Fukuoka is the capital of Fukuoka prefecture and the largest city on the island of Kyushu with 2.5 million citizens including its suburbs.
Historically, Fukuoka was two cities divided by the central river: the merchant town of Hakata and the samurai feudal domain of Fukuoka. According to legend, when the cities merged in 1889, a group of samurai heard that "Hakata" was probably going to win the vote for the name of the merged city, so they crashed the meeting and forced them to name it Fukuoka instead.
Fukuoka is a good starting point for first-time visitors to Japan. As a historic port city, Fukuoka is more welcoming of foreigners than other parts of Japan, and has significant numbers of residents and tourists from abroad, particularly from China and Korea. Being a sizable, modern city it's still not hard to get around.