Last year I took my sister on a siblings-only trip through Asia. We had previously travelled together to New York City, and knowing that we could actually travel well together, this time I was really excited to show her some of my favourite spots in Hong Kong, South Korea, and Japan.

(Sidenote: if you have any siblings, I’d highly recommend taking a trip with them! It’s a much different experience travelling as adults than it is with your entire family.)

Andrew & Naomi in Hong Kong

After spending our first couple days in Hong Kong (my favourite city in East Asia), we made a brief stop in Fukuoka to visit Micaela, whom you may remember from my last Japan travel series, TOKYO | SEOUL.

Since I’d only even been to Tokyo, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect out of Fukuoka City. Luckily, we had an excellent tour guide in Micaela, who has called Kyushu home for about a decade now. As we found out, Fukuoka offers many of the benefits of the big city but with a wonderful laid back vibe. With canals and spectacular views, it’s a great place to shop, explore, relax, and connect with friends.

Read about how we spent our short stay, and check out the video below.

Brunch at Ivorish

We started the day at Ivorish, a chain of restaurants that specialize in premium French toast. It’s not traditional Japanese food, but like many of these kinds of restaurants in Asia, they’ve found a way to take a familiar dish, and kick things up a notch. I got a version with nuts, while Micaela opted for fresh fruit.

It’s a popular place so you’ll want to show up early: a line had formed outside by the time we left!

Game Centres in Tenjin

Fukuoka’s downtown district, Tenjin, has an awesome mix of shopping, cafes, restaurants, and, as of course, game centres. Try your luck with a crane game or use one of the many purikura booths to take souvenir snapshots.

Shopping at Hakata Station

Hakata Station is the largest and busiest railway station in Kyushu, so in addition to being a great spot to people watch, you’ll also find a variety of restaurants and shops – like Tokyu Hands, a department store that carries everything you could possibly imagine.

At the top level, you’ll find stalls and activities, and a great view of the city. And since we visited just before Christmas, there was an incredible light display to admire outside.

Pokémon Centre

Of course, a trip to Japan wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the Pokémon Centre. You’ll find one in Hakata Station, where you can pick up all kinds of Pokémerch.

City views at Fukuoka Tower

Like many cities across the world, Fukuoka has a tower tourist attraction that offers beautiful views of the city. Make sure to take a selfie in front of the tower at the photo spot! We went up just as the sun was setting, and the view was spectacular.

Light show at Canal City

Canal City is a shopping and entertainment complex on the waterfront. You’ll find a great selection of shops, cafes, restaurants, and more. There is also an interactive light installation at the fountain, extra magical just before Christmas Time.

Yatai food stalls

If Fukuoka is known for one thing, it’s Yatai – its open-air food stalls. You can find them throughout the city, but there are a few  just steps away from Canal City on the waterfront. 

Signature dishes include yakitori, ramen, and mentaiko tempura. Add in alcoholic beverages and you’ve got a perfect spot to unwind and connect with friends, locals, and other tourists & travellers. The perfect place to end the day in Fukuoka!

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