Nestled in a natural harbor on the northern side of Kyishu, Fukuoka is Japan’s sixth largest city. Its nickname is “The Retail City”, due to its comprehensive shopping facilities at the Canal City Hakata, where rounded, colorful buildings jostle for space beside the canal that runs through the complex. However, there is far more to see and do here than just buy things. The city is also home to the Fukuoka Art Museum, which contains a notable collection of Asian art as well as European works by Rothko and Dali, among others. After joining InterNations, you can use the forums on our platform to find like-minded expatriates for socializing, or to organize a visit to see the local baseball team, the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks play, or if you prefer soccer, to cheer on Avispa Fukuoka.
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Moving to Fukuoka is an exciting opportunity to experience a new culture, but a global move can seem daunting, too. Fortunately, InterNations is here for you with a wealth of experience offered by other expats who have gone through the same things. Our Expat Magazine is additionally full of helpful advice on expatriation in general, and the forums are a great place to find other expats who have lived in Fukuoka or to get advice about making an international move. Fukuoka is well served by its airport so expatriates moving to Fukuoka should not have any problems getting there. Flights generally come in to Hong Kong or Tokyo first, with a connecting flight to Fukuoka. Getting around is best done by bus or subway, as rush hour traffic can be very heavy, and most expats living in Fukuoka will use public transport. When looking for an apartment, room sizes are expressed in the number of tatami mats it takes to cover, with one mat covering roughly 71 x 35 inches.
The ancient port of Hakata made Fukuoka an important transportation hub, which has now been joined by Fukuoka Airport and the railway, both large employers in the area. These days, there is a focus on high tech service industries, with giant department store Iwataya and Kyushu Electric Power both headquartered here. Fukuoka has quite a large expatriate community so there are many opportunities to network and socialize. Free monthly consultations with professional advisors (Gyoseishoshi lawyers) are on offer to help expats working in Fukuoka. These sessions are held every second Sunday afternoon of the month at the Rainbow Plaza Meeting Room. No appointments are necessary for consultations in English, Japanese or Chinese. If you receive an income in Fukuoka, you will be required to join the National Pension Scheme unless you are 60 or over, although some contributions can be reclaimed on leaving the country if you have not made a claim. Income and regional taxes are also payable.