Fukuoka has a reputation of being the city of kawaii girls. Even before the recent virtual Cute Ward – kawaii-ku in Japanese – was created, people all over Japan would tell me: “you should visit Fukuoka, there are many kawaii girls”.

So on my first visit to Japan, with a JR Pass and no travel itinerary at all, a mate and I decided to visit Fukuoka after seeing Hiroshima.

After we arrived in the city and checked into our ryokan in Fukuoka, we went out for some dinner and to find a gaijin bar. Gaijin means foreigner, and gaijin bars are places where you can expect English service. In the Tenjin area of Fukuoka we found a cluster of gaijin bars, and settled in at a booth at a nightclub.

I was chatting to a girl at the bar, when she handed me this…

Origami crane

Origami Paper Crane in Fukuoka, Japan
Canon DIGITAL IXUS 65 (5.8mm, f/2.8, 1/13 sec, ISO233)
Origami Paper Crane in Fukuoka, Japan
I’m usually a fairly shy guy, but being in another country I loosened up a bit and got chatting to a stunning Japanese girl. Her eyes had me so entranced, I didn’t even realise that as we were chatting, she skillfully folded this mini origami paper crane.

See more photos of origami cranes in Fukuoka and Hiroshima.

How to get to Fukuoka

Fukuoka is on the southern island of Kyushu and is easily accessible by the bullet train.

The main train station at Fukuoka city is Hakata. From Hiroshima, the trip is about ¥9,000 and takes 67 minutes on the Sakura service.

Jetstar also offers flights from Tokyo, Nagoya and Osaka.

The city of Busan in South Korea is a little over 200km away. Ferries operate between Fukuoka and Busan. The Beetle Foil Ferry is the fastest, taking around 3 hours and costing about ¥13,000.