Fukuoka is the capital city of Fukuoka Prefecture and is situated on the northern shore of the island of Kyushu in Japan.
Ranked as the 12th of the world's most livable cities in the magazine Monocle in 2012, Fukuoka was praised for its green spaces in a metropolitan setting. It is the most populous city in Kyushu, followed by Kitakyushu. It is the largest city and metropolitan area west of Keihanshin. The city was designated on April 1, 1972 by government ordinance. Greater Fukuoka, with 2.5 million people (2005 census), is part of the heavily industrialized Fukuoka-Kitakyushu zone as well as Northern Kyushu.
As of June 2011, Fukuoka is Japan's 7th largest city, having passed the population of Kyoto. This marks the first time that a city west of the Kinki region has a larger population than Kyoto since the founding of Kyoto in the 7th century. However, in ancient times, the area near Fukuoka was thought to be perhaps even more influential than the Yamato region