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Explore Hakata on Foot – Gokusho Area Course

Hakata’s Historic Heart: A Cultural Walking Tour
The “Gokusho Area Course” allows you to enjoy a walk through Hakata, unraveling history along the way. The walking-only route takes about 80 minutes, but stopping at each spot and taking breaks extends it to approximately a 2-hour stroll. The journey begins at Hakata Station, the railway gateway that connects various parts of Kyushu and Honshu. From there, it explores the area once known as Hakata Old Town, which flourished as Japan’s largest trading port city.

Gokusho Area Course
• Total Distance: About 4 km
• Required Time: About 80 minutes (excluding time spent at each spot)
• Main Spots: Hakata Station → (15 min) → ①Waka Hachimangu Shrine → (2 min) → ②Hakata Sennen-no-Mon Gate → (1 min) → ③Jotenji Temple → (12 min) → ④Tochoji Temple → (22 min) → ⑤Zendoji Temple → (2 min) → ⑥Kaigenji Temple
• Please use this guide to explore the unique spots near the route.
Google Map: Gokusho Area Course

Three recommended walking courses in Hakata area
• Gokusho Area Course
Hakata Sta. Area Course
Nakasu Kawabata Course

1. Waka Hachimangu Shrine

This shrine is known for warding off calamities. There is a tradition where men and women of misfortune-bringing ages visit to pray for disaster avoidance, offering mochi rice cakes matching their age. A ritual for expelling misfortune is held on New Year’s Eve, attracting many worshippers not just from Fukuoka but also from other regions.

Waka Hachimangu Shrine / 若八幡宮

1-29-47 Hakataekimae, Hakata-ku, Fukuoka

2. Hakata Sennen-no-Mon Gate

Completed in March 2014, this gate serves as a symbol of Hakata tourism. It is designed after the historic Tsujinodoguchimon, a grand quadruped gate that once stood on the official road to Dazaifu, adorned with intricate details that tell the history of Hakata. The gate’s facade features calligraphy by the head priest of Dazaifu Tenmangu, and its doors are made from thousand-year-old camphor trees donated by the shrine, with Hakata-ori textile patterns carved into the transom.

Hakata Sennen-no-Mon Gate / 博多千年門

1-29-9 Hakataekimae, Hakata-ku, Fukuoka

Just beyond this gate lies Jotenji Street, a pathway enveloped in the seasonal beauty of lush vegetation, creating an atmosphere brimming with rich tradition and serene elegance.

Jotenji, 承天寺

3. Jotenji Temple

Established in 1242 by the Song dynasty merchant Shakokumei, and opened by the studying monk Benen (later Shoichikokushi), this Zen temple is where the technology for milling flour, brought back from the mainland by the national teacher, helped spread the culture of flour-based foods like udon and soba throughout Japan, hence Hakata’s claim as the birthplace of udon. It’s also known as the birthplace of “Hakata Gion Yamakasa.”

Jotenji Temple / 承天寺

1-29-9 Hakataekimae, Hakata-ku, Fukuoka
Viewing: 9:00~16:30

4. Tochoji Temple

Founded by Kukai (Kobo Daishi) upon his return from Tang China in 806, this Shingon sect temple is known as the first esoteric Buddhist temple established in Japan. It serves as the family temple of the Fukuoka domain’s Kuroda clan and houses the Great Buddha, Japan’s largest wooden seated Buddha statue, along with a five-story pagoda, both significant attractions.

Tochoji / 東長寺

Photograph provided by Fukuoka City.

2-4 Gokusho-machi, Hakata-ku, Fukuoka
Viewing: 9:00~16:45
*Purchase incense and candles (¥50) for the Great Buddha visit

5. Zendoji Temple

This temple, affiliated with the Jodo sect, was founded by the monk Chinzei Shoko Shonin, who succeeded Honen. After being instructed in a dream, he returned from China to Hakata searching for the founder of the Chinese Pure Land sect, Zendo Daishi, and built the temple to enshrine a wooden statue he found, dedicating it to Zendo Daishi.

Zendoji Temple / 善導寺

6-24 Nakagofuku-machi, Hakata-ku, Fukuoka
Viewing: 9:00~17:00

6. Kaigenji Temple

A temple of the Jodo sect’s Chinzei branch, with its main temple being Chion-in in Kyoto. Kaigenji is known for its Enma Hall and Kannon Hall, hosting the Enma Festival on January and August 16th each year. Inside the Enma Hall, visitors can see statues of Enma and Datsueba, and it is believed that offering konnyaku here can cure illnesses. Adding to the temple’s unique offerings, a Gacha Gacha machine that dispenses Omikuji (fortune slips) accompanied by a charm of Enma-sama (Lord of the Underworld) enjoys popularity among visitors.

Kaigenji Temple / 海元寺

10-5 Nakagofuku-machi, Hakata-ku, Fukuoka
Viewing: 8:30~17:30

Nearby Attractions

Ishikura Brewery Hakata Hyakunengura
A still-operating brewery housed in a building that retains the early Meiji period’s ambiance and is designated as a tangible cultural property of the country. It features a direct sales outlet where you can purchase exclusive freshly pressed pure rice sake and other local brews.
1-30-1 Katakasu, Hakata-ku, Fukuoka

Hakata Shingekiza
A theater that invites troupe leaders from 12 different theater companies nationwide, rotating monthly to perform popular dramas.
2-3-10 Katakasu, Hakata-ku, Fukuoka

Dekimachi Park
This park is where the original Hakata Station was located, commemorated by a monument marking it as the birthplace of railway in Kyushu.
1-10 Hakata-ekimae, Hakata-ku, Fukuoka

Maison Hakoshima
A direct sales store of a textile apparel manufacturer that reproduces and sells Hakoshima stripes, textiles produced in the Higashi Ward of Hakata before the war, featuring a small café space.
12-2 Gokusho-machi, Hakata-ku, Fukuoka
Hours: 12:00~18:99
Closed: Sun., Mon., 20th of every month

Josuian Hakata Station Front Main Store
A confectionery shop that has walked alongside Hakata’s history, known for its signature sweet, “Chikushi Mochi.” It retains molds used to make sweets for the 650th memorial service of the founding of Japan’s oldest Zen temple, Shofukuji, since 1845.
2-19-29 Hakata-ekimae, Hakata-ku, Fukuoka
Hours: 9:00~19:00 (Sat., Sun., hol. 9:30~18:00)

Okumura Shop
Founded in 1884, this toy wholesaler and seasonal doll retailer also sells traditional Japanese candies, fireworks, and festival goods.
2-24 Nakagofuku-machi, Hakata-ku, Fukuoka
Hours: 9:30~17:30
Closed: Sun., hol. (toy shop) / Tue. (doll shop)

>> View the Map on this larger map

Fukuoka Now X Hakata Town Planning Promotion Council

Enjoy other walks around Hakata area
• Gokusho Area Course
Hakata Sta. Area Course
Nakasu Kawabata Course

Published: Apr 1, 2024 / Last Updated: Apr 3, 2024

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