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Sakurai Futamigaura’s Couple Stones.


Shiraito Waterfall

Shiraito Waterfall

We spent two months in Fukuoka and its surroundings on a recent trip to Japan. While Fukuoka is very pleasing, with exciting experiences and so much to do and see, we tried to make a few day trips nearby. One was Itoshima. I had read about it and heard about it. Once an isolated coastal town, it is now ranked the world’s third-best small city.

Itoshima is easily reached from Fukuoka, under an hour by train, bus, or car, and is cheap. It has a peaceful atmosphere and a relaxing nature spot, making it a perfect destination for a day trip or weekend in Fukuoka.

In my experience, you can enjoy many top-class restaurants and ice cream parlours. It also includes endless coastal views and many charming local cafes, making it a perfect day trip from the city.



Itoshima is lined with local beachside cafes, markets, historic shrines, and scenic hiking trails, and it is a place to escape the hustle and bustle of big city life. Set against a backdrop of beautiful deep blue waters and plush green mountains, it’s no wonder why this is one of Kyushu’s best-kept secrets.

Itoshima is a destination that we didn’t want to miss! Spring and early summer are especially good seasons for refreshingly exploring natural spots and trying outdoor activities.

Today, Itoshima has flourished into a favourite destination for “creative entrepreneurs,” attracting talent from different industries worldwide. The lifestyle magazine Monocle ranked Itoshima third on its annual Small Cities Index, a list of 25 of the world’s best small cities to live in, after Portugal’s Porto and Leuven in Belgium. In good company.

Beautiful countryside

Beautiful countryside

One aspect of life in Itoshima was what it called the city’s “strong sense of community and its citizens are open to outsiders, which has helped to attract creative minds to come here and launch interesting businesses.”

Activities to consider in Itoshima.

My space is limited, so I suggest you research in more detail. However, there is a range of attractions here.

Scenic natural spots, white sandy beaches, cozy cafes, and peaceful townscapes.

Its chill cafes, famed oyster huts and sandy beaches.

Rent electric bicycles.

Beach coastline

Beach coastline

Sakurai Futamigaura is officially chosen among the top 100 scenic beaches in Japan.

Raizan Sennyoji Temple is a sacred Buddhist Temple nestled halfway up Mt. Raizan with more than 1,300 years of history.

Mt. Hagane is home to Shiraito Waterfalls, a symbolic waterfall officially chosen as a prefectural scenic natural spot.

Akutaya Beach boasts crystal-clear water, perfect for swimming and marine activities.

Shiraito Falls

Sumi Café – a small but cozy café renovated from a traditional house over 120 years old.

The London Bus Café – don’t miss the creamy, rich gelato served on a real London bus imported from the U.K!

Beaches and surfing

Hiking and history

Farmers’ markets and Farm to kitchen

Swimming, surfing, kayaking, fishing, boating, horseback riding


Golf – six well-established courses with fabulous views.

Craft festivals

Super cafes and bakeries

One article does not do justice, but when you are in Fukuoka, do not forget the lovely Itoshima.







Written by: Richard Coles