“Tabi” means travel in Japanese, and Fuku-Tabi is a new tour program that enables participants to experience the delights only Fukuoka and Hakata have to offer. The tours are not packages offered by a travel agency, but programs planned by people at the destination the travelers will be visiting, an approach that has become popular in recent times. They include such experiences as the chance to sample traditional foods or the daily cultural life of a district, including sites off the beaten path or famous locations known only to the locals, who also serve as the guides. Completely different from conventional offerings, the tours were adopted on a wide scale by Fukuoka City in 2009. Tourists get the opportunity to experience a rare treat while enjoying warm hospitality. The program has 55 different tours in all, and it will be conducted until April 18.
The Fukuoka no Machi Bunka wo Taiken Course (Experience Fukuoka’s Urban Culture Course) has 27 separate tours. One concentrates on Hakata ningyo, or unglazed bisque dolls made of painted fired clay. Participants paint the dolls themselves to create their own unique souvenir. Another focuses on making original Hakata Motsunabe, a type of hot pot dish made from beef or pork offal, while the adventurers in a third get to barbecue and eat their own yakitori.
There are 16 tours in the Machiaruki Course (Walking Course). One involves visiting ramen shops with a local food critic who specializes in noodle cuisine and making the ramen oneself. Another tour visits temples and goes as far afield as Dazaifu. A total of 12 tours have been created especially for foreign tourists. One of them takes the participants to a sushi shop where they can learn how to make sushi and compare their efforts with those of the professionals. Another visits “Fukuoka manga spots”, including coffee shops with waitresses wearing French maid uniforms, places for cosplay (costume play), and others where they can get their photo taken at instant photo machines and have them made into tiny stickers. These tours have guides who are fluent in English, Chinese, and Korean.
Each of the Fuku-Tabi tours has different sponsors and reservations are required. Contact the sponsors to apply and for information about fees and tour content. For a great experience in Fukuoka tourism and shopping, don’t hesitate to get in touch with Fuku-Tabi and discover the region’s culture and history, as well as the latest trends. Free pamphlets with details about the tours are available at Fukuoka City Tourist Information Centers at the Mitsukoshi Lion Plaza in Tenjin and at Hakata Station; the Information Plaza on the first floor of the Fukuoka City Municipal Offices; each of the ward offices; and at Rainbow Plaza on the 8th floor of the IMS Building.
A public relations manager