’s unique nightlife scene, look no further than Nakasu.

The island also boasts a staggering 3,500 restaurants, ramen stalls and Yatai, which makes Nakasu an excellent destination if you’re keen to excite your taste buds.

Nakasu, Fukuoka
Photo: Yoshikazu TAKADA (Flickr)

Things to See and Do in Nakasu

  1. Choose from more than 150 beers at Cotton Fields.
  2. Dance the night away at Bijou, one of Nakasu’s superclubs.
  3. Eat tasty Japanese dishes at Fukuya Honten.
  4. Enjoy a night of drinks, music and magic at Bar 84.
  5. Explore the Ningyo Shoji bar alley, a labyrinth of narrow streets that hosts a myriad of old fashioned beer bars.
  6. Feast on tasty local cuisine at a Yatai, an open-air food stall.
  7. Grab a slice of succulent pizza at Nakasu 1923.
  8. Marvel at the view as you enjoy relaxed drinks at Ishibashi.
  9. Take a chance (if you dare) and try fuju, a potentially deadly Japanese delicacy at Kappo Kaji.

Vessel Inn Hakata Nakasu | Best Hotel in Nakasu

This hotel is set on the island of Nakasu and is just steps from Fukuoka’s best bars, clubs and restaurants. It is ideally located for exploring the city and is well-connected via public transit. This hotel offers modern rooms with refrigerators, cable/satellite channels, and comfortable amenities, like slippers and bathrobes.

Hakata Excel Hotel Tokyu | Best Hotel in Nakasu

This hotel is our top choice for where to stay in Nakasu thanks to its great location and city views. Set at the centre of the city, this four-star hotel provides easy access to the city’s top tourist attractions and landmarks. It has spacious rooms, comfortable beds and a variety of amenities.

Fukuoka Hana Hostel | Best Hostel in Nakasu

Located right in the heart of Hakata, this hostel is a short walk from the bright lights and fun nights of Nakasu. They offer deluxe private and shared accommodations with comfortable beds and reading lights. Guests can make use of the common area, luggage storage and free wifi. They also offer on-site bike rentals.

Posh balcony apartment | Best Airbnb in Nakasu

Visiting Japan, you’ll realize quite fast that everything is very small. However, this apartment is actually spacious – a great way to relax during the day or after a night out. Its located close to great nightlife options like pubs and bars. A little bonus: your apartment has a balcony which overlooks the busy streets. There are many bus stops near, so you won’t have any problems to get around.

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#4 Daimyo – Coolest place to stay in Fukuoka

Located at the centre of the Chuo Ward, Daimyo is, without a doubt, the coolest neighborhood in Fukuoka.

Daimyo is a neighborhood brimming with boutiques. It is the unofficial fashion capital of Fukuoka and is where you can enjoy an afternoon of lively people watching and feasting on quirky, unique and off-the-wall fashions. Daimyo residents boast a distinct style and flair, which makes it the ideal destination for fashion inspiration.

But Daimyo is more than just fashion, shopping and style. This trendy neighborhood is also a feast for the eyes. It boasts stunning architecture and a labyrinth of narrow streets, which makes it a joy to simply wander around and get lost in the spirit of the city.

Daimyo, Fukuoka
Photo: Geraldshields11 (WikiCommons)

Things to See and Do in Daimyo

  1. Choose from a great selection of beers at the Black Sheep, a charming British Pub.
  2. Dance the night away to top 40 tunes at Happy Cock.
  3. Dine on fresh and delicious seafood and Spanish cuisine at Sancho Panza.
  4. Drink, dance and party the night away at Club Infinity.
  5. Listen to great live music and varied DJs at Brick Sound Bar.
  6. See exhibitions and interesting works of art at Gallery Enlace.
  7. Shop for gently used and new-to-you items at Union 3.
  8. Watch quirky and unique musical performances at Queblick.

Hotel Monterey La Soeur Fukuoka | Best Hotel in Daimyo

Thanks to its great location, this is one of our favourite hotels in Daimyo. It is surrounded by malls, boutiques and shops and is an ideal base for guests interested in shopping. This elegant hotel has a variety of features, including a coffee bar, massage services and an in-house restaurant.

Nishitetsu Grand Hotel | Best Hotel in Daimyo

The Nishitetsu Grand Hotel is our pick for where to stay in the Daimyo neighborhood. This four-star hotel boasts cosy rooms with air conditioning. They provide a variety of amenities and services including a coffee bar, massage services and free wifi.

Bright and spacious apartment | Best Airbnb in Daimyo

This charming apartment is the right place to stay at if you want to check out the coolest area of Fukuoka. Beautiful and bright, the apartment is luxurious and well equipped. One of the more expensive stays in that area, but definitely worth it. There are a couple of local restaurants and cafes around the corner and you’re in walking distance to the big shopping centre and public transports.

Bed Stock | Best Hostel in Daimyo

This brand new hostel is ideally located in Fukuoka. It is a short walk from the Daimyo district and is close to trendy boutiques, hip eateries and lively bars. This property offers comfortable beds, shared bathrooms and free wifi access for guests. It also boasts a common room, a kitchen, and laundry facilities.

#5 Nishijin – Best neighborhood in Fukuoka for families

Nishijin is a neighborhood located on the eastern side of Fukuoka. It is well-connected throughout the city and is just five minutes via subway from Tenjin. Nishijin offers a great selection of activities and attractions, which is why it is our pick for where to stay in Fukuoka for families.

This neighborhood is bursting with fun. It has everything from an artificial beach where you can play in the sand to nature trails and pristine parks.

There are also historical and cultural landmarks, ancient castle ruins, a bustling zoo, and a buzzing baseball park for travellers to enjoy.

No matter what your interests or ages, there’s something for everyone in fun and exciting Nishijin.

Nishijin, Fukuoka

Things to See and Do in Nishijin

  1. Catch the Japanese baseball frenzy at the Fukuoka Dome.
  2. Climb to the top of Fukuoka Tower and enjoy sweeping views of the city and the sea.
  3. Dive deep into the history of the prefecture at the Fukuoka City Museum.
  4. Enjoy a day at the beach at Momochi Seaside Park.
  5. Explore the grounds of Ohori Park.
  6. Get close to your favourite animals at the Fukuoka City Zoological Garden.
  7. See incredible displays and a massive planetarium at the Fukuoka City Science Museum.
  8. Shop until your drop in the bustling Nishijin Shopping District.
  9. Stop and smell the roses at the Botanical Garden.
  10. Take in a breath of fresh air at the Momochi Central Park.

The Residential Suites Fukuoka | Best Hotel in Nishijin

This four-star property is our pick for where to stay in Nishijin. This property is close to top tourist attractions and landmarks and is surrounded by restaurants, shops and activities. This hotel has a fitness centre and a swimming pool. They also provide spacious rooms and free wifi.

Seaside Hotel Twins Momochi | Best Hotel in Nishijin

The Seaside Hotel is one of our favourite hotels in Nishijin. This hotel is ideally placed in the neighborhood and is within walking distance of the metro, great shops and popular tourist attractions. Each room is outfitted with air conditioning and boasts free wifi, a bathtub and a refrigerator.

Guest House Hokorobi | Best Guest House in Nishijin

This guesthouse is ideally located for exploring the city. It is well connected via the metro and provides easy access to Tenjin and the city centre. This hotel offers comfortable and relaxing rooms at a very reasonable price. You’ll also enjoy free wifi and have access to free city maps.

Cute family loft | Best Airbnb in Nishijin

Like everything in Japan, this place is small. But it’s still big enough for a family to live comfortably. The cute loft is clean, has its own shower and bathroom but no kitchen. However, guests can use the guest lounge on a different floor for preparing meals, socializing and doing some online work. The home is safe and located in a family-friendly area, close to restaurants, cafes and shopping centres.

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FAQ about Finding a Place to Stay in Fukuoka

Here’s what people usually ask us about the areas of Fukuoka and where to stay.

What To Pack For Fukuoka

Pants, socks, underwear, soap?! Take it from me, packing for a hostel stay is not always quite as straightforward as it seems. Working out what to bring and what to leave at home is an art I have perfected over many years.

Product
Description
Don’t Let Snorers Keep You Awake!
Don’t Let Snorers Keep You Awake!

Ear Plugs

Snoring dorm-mates can ruin your nights rest and seriously damage the hostel experience. This is why I always travel with a pack of decent ear plugs.

Keep your laundry organized and stink free
Keep your laundry organized and stink free

Hanging Laundry Bag

Trust us, this is an absolute game changer. Super compact, a hanging mesh laundry bag stops your dirty clothes from stinking, you don’t know how much you need one of these… so just get it, thank us later.

Stay Dry With a Micro Towel
Stay Dry With a Micro Towel

Sea To Summit Micro Towel

Hostel towels are scummy and take forever to dry. Microfibre towels dry quickly, are compact, lightweight, and can be used as a blanket or yoga mat if need be.

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Make Some New Buddies…

Monopoly Deal

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Reduce Plastic – Bring a Water Bottle!
Reduce Plastic – Bring a Water Bottle!

Grayl Geopress Water Bottle

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Check out my definitive Hotel Packing list for even more top packing tips!

Don’t Forget Travel Insurance for Fukuoka

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Final Thoughts on Where to Stay in Fukuoka

Fukuoka is an incredible city. It has so much to offer travellers from world-class shopping and delicious food to a rich history, vibrant culture and incredible sights. No matter your age or interests, you certainly won’t regret adding Fukuoka to your Japan travel itinerary.

In this guide, we’ve looked at the five best neighborhoods to stay in Fukuoka. If you’re still not sure where to stay, here is a quick recap of our favourite places.

Our favourite hostel in Fukuoka is the Common de Hostel & Bar. Located in the Hakata Ward, this hostel is within walking distance of the city centre and offers large rooms, comfortable beds, and tasty breakfast each morning.

Richmond Hotel Fukuoka Tenjin is our pick for the best hotel in Fukuoka thanks to its great location, contemporary amenities, and its modern and spacious rooms.

While Japan can be very safe, it’s super important to make sure you get travel insurance!

Looking for more info on travelling to Fukuoka and Japan?

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