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3 Beautiful Fukuoka Parks and Gardens

Luke Kinsella

by GoWithGuide travel specialist:Luke Kinsella

Last updated : Apr 23, 20237 min read

Things To Do

If you are traveling to Fukuoka and want to escape the busy city, then these three parks and gardens are for you. A garden designated as a Place of Scenic Beauty built in the style of one of the Three Views of Japan, a giant park built around the remains of Fukuoka Castle, and an incredible garden of wisteria tunnels. Here are the three best places to relax in Fukuoka:

Ohana Shoto-en Garden

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In 1738, the 5th feudal lord of Yanagawa, Sadayoshi Tachibana, built a villa in this region which was once called Ohanabatake. Since that time, local citizens have come to admire the area which came to be called Ohana. In 1909, Kanji Tachibana, the 14th lord, completed the residence which includes Western and Japanese buildings as a guest house for VIPs. Following the war, the Tachibana family made use of the former residence to operate the restaurant inn of Ohana, and the riverside district in Yanagawa has become a main tourist spot in the area.

The garden, Shoto-en, which is faced by the 100-tatami mat Japanese-style Ohiroma great hall and the living room, is a Japanese-style garden that was built to resemble Matsushima, one of the Three Views of Japan, and is currently nationally designated as a Place of Scenic Beauty, elegantly established with 280 black pines, 1500 garden stones and 14 stone lanterns centering around a pond. It is a decorative garden that is enjoyed for its panoramic view from the tatami room. The 2-floor wooden Western-style Seiyokan Annex is used as a guest residence. In the foyer, there is a luxurious 3-arch structure embellished with profound and opulent decorations, and there are many features which have remained from those times such as imported lampshades. Currently, the Ohiroma great hall and the Seiyokan Annex are being used as wedding facilities, and Ohana is being operated as a restaurant inn. At the restaurant Shukeitei, you can dine on genuine kaiseki ryori and the local cuisine of delicacies from the Ariake Sea beginning with the specialty eel dishes of Yanagawa while viewing the famous Shoto-en, after which you can spend the night in Japanese or Western-style rooms in the hotel wing. Also, you can enjoy meals at Restaurant Taigetsukan and the Wisteria Coffee Shop. At the adjoining Tachibana Museum, the 400-year-old furnishings of the Tachibana family and the armor of the first lord among other exhibits are on display. Admission into the garden includes entry into Shoto-en, Ohiroma, the Seiyokan Annex, the Tachibana Museum as well as Restaurant Taigetsukan.

Admission: Adult: ¥ 500 / Child: ¥ 300

Guidebook from Planetyze about Ohana Shoto-en Garden
Reviews from TripAdvisor about Ohana Shoto-en Garden
Tours of Ohana Shoto-en Garden

Ohori Park

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(image by flickr.com)

Formerly the outer moat for Fukuoka Castle which was built over an inlet on Hakata Bay, Ohori Park was established as a prefectural park in 1927 for the citizens of Fukuoka to use as a place of rest. Situated in the center of Fukuoka City, within its 398,000 square meters, it mostly consists of a pond which is surrounded by a strolling path that measures about 2 km, a forest for wild birds, children’s playgrounds, a Noh theater, a Japanese garden, pond islands that are joined by 4 bridges, the Ukimi-do pavilion, and a boat house. On the strolling path around the pond, there is a rubber-chip pavement and distance signs which provide an ideal environment for jogging and cycling. In addition, there are 2 playgrounds for children supplied with slides and other equipment for families to enjoy. At the adjacent Nishi Park, an area of 1300 cherry trees which has been selected as one of Japan’s 100 Famous Places for Sakura blooms every year, and in the autumn, the leaves of maple and gingko trees are beautiful. There is also a large observation plaza from where the city of Fukuoka, Hakata Bay and Shika Island can be seen.

There are various facilities within the park. Inside the 12000㎡ Japanese garden, a waterfall and artificial hill surround a large pond, and there is a dry landscape garden and a teahouse built in the sukiya style. Each of these places are connected by a path which winds around the pond making it easy to take a nice walk, and with the large variety of trees and plants, you can enjoy the different expressions throughout the four seasons. The Fukuoka Art Museum has over 14,000 artifacts including tea ceremony utensils (some of which have become Important Cultural Properties), Buddhist art, antique works, and works by world-regarded masters such as Dali, Miro & Chagall along with creations by Kyushu-born artists such as Seiki Kuroda, Shigeru Aoki and Hanjiro Sakamoto. On the Noh stage, the traditional Japanese dramatic form of Noh is performed, so it is worth checking out since tickets can be purchased online in advance. The boathouse area is a hit with the young people as it is filled with stylish cafes and restaurants. With rowboat rentals, it is also a spot that is popular with families.

Admission: Various

Guidebook from Planetyze about Ohori Park
Reviews from TripAdvisor about Ohori Park
Tours of Ohori Park

Kawachi Fuji Garden

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(image by flickr.com)

Kawachi Fuji Garden is a privately-owned wisteria garden which is one of the largest in Japan that was opened in 1977. With an area of 1 hectare, there are wisteria tunnels and trellises that span 6000㎡ as the biggest highlights of the garden. There are 2 tunnels with lengths of 80 and 220 meters, and during blossoming season, 22 breeds of wisteria open up at once with Japan’s loveliest wisteria trellises garnering high praise. The peak time for wisteria in full bloom is from late April to mid-May. Information on when the wisteria are in full bloom is posted on the Net including Facebook, and the admission to enter the area ranges from 300 to 1000 yen depending on the season and the blooming conditions. The garden can be accessed by car or by taxi from JR Yahata Station in about 20 minutes or by taxi from JR Ogura Station in about 30 minutes. There are 22 breeds of wisteria including Kuchibeni Wisteria, Double Wisteria and Short Wisteria. On the giant trellises, there is wisteria that is over a century old in lovely colors of bluish-purple, pink, white and other pale shades with the wonderful scent of the flowers floating in the air. Kawachi Fuji Garden was selected as one of the 10 Beautiful Places In The World That Actually Exist on an overseas website in 2012, and in 2015, it was entered as one of CNN’s 31 Most Beautiful Places in Japan so that overseas tourists have continued to increase year by year. Since the traffic starts worsening from around noon during the peak blossoming period, it’s recommended that visitors come to the garden before opening time and wait.

Just 10 minutes’ walk away from Kawachi Fuji Garden, there is the day-trip onsen facility, Kawachi Natural Hot Spring Ajisai-no-Yu. It’s attractive for being able to enter without having to bring in anything, and it is equipped with an open-air bath, a cave bath, a Jacuzzi, a sauna and even a bath that can be reserved just for a family. There is also a restaurant to have meals and a free shuttle bus from Ajisai-no-Yu to JR Yahata Station, so heading home by using this bus is handy.

Admission: ¥ 1000

Guidebook from Planetyze about Kawachi Fuji Garden
Reviews from TripAdvisor about Kawachi Fuji Garden
Tours of Kawachi Fuji Garden

Written by Luke Kinsella

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GoWithGuide’s writers are passionate travel specialists sharing unique tips and essential information for global explorers.

Fukuoka Tour Guide - Kazue I.

Kazue I.

5.00 / 5
(19 reviews)

Hi! I am Kazue. I am from Fukuoka and live in the central city. I spent almost 20 years traveling around the world as a cabin attendant. Meeting different people, different cultures and eating local food were best things in my career. This experience definitely widened my perspective and will help me in some way when I work as a guide. Since I spent half my life outside of Japan, I noticed our culture and traditions are very unique and became more interested in historical sites in Japan. For my personal life, I am a mom of twins. It is still a hard work but I am enjoying a lot with them. We take them around Kyushu whenever possible for their fun and experience. We all love traveling after all. I am looking forward to showing you around our hometown soon!                                                                                                                                  

Fukuoka Tour Guide - Masatoshi M.

Masatoshi M.

5.00 / 5
(14 reviews)

I had worked for the Japan's biggest travel agency JTB (Japan Travel Bureau) for 35 years as a tour escort for Japanese. I visited 68 countries and of course all over Japan as well. So I’m familiar with almost all of the tourist attractions in Japan. More over I’m also a professional magician now. I’m a member magician of The Magic Castle in Hollywood in US. That's why I made a decision to become an English tour guide. I acquired a tour guide license issued by the Japanese government with a lot of hard work in 2016 and I started from the following year. I guided 1,420 people with 17 groups totaly in 2017and 1,600 people in 1018. Through long work for travel business, I was assigned to excursions of all over Japan, such as Sapporo, Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, Nagoya, Hiroshima, Fukuoka, Okinawa and others, which gave me intimate knowledge about most places in the country. In addition, I am adept in business fields and knowledgeable about historical sites, traditional culture and modern subcultures in Japan. My wife is a disabled person with an intractable disease who needs 24-hour nursing care. Our daughter takes care of my wife while I am guiding. Even if my schedule is free, I may not be able to take the tour on days when my daughter cannot cooperate. Please ask me first. If it is possible.                                                                                                                                 

Okinawa Main Island Tour Guide - Yukihiro (Hero)行博

Yukihiro (Hero)行博

4.94 / 5
(34 reviews)

Hello, everyone!! My name is Yukihiro(行博), call me "HERO". I'm eager to introduce this unique country, Japan to foreign guests. I am not a professional interpreter. I have retired from Japan Ground Self-Defense Force(JGSDF=Japanese Army) on March 2018. 大家好! 我名字叫xing2 bo2, 請叫我xing bo。我喜歡跟外國遊客分享這個很有意思的國家---日本國。我是個業餘的翻譯導遊, 不太專業, 在2018年3月我退休了日本陸上自衛隊(日本陸軍)。 I have spent most of my career as a Army NCO(Non-commissioned officer) . My job experiences are only in the military, but there are variety of specialties, so I didn't feel boredom. I lived in many places all over Japan, such as Hokkaido 10years, Chiba 15years, Okinawa 8years and more places. 我在軍隊當陸軍士官過了大部分的生活。我的工作經驗只在軍隊內,但是它有很多兵種和工作,所以我沒有膩了。我住過日本各地的很多地方,例如北海道10年,千葉縣15年,沖繩8年還有別的有些地方。 I am working for the half of month as a tour-conductor in Okinawa Japan. Rest of month, I live in Nagasaki Prefecture, and work as a Triple Lights interpreter tour guide. 我一邊在沖繩當旅遊服務員大概半個月,一邊在九州長崎當Triple Lights的翻譯導游工作剩餘的月。 I am registered as a Okinawa prefectural interpreter tour guide (English & Chinese), but don't have a whole Japan area certification. So I am brushing my skill up to get it. 我登記了沖繩縣的地域翻譯導遊(英/中文),可是沒有全國的。所以為了獲得全國導遊資格,我正在繼續學外語。 I speak English, Chinese (simplify & traditional) , no problem to guide you, not like a native though. 我會說英語和中文(簡/繁),作為您的導游沒問題,沒有母語的人那麼好。                                                                                                                                 

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