Fukuoka is a Japanese city in north-west Kyushu on Hakata Bay and the old port of Hakata has been part of Fukuoka since 1889. The city is divided by the Naka River into Fukuoka on the west bank, an old castle town of a family of feudal barons dating back to 160 and Hakata on the east bank, the main commercial area. The city rose to importance in the 7th century as the gateway to Chinese and Korean culture resulting in an attractive foreign Asian flavour. The twin cities played another major role in Japanese history - it was here that Kublai Khan launched his two invasions of Japan in the 13th century. Two anchor stones from the great Mongol fleet destroyed by the famous typhoon or Kamikaze are still on display at Hakata's 8th century Kushida Shrine. Beyond the hustle and bustle of today's modern city, visitors will still discover and enjoy the serenity of ancient shrines, superb formal gardens, and a fascinating museums.
Visit the Fukuoka Tower, Hawks Town resort, Saibu Gas Museum, City Museum and the Hakata Machiya Folklore Musem. Other attractions include the temple of Shofuku-ji, the Kushida and Sumitoshi shrines and Nagoya Castle. Along parts of Hakata Bay are the remains of a defensive wall, 3 m (10 ft) high, built in the 13th century to protect the city from invading Mongol armies. In nearby Dazaifu is the shrine of Dazaifu Tenman-gu, Komyo Zen-ji temple and the Kyushu History Museum.
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