The up-and-coming resort area of Itoshima Peninsula in Fukuoka is well-known for its beaches, cafés, and artsy shops, and Keya is the finest of the beaches (video). Chosen as one of Japan’s top 100 by the Ministry of the Environment, Keya Beach lies outside of metropolitan Fukuoka and is tucked away in a bay with green mountains and huge boulders. The scenery compliments the clean, sandy beaches and shallow, clear waters that give Keya mass appeal for swimmers, sunbathers, families, and those looking to kick back and take in the atmosphere.
The bay is lined with beach houses serving up food and drinks as well as hosting volleyball, boat and parasol rentals, barbecue huts, and more. Genkai, Isono-ya, Shirahama-ya, and Asahi-ya, in order from west (boulder side of the bay) to east (village and parking side), are at your service and all have showers and changing rooms. Air-conditioned VIP rooms are available. You can even sing karaoke and spend the night (or stay at the campground). Some places also have free shuttle bus service. A few other cafés and shops are located along the walk from the main parking area to the beach. Summer beach life at the houses starts at the beginning of July.
Keya hosts a fireworks display over the bay on July 23, with the beach being the prime viewing area. 5,000 rockets are set off—a good-sized show!
Every September, Sunset Live, Kyushu’s largest outdoor concert event, is held here. It’s a three-day music festival with multiple stages for 60+ bands, live art, and dozens of food and drink stalls in addition to the beach houses. 15,000-some people attend every year.
Nearby is the Keya fishing harbor, visible from the beach on the east side of the bay, opposite the boulders. The boats in the small, rural wharf are worth a look and there are a couple of seafood restaurants.
芥屋海水浴場—Keya Kaisuiyokujou—Keya Beach
玄海—Genkai-ya—Genkai Beach House
磯の屋—Isono-ya—Isono Beach House
白浜屋—Shirahama-ya—Shirahama Beach House
朝日屋—Asahi-ya—Asahi Beach House