Fukuoka: Joten-ji, Shofuku-ji

Looking for a place to go to this spring? Fukuoka is a great sakura-sightseeing alternative to the big cities in Japan if you’re not too keen on big crowds. I went for a few days first week of April 2016, and it was definitely one of my most memorable trips ever, albeit a very brief one. The weather was perfect, all the sakura were in full bloom, and I really couldn’t ask for more. Crossing my fingers I can catch some sakura this year!

Anyhow, on our way to Ohori Park, we first passed by two places – Joten-ji and Shofuku-ji.

Constructed in the 1200s by a Chinese merchant, Joten-ji still stands today as a famous getaway in the middle of the city. More importantly, people know it as the birthplace of Japanese soba and udon, lol. It only takes about 10 minutes to walk here from Hakata Station.

Shofuku-ji, on the other hand, is known as Japan’s first Zen temple, built all the way back in 1195. It’s a short 5 minute walk from Gion Station.