Top things to do

Top Choice Tofu in Karatsu

Kawashima Tōfu

On the covered arcade near the station, this renowned tofu shop has been in business since the Edo period and serves refined kaiseki (set meals), starring tofu plus other seasonal specialities, around a 10-seat coun…
Top Choice Shinto Shrine in Dazaifu

Dazaifu Tenman-gū

Among the countless visitors to the grand, sprawling Tenman-gū – shrine and burial place of poet-scholar Tenman Tenjin – are students making offerings and buying amulets in hopes of passing college entrance exams.Th…
Top Choice Castle in Karatsu

Karatsu-jō

Nicknamed Maizuru-jō (Dancing Crane Castle), this elegantly proportioned white castle (built 1608, rebuilt 1966 and refurbished 2017) is picturesquely perched on a hill overlooking the sea. Inside are antique cerami…
Top Choice Ramen in Fukuoka

Ichiran

This Fukuoka-born chain (since 1993) has a nationwide following. That's as much for its serving style as for its fresh noodles and 15-second kitchen-to-table rule. Customers fill out forms (available in English) req…
Top Choice Japanese in Fukuoka

Hakatarou

If you can't visit the rest of Kyūshū, try regional foods at this elegant izakaya. Look for dishes like karashi renkon (spicy, deep-fried lotus root) and basashi (horsemeat sashimi) from Kumamoto, grilled Shimabara …
Top Choice Buddhist Site in Usuki

Usuki Stone Buddhas

These thousand-year-old stone Buddhas lie just outside Usuki. Four clusters comprising 60-plus images (59 are designated national treasures) lie in a series of niches in a ravine. They're largely made of lava rock f…
Top Choice Ramen in Fukuoka

Ippudō

Fukuoka's most famous ramen chain has workmanlike and always bustling branches in Tenjin, serving the best-selling Akamaru Modern (with black-sesame oil and a fragrant umami-dama, or flavour ball), Shiromaru Classic…
Top Choice Gyoza in Beppu

Gyōza Kogetsu

This seven-seat, 1940s time warp with a manic local following has only two things on the menu, both ¥600: generous plates of gyōza (dumplings) perfectly fried to a delicate crunch, and bottles of beer. It's in the t…
Top Choice Museum in Arita

Kyūshū Ceramic Museum

About 15 minutes on foot from Arita Station, this large, hilltop operation is the most comprehensive ceramics museum in the region. The Shibata Collection comprehensively showcases the development and styles of Kyūs…
Top Choice Cocktail Bar in Fukuoka

Citadel

At this classy upstairs bar, mellow out over coffee cocktails such as mojitos (with homemade coffee rum and coffee ice cubes) and espresso martinis. Liqueurs macerating on shelves above the bar lend a mad-scientist'…