Yukuhashi Cherry Blossoms
One of the most unknown and overlooked cherry blossom spots in Fukuoka is along the Imagawa River in Yukuhashi city. Full disclosure: I lived right next to it for five years. I don't think I'm being biased however, and I've had friends travel out from all over the prefecture to have picnics here.
Yukuhashi is about a 30 minute train ride south from Kokura, the city near the top of Kyushu island. It's a small seaside city looking east and has around 70,000 people.
The main river, the Imagawa, is about a 10-15 minute walk from Yukuhashi station. It's a relatively wide river and usually calm. Lining both sides are cherry blossom trees and under them, space to sit down. A lot of locals have bbq's and picnics here while the flowers are out, yet it doesn't get packed like the more well known "hanami" cherry blossom locations in Fukuoka. I turned some of the photos that I've taken here into cherry blossom wallpapers for phones, you can find them here.
If you didn't get your fill picnicking under these trees, there are some good food spots that I'd recommend:
My personal favorite ramen shop in Yukuhashi and one of my favorites in Fukuoka. It features the typical tonkotsu pork broth that's found all over Kyushu, and is perfectly balanced. Try their "Akamaru" which has a little bit of spiciness to it. Each bowl is full of toppings, a lot more than the average tonkotsu ramen.
A couple blocks west from Yukuhashi station is Sai, an izakaya popular for families and offices having small parties. They have a variety of Japanese and even western dishes, but check out their motsu nabe in the winter, yakiniku and lunch sets.