If you want something a little less glitzy than Momochi Beach, Fukuoka’s premiere city strand that sprawls in front of Fukuoka Tower, try Shingu Beach on the east side of town. Close enough to downtown to be accessible by subway but far enough and isolated enough to be a quiet and relaxing retreat, this beach has a very broad stretch of sand with a forested backdrop, a protected shoreline for safe swimming, lifeguards, islands to gaze at, spectacular sunsets, and an excellent beach house called Shingu-ya.
Japanese beach houses, or umi-no-ie, are what might be described as one-stop summer fun hangouts. Shingu-ya functions as a restaurant and bar that can seat a couple hundred people, convenience store for beach goods and snacks, shelter from the elements, and neighborhood gathering place. You can host large parties there and rent equipment for a serious barbecue as well as fancy floats for out on the waves. They also have showers, changing rooms, a bathroom, and friendly service.
Shingu-ya, run by standout local Yasuyuki Fujita and supported by generous donations from the surrounding community, is open only during the summer season (July to early September). Shingu Beach, however, is a vast public space open year-round. Unlike most of the city beaches here, setting up parties with beach tents, grilling outdoors, listening to music, playing volleyball, frisbee or soccer, and living it up in the summer sun are all good here.
If you’re not a customer of the beach house, or don’t want to wait in line for the restroom, there are public port-a-potties a stone’s throw away, located along the access road between Nishitetsu Shingu Station and the beach.
海の家「新宮屋」—umi-no-ie shinguu-ya—Shingu-ya Beach House