Fukuoka (福岡市 Fukuoka-shi, Japanese: [ɸɯ̥kɯꜜoka]) is the capital city of Fukuoka Prefecture, situated on the northern shore of Japanese island Kyushu. It is the most populous city on the island, followed by Kitakyushu. It is the largest city and metropolitan area west of Keihanshin. The city was designated on April 1, 1972, by government ordinance. Greater Fukuoka, with a population of 2.5 million people (2005 census), is part of the heavily industrialized Fukuoka–Kitakyushu zone.
As of 2015, Fukuoka is Japan’s sixth largest city, having passed the population of Kobe. As of July 2011, Fukuoka passed the population of Kyoto. Since the founding of Kyoto in 794, this marks the first time that a city west of the Kinki region has a larger population than Kyoto. In ancient times, however, the area near Fukuoka, the Chikushi region, was thought by some historians to have possibly been even more influential than the Yamato region.
Fukuoka was sometimes called the Port of Dazaifu (大宰府, 15 km (9 mi) southeast from Fukuoka). Dazaifu was an administrative capital in 663 A.D., but a historian proposed that a prehistoric capital was in the area. Ancient texts, such as the Kojiki, Kanyen (found in Dazaifu) and archaeology confirm this was a very critical place in the founding of Japan. Some scholars claim that it was the first place outsiders and the Imperial Family set foot, but like many early Japan origin theories, it remains contested. Central Fukuoka is sometimes still referred as Hakata which is the name of the central ward.
In 923, the Hakozaki-gū in Fukuoka was transferred from Daibu-gū in Daibu (大分, 16 km (10 mi) northeast from Dazaifu) the origin of Usa Shrine and established as a branch of the Usa Shrine at Fukuoka. In Ooho (大保, 15 km (9 mi) south from Dazaifu), there are remains of a big ward office with a temple, because in ancient East Asia, an emperor must have three great ministries (大宰, 大傳 and 大保). In fact, there is a record in Chinese literature that a king of Japan sent a letter in 478 to ask the Chinese emperor's approval for employing three ministries. In addition, remains of the Korokan (鴻臚館, Government Guest House) were found in Fukuoka underneath a part of the ruins of Fukuoka Castle.
Fukuoka has a humid subtropical climate (Köppen: Cfa), hot humid summers, and relatively mild winters. The city also sees on average about 1,600 mm (63 in) of precipitation per year, with a stretch of more intense precipitation between the months of June and September. Along with much of the prefecture, Fukuoka City has a moderate climate with an annual average temperature of 16.3 °C (61 °F), average humidity of 70% and 1,811 annual daylight hours. Roughly 40% of the year is cloudy.
Winter temperatures rarely drop below 0 °C (32 °F) and it rarely snows, though light rain does fall on most days if not as consistently as on the Sea of Japan side of Honshu. Spring is warm and sunnier, with cherry blossoms appearing in late March or early April. The rainy season (tsuyu) lasts for approximately six weeks through June and July, during which time the humidity is very high and temperatures hover between 25 °C (77 °F) and 30 °C (86 °F). Summers are humid and hot, with temperatures peaking around 37 °C (99 °F). Autumn, often considered to be Fukuoka's best season, is mild and dry, though the typhoon season runs between August and September.
Fukuoka is the economic center of the Kyushu region, with an economy largely focused on the service sector. Fukuoka city is also the largest startup city in Japan, and is the only economic zone for startup. They have various services for startups like startup visa, tax reduction, and free business consultations for startups. Fukuoka city has the number one opening business rate in Japan. Large companies headquartered in the city include Iwataya and Kyushu Electric Power. Fukuoka is also the home of many small firms playing a supportive role in the logistics, IT, and high-tech manufacturing sectors. Most of the region's heavy manufacturing takes place in the nearby city of Kitakyushu. The GDP in Greater Fukuoka, Fukuoka Metropolitan Employment Area, was US$101.6 billion in 2010.
Several regional broadcasters are based in the city, including Fukuoka Broadcasting Corporation, Kyushu Asahi Broadcasting, Love FM, RKB Mainichi Broadcasting, and Television Nishinippon Corporation.
The port of Hakata and Fukuoka Airport also make the city a key regional transportation hub. Fukuoka houses the headquarters of Kyushu Railway Company (JR Kyushu) and Nishi-Nippon Railroad. Air Next, a subsidiary of All Nippon Airways, is headquartered in Hakata-ku; prior to its dissolution, Harlequin Air was also headquartered in Hakata-ku.
Fukuoka has its own stock exchange, founded in 1949. It is one of six in Japan.
Kyushu (九州 Kyūshū, literally "Nine Provinces"; Japanese: [kʲɯːꜜɕɯː]) is the third largest island of Japan and most southwesterly of its four main islands. Its alternative ancient names include Kyūkoku (九国, "Nine States"), Chinzei (鎮西, "West of the Pacified Area"), and Tsukushi-no-shima (筑紫島, "Island of Tsukushi"). The historical regional name Saikaidō (西海道, lit. West Sea Circuit) referred to Kyushu and its surrounding islands.
In the 8th century Taihō Code reforms, Dazaifu was established as a special administrative term for the region.
As of 2016, Kyushu has a population of 12,970,479 and covers 36,782 square kilometres (14,202 sq mi).
Parts of Kyushu have a subtropical climate, particularly Miyazaki prefecture and Kagoshima prefecture. Major agricultural products are rice, tea, tobacco, sweet potatoes, and soy; silk is also widely produced. The island is noted for various types of porcelain, including Arita, Imari, Satsuma, and Karatsu. Heavy industry is concentrated in the north around Fukuoka, Kitakyushu, Nagasaki, and Oita and includes chemicals, automobiles, semiconductors, and metal processing.
In 2010, the graduate employment rate in the region was the lowest nationwide, at 88.9%.
Besides the volcanic area of the south, there are significant mud hot springs in the northern part of the island, around Beppu. These springs are the site of occurrence of certain extremophile micro-organisms, that are capable of surviving in extremely hot environments.
Fukuoka | Japan