Once an Imperial Japanese Army Air Force and Itakuze Air Base for the United States Air Force, Fukuoka Airport is now a public airport that serves the Hakata-ku Japanese ward of Fukuoka City, located approximately three kilometres east of Hakata Station. It is the fourth busiest airport in Japan, and sees more or less than 159,900 landings annually. With its proximity to the residential areas, the airport operates on a daily basis between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. Fukuoka Airport has two terminals, with the domestic terminal connected to the city via the Fukuoka City Subway over less than a 10-minute ride, while the international terminal is made accessible via road, with connecting bus service to the nearby Hakata station. A shuttle service also transports passengers between the two terminals.
What to see & do
As the product of the fusion of the two cities, port city of Hakata and former castle town of Fukuoka in 1889, present-day Fukuoka is now Kyushu’s largest and one of Japan’s most populated cities. Pay homage to its historical attributes through their temples and castle ruins, take respite from the busy city life through breathable city parks, and bite into their street food delicacies along Nakasu Island, and see the take a peek at the city’s grandeur with their futuristic architectural wonders.
Right in the heart of the city in Maizuru Park, the ruins of the former castle is barely standing as a testament to its inglorious past. Built at the beginning of the 17th century and symbol of feudalism during the Edo Period, the once mighty and largest castle on Kyushu was almost torn down after the Meiji Restoration to bury its feudal past. At present, the remains of the ruined walls and few turrets, among the gates, guard towers, and reconstructed castle buildings are still a sight to behold by park goers. A number of walking paths with a few lookout points also offers scenic and calming views of cherry blossoms. Visit the Maizuru Park at its best between March and early April, just to catch a glimpse of blooming cherry blossoms.
Take your peers and head towards Fukuoka’s open air food stands or Yatai, the city’s best known symbol. Fukuoka alone has 150 yatai across the city but the best ones can be accessed on the southern end of Nakasu Island. Have a hearty serving of grilled chicken skewers (yakitori), hot pot (oden), and do not forget to have a taste of Hakata Ramen, everyone’s favourite dish with thin ramen noodles swimming in pork bone based soup (tonkotsu). Each food stall can accommodate seven or eight people.
How to get around within Fukuoka
With Fukuoka Airport’s proximity to the Fukuoka City Subway, transportation from the airport to the city proper is just within a 10-minute ride via Hakata Station. Another option would be to take the local and highway buses, which are available both in the international and domestic terminals. Take note that certain buses stops at designated routes.
How to get there
Fukuoka Airport is being serviced by Japan Airlines, the country’s national flag carrier. From Fukuoka Airport, you can reach international destinations that airlines fly to and from on a regular basis such as Hanoi, Guangzhou, Singapore, Taipei, and even as far as Amsterdam and Honolulu, among others. Notable international airlines flying to and from Fukuoka Airport are Delta Air Lines, KLM Royal Dutch, Jin Air, Air Canada, Czech Airlines, Korean Air, Turkish Airlines, Jeju Air, Asiana Airlines, T’Way, and Etihad Airways, among others.
Fukuoka Airport also sees regular routes flying to and from domestic destinations such as Tokushima, Kochi, Nagoya, Tokyo, Sendai, Tsushima, Amakusa, and even as far as Ishigaki in Southern Japan and Sapporo in Northern Japan, among others. Airlines servicing Fukuoka Airport on a regular basis includes All Nippon Airways, Japan Airlines, Skymark Airlines, and Star Flyer.