The ruins of Fukuoka Castle, abandoned at the beginning of the Meiji Era in 1870, lie on a hill just to the east of Ohori Park.

If you’re after a primer to the castle and its history, stop by the Fukuoka Castle Visitor Center on the edge of Maizuru Park before venturing up the hill.

Fukuoka Castle Visitor Center
Fukuoka Castle Visitor Center | Photo by Gregory Lane

Construction of the castle began in 1600 by the powerful Kuroda clan and was completed by 1607. Despite having a central tower platform, there is argument over whether a central tower ever existed on the platform. The earliest known maps of the site from 1646 shows no tower. However, some argue that there was a tower, but it was quickly destroyed in deference to the Tokugawa Shogunate.

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Fukuoka Castle Front Entrance
Fukuoka Castle Front Entrance | Photo by Gregory Lane

Only a few gates, turrets and the stone foundations remain from the original castle. The Kinen Turret is a small building that remains on the northwest corner of the castle. It’s visible to the left as you ascend into the main part of the castle.

Kinen Turret
Kinen Turret | Photo by Gregory Lane

Continuing towards the center of the complex are the main tower foundations. Climbing to the top reveals a panoramic view of Fukuoka.

Photo by Gregory Lane

The largest single building is the Tamon Turret, a long building on the southwest corner of the complex that served a defensive purpose.

Tamon Turret
Tamon Turret | Photo by Gregory Lane

Slightly outside the castle grounds, to the north and to the northwest respectively stand two gates—the Shimohashi Omotemon gate and the Najima Mon gate.

Shimonohashi Omotemon gate
Shimonohashi Omotemon gate | Photo by Mukai used under CC
Najima Mon
Najima Mon | Photo by Gregory Lane

Overall, you should allow about 90 minutes to 2 hours to explore the whole site. Note that the castle grounds are not accessible, so they aren’t recommended for anyone with mobility issues. There are a few entrances to the castle. Entry is free.

Check out our things to do in Fukuoka guide.