Kitakyushu (北九州, Kitakyūshū, lit. “North Kyushu”) is the northernmost city of Kyushu and has been an important hub for both land and marine traffic since olden times. It is the gateway between Honshu and Kyushu, as well as an important port for international trade. The city was formed in 1963 with the merger of five independent cities, namely, Kokura, Moji, Yahata, Tobata and Wakamatsu. It is very much an industrial city, contributing to the manufacturing capabilities of Japan.
During the Meiji Period (1868-1912), the government recognized the geographical advantages of the Kitakyushu area, and had port facilities and railroad infrastructure rapidly built here, leading to further development of commerce and industry. Thanks to the preservation of multiple old buildings from that era, a certain flair of past decades can still be experienced around Moji Port.