Fukuoka is the capital city of Fukuoka Prefecture, situated on the northern shore of the Japanese island of Kyushu. It is the most populous city on the island, 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 2015, Fukuoka is Japan’s fifth largest city, having passed the population of Kobe. As of July 2011, Fukuoka passed the population of Kyoto. Since the founding of Kyoto in 794, this marks the first time that a city west of the Kinki region has a larger population than Kyoto. In ancient times, however, the area near Fukuoka, the Chikushi region, was thought by some historians to have possibly been even more influential than the Yamato region.