You will eventually learn to use the subway and bus on your own when you travel to Fukuoka but here are some useful places to start.
Using the subway is fairly simple, even if the only Japanese word you know is “arigatou!”. On every subway station, there is a subway map (as seen above). The station youare currently in is marked in bold red. In this case, we are in Hakata Station, Fukuoka’s main station. Look for your destination on the map. There are two amounts below the destination station name. The one above is the adult price of a subway ticket to that destination and the one below is the child rate. So, if you wish to go shopping in Tenjin you will need to pay ￥200 if you are an adult. If you need to get to a station on a different colored line, you will need to switch trains either at Tenjin or Nakasu-Kawabata, but you won’t need to pay again at those stations.
How to Buy a Ticket
Fukuoka’s subways have ticket machines at every station. Look for one that has an “English” button. Once you press this a loud announcement will say that it is now in “English mode”.
Getting a ticket is as simple as pressing the amount of your ticket (based on your destination) on the screen. Press the corresponding amount on the touch screen of the machine and put some money (coins or bills) and get your ticket. The machines can provide change. If you have a hard time figuring out the machines, know that each subway station has access to an English/Korean/Chinese translator so feel free to ask the station attendants (found next to the turnstiles) if you need any help.
How to Enter
Once you have your ticket, insert your ticket on the turnstiles marked with an arrow, and pick it up again as you go through. Do the same thing as you exit (but your consumed ticket will no longer be given back). For convenience, if you plan to use the subway a lot, getting a prepaid card (￥１０００ an up) or a Hayaken card should be considered. Also, in case you entered the wrong amount, you can always go to the “Fare Adjustment” machines found on all subway stations and add value to your ticket. *Students can get a Hayaken card for practically half the value of an ordinary ride all you can card (￥7000 for one month, cheaper for 3 months or 6 months).
Most trains have English announcements for every stop, especially on popular tourist areas and the airport. Also, if you have a hard time remembering Japanese names of stops, you can remember their symbols instead. Each station is represented by a unique symbol which you can easily remember.
For the Fukuoka Subway Schedule (or the entire Japan Subway schedule) you can click here. Type in your departure and arrival station and time you wish to arrive or leave and it will give you the most convenient time slot.
Operating Hours: 5:20am – 12:25am daily with average of 4 minute intervals. For official information click here.
Here is the Fukuoka Subway Map from Urbanrail.com