The summer season generally means going to the beach and basking in the sun. There are several beaches around the world that offer fine white sand and pristine waters. One of the countries in the world that can offer such nice beaches is Japan. An archipelago, Japan has several beaches located in various parts of the country. One of the places that one can check out when looking for several beaches is Fukuoka.
A Guide to Seaside Momochi Park and Its Beach and Tower
The primary waterfront in Fukuoka is none other than Seaside Momochi. Also known as Shisaido Momochi in Japanese, Seaside Momochi is situated on reclaimed land that was made along Hakata Bay. Initially, the area was developed to serve as the site of the Asia Pacific Expo in the year 1989. The design of this area includes streets lined with trees, public parks, and futuristic buildings. The administration also wanted the area to look clean without any phone or electricity lines to be seen above ground.
At present, Seaside Momochi houses numerous attractions. These include beaches, museums, shopping options, and restaurants. The main attractions in this area include the Fukuoka Tower and the Hawks Town entertainment complex. These two structures are only a kilometer away from each other.
Constructed in the year 1989, Fukuoka Tower was built in dedication to the 100th anniversary of the city of Fukuoka. Standing at 234 meters high, Fukuoka Tower is the high building in the city. The tower is also the tallest seaside tower in all of Japan. It is decorated with more than 8,000 mirrors and features an observation deck composed of three stories. This observation deck is situated 123 meters above ground level and offers a great view of the city of Fukuoka.
From the month of October to the month of March, the tower is open to the public from 9:30 AM to 9 PM. In the remaining months, the tower is open from 9:30 AM to 10 PM. However, it is closed every last Monday and Tuesday in the month of June. Admission costs 800 yen per head. However, foreign tourists can get a 20 percent discount when they show their passport identification.
The popular beach in the area is the Momochihama Beach. With a length of one kilometer, this artificial beach can be found at the base of the Fukuoka Tower. An artificial island known as Marizon can be found at the center of the beach. This island consists of shops, restaurants, a wedding hall, and a ferry port. The port serves as its connection to Uminonakamichi Seaside Park as it crosses Hakata Bay. It is also common to find people swimming and participating in sports activities like soccer and volleyball in this area.
The beach itself has no closing days. Hence, people can take their time going to or staying on the beach. However, the shops in the area are only open from 10 AM to 8 PM. As for the restaurants, they are only open from 11:30 AM to 11 PM. There is no admission fee required in order to enter the beach.
Another must-see is Robosquare. It is a showroom that consists of interactive robots. Visitors are able to learn how these robots can be used in everyday life. The showroom contains more than 200 robots that can interact with children as well as adults. There are also robot performances that visitors can watch on a daily basis. Robot toys and souvenirs are also available in the shop within the showroom.
Robosquare is open from 9:30 AM to 6 PM. Admission is free of charge. However, the facility is closed every second Wednesday of the month except the months of January, July, August, and December. The facility is also closed from the 31st of December to the 2nd of January of the following year in celebration of the New Year.
One may also check out the history museum in the area known as the Fukuoka City Museum. It showcases the cultural development of the region. It also shows the important role of Fukuoka in terms of trade as well as culture exchange between Japan and Korean Peninsula. There are also interactive exhibits found inside this museum for the enjoyment of both children and adults.
The museum is open from 9:30 AM to 5:30 PM though entry is only until 5 PM. It is closed on Mondays except on national holidays. If a holiday falls on a Monday, the museum would be closed on the following day instead. The Fukuoka City Museum is also closed from the 28th of December to the 4th of January of the following year. Admission costs 200 yen per head for permanent exhibitions. Another place to check out is the Fukuoka Yafuoka Dome.
Keya Beach: Resort, Party, and Camping at Night
Another beach to check out in Fukuoka is the Keya Beach. It has been selected as one of the top 100 beaches of Japan by the Ministry of the Environment. The beach is situated in a bay outside of the metropolitan Fukuoka. The beach is accentuated by big boulders and green mountains.
The beach consists of clean sands and shallow, clear waters. It provides great scenery that attracts local and foreign tourists. Anyone who would like to relax on a beach should definitely try going to Keya Beach. It is often flocked by swimmers, sunbathers, and families during the summer season.
Several beach houses line the bay and offer food and drinks to guests. Some of these beach houses also offer boat and parasol rentals as well as barbecue huts. Volleyball games are also common in the area, with everyone can enjoy their time in the sand and water.
VIP rooms that come with air conditioning are also offered in the area. It is common for the crowds to sing karaoke at night and even camp in the dark. The summer beach life in the area begins in the month of July. It is not as hot at night and camping at the campground is highly recommended.
Every 23rd of July, Keya Beach holds a fireworks display to the delight of onlookers. Rockets amounting to 5,000 are set off and provide a colorful picture in the dark blue sky. The beach also serves as the venue of the biggest outdoor concert event in Kyushu, Sunset Live. It is held annually in the month of September. The festival lasts for three days and features several stages hosting more than 60 bands. Around 15,000 people attend this event every single year.
Other Beaches with Hotels in Fukuoka, Japan
There are several other beaches in Fukuoka that one may visit. If possible, one can also beach-hop to get the most out of all the beaches in Fukuoka. Some of these beaches include:
1. Marinatown Beach Park – This beach park is quite similar to Seaside Momochi Beach Park. If one is in the area of Meinohama, this is the beach that is most convenient to visit.
2. Iki-no-matsubara Beach – This beach offers a beautiful view of Nokonoshima Island. While there are no beachfront facilities available in the area, one may find a convenience store close to the station. The beach is also fairly clean and scenic.
3. Nokonoshima Campground Beach – Located just 10 minutes by boat from Meinohama, this beachside campground works great for day trips as well as camping excursions. One may also check out the popular Nokonoshima Island Park to witness its beautiful flowers.
4. Obaru Beach – Situated just outside the city, this beach is quite popular among the masses. With soft white sands, the beach also offers a spectacular view of the bay. Obaru Beach is also among the longest beaches located in Fukuoka.
5. Futamigaura – This beach offers a wide range of facilities. The best time to visit the area is during sunset wherein visitors can watch the sun goes down over the Genkai Sea. It is also popular for Sakurai Shrine’s meoto-iwa, which are the “husband and wife rocks.” This beach is also classified as one of the 100 best beaches in the country.
6. Shingu – This beach is highly popular with the locals. Some say that it is actually among the best beaches found in Fukuoka. Visitors are treated to an expansive view of the Genkai Sea. Furthermore, the beach is also a great spot for beach strolling. It would be best to visit this beach during the summer season when there are more facilities available.
7. Gan-no-su – For people who are looking for some peace and quiet on the beach, this is the place for you. While it is not as popular as other beaches, this is the best place to be if one wishes to relax on a quieter note. Sand dunes also cover Gan-no-su.
8. Mitoma Beach – Situated near the city center, this beach is easily accessible. It does not draw in much of a crowd. Hence, there are fewer facilities on this beach compared to others. However, it also means that the sands are cleaner. Make sure to bring one’s necessities before heading to this beach.
9. Nogita – This beach features one of the top 100 sunsets in all of Japan. This beach is also a famous spot for surfers who wish to catch some good waves. A sandy beach, Nogita houses a great café known as Hinode. It also houses a great restaurant that goes by the name of Current.
10. Nagatare – This beach is quite well-known among windsurfers due to the place experiencing strong winds. Marine sports fans typically like to visit this beach. Some people also go jogging on this beach. It offers great views of Hakata Harbor, Imau Harbor, and Nokonoshima. This beach is also highly accessible, as it is only 10 minutes by foot away from Imajuku Sta.
11. Katsuma/Shirase – Composed of golden sands, this beach remains clean because of its separation from the main road. It is the only diving spot in the city. Hence, snorkelers and divers frequently visit this beach compared to others. A tip when in this beach is to look for the underwater buoy “P1.” Then, knock on the rock and watch as fishes start to gather. Ryokan or Japanese-style hotels are also available near the beach.
12. Nata – This beach is probably the best one to stay in and watch the sunrise. Even though the summer season is considered as the calm season, the waves in this beach are still considerably huge. It is also a great place to enjoy some barbecue.
Things to Take Note of When Visiting These Beaches
Before going to these beaches, it is first important to take note of a few things. The most important thing to remember is to always keep the beaches clean. The cardinal rule in these beaches is “leave nothing on the beach but your footprints.” In order to be able to maintain the beauty of these beaches, do not throw any trash in the sand or into the water. Instead of expecting there to be trash cans, it is suggested that one bring a trash bag.
Barbecue pits are officially prohibited in these beaches except for those that were already set up by the local authorities. Always make sure to clean up the mess after using these pits. Partying in the beach is also acceptable but remember that there are families and kids in the area. Avoid full nudity if possible.
Many beaches in Fukuoka do not have lifeguards. Hence, it is important to only swim as far as one thinks is safe. The best way to go is to swim with a friend. Always consider the tides and undertow. Also, be cautious of sharp shellfish.
It is also important to be aware of jellyfish, which typically start to surface in mid-August. Always wear sunscreen to protect one’s skin from the scorching heat of the Kyushu sun. In addition, always check the weather before heading to the beach to be aware of any incoming lightning storms.