Fukuoka is the largest city of Kyūshū and among the ten largest cities of Japan. This modern city was created on combining two earlier cities, Hakata on the east bank of the river Naka-gawa and Fukuoka castle town on the west bank. The two were merged during 1889. Even today, the central railway station and the port are known as Hakata Port and Kahata Station. There are two city centers in Fukuoka, one each at Tenjin and Hakata. Fukuoka Airport, located close to the city center has four terminals. T1 and T2 are basically two parts of the same building, separated by five minutes’ walk. The former handles domestic flights to smaller cities of Komatsu and Sendai etc while T 2, which also houses the subway station, caters to bigger cities like Nagoya and Tokyo. T 3 is only for incoming domestic flights. The international terminal T 4, on the other side of the runway is accessible by bus transfer, taking ten minutes. If traveling from Tokyo (car renting in Tokyo), you’ll find it cheaper to reach Fukuoka by air than traveling by train that takes about five hours. Air travel by discount airlines costs ¥5,000, whereas train would cost ¥22,320!
It is good to visit Fukuoka from March to April, when cherry blossoms are in full bloom and day temperature is 20°C. The best time to visit this city is during September and October, as the weather is at its best.
1 US $ = 124 Japanese Yen JPY (¥) One JPY equals 100 sen
ATMs are available at the airport. Citibank too has a 24 hour ATM in Tenjin. Apart from a number of post offices, you can find many banks around Hakata station for conversion of currency.
Driving in Fukuoka
Driving is on the left side of roads.
Road signs conform to international standards and signs on most roads are in English plus Japanese.
Generally permissible speed limits for expressways are 80 to 100 km/hour while for urban areas the speed is limited to 40KM/hour. Usually roads are in good condition but side streets are quite narrow in cities. Traffic congestion in urban centers is frequent.
Most roads are free of toll except for expressways.
One liter of normal gasoline costs about 150 yen
Parking in big cities is awfully expensive, costing hundreds of yen/hour.
Explore Car Rental in Fukuoka
If you want to watch the countryside, you’ll need to make use of a car rental in Fukuoka. Driving within the city is pointless and even taxing. Traffic is heavy, orientation is difficult and parking is not only very expensive but also very inconvenient, especially when you are new to the city. You can rent a car in Nagoya at the airport itself and at numerous locations within the city. Car rental in Fukuoka is no different than renting a car in Fukushima. You can rent a full size car in Fukuoka for about 15,000 yen/day. You’ll require international driving permit and car rental companies here follow the system of full tank, meaning you are expected to return the car with full tank. Drop off facility within the same city is offered by most companies. Availing this facility for a different city is obscenely expensive. You may take car rental in Fukuoka and leave it in Tokyo if you are willing to pay tens of thousands of yen as extra charge.