Morioka, Fukuoka among 52 Places to Go in N.Y. Times List

Jiji Press file photo
Yatai street food vendors in Fukuoka in October 2021

NEW YORK (Jiji Press) — The Japanese cities of Morioka and Fukuoka have made The New York Times’ 2023 list of 52 places to go around the world.

Morioka “is often passed over or outright ignored,” while Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto are attracting many foreign tourists following Japan’s drastic relaxation of COVID-19 border control measures, according to the list released in the newspaper’s online edition Thursday.

Morioka is “a walkable gem without the crowds, just a short bullet train ride from Tokyo,” the paper said, adding that the city is full of buildings combining traditional Japanese and Western-style architectural aesthetics built during the Taisho era in the early 20th century.

The list also notes food-related attractions in the form of coffee and wanko soba, noodles in small bowls that are served one after another so customers can enjoy eating the noodles quickly.

Fukuoka “is one of the few remaining places in Japan where you will see rows of yatai street food vendors, the paper said, noting traditional ones offering ramen noodles and yakitori chicken skewers, as well as new types selling wine and coffee.

Visitors can savor “an endangered street-food tradition on the often overlooked island of Kyushu,” where the city is located, the paper said.