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You are in: Fukuoka: Getting Around: (How To:) Subway

(How To:) Subway
Type: How To: Guides | Subway

Detailed basic guide to using the Fukuoka subway system, including Fukuoka subway map.


Level of difficulty: All signs, announcements and ticket machines are in English and Japanese, so using the subway is easily within the capacities of most travellers.

Fukuoka's subway (underground railway) system is fast, clean, safe and effective. If you can learn the route from your subway station back to your accommodation you need have little fear of getting lost as all railway lines intersect with the subway system at some point.

Click map for printable version, then select "print" from your browser toolbar. 

Change at:
Tenjin for stations south to Omuta on the Nishitetsu Omuta Line.
Transport network 

Meinohama for station west to Karatsu on the JR Chikuhi line.

Kaizuka for trains east to Wajiro.

Hakata for the Shinkansen, trains to southern Kyushu on the JR Kagoshima line and trains on the JR Kashii and JR Sasaguri line.

Finding subway stations.
The S sign indicates a subway station. 
Stations have multiple entrance/exits - often a considerable distance apart. Check the number of the exit you leave from. "Subway" is "chikatetsu" in Japanese.

All signs and spoken announcements are in English and Japanese. Most trains contain a bilingual map and will tell you in English what the next station will be. Tickets are currently (22/10/2000) either 200 or 250yen, depending on how far you will travel. You can also buy tickets for the Chikushi line to Karatsu, which is what the subway line becomes after Meinohama.

Things to look out for.
The "Kaizuka" line branches off at Nakasu-Kawabata. If you board west of Nakasu Kawabata (The Tenjin side) determine before boarding whether the train will run on the Kuko ("Airport") line after Nakasu or on the Kaizuka line. There will be an announcement in English while the train is in Nakasu Kawabata station to tell you which line it will continue on. You can change at Nakasu Kawabata is necessary - the other platform is either up or down a flight of stairs.

No smoking is permitted on subway trains or in stations. There are free, clean toilets behind the ticket barriers.

Timetable information is available in the centre of the platform or from small leaflets near the ticket machines.

Purchasing tickets.
Buy your tickets at the orange ticket machines located inside each subway station near the ticket gates.
Subway ticket machine. Note button marked "English". 

1) Determine from the bilingual map above the machine how much your fare will be.

2) Put your money into the ticket machine. (You can use most Japanese coins and 1000 yen notes. Change is given automatically.)

3) As you enter your money, buttons will light up indicating the tickets you can purchase with the money entered. Hit the appropriate button when you have entered sufficient money.

4) Take your ticket and any change. The ticket gates have little signs to indicate whether they are for entry or exit. Put your ticket into the slot in an entry ticket gate, move through the machine and pick it up at the other side.

Go to the appropriate platform (check the signs) and wait for your train.

At your destination, enter your ticket into the exit gate. It will not be returned to you.

If your ticket is rejected at an exit, first check that you have paid the correct fare. If you have, go to the ticket window and show them your ticket. If not, look for a machine inside the ticket gate that will allow you to pay the additional fare. Enter your ticket, pay the excess and pick up the ticket the machine disgorges. Use that to leave the station.

If you are really stuck, look pathetic. You may well be offered help. (It always works for us.)


weekday and weekend schedules vary, but have this in common:
first subway out of Tenjin to airport: 5:44
last subway out of Tenjin to airport: 23:44

first subway out of Tenjin toward Meinohama: 5:36
last subway out of Tenjin toward Meinohama: 23:41

Tenjin <-> Hakata is 5 minutes, so for Hakata times,
add 5 for airport, subtract 5 for Meinohama

Tenjin <-> Airport 11 minutes
Hakata <-> Airport 6 minutes

On both weekends and weekdays, there are at least 11 trains per hour after

Weekdays have more trains than weekends, especially during morning commute

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First published Thu May 31, 2001
    Updated Wed Jun 06, 2001

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