HOME > Living In Fukuoka > Introduction to Fukuoka City > Geography and History

1. Geography and History

Geography and Climate

Fukuoka City is located in the heart of the Fukuoka Plain in the northern part of Kyushu, bordered on three sides by mountains and opening into the Sea of Genkai to the north. The climate is comparatively mild, similar to the southern coastal areas of the United States or central/southern Europe; the average annual temperature is about 17˚C, and the annual precipitation is around 1,600mm. Fukuoka has four distinct seasons. Spring is often sunny and warm. Approximately 1/3 of the total precipitation falls during June and July, and this rainy season is called "tsuyu". It is then followed by a hot and humid summer lasting until the end of September, during which the hottest temperatures may reach up to 30˚C even at night. Fall has a very congenial climate, but is often accompanied by typhoons. Winter is often cloudy, and cold season winds blow from the northwest. It is rare for temperatures to fall below zero, but a few centimeters of snow cover can be expected.

Weather forecast on the radio in foreign languages:Love FM (76.1MHz)
Weather information/inquiries:Fukuoka District Meteorological Observatory 092-725-3600
http://www.jma-net.go.jp/fukuoka/


History

With geographical proximity to the Korean Peninsula and the Asian continent, Fukuoka City boasts a more than 2000-year history of international exchange as a trading port. From the 7th to 11th centuries, the merchant town of "Hakata" notably prospered due to its essential role as the center of economic and cultural exchange between Japan and the Asian continent. This prosperity continued until after 1601, when the construction of Fukuoka Castle by the feudal lord Kuroda led to the birth of a new castle town called "Fukuoka". Throughout the Edo Period, Fukuoka, which was the western part, and Hakata, which was the eastern part, were developed independently under different names and personalities. However, after entering the Meiji Period, when the city was given status as a municipality in 1889, Fukuoka was chosen as the name of the city after it won by a single vote. Despite this, the name Hakata is still used for the JR and subway stations, and is the name of the port. In addition, the name lives on as a representative name of local crafts and products such as Hakata-ori (Hakata fabric) and Hakata-ningyo (Hakata dolls). Fukuoka first came to be known as the political, economic, and cultural center of Kyushu in the 1930's, and it recovered miraculously from the extensive damages incurred during the Second World War. Today, it is home to various international organizations, governmental organizations, and private enterprises, and is expected to continue developing as the central city of Kyushu.


Origin of the City Emblem

The katakana character "fu" is repeated nine times to represent "fuku." Since the number nine can be read as "ku" in Japanese, this forms "fuku."


Sister/Friendship Cities

Sister Cities: Oakland (USA), Bordeaux (France), Auckland (New Zealand), Ipoh (Malaysia), Busan (Korea), Atlanta (USA)
Friendship City: Guangzhou (China)