November 2015

Visiting Mentaiko Factories

One of Fukuoka’s main delicacies is Karashi Mentaiko. The main ingredients are the eggs of Alaskan Pollack seasoned with hot pepper. It’s a common side dish at Japanese family tables. For those who are not used to eating fish eggs, it may seem like an acquired taste, but is worth a try!


Karashi Mentaiko is typically eaten with warm rice, but there are many other ways to eat it. For example, you can add it to Tamagoyaki (Japanese omelette), salad or pasta, or mix it with mayonnaise to create dressing. Here in Fukuoka, it’s not unusual to see it as a pizza topping. I personally believe the intensity of Karashi pepper brings out the special umami.


ⒸFukuoka City


Hakata no Shoku to Bunka no Hakubutsukan (Hakata Food and Culture Museum) “Haku Haku”


This museum is owned and operated by the long established Karashi Mentaiko company, Fukuya. You can observe the entire process of making Karashi Mentaiko and participate in a hands-on cooking project, My Own Mentaiko, where you can choose your own level of spices. They also have a gift shop and a café.

-30 minute walk from Japan Railways Yoshizuka Station *You may walk to take a taxi from the station.

-Hours 10:00-17:00 *Closed on Tuesdays.

-Admission – 300 yen. Admission for My Own Mentaiko  – 1,500 yen.

Visiting Breweries

One of Japan’s biggest attractions is food, but many come to love Japanese beer and sake (Japanese rice wine) tangentially. I would like to introduce you to some breweries in Fukuoka.


Asahi Biru Fukuoka Kojo (Asahi Beer Fukuoka Plant)

You can see the entire process of brewing beer in this Asahi Beer Plant. After your tour, you can taste beer that has just been brewed. For those of you not interested in alcohol or who are minors, they offer soft drinks as well.

-3 minute walk from Japan Rail Kagoshima Line Takeshita Station

-Hours 9:30-15:00 *A tour requires reservations.

-Admission – No charge for a tour.


Kirin Beer Park

This is a Kirin Beer plant. Next to the plant, you can visit the Kirin Beer Farm where you can enjoy beer and barbeque. This Park attracts many tourists for its nature— 10 million poppy flowers in the spring and cosmos in the autumn.

-10 minute walk from Japan Rail Amagi line Tachiarai station

-Hours 9:30-15:00 *No reservations required.

-Admission – No charge for a tour.


Hakata Hyakunen-gura (Ishikura Shuzo)

Founded 100 years ago, this is the only sake brewery in Fukuoka. Just like wine, there is a wide variety of sake with different mixes of ingredients and brewing techniques. You cannot visit inside the brewery but a plant shop is open where you can sense the atmosphere of the Meiji era (1852-1912).

-7 minute walk from Subway Chiyo Kencho Mae Station or 12 minute walk from Subway Gion Station

-Hours 11:00-19:00


ⒸFukuoka City

Learn History of Fukuoka: Museums in Fukuoka

Because of Fukuoka’s long history, you can feel the significance of that history even today. Fukuoka also experiences unique cultural events that are not specific to its history and geography as a result of its proximity to China and Korea. There are a number of archeological sites in Fukuoka, and if you are at all interested in history, you will enjoy the rich stories surrounding Fukuoka. Today, I would like to introduce you to the museums that really tell you those stories.

Kyushu Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan (Kyushu National Museum)

If you are looking for a museum to learn Japan’s culture in the context of its historical relationship to Asia, this museum is the largest of its kind. The museum houses a number of exhibits that show Fukuoka’s intriguing experiences with Asia. On the first floor, you can enter a hands on exhibition called “Ajippa” to try on ethnic clothing and musical instruments without charge. This museum is right next to Dazaifu Shrine that enshrines Sugawara no Michizane who was widely known for his extraordinary intelligence.

-10 minute walk from Nishitetsu Railway Dazaifu station

-Hours 9:00-17:00 *Closed on Mondays

-Admission – 420 yen except for special exhibitions


Fukuoka-shi Hakubutsukan (Fukuoka City Museum)

In this museum, you can learn the wider region’s history and various ethnic cultures. Because of Fukuoka’s proximity to the Eurasia Continent and the Korean Peninsula, people in Fukuoka face exotic people, goods, and culture that others could not even imagine in the rest of Japan. You can find curious historical facts and learn how the people in the ancient times lived. You must see Kinin (The Golden stamp) found in 57 AD, which is on permanent display in the museum. Located in Seaside Momochi, the museum is close to Fukuoka Tower and Yafukuoku Dome. You can definitely make an entire day of sightseeing in the area.

ⒸFukuoka City

-15 minute walk from Subway Nishijin Station

-Hours 9:00-17:30 *Closed on Mondays

-Admission – 200 yen except for special exhibitions