A fusion of city and nature
Fukuoka comes in third place in a world ranking of quick access between the city center and the airport. Time required: around 10 minutes. The figure itself gives you a pretty good idea of the compact cityscape. Fukuoka is a fusion of the large commercial complexes that sustain urban functions and the lush nature. Take a stroll around the Hakata–Tenjin area, in the heart of Fukuoka, and you’ll find yourself in a vast park covered with trees. If the day is a usual sunny and warm Fukuoka day; you’ll likely see standup paddle boarders in the river.
Our choice of footwear for exploring Fukuoka is Teva®. Slip on a pair, and instantly you feel as though you could keep walking on and on. Start at the city’s haven of Ohori Park. Visitors are walking or running the 2-kilometer-long course around the central pond, circling it freely at their own pace while catching a sidelong glance of the reflection of Fukuoka Tower in the water. It’s nice to watch the flow of people from the terrace while sipping coffee. The park also offers a tearoom themed around Yamecha, swan boat pedaling, and carp feeding. Somehow, the chaotic mix feels comfortable. To top it off, Yayoi Kusama’s Pumpkin ushers us to the adjacent Fukuoka Art Museum. Following up a running session with art—what a stylish way to spend your time in Fukuoka.
Tenjin is home to a structure that is part building, part mountain, commonly called “Mt. Acros.” Try not to miss it, as it blends in with the jungle of buildings depending on your angle. Here, you’re invited to climb a flight of some 400 steps to the “summit” while listening to the music of chirping birds and humming insects. The observatory commands a 360-degree panorama of the buildings all the way to the sea and islands beyond. Who would have expected to climb a mountain in the middle of Tenjin? Fukuoka is really a playground for adults, and this makes it the perfect setting for Teva®.
A different area, a different pleasure
The best way to explore the different areas of Fukuoka is on foot. Each area has its own unique culture, and with it comes fascinating shops and restaurants. The Yakuin–Hirao area—a mixture of commercial, business, and residential districts—is home to the flagship store of the Fukuoka-based stationery brand Hightide. Under the concept that office accessories are a fashionable expression of yourself, it develops and sells items that are fun just to have around.
For lunch, head to the area called “Hirao Village” for Floatan’s delicious combination of curry and Shiga Kogen beer. To give you a fair warning, the restaurant is nestled in the back street, and your chances of getting there smoothly are quite slim. Wind through a maze of alleys to the far, far end, and relish the moments you spend wandering around with Teva®. On the way out, stop by Hanaya Mountain and try striking up a conversation with the proprietor, a mountaineering enthusiast. On this day, we run into Yuki Yamamoto, an actress who also grows rice in her own field. She is a big fan of the flowers selected through the eyes of the proprietor of Hanaya Mountain.
Don’t forget coffee. Fukuoka is a city of coffee and the proud producer of some of Japan’s best-known roasters and baristas. You can’t go wrong at the brilliant coffee house Cotty. Good music, good atmosphere, and good coffee—a good time is always waiting for you here.
Time to call it a night? We suggest staying at Bunshodo Hotel, named after the bookstore that previously occupied the site. Each room is stocked with volumes selected by the hotelier, offering the wonderful opportunity for you to lose yourself in a book in the compact, streamlined space.
Touring a city efficiently with your smartphone always handy is nice. But in Fukuoka, it’s best to follow your heart and explore the city on foot. Just slip on a pair of Teva® shoes.
Teva® EMBER COMMUTE SLIP-ON WP
New model in comfortable, sustainable materials
Ember Commute Slip-On WP is an all-weather model built with a waterproof membrane that protects against rain and puddles. The quilted upper inspired by classic outdoor gear is smart enough for town use. Complete with a fitted toe area to support walking, EVA midsole for shock absorption, and outsole with optimal grip, the design provides cushioned comfort. The Earth-friendly footwear is made from recycled plastic bottles.