Since 1889, the old port of Hakata has been part of Fukuoka city, the major commercial center of Northern Kyushu. This region is perhaps the oldest settled area in Japan, and for centuries Hakata served as Japan's cultural and commercial gateway with China and Korean. The twin cities played another major role in Japanese history - it was here that Kublai Khan launched his two invasions of Japan in the 13th century. Two anchor stones from the great Mongol fleet destroyed by the famous typhoon or Kamikaze are still on display at Hakata's 8th century Kushida Shrine. Beyond the hustle and bustle of today's modern metropolis, visitor will still discover and enjoy the serenity of ancient shrines, superb formal gardens, and a duo of fascinating museums.
When Hakata and Fukuoka merged in 1889, the combined metropolis was to be named Hakata. Until a group of disaffected samurai from Fukuoka - an important castle town in feudal times - intervened to ensure the new city's name honored their old home.