Itoshima Day Trip from Fukuoka

itoshima day trip from fukuoka


Itoshima is a sleepy city situated on the Western side of the Fukuoka Prefecture. Quiet, laid-back, and known for its seaside resorts and surf spots, Itoshima typically attracts travelers during the summertime, when locals flock to enjoy the sun and the fresh seafood. Its most popular landmark, the Sakurai Futamigaura, is visited by those who do their research well (it is still quite under the radar)—and it was our main reason for visiting this side of Kyushu Island.

Unfortunately, it was wintertime when we visited and so the skies weren’t as clear as we would’ve liked and the Futamigaura beach was practically deserted (not that I’m complaining about this part). A lot of shops and restaurants are closed as well. I could only assume that this beach strip comes alive during summer, and owners take their business somewhere otherwise.

Itoshima Day Trip from Fukuoka
Still, it has a really nice, relaxing vibe and if you’re a traveler visiting Fukuoka, I recommend doing a side trip to Itoshima if you get a chance.


How to Get to Itoshima

I’m not sure if I’m the right person to write this section because—guess what—we almost didn’t get there, LOL! Here’s what happened: my friends and I were so engrossed in chatting inside the train that we went off the wrong station. But the complexity of this doesn’t just stop with the absentmindedness. I, the Genius One, simply assumed that since we were going to Itoshima, then we would have to go down in Itoshima Station. Apparently, we should’ve alighted on the previous station.

The looks on our faces were priceless when we realized we were the only ones who went straight to the last station. We found ourselves in the middle of an area where everything looked like it’s made of steel, LOL. We wasted precious time on this but got a real laugh at our own stupidity.

So anyway, to actually get there, you have to take a train from Hakata Station and get off at Chikuzen-Maebaru Station. Travel time is about 42 minutes and the fare costs ¥580.

From Chikuzen-Maebaru Station, you have two options: take a bus that heads to Futamigaura Beach (about 1.5 hours, ¥930) or take a taxi. We actually took a taxi going there, and then a bus going back to the station. The taxi cost us ¥3,000 (total). There were 3 of us, so it’s almost the same price as the bus per head, and a lot faster.



What to See and Do at Futamigaura Beach

First things first: check out Sakurai Futamigaura. Also known as the “couple rocks” of Itoshima, this scenic spot features two rocks on the water connected by a sacred rope called shimenawa. This configuration symbolizes marriage. What’s special about the rocks is that there is a white torii gate towering in front of it, creating an even more dramatic view.

Itoshima Day Trip from Fukuoka
Itoshima Day Trip from Fukuoka
Itoshima Day Trip from Fukuoka
It looked striking even though it was a gloomy winter day, and I could only guess how gorgeous it must be during summer, when the water and the skies are at their bluest. Futamigaura Beach is also nicknamed “sunset beach”, and the sun lowering itself slowly in between the rocks was a sight we never got to witness during our visit. Shame.

Itoshima Day Trip from Fukuoka

Itoshima Day Trip from Fukuoka

Itoshima Day Trip from Fukuoka
The main Sakurai Shrine is also situated a few minutes away from the beach, but we didn’t get the chance to see it as well.

After admiring the gorgeous site and taking tons of photos, we walked down the long strip along the beach, eager to get a meal. Before coming here, I did my research and knew that there were oyster shacks along the beach where you can cook your own seafood—I was really looking forward to this, but we couldn’t seem to find any in Futamigaura. I mean, to be by the beach and not eat seafood (or SUSHI!!!) seems pretty stupid, right? But damn, these shacks and sushi places were elusive!

Itoshima Day Trip from Fukuoka
We passed by a couple of interesting shops, including a burger truck that offers an amazing view, but we ended up at this cozy-looking restaurant called Sunset Café. I really wanted seafood or sushi, but we decided that this would do.

Itoshima Day Trip from Fukuoka
We asked to be seated outside and the server looked at us as if we were crazy, LOL! Well, if you’re in a beach town, and there’s a restaurant with an alfresco area, you side outside—that’s how it should be! A few minutes later we understood what her look meant: it can get SUPER windy and chilly (of course, it’s winter season, duh). However, the lady was kind enough to give us blankets!

Itoshima Day Trip from Fukuoka

The menu was compact, featuring only 4 mains, some salads, and desserts. I was totally unsure at first what to get because they seemed like generic “Westernized Japan” café food, but I ended up ordering the Seafood Doria. Well guess what? The food was astounding! My doria came loaded with prawns, mushrooms, chicken, clams, and veggies, all smothered in a rich and yummy cheese sauce underneath some white rice. I couldn’t get over how good it was!

Itoshima Day Trip from Fukuoka
The dessert, simply called Honey Toast, was just as stunning—featuring an extremely chewy bread that was still a little crusty underneath, topped with mind-blowing vanilla and strawberry ice cream, dried and fresh fruits, and chopped nuts. Holy hell this was so delicious!


After that meal, we strolled more along the strip and stumbled upon a quirky coffee shop facing the beach called Nap Cafe. The exteriors, made of repurposed trailer, was all-blue. Like all of Japan, this café gives you an instant vibe when you come in. Luckily there was nobody else, so we grabbed the chairs facing the view. The coffee wasn’t the best, I would say, but the view was a killer—I could stay there all day.

Itoshima Day Trip from Fukuoka
Itoshima Day Trip from Fukuoka
Itoshima Day Trip from Fukuoka
Itoshima Day Trip from Fukuoka


Itoshima Day Trip from Fukuoka
Before it got dark, we decided to wait for the next bus scheduled to go back to the city proper and headed back to Fukuoka City.

Looking back, I think it was a wrong decision to do just a day trip in Itoshima. The place was so laid-back that I found myself thinking that I could spend a day or two there, doing nothing but eating and enjoying a few drinks by the sea. The next time I go back to Kyushu—if ever I do have the luxury of time—I would definitely do that.





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