The Momochi area features a number of tourist destinations including Momochi Beach, Fukuoka Tower, the baseball stadium, and Hawks Town. When touring around the area be sure to visit the Fukuoka Art Museum located in nearby Ohori Park, which exhibits art from world renowned artists Marc Chagall, Joan Miro, Andy Warhol and Dali plus works from Kyushu-born artists such as Shigeru Aoki.
Fukuoka City Museum stands with its simple yet elegant arched structure and massive windows. A rainy day is often the best time to lose oneself in a museum. I visited Fukuoka during tsuyu (rainy season) and I found myself with a number of drenched days with ample time to visit this museum and the Fukuoka Art Museum.
Walking to Fukuoka City Museum is an easy stroll from Nishijin Station along Sazae-san Dori, just follow the smiling cartoon signs. The green open spaces welcome guests. There are a number of benches, which would make pleasant reading spots on warm days.
Fukuoka City Museum also features rotating exhibits focusing on a number of cultural topics. During my visit the museum was displaying the most comprehensive Incan Empire exhibit to ever come to Japan. With a 3D theater presentation and five mummies, this exhibit is sure to fascinate. The exhibit runs for about three months until September first of this year and tickets are just 1,000 yen for adults and 600 yen for students.
Also within the museum are a variety of leisure and reading rooms plus a café. Designed to be more than just a museum, this domed gallery serves as a public space to relax and reflect peacefully.
The prized possession of the City Museum is the King of Na gold seal, the national treasure of Fukuoka City. It was unearthed in Hakata Bay in 1784 and this small seal (a mere 108 grams, 2.236 centimeters in height) was discovered to be conferred on a diplomatic official from Japan by Chinese Emperor Gwang Wu during the latter half of the Han dynasty. The inscription reads: Kan no Wa no Na no Kokuo, meaning King of the Na state of the Wa vassal of the Han Dynasty.
Unfortunately, I did not get to view the 95% pure gold seal during my visit to the museum as it was undergoing restoration. Perhaps during a return visit to Fukuoka I will have a chance to view this national treasure.
The Fukuoka City Musuem offers visitors a leisurely experience with many works to behold. By the time of your visit, the gold seal will look as good as new.