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Please recommend overnight side trips from Fukuoka


Sep 19th, 2016, 07:54 AM
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Please recommend overnight side trips from Fukuoka

We will be spending 2 weeks in Fukuoka for a work/leisure trip from January to February.

What would be your top 2 recommendations for overnight side trips? We are city folk, and when travelling, prefer to explore the city and its food. One or two temples are usually enough for us.

Right now, I am leaning towards Nagasaki and Yufuin, and staying in a ryokan with a private onsen.

Would these 2 be better than Beppu, Kumamoto, Hiroshima and Kagoshima? Are there any other nearby places with snow/winter activities?

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Sep 19th, 2016, 10:45 AM
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Those are all good choices. To some extent it depends on when you would be leaving Fukuoka. For an onsen ryokan you would want to arrive by late afternoon, but for a hotel you can arrive on the last train of the night.

Hiroshima is famous for okonomiyaki and for oysters (season is October to March).

Nagasaki has champon a noodle dish with Korean influence.

I recommend Chikae restaurant in Fukuoka. You can try the mentai in Fukuoka and might like it, but I thought it was nasty.
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Sep 19th, 2016, 11:00 AM
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Still on my wish list are 1) Saga and two other pottery towns, and 2) Unzen Onsen and Shimabara peninsula. Saga might be a better day trip from Fukuoka than an overnight.
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Sep 19th, 2016, 04:57 PM
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I read a few years ago that Nagasaki's champon is a noodle dish with Chinese influence.

The article I read explained that champon is the Fujian (福建) pronunciation of 吃飯 (eat). With so many Chinese from Fujian province immigrated to Nagasaki hundreds years ago, they would often cook a noodle dish with many fish-cake type ingredient thrown into it, and then call family members come to eat (吃飯), therefore Japanese called this dish 吃飯, champon.

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Sep 19th, 2016, 05:48 PM
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Scroll down for side trips.
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Sep 23rd, 2016, 05:04 AM
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Thanks everyone for the tips, especially regarding Hiroshima and Nagasaki!
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Sep 23rd, 2016, 05:17 AM
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I vote for Nagasaki and Kumamoto. They are fairly close to one another, so if you give each one two full days of sightseeing, you should have a nice side trip. I didn't care much for Kagoshima. It does have the volcano, but it is a charmless, big city. I have not been to Yufuin, but my research shows that people go mostly for the onsen.

Anyway, I found Nagasaki to be an fascinating charming city. Only the northern section of the city was destroyed by the bomb, so the southern section is old and full of temples, and Chinese elements. There are cool sites all over the city. Buy a one day tram pass, and you can easily get all over the city.

Kumamoto is nice too. I spent hours on the castle grounds. There are actually several historic buildings on the castle grounds. I ended up spending the whole day there, so I never got to the gardens, which is why I suggest two days there.

Mrwunfl wisely suggested visiting Saga. I sent my luggage ahead and stopped there en route from Fukuoka to Nagasaki. The castle there is one of the best around, and they have a nice audio guide. They show cross sections of the building itself, so it is fascinating from an archeology point of view. The pottery is also nice in Saga.
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Sep 23rd, 2016, 03:05 PM
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Kumamoto castle had severe damage due to this year's earthquake and is currently closed at least according to japan-guide.com....
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Sep 24th, 2016, 07:43 AM
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Nagasaki is indeed a great side trip from Fukuoka, likewise Hiroshima.

From the sound of it - if you are city dwellers - I'm not convinced you'd be too enamoured with Kumamoto.

If it's an onsen experience you want, and you'd considered Kumamoto anyway, why not go the whole hog and book in to one of the wonderful onsen ryokan in Kurokawa?

This is an experience and a half - not temple gazing, but simmering in a hot spring amidst incredibly scenery - rounded off with great food cooked over an open fire.

One thing I'm not sure about is how badly affected these properties will have been by the earthquake - otherwise do give it some thought.
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Oct 15th, 2016, 01:33 AM
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Thank you CaliforniaLady and choza for the suggestions. Thank you Mara for pointing out that Kumamoto castle is indeifinitely closed. Given that, have removed Kumamoto from my considerations (unless the castle is opened by January).

Right now, planning to spend most days exploring Fukuoka, with perhaps a day trip to Dazaifu.

Then, planning to get a 3 or 5 day Northern Kyushu JR Pass with the following itinerary:

Plan A: 3-day pass
Day 1: Hakata --> Nagasaki
Day 2: Leave Nagasaki after lunch --> Bansyoukaku Sikisima ryokan(Takeo-Onsen station)
Day 3: Takeo-Onsen --> Saga to explore Saga Castle --> Hakata

Plan B: 5-day pass
Day 1: Hakata --> Nagasaki
Day 2: Explore Nagasaki
Day 3: Leave early --> Saga (explore Saga Castle) --> Yufuin
Day 4: Yufuin --> Hakata


Do these seem feasible, especially given the winter weather?
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Oct 18th, 2016, 07:31 PM
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Kagoshima is pride of its wealth of food selection. In winter, it would warmer in the south than the others.

Kitakyushu-Shimonoseki complex is the large city area followed by Fukuoka. Fugu or Fuku is now in the top season there.

Busan in Korea, with a jet ferry link, is a nice spot from Fukuoka.
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