Flying to Fukuoka!

You’ve seen Mari Taketa’s (@NonstopMari) adventures in Osaka and Seoul via Hawaiian Airlines on their inaugural direct flights to those cities. If you had never been there, once you saw her blogs, you were itching to go. So when I got the call from Hawaiian Airlines to join them on their inaugural flight to Fukuoka on April 16, I RSVP’d in a minute.

I’ve been to other major cities in Japan, but my last real non-layover experience in the country was probably 10, maybe 20 years ago. And Fukuoka? Until a month ago, I knew almost nothing about it.

Fukuoka is located on Kyushu, the southernmost island in the Japanese chain, and is the country’s seventh largest city. U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye has family roots there, and Gov. George Ariyoshi signed a Fukuoka-Hawaii sister city agreement in 1981. When I first announced I was going, marketeer Toby Tamaye (@ATMarketing) exclaimed that it is his favorite city, due to the walkability, the abundance of good food and activities, and its green spaces in a metropolitan setting.

I’ve since learned that my short list of Fukuoka activities should include:

  • Yatai (food stands) – Fukuoka’s version of Eat The Street, but on steroids
  • Tonkotsu ramen at Ramen Stadium (This style of ramen with rich pork broth originated in Fukuoka)
  • Akamaru ramen at Ipuudo in Tenjin
  • Sushi at Torakatsu
  • Hot pot at Iroha (Fukuoka is known for hot pot)
  • Torimon – a kind of manju with a filling of white bean paste and cream
  • Shopping at Canal City
  • Boat ride on Yanagawa followed by a meal of unagi
  • Hakata Station to shop and eat
  • Visit Fukuoka Tower
  • Pick strawberries (what?)

Sounds like a pretty full itinerary for a week, and I’m stoked to be going. I hope you’ll follow along on my blog; if you aren’t already, please follow me on Twitter (@Melissa808) as I’ll also be tweeting along the way. And if you have more suggestions, please leave them in the comments section, here!

In the meantime, Hawaiian Airlines held a little tweetup at Shirokiya’s Yataimura last night to garner excitement about the new flight and educate people on Fukuoka. It was supposed to be capped at 40 RSVPs, but 60 people busted in. Good times!

Flying to Fukuoka Tweetup

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