Getting there & away
Long-distance buses (English information 733-3333) depart from the Kōtsū bus centre near JR Hakata station and also from the Tenjin bus centre. Destinations include Tokyo (¥15, 000, 14½ hours), Osaka (¥10, 000, 9½ hours), Nagoya (¥10, 500, 11 hours) and many other places around Kyūshū.
JR Hakata station (English information 471-8111, JR English info-line 03-3423-0111) is the western terminus of the 1175km-long Tokyo–Osaka–Hakata shinkansen. There are services to/from Tokyo (¥21, 720, five to six hours), Osaka (¥14, 590, 2½ to three hours) and Hiroshima (¥8700, 1½ hours). Prices are slightly higher for the Nozomi shinkansen.
JR lines also fan out from Hakata to other parts of Kyūshū. The Nippō line runs through Beppu and Miyazaki; the Kagoshima line runs through Hakata, Kumamoto and Kagoshima; and both the Nagasaki and Sasebo lines run from Hakata to Saga and Sasebo or to Nagasaki. The newest shinkansen line in Kyūshū runs from Shin-Yatsushiro to Kagoshima (¥6350, one hour); eventually it will extend up to Hakata. You can also travel by subway and JR train to Karatsu and continue from there to Nagasaki by train.
Ferry services from Hakata connect to Okinawa and other islands off Kyūshū. An international high-speed hydrofoil service run by JR Kyūshū called Biitoru (say ‘beetle’; in Japan 092-281-2315, in Korea 051-442-6111; www.jrbeetle.co.jp/english) connects Fukuoka with Busan in Korea (¥13, 000, three hours, four daily). The Camellia line (in Japan 092-262-2323, in Korea 051-466-7799; www.camellia-line.co.jp in Japanese & Korean) has a regular ferry service from Fukuoka to Busan (¥9000, six hours, daily at noon). In Fukuoka, the Beetle and the Camellia depart from Fukuoka Port International Terminal via bus 11, 19 or 50 from JR Hakata station (¥220), or bus 80 from Tenjin (Solaria Stage-mae; ¥180). From Busan, both the Beetle (Won 9000, three hours, four daily) and the Camellia (Won 80, 000, overnight) depart from the International Ferry Port, approximately 200m from Jungang-dong subway station.
Fukuoka is a major international gateway with flights to and from many major cities in Japan and Asia. Domestic flights go to Tokyo (¥27, 900, 1½ hours, Haneda airport/Narita International Airport 45/four flights daily). Other domestic routes include Osaka (¥16, 200, one hour, six flights daily) and Okinawa (Naha, ¥20, 300, 1½ hours, 12 flights daily). ANA and JAL are the two most common carriers, and both have offices here.