When visiting a new place, there’s nothing like a lofty view to get the lay of the land. And when in Fukuoka, a great spot for this is Fukuoka Tower, Japan’s tallest seaside tower. While it’s not the only observation deck in Fukuoka, its bayside location and host of curious extras do serve to make the trip even more enjoyable.
Take a train or bus around 20 minutes west of the city and you’ll find Fukuoka Tower, a glimmering blip on the low Hakata Bay landscape. Throughout the day, the shadow from the 234m structure makes its way across the yellow sand beaches below, offering much-needed shade on particularly hot days.
Inside the mirrored building, the decor is reminiscent of an underwater seascape with blue tones and clever lighting. However, as you make your way to the upper observation floors, it quickly becomes all about the sky. There are three observation decks to explore, at 116, 120 and 123m respectively, the middle of which contains two restaurants.
From the windows, you can enjoy a full 360-degree panoramic view of the surrounding area. The southeastern views are of the Fukuoka cityscape and Sefuri Mountains, while the north and west showcase Hakata Bay’s beaches, yacht harbour and Marizon complex. From this vantage point, the glistening seas look so inviting, particularly as the sun inches toward the water’s surface.
Aside from gazing out the windows, there are quite a few interactive exhibits to keep things interesting like VR, games and photo opportunities. On the ‘Sky Play’ floor, you can get a Kyushu souvenir from a gigantic gacha (capsule toy) machine or play pinball for a good luck fortune.
While this is all well and good, I’d wager the most popular part of this floor is the “Lover’s Sanctuary.”
Here, you can pose for a photo under the heart-shaped arch, using a nearby phone stand and your camera’s timer function. When both buttons on the heart are pushed, you’ll become ‘bathed in the pink glow of love.’ The Lover’s Sanctuary also happens to be Fukuoka’s answer to the Love Lock Bridge in Paris. You can purchase a padlock for 1,000yen from a nearby vending machine, write your name(s) and date on it and hang with the others. A small price to pay considering it 100% guarantees you and your significant other will stay together forever.
When to visit
Fukuoka Tower is open all day and into the night, so it really depends on your schedule. The most popular time to visit, though, is just before sunset. At this time, you can enjoy the vast seaside views bathed in the warm glow of golden hour, then watch as the sun sets over the ocean. If you stick around a little longer, you’ll be further dazzled by the glittering lights of the surrounding buildings. You’ll probably need just an hour or so to explore the tower, longer if you choose to eat.
Accessing Fukuoka Tower
If your feet are a little weary on the day of your visit, we recommend getting the bus, as it stops right near Fukuoka Tower. From Hakata Station bus terminal, take Bus 306 from Platform 6 and ride for 25 minutes. If you’re in the Tenjin area, head to the Tenjin Bus Center and take Nishitetsu Bus 302 or W1 from Platform 1A. It’s about 20 minutes to Fukuoka Tower.
The closest train station to Fukuoka Tower is Nishijin Station, which is a 20-minute walk. You can get here from the city via the Kuko Line which starts at Fukuoka Airport and runs through Hakata Station, Tenjin, past Ohori Park and terminates at Meinohama Station.
While in the area, you’d be remiss not to cross the street and visit Momochi Seaside Park and Marizon for a dose of Mediterranean seaside charm. Being so far west, you might consider spending the first half of your day at Nokonoshima Island. Once back on the mainland, stroll the seaside and end your day with the views from Fukuoka Tower at sunset.
Post by Japan Journeys.