Fukuoka-shi Travel Guide

Geography

Fukuoka is bordered on three sides by mountains and opens, on the north, to the Sea of Genkai.

It is located from Tokyo.

Climate

Fukuoka has a humid subtropical climate and it has hot humid summers and relatively mild winters. The city also sees on average about of precipitation per year, with a stretch of more intense precipitation between the months of June and September. Along with much of the prefecture, Fukuoka City has a moderate climate with an annual average temperature of, average humidity of 70% and 1,811 annual daylight hours. Roughly 40% of the year is cloudy.

Winter temperatures rarely drop below and it rarely snows, though light rain does fall on most days if not as consistently as on the Sea of Japan side of Honshu. Spring is warm and sunnier, with cherry blossoms appearing in late March or early April. The rainy season (tsuyu) lasts for approximately six weeks through June and July, during which time the humidity is very high and temperatures hover between and . Summers are humid and hot, with temperatures peaking around . Autumn, often considered to be Fukuoka's best season, is mild and dry, though the typhoon season runs between August and September.

Earthquakes

Fukuoka is not as seismically active as many other parts of Japan, but does experience occasional earthquakes. The most powerful recent earthquake registered a lower 6 of maximum 7 of the Japanese intensity scale and hit at 10:53 am local time on March 20, 2005, killing one person and injuring more than 400. The epicentre of the earthquake was in the Sea of Genkai, along a yet-undiscovered extension of the Kego fault that runs through the centre of Fukuoka. Genkai island, a part of Nishi-ku, was the most severely damaged by the earthquake and almost all island residents were forced to evacuate. Aftershocks continued intermittently throughout the following weeks as construction crews worked to rebuild damaged buildings throughout the city. Traditional Japanese houses, particularly in the areas of Daimyo and Imaizumi, were the most heavily damaged and many were marked for demolition, along with several apartment buildings. Insurance payments for damages were estimated at approximately 15.8 billion yen.

A similar quake, with an intensity of 5+, also occurred one month later on April 20, 2005.

Fukuoka's major Kego fault, runs northwest to southeast, roughly parallel to Nishitetsu's Ōmuta train line, and was previously thought to be long. It is estimated to produce earthquakes as strong as magnitude 7 at the focus approximately once every 15,000 years. If the focus were located at a depth of, this would translate to an earthquake of a lower-6 magnitude (similar to the March 20, 2005 earthquake) in downtown Fukuoka if it were the epicenter. The probability of an earthquake along the known length of the Kego fault occurring within 30 years was estimated at 0.4% prior to the March 20, 2005 earthquake, but this probability has been revised upwards since. Including the new extension out into the Genkai Sea, the Kego fault is now thought to be long.

Following reports that the city has only prepared for earthquakes up to a magnitude of 6.5, several strong aftershock renewed fears that the quakes might cause the portion of the Kego fault that lies under the city to become active again, leading to an earthquake as big as, or bigger than, the March 20 quake.

source: Wikipedia

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