Fukuoka Intl. Airport Spotting

Fukuoka Airport (FUK;RJFF), perviously known as Itazuke Airbase, is the fourth largest airport in Japan with almost 21 Mio. passengers in 2016. Its one of the busiest single runway airports and due to this situation very interesting for plane spotters as you won’t miss a single plane. The airport is surrounded by the city of Hakata and and expansions is almost impossible.

The airport is served by almost all Japanese carriers but dominated by ANA and JAL and their subsidiaries. It is also frequently visited by the highly “chased after” Fuji Dream Airlines, who have a different colour for every airplane in their fleet. Due to the short runway (2800m) international flights are limited to the Asian Region offered by the known airlines like Thai, Singapore, Korean, Philippine, Vietnam Airlines, Asiana, China Airlines and many more. Delta Airlines and Finnair operate flights to other continents.
As the airport is surrounded by the city its very easy to find all the amenities you need.

Written by Jan Seba & Julian Mittnacht (visited May 2017)

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Airline Variety
Photo Locations
Weather
Airport Information Runways 16/34
2.800m (9,186 ft)
 Terminals International Domestic
all intl. flights ANA, ANA Wings,JAL,  J-Air, Japan Air Commuter, JTA, Starflyer Skymark, Ibex, Jetstar, Peach, Fuji Dream, Ibex
Spotting Information Ladder Not needed.
Car Not needed, everything easy to reach by foot, taxi or public transport. Schedule can be found here. Otherwise GoogleMaps can be recommended to find out the quickest connections.
Restrooms In restaurants next to the spots.
Drinks/Food There are plenty of noudle bars, supermarkets and restaurants next to the spotting locations.
Hotels Closest hotels are next to the Hakata Station which is two stop away from the terminal station and has a good connection to most of the spots. There are also plenty of shops and restaurant so a good place to stay.
Season Generally all seasons are possible, even winter when it is dry and rather sunny. The best time would probably be March to May & Sept to Nov.
Runway Usage  16/34 Used in both directions for arrivals and departures.

Spot #1 – Oi Central Park – 16 Arrivals
WHERE This spot is next to a park which is situated north of the domestic terminal. By foot its easy to reach. You just need to cross the main road 551 on the footbridge and then just follow it for a few hundreds of meters. If arriving by car you can possibly park at the furniture store or at the baseball field, however we did not check this.
WHAT Arrivals on RWY 16 only.
TIME From sunrise late morning
MISC. The terminal facilities are pretty close where you will find everything you need.
FOCAL LENGTH XXX

We have visited this place but due to the light conditions we did not take any photos. Feel free to share you’re photos with us from this location by using our contact form.

Spot #2 – Domestic Terminal – 16 Arrivals/Departures, 34 departures
WHERE The official observation deck is on the fourth floor, landside, of the domestic terminal 2. Sadly its mainly behind glass. But you can walk up the stairs to get on an even higher level to find a small gap without disturbing glass infront of you. (see pics below) However these gaps are quite high and you need to be around 1.85m to shoot above the glass easily. If you are smaller, it might be a good idea to bring something small to stand on.

+++ Currently closed due to renovations +++

WHAT Arrivals and lineup on RWY16. Ramp action and taxiway of the domestic terminal with a short lens. Departures on 34 are theoretically possible as well, but mostly too high already. Parked aircraft may cause heat haze to your photos depending on the wind, however we have found that it is possible to take good shots for almost all movements.
TIME From sunrise till late morning.
MISC. Open from 07:00 till 20:00, free of charge. Everything you need within the terminal. More infos can be found at the airport website. 
FOCAL LENGTH Runway: A 330 = 120mm; A321 = 170mm; 735 = 250mm
Ramp: E170 = 150mm; 767 = 80mm


Spot #3 – Mound – 34 Arrivals and Lineup
WHERE This location is directly at the threshold of 34 and the line up. There is a small earth wall where you can climb up to get a better angle. You can get there from the Airports Domestic Terminal Station by taking bus 43 heading to Zasshonokuma Eigyoshoto and exit at Tsukiguma.
WHAT Best for 34 arrivals and its possible to shoot some line ups if you are on the mound but you have parts of the fence in your picture.
TIME From sunrise till late morning for approach. Line Up a bit longer.
MISC. There is nothing nearby.
FOCAL LENGTH 737 = 70mm

The sample picture is backlit and just there to show you the angle!


Spot #4 – Temple – 34 Arrivals
WHERE Just on the opposite site of the bus station is a small field where you have a clear view of the approach path. Next to the field is a small paved area, where you can stay. You can get there from the Airports Domestic Terminal Station by taking bus 43 heading to Zasshonokuma Eigyoshoto and exit at Tsukiguma. Its close to some temples.
WHAT 34 arrivals only. This spot will give a better angle for arrivals compared to #3 and can be used as an alternative.
TIME From sunrise till late morning.
MISC. There is nothing nearby.
FOCAL LENGTH XXX

We have visited this place but due to the light conditions we did not take any photos. Feel free to share you’re photos with us from this location by using our contact form.

Spot #5 – Crash Gate – 34 Line Up
WHERE You are standing directly under the approach path at a crash gate next to road 24. If the sun is starting to be on the runway its a nice break while you are moving over from spot 3/4 to spot 6. You can shot trough the gate (see pic below)
WHAT Only for the line up on 34.
TIME Almost the whole day. But due to the heat haze recommend during winter only.
MISC. There is nothing nearby.
FOCAL LENGTH A320 = 150mm

Spot #6 – Shimotsukiguma Park – 34 arrivals
WHERE Next to a gas station at the end of runway 34 and the corner of the 24 and a highway is this photo location in a park. You can walk there from spot #3/4 when the sun has turned around, otherwise the distance form the international terminal is approximate 30 minutes by foot. From Higashi Hie Subway Station take bus 41 to Itazuke. The park is a huge place for families and aviation enthusiasts and you can take any place you like for spotting. We have found the marked place to yield the best angle and background, but you can also go closer if you prefer.
WHAT Directly at the gas station only 34 arrivals are possible.
TIME Arrivals from afternoon till sunset.
MISC. There are some restaurants next to the bus stop, also there are vending machines directly next to the Gas Station here.
FOCAL LENGTH A320 = 180mm; 77W = 110mm


 

Spot #7 – Foot Bridge – 34 Arrivals and Lineup
WHERE See description for spot #6. There is a footbridge that covers the main roads. Just get up to get a nice view over the airport perimeter fence.
WHAT Line-Up from the both terminals and arrivals on RWY34. The lineups from the international terminals will use the western taxiway and the domestic carriers will come from the east.
TIME Arrivals from afternoon till sunset. Same for the line up on 34, which will be best in winter due to the heat haze, but is also possible in other months in the afternoon and if there is a stronger wind.
MISC. There are some restaurants next to the bus stop, also there are vending machines directly next to the Gas Station on the other side of the road.
FOCAL LENGTH Lineup: A320 = 240mm; E170 = 250mm
Arrival: Dash = 220mm; A321 = 170mm


Spot #8 – Observation Deck Intl. Terminal
WHERE Follow the signs inside the terminal to the observation deck. You have to get to the highest level inside the building. There are no security checks to get inside.
WHAT Only recommend for taxiway and ramp action at the international terminal. The runway is a little bit too far and you will be faced with the planes exhaust. Also the observation deck is fully glassed.
TIME Depends on motive but best from afternoon till sunset.
MISC. Open from 07:00 till 20:00, free of charge. Everything you need within the terminal.
FOCAL LENGTH XXX

We have visited this place but due to the light conditions we did not take any photos. Feel free to share you’re photos with us from this location by using our contact form.

Spot #9 – Warehouse – 16 Arrivals
WHERE It is on the opposite side of #1. To get there from the domestic terminal just walk along the perimeter next to the 551 until you are on the other site. By public transport there are plenty of bus lines running from the Hakata Subway Station to Yutaka 2-chome bus station.
You can park your car on a lay by area next to the spot, but there are usually already many locals parking here.
WHAT Arrivals on RWY16 only.
TIME From afternoon till sunset.
MISC. Take the stuff from the terminal with you. You will find some stores in the industrial area west of the spot.
FOCAL LENGTH A320 = 170mm; Dash8 = 280mm


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2 thoughts on “Fukuoka Intl. Airport Spotting

  1. KANTA NAKANISHI

    Dear,editors.

    The observation deck at domestic terminal of Fukuoka airport (FUK/RJFF) is being under renovated,so we cannot take photos at this deck!

    1. Jan Post author

      Hi Kanta,

      thank you for the information, we have updated this in the guide. It would be great if you could update again once the renovations are completed.

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