Aloha Fukuoka! Fugu lunch at Yanagibashi Market

I love traveling with Val. She and I go at the same pace, and eat the same way. Leave it to Val to find out that Fukuoka is known for serving up fugu — also known as puffer fish — that famously dangerous sashimi. If it’s not cleaned and sliced properly, the poison in the fish can kill you. So of course, Val didn’t just suggest we eat fugu; my normally mellow friend insisted we needed to have it.

Although there are many restaurants in Fukuoka that serve fugu, one of the best places to get it is at the freshest source: the market. Yanagibashi Market is out of the way, but quick to get to even by foot, so I highly recommend you put this on your itinerary as it won’t take up a huge chunk of your day. Most chefs in town come here to get the fish for their restaurants because of the quality and freshness. What’s good enough for Fukuoka chefs, is good enough for us!

Aloha Fukuoka! Yanagibashi Market

Picture 1 of 23

If you get the chance, head to Yanagibashi Market. It’s an open market for seafood, and is where most, if not all, of the chefs in town go to get their ingredients.

Despite being the only restaurant in Yanagibashi Market, the fugu restaurant is easy to miss. If you go, look for the red lantern or ask for the stall called Yoshida. Here’s how our fugu lunch went:

Aloha Fukuoka! Fugu for lunch

Picture 1 of 16

Little-known fact: Fukuoka is known for serving fugu. We saw cute little restaurants around the city with a drawing of the puffer fish outside, signifying that they serve it, but we wanted it from the fish market.

At the end, Val and I looked at each other and agreed that we were glad to have tried it, but once was enough. Best of all, we survived!