If you think you know Fukuoka, then you can try taking the Fukuoka Kentei (Fukuoka Proficiency Test) that starts in March 2014. The aim of the test is to deepen affection for Fukuoka by getting people to develop a better knowledge of its myriad charms. The test features questions that run the gamut from history and culture to tourist attractions and will be offered at two levels, elementary and intermediate.
The official Fukuoka Kentei site is full of enjoyable content, including a free pre-test game. If you can answer all of the questions on the official site, you are well on your way to becoming a Fukuoka ‘master’. You can also pick up a copy of the information-packed official study guide Fukuoka Hakuran edited by the Fukuoka City Museum. It is full of interesting facts about Fukuoka, from ancient historical sites to present-day attractions like the Open Top Bus. Use it to study for the test, or as a guide for strolls around town.
The first Fukuoka Kentei is scheduled for Feb. 9 at Kyushu Sangyo University, but the application period has already closed. If you were unable to apply for this year’s test, you will be more than ready for next year’s exam if you start preparing now. The test is open to anyone who pays the application fee, not just city residents, so if you think you know more about Fukuoka than the next guy, you are highly encouraged to apply.
Applicants who pass the test will receive a Fukuoka Omotenashi Meister badge as well as free or discounted admission to certain tourist attractions. Successful test-takers can also join guided tours held throughout the city free of charge. Perhaps you can take advantage of these perks to deepen your knowledge of Fukuoka and try for a top score on next year’s test.
Originally published in Fukuoka Now Magazine (fn182, Feb. 2014)