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Travel / Tourism Spots in Saga Area

  • Karatsu Castle (Maizuru-jo “Dancing Crane Castle”)
    Travel / Tourism
    Saga Pref. Karatsushi Higashijounai 8-1
    This is a castle which could also be called a symbol of Karatsu, located in the northern part of Karatsu City, Saga Prefecture. Terazawa Hirotaka, a retainer of Toyotomi Hideyoshi, spent seven years to build this castle. The inner citadel sits on Mt. Mitsushima which projects out into Karatsu Bay, while the outer citadel is on the west bank and the third citadel leads to a renkaku style flatland mountain castle. The inner citadel has now been turned into Maizuru Park, and also you can see the superb views of Matsuura Bay from that observation point, the current castle keep which was completed in 1966.
  • Yoshinogari Historical Park
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    4.0
    333 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Saga Pref. Kanzakigunyoshinogarichou Tade 1843
    These are the ruins of a large-scale moat encircled settlement from the Yayoi period and are located on the Yoshinogari hills. This historic park is made up of National land and Prefectural land

    I greatly enjoyed my visit to Yoshinogari historical park. Firstly, out from yoshinogarikoen Station, you can walk to the park with clear signage given along the way. Secondly, there is free shuttle...

  • Nakazato Tarouemon Tobo
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    4.0
    8 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Saga Pref. Karatsushi Chouda 3-6-29
    The Nakazato family is the only family to maintain the traditions of ancient Karatsu and today, this Karatsu ware ceramics studio continues to be operated by the 14th head. Visitors can tour the studio’s gallery where Karatsu ware is displayed and sold as well as the Tojin-machi Ochawangama kiln, a nationally designated Historic Site. From 1734 through the Taisho period, the Tojin-machi Ochawangama kiln was used for official purposes by the local government. An eight-minute walk from the South Exit of Karatsu Station.

    唐津市の広い道から入った静かな唐津焼の工房。 車にナビがないとちょっと行き着けないようなところですが、 私たちが言っている時も探してくる人が多い工房です。 14代目がおられました。 2階に上がると入口があり、靴脱ぎで履物を置いて中に入りますと作品が並んでいます。 買いやすい工房のものが並んでいます。 その建物か池をまたぐ廊下を過ぎると何代にもわたって作られてきた作品が並ぶ部屋があります。 お値段も...

  • Karatsu Yaki Cooperatives Karatsu Pottery Gallery
    Travel / Tourism
    Saga Pref. Karatsushi Shinkoumachi 2881-1 Furusato Kaikan Arpino 2nd Floor
    An exhibition hall and shop on the second floor of Furusato Hall Arpino next to JR Karatsu Station. Visitors can see a variety of pottery works in one place and purchase some as well. The hall offers a variety of dishes and containers perfect for everyday use, making this a great place to pick up a souvenir. The hall also presents how Karatsu ware is made through informational panels and other means. Pottery painting workshops available.
  • The Former Takatori Residence
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    4.5
    122 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Saga Pref. Karatsushi Kitajounai 5-40
    This is the mansion built as a home and for welcoming guests by the coal mine (including Kishima Coal Mine) baron, Koreyoshi Takatori. There are two large buildings on a vast plot of land of about 7613 square meters. It has modern Japanese-style building architecture with a combination of Western style rooms while also still having Japanese style as a keynote. A must-see is the reception hall for the Noh stage and 72 “Sugido-e” (painting on cedar-board doors) paintings by the painter of the Kyoto Shijyo Faction, Koho Mizuno. You can have a good tour of the mansion as there are also always tour guides stationed here. In 1998, it was designated as an Important Cultural Property of Japan.

    It is a former residence of Takatori family, a very wealthy family, which had coal mines. As this house was gradually expanded, you can see different styles in one house. There is even a room for No...

  • Hikiyama Exhibition Hall
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Saga Pref. Karatsushi Nishijounai 6-33
    This exhibition hall displays the 14 hikiyama festival floats used in the Karatsu Kunchi Festival, a harvest festival held each year from November 2 to 4. Each of the floats was dedicated sometime between the late Edo period and Meiji period. They were made by wrapping wooden frames with hundreds of sheets of Japanese washi paper and then applying and re-applying various colors of lacquer. Bold in design and modeled after themes such as a samurai helmet, Chinese lion, and sea bream, even when looked at through a protective case one can feel their power.
  • Kakiemongama
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Saga Pref. Nishimatsuragunaritachou Nanzan Ding 352
    A pottery workshop which was once operated by Sakaida Kakiemon, a renowned potter from Arita Town in Saga Prefecture. The Kakiemon style is characterized by the use of red paint baked onto a beautiful milky-white pottery base called nigoshide. The workshop’s pieces began being exported around the world starting in the Edo period and remain popular to this day. The workshop is adjoined by a museum where visitors can learn about its 380 year history and view actual pieces from various time periods.
  • Gen-emon Kiln
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    4.5
    25 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Saga Pref. Nishimatsuragunaritachou Maruo Hino 2726
    A famous old Imari ware pottery workshop with some 260 years of history. Traditional old Imari ware is characterized by a modern functional beauty coupled with a distinctive decorative style. In the adjoining museum, visitors can view numerous pieces of old Imari ware gathered from throughout Japan and the world. Note that the museum is only open on weekdays as well as partially on Saturdays. Be sure to check the official website for business days.

    初めて窯元に行きました。たくさんの器があり、見るだけでも十分楽しかったです。 色鮮やかなものからモノトーンまでありましたが、どれも美しかったです。どれも料理が映えそうですね。個人的には小鉢が豆皿がとても可愛かったです。お祝いの贈り物にもぴったりだなと思いました。庭園もきれいでした。 また近くに行ったときはフラッと立ち寄りたいです。

  • Izumiyama Magnet Field
    Travel / Tourism
    Saga Pref. Nishimatsuragunaritachou Izumiyama 1-5
    Pottery stone, a raw material used to make Arita ware, was excavated here. Pottery stone was discovered here by Korean potter Yi Sam-pyeong in the early Edo period, giving rise to the first porcelain produced in Japan. Highly collectible early and old Imari ware were also made with the pottery stone from this site. The site is no longer used for mining but visitors can view the area from beyond a fence.
  • Imari Nabeshima Ware Hall
    Shopping
    Saga Pref. Imarishi Okawachichou Okawauchi Yutaka 1806
    This facility exhibits and sells porcelain created by 24 pottery workshops affiliated with the Imari Nabeshima Ware Cooperative. In the Edo period, Okawachiyama was where the government-sponsored pottery workshop of Saga Domain (ruled by the Nabeshima clan) was located; today, it is a pottery town nicknamed the “Village of the Secret Kiln.” The pieces crafted by each workshop are displayed separately in the facility, making clear their unique characteristics. A café space also adjoins the facility where you can enjoy coffee served in a Nabeshima ware cup.
  • Kyushu Ceramic Museum
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    4.5
    72 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Saga Pref. Nishimatsuragunaritachou Toshaku Yu 3100-1
    A prefectural museum in Arita Town which is dedicated to preserving and displaying ceramics from areas throughout Kyushu. The museum’s collection focuses on pieces from the former Hizen Province, particularly porcelain such as Imari ware and Karatsu ware. Highlights include the giant music box made of Arita ware and the Meissen porcelain bells. The 25 bells, made in the Meissen State Porcelain Manufactory in Meisen, Arita’s sister city, play a song related to the two nations every hour, announcing the time.

    It is a must-see in Arita. If you are interested in porcelain, it merits to travel to Arita just to visit this museum. To visit a temporary exhibit, you have to buy a ticket. But otherwise, the...

  • Chikugo River Lift Bridge
    Travel / Tourism
    Saga Pref. Sagashi Morodomichoutameshige Ishizuka
    Spanning the mouth of the Chikugo River and boasting a total length of 507 meters, this is hailed as the best movable iron bridge in the East. Since the water level of the Chikugo River is significantly affected by the differences in the ebb and flow of the Ariake Sea, a movable type of bridge was adopted where the movable crossbeam of the bridge was only lowered to connect the railway lines when a train was passing through, allowing ships to go out and return at all other times. Although the train tracks have been in disuse since the Saga Line was abandoned in 1987, it was restored as promenade to serve as a symbol of the town in 1996. It is now Japan’s oldest bridge in operation and was designated a National Important Cultural Property in 2003.
  • Mt. Kagami Observatory
    Travel / Tourism
    Saga Pref. Karatsushi Kagami Mountain summit
    A viewing platform at the top of Mt. Kagami, a mountain once visited by numerous poets in the Nara period (710–794) and much praised in the poems of the Man'yoshu (The Ten Thousand Leaves), Japan’s oldest poetry anthology. 283 meters above sea level, this popular photo spot offers a spectacular view of Nijinomatsubara and Karatsu Bay. Approximately 15 minutes by train from JR Nijinomatsubara Station.
  • Nanatsugama Caves
    Travel / Tourism
    Saga Pref. Karatsushi Yakataishi
    This is a group of seven sea caves which stand in a row along the coast of Karatsu City in Saga Prefecture. It is a scenic spot formed by the erosion of the basalt cliff face which reaches a height of 40 meters by the violent waves. If you board a pleasure boat, you can see the powerful rocks up close. In 1925, the caves were designated as National Natural Monuments as “the seven pots of Yakataishi”.
  • Korankei gorge Dogtooth Violet Colonies
    Travel / Tourism
    Aichi Pref. Toyotashi Asukechou Imori
    This 0.5-hectare colony of dogtooth violets is on the northwest slope of the Korankei Gorge's Mt. Iimori in Aichi Prefecture. While they're native to the area, the locals protected and nurtured them, bringing about the vast colony you see today. The pretty purple flowers all come into bloom at once from the middle of March to the beginning of April. You can check their progress on the Asuke Tourist Association's website. Once the season has passed, visitors enjoy the new green of spring, as well as the beautiful colors of the Japanese maple trees when autumn arrives.
  • Takeo-jinja Shrine (The Great Takeo Camphor Tree)
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    4.5
    112 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Saga Pref. Takeoshi Takeochou Takeo 5327
    This towering camphor tree is on the grounds of Takeo-jinja Shrine in Saga Prefecture. Follow the small path from the main hall through the bamboo grove and you'll find it. The seventh largest tree in Japan, it's 30 meters tall, 20 meters in diameter, and the branches spread for over 30 meters. The trunk is hollow, and the inside covers about 20 square meters. It's said to be 3,000 years old, and it's paid special respect as the shrine's sacred tree. A Shinto god known as Tenjin is enshrined in the cavity.

    Visited Takeo onsen temple and came across this giant tree. Nothing too impressive honestly it just a tree. One would probably spend 5 minutes to take a photo before headed to another spot. Can omit...

  • Okawachiyama
    Travel / Tourism
    Saga Pref. Imarishi Okawachichou Otsu Okawauchiyama
    "This pottery town showcases ""Nabeshima porcelain"". In 1675, the Nabeshima clan relocated a pottery kiln from Arita to Okawachiyama, and many kilns were created there. At the time, the technique of firing glazed porcelain in a high temperature kiln was kept secret, and for that reason, the Nabeshima feudal clan established checkpoints to strictly control the entrances and exits of Okawachiyama. Even today traces of the old town and checkpoints remain scattered around the city. Many potters still produce pottery and visitors can observe kilns and purchase ceramic wares."
  • Oura Terraced Rice Fields Lookout
    Travel / Tourism
    Saga Pref. Karatsushi Hizenmachioura hill
    This lookout has a splendid view of the Oura Terraced Rice Fields, designated as one of the top 100 rice field terraces in the country. The name refers to the rice terraces of three hamlets: Ouraoka, Ourahama, and Mitsukoshi. Its 1,100 fields cover an area of around 30 hectares. The contrast with Imari Bay in the background recalls the legend of Irohajima Islands where Kobo Daishi finds the scenery so beautiful, he throws his brush.
  • Kouyaji Temple
    Travel / Tourism
    Saga Pref. Takeoshi Kitagatachou Shiku 3245
    "This temple is located a 15-minute drive from Takeo Onsen Station on the JR Sasebo Line. It was opened by Kobo Daishi in the quiet atmosphere deep inside the mountains. Visited by many praying for childbirth, easy childbirth and senility prevention as Vaisravana's sacred place, it was known as a training hall for purgation in literature from the Kamakura period (1185-1333) which says ""Any criminals can be forgiven for their sins if they run into the precincts of Kouyaji Temple."", it is counted as one of the Kyushu 88 temples and 108 sacred sites. In addition, 1,000 rhododendrons of 20 rare species bloom in the flatlands of the area, and the best time to see them is from April to May."
  • Udono Sekibutsu Buddhist Rock Carvings (Prefectural Historic Site)
    Travel / Tourism
    Saga Pref. Karatsushi Ouchichououchi
    "Located around 20 minutes' walk from Ouchi Station on the JR Karatsu Line, the Buddhist rock carvings of various sizes comprise a group of 60 or so Magaibutsu (Buddhist images carved into cliffs or caves) carved into a protruding cliff. The carvings have been designated as a Prefectural Historic Site by Saga Prefectural Government, and were also selected for inclusion in the ""New List of 100 Scenic Spots in Saga."" According to tradition, the first Buddhist carving on the site was made in a cave by Kobo Daishi in 806. That statue has not survived, and the cave subsequently collapsed, leaving only the inner wall. The surviving carvings appear to have been made during various different periods, from the Nanboku-cho period (in the 14th century) through to the Edo period (1603-1868). Several of the carvings-including a statute of 11-headed Kanzeon Bodhisattva , and statues of Vaisravana and Dhrtarastra, show a pronounced influence from Esoteric Buddhism."

Saga Areas

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Away from the fast-paced cities of mainland Japan, Kyushu's Saga prefecture offers quaint towns and cities known for their traditional crafts, particularly ceramics. Rich in kaolin (a type of clay), Saga became the homeland of Arita ware, a delicate, decorative porcelain that is now celebrated worldwide and can be discovered in the towns of Arita, Imari, and Karatsu.

Saga Photo Album

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