Translated by Lester Somera
10 Popular Fukuoka Souvenirs You Can Get At The Airport!
Fukuoka is one of the most exciting travel destinations in Kyushu. Check out our selection of recommended souvenirs specific to Fukuoka, which are great to take home to your dear ones and also as a reminder of your trip!
Written by MATCHA
If you’re planning to bring home souvenirs from Fukuoka (Hakata), mentaiko (seasoned cod roe) is definitely the most popular local specialty. However, it needs to be refrigerated, so you might be worrying a bit about its freshness after a long flight. This article takes a look at the best souvenirs for international tourists, mainly from Fukuoka, which are easy to purchase and easy to take home.
We’ll check out snacks featuring mentaiko, Hakata’s long-famous confectioneries, and more. If you’re having trouble choosing souvenirs, refer to this article and you can’t go wrong!
Top 10 Fukuoka Souvenirs
1. Mentaiko-Flavored Snacks
Mentaiko is a staple souvenir from Fukuoka. While it’s delicious in and of itself, mentaiko is also a popular snack flavor, and you can find many mentaiko-flavored local snacks in Fukuoka.
Snacks like Jagariko, Pretz, and the popular beer companion Kaki no Tane (spicy rice crackers), all have mentaiko versions that are exclusive to the Kyushu region. You can buy them at stations in Kyushu and at airport souvenir shops, as well as at tourist spots and convenience stores. A box of eight Mentaiko Jagariko packets is 864 yen, and a box of five Kyushu-Exclusive Mentaiko Kameda Kaki no Tane is 432 yen.
Menbei, a mentaiko-flavored senbei, is a type of cracker made by the well-known mentaiko manufacturer Fukutaro, and it is said to be the most popular souvenir from Hakata. Menbei has even been featured on TV programs.
The piquant heat from each cracker, bursting with the taste of mentaiko, almost demands that you take another one. Some other flavors include plain, mayonnaise, and spicy habanero. You can find menbei at the Fukutaro locations in Daimaru Tenjin and Iwataya, as well as in the souvenir shops at Hakata Station or Kyushu’s regional airports. A box of 16 is 1,000 yen.
3. Mentaiko Mayonnaise
Mentaiko mayonnaise from several manufacturers is another popular souvenir item with many uses. It works great on salad, as a spread for toast, tossed with pasta to make mentaiko spaghetti, and can be used in many other dishes. No matter the brand, you can’t go wrong with mentaiko mayonnaise. You can find it at souvenir shops in Fukuoka Airport and Hakata Station, among other places. A bottle can cost up to 500 yen.
4. Hakata Nakanaka
For mentaiko lovers, we recommend Nakashima Shoten’s Hakata Nakanaka. Nakashima Shoten uses proprietary techniques to create dried mentaiko, and you can enjoy the concentrated mentaiko deliciousness.
Naturally, Hakata Nakanaka is good as a beer snack, and can also be used as a topping for ochazuke, pasta or salad, among many other uses. You can find it at Daimaru Fukuoka Tenjin or at souvenir shops in Fukuoka Airport and Hakata Station, among other places. A 20 g pack of Hakata Nakanaka Dry is 565 yen.
5. Hakata Torimon
Meigetsudo’s Hakata Torimon is a richly flavored Western-style snack, made of a thin dough wrapped around white bean paste. “Torimon” refers to paradegoers during the Hakata Dontaku Festival. These torimon wear costumes and play shamisens, flutes and taiko drums as they march around Fukuoka. Thanks to this association, Hakata Torimon has become a souvenir item that symbolizes Hakata. You can buy Hakata Torimon at Meigetsudo locations in Hakata Station or Fukuoka Airport, as well as the Iwataya, Daimaru Fukuoka Tenjin, Fukuoka Mitsukoshi, and Hakata Hankyu department stores. A box of eight is 981 yen.
6. Meika Hiyoko
While Japanese people often mistake Meika Hiyoko for a Tokyo product, it is actually from Fukuoka. Apparently, this confusion stems from when the third-generation owner of the shop Yoshinodo opened a Tokyo branch, and it gained popularity as a souvenir from Tokyo. Thanks to the sweet’s cute appearance and light flavor, with a thin dough shell wrapped around a mixture of egg yolk and bean paste, the Hiyoko from Yoshinodo is now one of Fukuoka’s staple souvenirs.
It has a shorter shelf life than other souvenirs, and should be eaten within 15 days of purchase, so think about your schedule when you purchase it. You can buy it at stores in Fukuoka Airport, Kitakyushu Airport, Hakata Station and Kokura Station, as well as at department stores like Mitsukoshi and Iwataya. A box of seven is 864 yen.
7. Niwaka Senpei
Hakata Niwaka is a beloved traditional performing art in Hakata, and Toundo’s Niwaka Senpei crackers are modeled after the half-masks used by the performers. They are not senbei, but senpei, which are made with egg and wheat flour. They have a characteristic crunchy texture.
They are available in small, medium and extra-large sizes, and the extra-large crackers have an extraordinary impact! They’ll definitely be a topic of conversation if you give them out to your friends. You can buy them at Hakata Station and Kokura Station, as well as department stores like Daimaru and Iwataya. A pack of four extra-large senpei is 648 yen.
8. Tsukushi Mochi
Josuian’s Tsukushi mochi take their inspiration from kinako mochi, mochi covered with kinako flour made from ground roasted soybeans. Made of soft mochi sprinkled with kinako flour and eaten with brown sugar syrup, they are an elegant treat. You can find them at company stores in Hakata Station and around Fukuoka Prefecture, as well as in souvenir stores at the airport. A pack of six is 720 yen.
Uma-kacchan is an instant ramen staple for Fukuoka residents. There are several varieties, including the Hakata Karashi Takana flavor - which uses the flavor and heat of Hakata’s famous karashi mustard greens - as well as the Kurume Tonkotsu flavor, with a rich umami flavor. How about searching for the flavor that suits your palate?
Uma-kacchan can be found at souvenir shops in Hakata Station and Fukuoka Airport, as well as at convenience stores and supermarkets. One packet is 108 yen.
10. Najima-tei Ramen
The famous ramen from Najima-tei attracts a long line of customers outside. The taste of Najima-tei’s ramen is faithfully recreated in this soup and ramen packet, so you can skip the line and you can enjoy it in the comfort of your own home. All you have to do is boil the noodles and add hot water to the soup, then top the bowl with onions, char siu and your favorite toppings. Dig in! While Najima-tei ramen uses tonkotsu broth, it is known for having a light taste that is easy on the stomach. You can pick it up at the souvenir shops in Hakata Station and Fukuoka Airport, among other places. A pack of two is 864 yen.
How To Get To The Tenjin Area, Our Fukuoka Shopping Recommendation
As the biggest city in Kyushu, Fukuoka is a shoppers’ paradise, with plenty of shops and department stores. We recommend visiting the district of Tenjin, which has everything you could want in a shopping area: department stores, fashion outlets, big-box electronics retailers, drugstores and more. Most of the souvenirs listed above can be found on the basement floors of the department stores in Tenjin. If you want to know more about the area’s department stores, check out our Six Fukuoka Shopping Spots article.
You can access Tenjin from Tenjin Station on the subway, or from Fukuoka Station on the Nishitetsu railway. Tenjin Station is five minutes from JR Hakata Station on the municipal subway Airport Line, and up to 12 minutes from Fukuoka Airport.
You can also enjoy shopping around Hakata Station. For more information about the area, check out our JR Hakata Station article.
*Prices and store information are current as of December 2016, and was taken from the official sites of each store.