Although most major Japanese cities are near the ocean, Fukuoka is unique in that there are many scenic, pleasant beaches both within and just outside of the city limits despite the city’s large size. All beaches listed below can be reached using public transportation, and some even have campground facilities nearby.
As in most parts of the Japan, beach swimming can be enjoyed in Fukuoka from the end of the rainy season (usually early or mid-July) to mid- to late-August, when the jellyfish start to appear. Beach lounging, on the other hand, is usually possible from early June (on clear days) to the end of September. The more popular beaches have shops selling food and drinks right on the beach, parasol rentals, bathroom and shower facilities, and more, although these are usually available only during the peak swimming season.
- Keya Beach
- Seaside Momochi Beach Park
- Marinatown Beach Park
- Iki-no-matsubara Beach
- Nokonoshima Campground and Beach
- Obaru Beach
- Fukae Beach
- Mitoma Beach
Keya Beach (芥屋海水浴場)
Located on Itoshima, this is one of the most popular beaches in Fukuoka Prefecture, and for good reason. The beautiful blue waters of this sandy, tucked-away cove will make for a visit you won’t soon forget. There are plenty of beachfront facilities, and camping is available just steps away from the shore.
- Access: Take the Kuko Subway Line, which will continue on as the JR Chikuhi Line from Meinohama Station in many cases (if not, simply change trains at Meinohama). From Chikuzen-Maebaru Station, take a Showa Bus for 30 minutes to Keya bus stop (the final stop).
Seaside Momochi Beach Park (シーサイドももち海浜公園)
Probably the most well-known spot in Fukuoka City limits, this artificial beach is located right next to Fukuoka Tower, Fukuoka Yafuoku! Dome, and the beautiful Momochihama district, facing out toward Hakata Bay. While not the cleanest beach around, it boasts easy access as well as the convenience of numerous nearby restaurants, surf shops, convenience stores and more.
- Access: From Tenjin, take bus 302, 305 or 307 (approx. 20 min., 220 yen). From Hakata Station, take bus 306 or 312 (approx. 25 min., 220 yen). The nearest bus stop to the beach is Fukuoka Tower Minami-guchi. Another option is to take the Kuko Subway Line to Nishijin Station and then take bus 10, 15, 25, 54-1 or 94 (approx. 9 min., 180 yen), which is usually faster than using buses alone. Low-cost rental bicycles are also available at Nishijin Station.
- Website: http://www.marizon-kankyo.jp/en/beach.html
Marinatown Beach Park (マリナタウン海浜公園)
Similar to Seaside Momochi Beach Park (see previous entry), this beach is not spectacular, but it is convenient if you are in the Meinohama area.
- Access: 5 min. on foot from Marinatown Iriguchi bus stop (20–25 min. using bus 1A or 3 from the Tenjin area, or 30–50 min. on bus 9, 300, 301, 302, 303 or 312 from Hakata Station. It is possible to walk from Marinoa City Fukuoka to the beach in about 20 min, or to take a taxi from Meinohama Station (5–10 min.).
- Website: http://www.marizon-kankyo.jp/en/beach.html
Iki-no-matsubara Beach (生の松原海水浴場)
Iki-no-matsubara Beach is also fairly centrally located, and is much longer, cleaner and more scenic than Momochi Kaihin Koen and others in the city. There is a lovely view of Nokonoshima Island, as well as a nearby historic site featuring the remains of the thirteenth-century fortifications built to defend against a Mongol invasion. There are no beachfront facilities, but a convenience store is located near the station.
- Access: 7–10 min. on foot from Shimoyamato Station on the JR Chikuhi Line, one station past Meinohama Station (the last station on the Kuko Subway Line). Many trains on the Kuko Subway line offer through services to the JR Chikuhi Line, but if the train terminates at Meinohama Station then simply take the next JR train (usually departing from the same platform). After exiting Shimoyamato Station (there is only one exit), turn right and walk straight, cross the railroad tracks at the crossing just down the road, and then walk straight through a small forest (you will cross a fairly busy street at a gap in the forest along the way) until you reach the beach.
Nokonoshima Campground and Beach (能古島キャンプ村・海水浴場)
The beachside campground on this island in Hakata Bay — just 10 minutes by boat from Meinohama! — is perfect for a day trip or an overnight camping excursion. The nearby flower fields of Nokonoshima Island Park are also popular.
- Access: Shuttle buses run between the Nokonoshima ferry terminal and campground area (in July and August only) in accordance with the ferry schedule. Please call ahead to let them know your arrival time. It takes approx. 5 min. by shuttle bus or taxi to reach the campground from the ferry terminal.
Obaru Beach (大原海水浴場)
This popular beach is fairly clean and located just outside city limits, with a great view of the bay and soft white sands. It is one of the longest beaches in Fukuoka Prefecture.
- Access: Take the Kuko Subway Line, which will continue on as the JR Chikuhi Line from Meinohama Station in many cases (if not, simply change trains at Meinohama). From Imajuku Station, take a Showa Bus bound for Nishiura and get off at Ohara Kaisuiyokujo Iriguchi or Ohara Bus Stop.
Futamigaura has an array of facilities, including beach huts and restaurants, so all you need is a towel and a swimsuit. Its views of the sunset over the Genkai Sea are considered to be some of the best around, and Sakurai Shrine’s meoto-iwa (husband and wife rocks) are a well-known sight. Futamigaura is ranked as one of the 100 best beaches in Japan.
- Access: Take the Kuko Subway Line, which will continue on as the JR Chikuhi Line from Meinohama Station in many cases (if not, simply change trains at Meinohama). From Chikuzen-maebaru Station, take a Showa Bus to Imuta Bus Stop (30 minutes), and walk for 15 from there to get to the beach.
This beach is mostly popular among those living in the neighborhood, but it’s one of the best beaches in Fukuoka City limits. The spacious sands are complemented by an expansive view of the Genkai Sea, and the area is a popular spot for beach strolling. Facilities are limited, especially outside the peak season, so you may want to bring your own equipment and food/drinks. Note that trash tends to wash up on the beach after typhoons and storms, and the area is not kept very clean except during the summer.
- Access: It’s a 10-minute walk to the beach from Nishitetsu Shingu Station on the Nishitetsu Kaizuka Line. You can transfer to the Kaizuka Line by taking the Hakozaki Subway Line and switching at Kaizuka Station, or taking the JR Kagoshima Main Line (local trains only) and switching at Chihaya Station.
Fukae Beach (深江海水浴場)
Fukae is Itoshima’s most readily accessible beach, located just a short walk from the train station on the peninsula’s west edge. There are plenty of beach facilities selling food and drinks and renting equipment during the peak season, and it is fairly spacious.
- Access: Take the Kuko Subway Line, which will continue on as the JR Chikuhi Line from Meinohama Station in many cases (if not, simply change trains at Meinohama). Get off at Chikuzen-Fukae Station on the JR Chikuhi Line, from which it is a 10-minute walk to the beach.
This quiet beach is relatively unknown, and it doesn’t have any facilities nearby, but that may be just the thing if you’re looking for some peace and quiet. The beach is covered with sand dunes.
- Access: About 10 minutes on foot from Gannosu Station on the JR Kashii Line (from Hakata Station, take the JR Kagoshima Main Line to Kashii Station and transfer to the Kashii Line from there).
Mitoma Beach (三苫海水浴場)
Mitoma Beach is conveniently located just a short trip from the city center, and its lack of facilities means that the sands are fairly clean and there are no huge crowds during the swimming season (just make sure to buy what you need before leaving the city center).
- Access: About 10 minutes on foot from Mitoma Station on the Nishitetsu Kaizuka Line. You can transfer to the the Kaizuka Line by taking the Hakozaki Subway Line and switching at Kaizuka Station, or taking the JR Kagoshima Main Line (local trains only) and switching at Chihaya Station.