Muromi River

Fukuoka has a spaciousness like no other city in Japan. The super-wide and remarkably clean streets provide ample courses for the urban hiker, and there are plenty of greener escapes along the way, Ohori park and Nishi park perhaps the most well-known among them. But our long-time favorite is the walk along Muromi River, a course with such a wealth of nature and park area that sometimes you forget you are actually in one of Japan’s largest cities. Best of all, its riches are relatively unknown, even among Fukuoka residents.

Muromi is wide and slow moving once it travels from its source in Itoshima to its mouth at Hakata Bay. It’s these lower reaches, easily accessible from Muromi Station, that you’ll find some of the best the river has to offer. In the Spring months, when the tide is low, families with children hunt for shellfish at the mouth. When the tide is higher, it’s certainly possible to launch a kayak and travel upstream. Nearby, Atago shrine rises up majestically, offering some of the best views of the city and the river.

Less than a kilometer upstream, the riverside pathways and parks begin. They are wide and well-groomed, providing ample space for walkers, joggers or those who just want to sit and relax. Cherry trees line parts of the banks and are quite beautiful this time of year. In the warmer months, picnics and barbecues are a common sight. In all, the park area stretches nearly 5km!

Wildlife is abundant all along the river. Over one hundred species of birds frequent Muromi, including some rather unusual varieties. From February to April, fishermen catch Shirauo, a white-fish that travels upstream from the bay, and is a specialty of Fukuoka. The middle stretches of the river where buildings give way to terraced farm plots attract fireflies in the summer. The far upper reaches, some fifteen kilometers upstream, are characterized by rapids and little development. But the point of Muromi is that you can have development all around you, and yet the river’s soothing environs to make you forget it all.





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