If you’re seeking an experience of Japan that’s a little more off the beaten path, consider taking a day trip to the small satellite city of Itoshima, 45 minutes west by car or train from Fukuoka. There you’ll find artisanal craftwork, local food and some of the freshest produce and seafood around.
The easiest way to explore Itoshima is by car, but you can also rent bikes at the Itoshima Tourist Association and board the local “Hamabo Go” bus service to get around. Head to Itoaguri to discover a delightful souvenir shop stocking local products, a café and restaurant all housed inside a traditional Edo period building. There’s also Mataichi Salt, a salt maker on the western tip of the Itoshima Peninsula with an impressive wooden salt factory. They also make delicious custard puddings and they run the Itaru restaurant farther inland, serving an array of Japanese dishes made with the freshest local vegetables and ingredients. For accessories, look to Tabi no Kiseki for their selection of beautifully handcrafted glass pendants and earpieces.