As a historical trading hub, Hakata was once the center of goods being traded all over Japan and internationally. Before the shopping begins, visit locally famed Kushida shrine, the annual summer Hakata Gion Yamakasa festival is dedicated to the shrine and the intricately designed 10 meter high floats are displayed year round. As the traditional manufacturer of Japanese 'Hakata ningyo' dolls, the exhibition of the dolls and other local handicrafts are a must see in Fukuoka. Begin your real shopping expedition at Hakata's Kawabata shopping street - with over 100 stores it's hard to resist the souvenirs on offer.
Among the oldest cities in Japan, Hakata was originally a hub for Chinese merchants to trade their wares. During your three hour tour around the city, you will visit key locations of Hakata's development. Begin at the sakura tea store, a specialist in Yame and Japanese tea wares. Appreciate the craftsmanship before heading to the ancient tomb of Xie Guoming, an influential Chinese merchant in the Song dynasty and hear about his journey to riches. Continue on to two of the area's most ornate Japanese temples, Jotenji and Tochoji and discover hear the fascinating story of how noodles were introduced to Japan from China or marvel at the biggest (10.8