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.
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.
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.