Fukuoka is home to two of the largest cities in the Kyushu region of Japan, and is known to many as the gateway to Kyushu.
Fukuoka is unique in that it was the base for all contact with foreign nations during the seventh century, and was where special districts for Chinese and Korean traders to work in Japan during the eleventh century. This international flare in the area called Hakata continues to this day, through numerous distinct festivals and events, like the Hakata Gion Yamakasa Festival.
Fukuoka is also known for its cuisine, especially for Hakata ramen and Hakata yatai, or festival food shops. There are also many historical buildings and sites in the surrounding areas as well: Yanagawa, known for its former daimyo residence; Kitakyushu and its town of 100 year old buildings; Iizuka, a former coal mining area turned historically preserved town; and Kurume, a city where the recognized UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage Kurume kasuri Ikat woven textiles are still made to this day.