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Travel / Tourism Spots in Karatsu / Yobuko 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.
  • Nakazato Tarouemon Tobo
    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
    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.
  • 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”.
  • 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.
  • 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."
  • Niji no Matsubara
    Travel / Tourism
    Saga Pref. Karatsushi Higashikaratsu / Hamakita cho
    A grove of some one million black pines grown along a 4.5 kilometer stretch of Karatsu Bay. Together with the Miho no Matsubara and Kehi no Matsubara, it is considered one of the three most beautiful pine groves in Japan and is a nationally designated Place of Scenic Beauty. The pines, planted to provide protection against winds and tides, have grown twisted into beautiful shapes. The grove’s “Seven Curiosities,” facts and legends relating to the grove which have existed since ancient times, are also fascinating.
  • Hoto-jinja Shrine
    110 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Saga Pref. Karatsushi Takashima 523
    Visited by great throngs of people seeking luck due to this Shinto shrine’s name, which means “to strike upon treasure,” the numerous winners of large lottery prizes who attribute their good fortune to the shrine has resulted in it become famous almost overnight as the “lottery-winning shrine.” Today, the shrine is visited by some 200 thousand people annually. A reservation is required to engage in go-kitou (a prayer ceremony). The shrine’s Hitto-mamori (which provides luck with winning in games of chance and other situations) and other charms are also popular souvenirs.


  • Marinepal Yobuko
    Travel / Tourism
    Saga Pref. Karatsushi Yobukochouyobuko
    This is an embarkation point for two types of pleasure cruises around the Yobuko coastal waters. On the semi-submersible type “Zeela,” one can watch fish and other sea creatures swimming around 1.2 meters under the surface from the boat’s windows. On “Ikamaru,” which features a squid motif as the Japanese “ika” suggests, one can see and take a cruise along the mysterious rocky beauty of the Nanatsugama sea caves.
  • Kashibaru Marsh
    Travel / Tourism
    Saga Pref. Karatsushi Nanayamaikebaru
    This is a beautiful marshy area of 12 hectares at an altitude of 600 meters, also known as the “Ose of Kyushu.” Here, nature remains unspoiled with 60 species of marsh plant, insects and wild birds inhabiting the area. Beautiful flowers such as buckbean and water shield bloom among the seasons, with the best time being August when the fringed orchids are a must-see for their beautiful flowers that resemble a white heron opening its wings for flight.
  • Former Karatsu Bank
    Travel / Tourism
    Saga Pref. Karatsushi Honmachi 1513-15
    "A historic building situated along the Karatsu Highway in Hon-machi, Karatsu City. Designed by Minoru Tanaka, apprentice of Tokyo Station designer Kingo Tatsuno, the building was completed in 1912. The design is notable for its Japanese take on Victorian architecture, known as the ""Tatsuno style."" The building was used as a bank until 1997 when it was donated to the city. Designated an Important Cultural Property by the city, today the building is open to the general public for free."
  • Mt. Kagamiyama
    Travel / Tourism
    Saga Pref. Karatsushi Kagami
    A mountain located in Kagami, Karatsu City. A scenic, curve-filled driving course in the area extends from the Karatsu bypass and Prefectural Route 250 towards the mountain's 284-meter-high summit. Known for its picturesque scenery which is even mentioned in the ancient ''Man'yoshu'' poetry anthology, the mountain offers sweeping views of the streets of Karatsu City, Karatsu Bay, and the famous Niji no Matsubara pine grove. In addition, visitors can enjoy cherry blossoms, azaleas, and other seasonal sights. The mountain is also a popular hang-gliding destination.
  • Mikaeri no Taki Falls
    Travel / Tourism
    Saga Prefecture Karatsu City Sochi-cho
    A waterfall located in Ikisa, Ochi-cho, Karatsu City. The 100-meter-tall waterfall, situated along the Ikisa River, has been selected for inclusion in a list of Japan's 100 Best Waterfalls. Also a renowned destination for viewing hydrangea, some 40 thousand hydrangea plants spanning 50 varieties grow around the falls. A hydrangea festival is held here when the plants are in bloom from early June to early July.
  • Genkai Energy Park
    Travel / Tourism
    Saga Pref. Higashimatsuragungenkaichou Imamura Shallow Lake 4112-1
    A theme park operated by Kyushu Electric Power located in Imamura, Genkai Town, Higashimatsuura County, Saga Prefecture. Containing exhibits on nuclear power, here visitors can learn how nuclear power works through exhibits such as a life sized 13-meter-tall nuclear reactor; videos; and quizzes. In the adjoining GENKAICHO Next Generation Energy Park Asupia, visitors can view exhibits on next generation energy and enjoy facilities such as a playground and greenhouse filled with some 200 different plant varieties.
  • Yobuko Ohashi Bridge
    Travel / Tourism
    Saga Prefecture Yotsukocho, Karatsu
    A bridge which connects Kabe Island and Tononoura, Yobuko-cho in Karatsu City. The gently curving, 728-meter-long bridge serves as a symbol of the Yobuko area. Outfitted with a pedestrian walkway, visitors can stroll along the length of the bridge and take in gorgeous ocean views. Kaze no Mieru Oka Park, located on the Kabe Island side of the bridge, offers a sweeping view of the Genkai Sea.
  • Saga Prefectural Nagoya Castle Museum
    86 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Saga Pref. Karatsushi Chinzeimachinagoya 1931-3
    A museum situated along National Route 204 in Nagoya, Chinzei-machi, Karatsu City. The museum's standing exhibition looks at the history of exchange between the Japanese archipelago and the Korean peninsula, exploring Toyotomi Hideyoshi's invasions at 1592 and 1598 as well as Saga's involvement with the Korean delegations to Japan during the Edo period (1603-1868). The museum also displays artefacts exhumed during excavations of the Special Historic Site-designated Nagoya Castle Ruins and Encampment Sites. Visitors can also walk the ruins of the castle and see what Nagoya Castle looked like in its glory using a tablet computer and computer generated graphics.

    Definitely, best thing to do around, beautiful scenery, Japanese garden, costumes, souvenirs, recently renovated, the castle is fun to explore. Don t expect secret rooms and medieval cachots but an...

  • Nanatsugama Sightseeing Cruise
    Travel / Tourism
    Saga Pref. Karatsushi Yobukochouyobuko
    "A sightseeing cruise which leaves from Marinepal Yobuko in Yobuko Yobuko-cho, Karatsu City. Aboard the ""Ika-maru"", cruise goers can enjoy the natural beauty of Yobuko from the sea, including ""Nanatsugama"", a marine eroded cavern consisting of pillars of basalt. Cruises last around 40 minutes and normally leave about every hour from 9:30 to 16:30."

Saga Areas


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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