10 Most Photogenic Sights in Fukuoka Prefecture You Shouldn’t Miss

From traditional townscapes filled with nostalgia to expansive flower fields blooming with views of the sea in the distance and even temples and shrines like you’ve never seen before, Fukuoka Prefecture has plenty of historical, cultural, and natural marvels that will make you want to fly to Kyushu and explore. In this article, we cover 10 of the most photogenic and off-the-beaten-path sights in Fukuoka Prefecture that are about to make your Japan travel bucket list even longer!

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1. Sasaguri Kyudai Forest - Inspiration for Princess Mononoke

The incredibly picturesque Sasaguri Kyudai Forest is located on the western side of Kyushu University Fukuoka Research Forest, a place dedicated to botanical research and forest preservation. The 17-hectare forest offers several hiking trails that lead visitors through a wide variety of both evergreen and deciduous trees, including a rare type of redwood called metasequoia, against the backdrops of lakes, making it a paradise for photographers! The main attraction of the forest is the Waterside Forest of bald cypress trees, famous for the otherworldly panorama created by deep green reflections on the water surface. Growing submerged in water, these trees are said to be the inspiration for the forest found in Studio Ghibli’s masterpiece Princess Mononoke. 

2. Miyajidake Shrine - Home to 3 Unique Treasures

Sitting on a hill above the town of Fukutsu, Miyajidake Shrine is known for its spectacular sunset. Twice a year, in late February and late October, the sun aligns with the road connecting the entrance of the shrine to the sea, creating the ”Road of Light.” The path glimmers in golden hues from the shrine’s torii gates to the distant water surface for a visually striking panorama you won’t be able to forget. But the marvels of Miyajidake Shrine don’t end here. The shrine is also famous for its unique treasures referred to as “Japan’s Best Three,” which include Japan’s biggest “shimenawa” (sacred shrine rope) which measures 3 tons and is 11 meters long, Japan’s largest taiko drum which has a diameter of 2 meters, and Japan's largest copper bell weighing 450 kilograms.

3. Itoshima Sakurai Futamigaura Meoto Iwa - Picture Perfect Japanese Beach Scenery

With a sparkling blue sea and white, sandy beaches, Itoshima is recognized as a spot of scenic beauty in Fukuoka Prefecture. Renowned as one of Japan’s 100 most beautiful sunset views and 100 best beaches, the area is a nature wonderland with a romantic atmosphere, perfect for water sports and abundant in beachside cafes. One of the most breathtaking sights in the area is the Sakurai Futamigaura Meoto Iwa, a sacred spot where two giant “wedded rocks,” representing marital harmony and matchmaking, stand in the middle of the sea, joined by a shimenawa rope and guarded by a white torii gate. The rocks, framed by the contrasting white torii and blue sea, create a beautiful view that visitors to Japan shouldn’t miss. 

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4. Kawachi Wisteria Garden - A Stunning Tunnel of Purple Flowers

This garden of marvels is famous for its incredible tunnel of flowers where a large number of wisteria flowers bloom from late April to early May. The 100-meter long tunnel is tinged with purple and white shades of 20 different varieties of wisteria that flow over the passing visitors. A viewpoint on top of a hill in the garden allows visitors to admire the dazzling sea of wisteria flowers from above for a true ”wow” moment. Visitors can also enjoy the garden in autumn when it’s open for the changing foliage season.


5. Sannoji Temple - Enter a Colorful World of Wind Chimes

Sannoji Temple gained attention on social media thanks to its extremely insta-worthy wind chime festival, the Sannoji Furin Matsuri, that brings this Japanese summer staple to the next level. Over the past 10 years, the number of colorful wind chimes that decorate the temple increased year after year until it exceeded a whopping 3,000! The temple’s beautiful wind chimes welcome visitors with their mesmerizing rainbow effect and pleasantly refreshing melody. Visitors can also buy their own wind chime at the festival venue and write their wishes on the wind chime’s strip of paper to make them come true.

6. Nokonoshima Island Park - Flower-Filled Fields Sloping Down to the Sea

Just a short ferry ride from Fukuoka City is Nokonoshima Island, a retreat spot that is perfect for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the big city. The island is easy to explore on foot, as it is only 12 kilometers all the way round, and it is appreciated for its vast nature, outdoor activities, water sports, and fantastic views of Fukuoka’s skyline in the distance.

Visitors shouldn’t miss its most popular attraction, Nokonoshima Island Park, to take in the beauty of the many flowers blooming on the island throughout the year. Located on Nokonoshima’s northern tip, the natural park stretches out for about 150,000 square meters, allowing never-ending floral panoramas of colorful fields gently sloping down to the sea. Particularly prized is the park’s cosmos display that boasts 300,000 flowers blooming in autumn, but every month there’s something to enjoy. Visitors can view nanohana rapeseed blossoms, livingstone daisies, and marigolds in spring; appreciate sunflowers and scarlet sage in summer; and admire daffodils and camellias in winter.

7. Nanzoin Temple - The Largest Bronze Reclining Buddha in the World

Nanzoin Temple is home to the world’s biggest bronze reclining Buddha statue which is 41 meters long, 11 meters high, and weighs nearly 300 tons. Completed in 1995, the Reclining Buddha statue was also built to enshrine Gautama Buddha's ashes, donated by the Myanmar Buddhist Council as a symbol of gratitude to the people of Nanzoin Temple who have been providing humanitarian help to Myanmar and Nepal for many years.

Nanzoin Temple is also a very interesting complex to explore. With its many buildings located on a forested mountaintop, visitors can soak in the history of this sacred place which was moved to Fukuoka Prefecture in 1899 from Mount Koya in Wakayama Prefecture. Many visitors come here not only for the impressive Buddha statue, but also because the temple is the first of 88 temples on the Sasaguri Pilgrimage Route, a sacred route that passes by 88 temples in northern Kyushu. 

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8. Uminonakamichi Seaside Park - A Natural Escape Just Across the Bay from Fukuoka City

Located across the bay from central Fukuoka and stretching out over an area of 300 hectares, Uminonakamichi Seaside Park spoils visitors with stunning views of the sea and expansive flower fields. One of the best ways to explore the park is by bicycle, which you can rent at the entrance of the park, and there is a 12-kilometer cycling course crossing the park that will help you explore every charming corner. Some of the most spectacular scenes that can be viewed at Uminonakamichi Seaside Park include an impressive sea of blue nemophila, sparkling yellow nanohana rapeseed flowers, fiery red kochia, and even sakura cherry blossoms. With its playground areas, water park, and BBQ Campsite, the park makes for a  great outdoor space to spend a blissful day with the whole family.

9. Yanagawa - The Venice of Kyushu

The charming castle town of Yanagawa is often called the “Venice of Kyushu” because of its magnificent canals running for kilometers. Originally built to supply water for the area’s numerous fields, the atmospheric canals are lined with iris flowers and willow trees and are preserved today as a local symbol. Visitors can enjoy scenic cruises known as “kawakudari” (going down the river) along the canals onboard traditional flat boats called “donkobune,” during which oarsmen will guide you through the town and its long history. In April, the Nakayama Wisteria Festival attracts many visitors looking to catch a glimpse of Nakayama’s giant wisteria tree blooming nearby one of the canals. When visiting Yanagawa, don’t miss the opportunity to get a taste of the local “unagi" (eel) and explore the Yanagawa Ohana Villa which was once owned by the Tachibana family who ruled over Yanagawa in the Edo period.

10. Ukiha Inari Shrine - A Breathtaking Mountaintop Shrine

Ukiha Inari Shrine welcomes visitors with a line of 90 vermilion torii gates that create a beautiful contrast with the bright green of the mountainside. The torii lead to the shrine’s main hall, but you have to climb 300 steps to get there. Once you reach the top, you'll be rewarded by the breathtaking panorama of the valley below, dotted by rice fields and surrounded by lush, forested mountains. The shrine is located in Ukiga, a town known as Fukuoka’s “kingdom of fruit,” due to its delicious varieties of grapes, peaches, and persimmons that are produced locally. The area is also great for those planning to do some strawberry picking. If you happen to visit Ukiha Inari Shrine during spring, don’t miss the marvelous view of cherry blossoms adorning the red torii gates.

Visit Fukuoka’s Most Photogenic Spots to Get a Taste of Kyushu’s Beauty

After you get a taste of Kyushu's rich nature and history by exploring Fukuoka Prefecture’s cultural wonders and dreamy landscapes, be sure to explore the rest of Kyushu to see all the charming places that this region has to offer!

Visit Kyushu Official Website: https://www.visit-kyushu.com/en/

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The information in this article is accurate at the time of publication.

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About the author

Stefania Sabia
Born and raised in Italy, Stefania spent some of her teen years in Ireland. Today, Stefania lives in Tokyo and she likes to explore traditional Japan, hidden spots, and anything with retro aesthetics. Since childhood, she has always admired Japanese culture, and after coming to Japan, she made it her mission to explore the country and showcase its beauty on Instagram.
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