Friendly Fukuoka: 4 Types of People That Will Love Fukuoka

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On December 26, 2014
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Everyone has a unique checklist in mind when they are looking for a new city or country to live in. For some people it’s all about the weather, whilst for others a city’s nightlife may be the most important factor. I have one friend that moved to Australia because he had a passion for scuba diving and another friend who moved to Japan entirely because of his love of Dragonball Z.

Tokyo often seems to attract people that want the experience of living in a big city, whilst Kyoto entices people that have fallen in love with traditional Japanese culture. My home in Fukuoka though, doesn’t have any one stand out aspect that attracts people. It does however have plenty to offer, and is perfect for the following types of people.

The Outdoor type

Fukuoka is a haven for people that feel at home whilst out hiking all day in the woods, or surfing first thing in the morning or mountain biking all afternoon. Fukuoka city has 133.6km of seashore which ranks 3rd in Japan, behind only Kitakyushu and Yokohama, for the most seashore of any city.

This makes it a great place if you love going to the beach in the summer because of the nice beaches that are nearby, regardless of where you live in the city. There is also plenty of options when the weather turns cold, because the wind that comes in during Autumn and Spring makes Fukuoka’s shore line perfect for windsurfing and surfing.

Whilst one side of Fukuoka is all seashore, the other three sides are all mountains, making it an ideal place for any hiking enthusiasts. More than this, Fukuoka also has, on average, over 5 sunshine hours a day, its Winter tends to be milder than the rest of Japan and its summer’s whilst humid, are no more so than other major city. This incredible weather only adds to the reasons why outdoor types love Fukuoka.

fukuoka-beachPhoto by Paul Allais

The Laidback type

If, like me, you would rather stroll around a city stopping off for a coffee and a chance to relax than hiking the nearest mountain then Fukuoka may also be the right spot for you. Fukuoka was recently voted the 12th most liveable city in the world, behind Tokyo in 4th but above every other Japanese city (take that 13th place Kyoto!), and the ease of living in this city is obvious.

Fukuoka’s people statistically have the shortest commute times of any city in Japan and whilst it is busy, it never feels overcrowded. Add to this the easy to understand subway system, plenty of foreign goods stores and the sheer amount of famous Onsens that are only a train ride away and you can see why Fukuoka would attract a more laidback type than some of Japan’s other cities.

The Travelling type

Fukuoka is closer to Seoul than it is to Tokyo. This by extension means it is closer to mainland Asia than anywhere else in Japan and because of this, Fukuoka is ideally suited for international travellers. Japan is an amazing place to live, but everyone needs a break sometimes and living in Fukuoka makes it hassle free to go wherever you want, whenever you want.

It’s the perfect place to use as your jumping off point because Fukuoka’s International airport flies directly to Hawaii, Thailand and the Netherlands amongst others, and this means you don’t have to waste precious days in transit when where you really want to be is on holiday!

Best of all Fukuoka airport is less than 10 minutes from Hakata station, the center of the city, meaning you can save even more time and hassle, getting to where you want to go quickly and easily. Fukuoka is not just perfect for international travel though. It’s also great if you want to see the rest of Kyushu too! Nagasaki, Kumamoto, Miyazaki and Kagoshima are all just a couple of hours away or less making Fukuoka the perfect gateway for any travellers interested in Kyushu.

fukuoka-parkPhoto by mariusz kluzniak

The Frugal type

In an ideal world it wouldn’t be important, but the daily cost of living in a city is an important factor for anyone when they are deciding where to live. Luckily this is where Fukuoka has most of Japan beat. Of Japan’s 20 biggest cities, Fukuoka has the lowest Consumer Price Index of all of them. CPI is difficult to gauge so let’s put this in real world terms. The average price of Curry and Rice in Fukuoka is 477 yen. In Hiroshima (the highest) it is 726 yen. A dress shirt in Fukuoka on average is 2222 yen whereas in Sapporo (the highest) it is 4925. Now that’s a saving!

The low cost of almost everything in Fukuoka compared to the rest of Japan only further enhances Fukuoka’s attractiveness as a city to put some roots down in. So regardless of whether you are the outdoor type, the laidback type, the travelling type or the frugal type, Fukuoka could be the place for you.

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Karaoke pro living in Fukuoka.
  • Jarno Moleveld says:

    Never been in Japan, but love to explore new places and take lots of photo’s as photographer. I just don’t have the funding needed for it 🙁

  • Peter Yamamoto says:

    I was a foreign student in Fukuoka at 25 years old, met my future wife there, have been away for over 28 years but now thinking of moving back for the long run. Appreciate having updates that make me feel good about deciding to move “back”.

  • Chris says:

    I’m a 17 year old and plan on moving to either Tokyo or your lovely city after my few years in military service (I’m American) I would like to know about the night life, and what are the job opportunities like, thanks if you reply 🙂

  • Snehafication says:

    I like seeing positive posts about Fukuoka! Write more about the City! If you can 🙂
    i would like to know more, before moving! (2017)

  • JB says:

    could’ve added one more very big one by piggybacking the last type – the foodie. cheap and delicious food everywhere in the city

  • Tess de la Serna says:

    Good article!

  • Béné says:

    I live in Fukuoka but I don’t recognize myself in thos 4 types. Anyway, I love my city. it is for me the most wonderful place in the world.

  • Josh says:

    Thanks for the post James. I live in Kyushu now and can attest to what
    you have said about Fukuoka. Have been thinking about moving there for
    quite some time now. If you don’t mind revealing, what do you do for
    work now?

    • James Darnbrook says:

      Hi Josh,
      I teach English at elementary schools and Junior High School.
      Fukuoka is an interesting place, i highly recommend it!

      • Olya Prohorova says:

        hey James, sorry for the sudden question but, do you mind sharing your story of how you got to teach in Fukuoka? did you go there through a program like JET? I have been doing research to help me decide where in Japan I should move to, so any advice would be highly appreciated. Your article is nice, thank you!

  • John Smith, the original one says:

    I’ve experienced traffic congestion in Fukuoka and I’d say it takes lots of time to get around in the morning.

  • Ronald Curtis says:

    Great article. I’ve just moved into Fukuoka about three weeks ago, and it has been great so far. Also, could you tell me where that beach is located in the second photo? It looks amazing!

    • James Darnbrook says:

      Hi Ronald,
      I hope you are enjoying life in Fukuoka so far.
      The beach in the photo is Momochi Beach.
      Thanks!

  • sasit93 says:

    Such advantages of Fukuoka are really the source of attraction to the people in search of beauty of nature.

  • Tokyo5 says:

    I’d love to see a write up on Matsutama in Ehime prefecture. It’s an interesting small city on Shikoku island. Though small, it’s the largest city on Shikoku. There are plenty of interesting things to see and do, both in Matsuyama and the surrounding small towns. It has a very rich history and much of old Japan is still alive there. It is also one of the most foreigner friendly places in Japan, despite the fact that there are very few foreigners there. You sort of feel like a rock star there, lol. Everyone smiles at you, and high school kids will spontaneously practice their English with you. The place always gave my a warm feeling.

  • Swati Bansal says:

    I loved your write-up! It is very much informational and interesting to read!

  • Daniel Concha Pérez says:

    Would love to live in fukuoka, looks like a big nice city without being overcrowded wich is nice, like a mid term city.

  • Kevin Martin says:

    Just curious, but what poll were you using for livability? I would love to read it! =)

    • James Darnbrook says:

      Hi Kevin,
      The poll came from Monocle Lifestyle Magazine’s 2014 list of the most liveable cities in the world. I am inclined to agree with it.
      Thanks

  • Richie J O Crowe says:

    Hi James,
    I lived in Fukuoka for three years,and can’t wait to get back there.
    Richie C.

  • papiGiulio says:

    I definitely wouldn’t mind living in Fukuoka, had a great time there. Friendly people, not TOO crowded, and of course in Kyuushuu where all the beautiful nature is as compared to Kansai that is 90% concrete.

    The only thing that worries me are the typhoons, floods and volcano’s (granted its more Miyazaki-ken).

  • Alias Petul O Peter says:

    Cool post , can you tell me names of airlines that flight from fukuoka to Hawaii

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