Karatsu is a town in Saga Prefecture, which is located in the northwestern part of Kyushu, Japan. The natural scenery, including the view of the sea, is beautiful. Karatsu City, which once flourished as a castle town, has many historic sites and is dotted with historic shrines and temples. In autumn, traditional festivals are held and crowded with many tourists.
Karatsu City in Saga Prefecture
Karatsu, located in the northern part of Saga Prefecture, flourished as the gateway to countries on the continent such as China and Korea in ancient times. It is a town where a variety of cultural aspects have been nurtured over the years, and it is blessed with the rich nature of the sea and mountains. The area is full of highlights, and dotted with beautiful natural scenery and historical attractions.
Karatsu Castle and Other Attractions in Karatsu City
The city of Karatsu prospered as the castle town of the Karatsu Domain during the Edo period, and prospered as a coal shipping port after the Meiji period. The area is dotted with sightseeing spots such as Karatsu Castle, a famous place for cherry blossoms and wisteria, and elegant buildings from the time when the mining industry flourished.
Autumn Festival, The Karatsu Kunchi
The Karatsu Kunchi, a traditional festival that has been held for about 400 years, attracts many visitors every year. At the festival, gorgeously decorated festival floats called Hikiyama are walked through the city. The festival is held from 2nd to 4th November every year. Visitors can also enjoy viewing the Hikiyama floats up close outside of the festival season at the Hikiyama Floats Exhibition Hall.
City Tourist Areas
The Hamatama Area: Famous for the Niji No Matsubara Pine Grove
Hamatama-cho, which is adjacent to Karatsu City and Fukuoka Prefecture, is famous for the Niji no Matsubara Pine Grove, one of Japan's three largest pine groves. It is a beautiful coast lined with pine trees, and the view from the Kagamiyama observatory is especially recommended.
The Yobiko Area: Enjoy Specialty Squid Dishes
Yobiko, famous for its squid, serves gourmet squid dishes such as fresh squid sashimi and tempura. The National Natural Monument Nanatsugama is a scenic spot that does Saga proud. You can take a pleasure boat to go see the characteristic topography created by the erosion of the rough waves of the Sea of Genkai.
Genkai-cho and the Hamanoura Area: A Beautiful View of Rice Fields at Sunset
The Genkai-cho and Hamanoura area is famous for its terraced rice fields, called the Tanada. At sunset in the rice planting season, you can see a fantastic view of the terraced rice fields and the sea that have been dyed orange by the setting sun.
The Kitahata Area: The Birthplace of Karatsu Ware
The Kitahata area is the birthplace of Karatsu Ware, the first pottery of the Chinese and Korean fashion to be made in Japan. Karatsu Ware, which changes texture the more you use it, is recommended as a souvenir.
How to Get to Karatsu
To get to Karatsu from Tokyo, take a flight from Haneda Airport (about 1 hour 30 minutes) to Fukuoka Airport. Take the JR line from Fukuoka Airport (about 1 hour 30 minutes) and get off at Karatsu Station.
- Spot name: Karatsu Tourist Information Center in Karatsu Station
- Street Address: 2935-1 Shinkou-machi, Karatsu-shi, Saga
- Access: Haneda Airport → [Airplane] About 1 hour 30 minutes → Fukuoka Airport → [JR] About 1 hour 30 minutes → Karatsu Station
- Wi-Fi: Unavailable
- Language: English
- Business Hours: 9: 00-18: 00