Fukuoka Walks is a company walking offering tours in the city and the prefecture of Fukuoka, as well as cultural activities such as wearing kimono or cooking classes. Everything is orchestrated by English-speaking guides.
It's been a while since I follow this agency on Facebook. They are always posting pictures of their clients with their nationality and I found that very friendly. Obviously there is almost no French national, I saw a picture maybe one or two times only. I thought it was a good opportunity to try a tour and why not introduce it here!
Fukuoka Walks offers a selection of tours but I didn't want to spend too much money so I checked the Fukuoka city ones. As now there is two tours : a Hakata walking tour and a Maizuru parl / Fukuoka castle ruins walking tour.
Having already visit Hakata with another agency and asMaizuru park is one of my favorite places in Fukuoka, I obviously chose the second one and completed the registration form, specifying that I that I am living in Fukuoka, and my registration goal was solely in order to see if I could present them here. Of course, I paid like any client.
Shortly after sending the registration form, I received a very detailed email in English with schedules and appointments point which is very easy to find through the map, the Google maps link nd the picture joint.
I arrived at the meeting point a little before the appointed time and I met my guide, who brandished his Fukuoka Walks panel. As stated in the confirmation email , I was the only participant this day so I enjoyed a private guided tour. In fact the visit of Fukuoka castle tour is much less popular than the Hakata one. Almost immediately after I booked, I received a phone call from the CEO asking if I would not rather go around Hakata but I maintained my choice. The guide tells me later that most people don't spend more than a day in Fukuoka and therefore choose the city center Hakata which is quite logical .
We started by taking the subway to the main entrance of Maizuru Park before walking around it and visit its various small museums and archaeological sites. Although I know the park like my home as I go every weekend or so, I ddidn't know much about the history of the ancient fortress. I learned a lot about the past of Fukuoka, the castle and its various levels, the families that lived there... I will not go into details in case people want to enroll but it was very interesting . I really didn't see the two hours pass. The program ended in a cafe where I could enjoy a beautiful chestnut zenzai with a good tea (included inthe tour price) while completing a small survey .
If I was quite anxious at first, beoing a little bit afraid if it would be as boring as my previous experience, the guide knew immediately how to put me at ease. As I have the chance to speak Japanese more or less commonly, the tour was conducted in that language, but I had a glimpse of the guide's English and it was really good, no need to be anxious on that point. The explanations were fun and interesting, I immediately felt the experience of this charming old man. In the evening , I received a thank you email with my photo. I found it delightfully polite .
I think you understood but I really recommend Fukuoka Walks tours. If you are passing over the city, it's a good option to think about.
You can read here a blog post of a young woman who tried the kimono dressing tour.