Tour of Karatsu, in Northern Saga

Karatsu Castle

2 Days

This itinerary takes you through Karatsu, in northern Saga prefecture. Part of the Genkai Quasi-National Park, Karatsu has lots of beautiful coastlines and other natural scenery to enjoy, and is famous for pottery.

Access From Narita

  1. Day 1

      1. Saga Station → [80 minutes by Train] → Niji-no-Matsubara Station


      Stretching along the Karatsu Bay coastline, Niji-no-Matsubara is approximately 5 km in length, 1 km wide and made up of around 1 million Japanese Black Pine trees.

      Niji-no-Matsubara Niji-no-Matsubara
      1. Niji-no-Matsubara Station → [10 minutes by Train] → Karatsu Station
      2. Karatsu Bus Center → [30 minutes by Bus] → Yobuko Bus Stop

      2Yobuko Live Squid

      One of the best things about traveling is being able to try new foods. Yobuko's live squid sashimi is one of the must-try local specialties of Saga. The ocean fresh, live squid sashimi stays transparent as it prepared in just 30 seconds. Enjoy its smooth texture and sweet taste.

      Yobuko Live Squid Yobuko Live Squid
      1. Yobuko Bus Stop → [20 minutes by Bus] → Hadomisaki National Hostel Bus Stop

      3Cape Hado

      Hadomisaki is a small cape in Karatsu City. Not merely offering picturesque scenery, the Hadomisaki proximity is a resort area with an abundance of fun activities such as hiking, fishing, camping and swimming in the sea.

      Hado Cape Hado Cape
      1. Cape Hado → [3 minutes walk] → Subsea Observation Tower

      4Subsea Observation Tower

      The islands of the Genkai Sea can be seen from the deck of the 86m pier which connects to the subsea observation tower. From the subsea observation tower at a depth of 7 meters, visitors can see seasonal fish in their natural surroundings.

      Subsea Observation Tower Subsea Observation Tower
      1. Subsea Observation Tower → [20 minutes by Bus] → Yobuko Bus Stop


      There are various hotels and Japanese inns offering fresh and tasty seafood in Yobuko Area.

  2. Day 2

      1. Yobuko Morning Market → [30 minutes by Bus] → Karatsu Bus Center
      2. Karatsu Bus Center → [5 minutes walk] → Karatsu-Yaki Exhibition Hall

      6Karatsu-Yaki Exhibition Hall

      In Karatsu, you can also find baked pottery called Karatsu-Yaki. The outstanding works of 19 potteries are exhibited and sold at Karatsu-Yaki General Exhibition Hall, and you can also try pottery painting yourself.

      Karatsu-Yaki Exhibition Hall
      1. Karatsu-Yaki Exhibition Hall → [4 minutes walk] → Former Karatsu Bank Central Branch

      7Former Karatsu Bank Central Branch

      The former Karatsu Bank central branch constructed in 1912 was supervised by Kingo Tatsuno, an architect born in Karatsu and designed by his dear disciple Minoru Tanaka.

      The former Karatsu Bank central branch The former Karatsu Bank central branch
      1. Former Karatsu Bank Central Branch → [5 minutes walk] → Hikiyama Exhibition Hall

      8Hikiyama Exhibition Hall

      The hikiyama (or giant floats) which are the main stars of Kunchi, are on display all year round here.

      Hikiyama Exhibition Hall Hikiyama Exhibition Hall
      1. Hikiyama Exhibition Hall → [5 minutes walk] → The Former Takatori Residence

      9Former Takatori Residence

      This is the former residence of Koreyoshi Takatori. The value of the residence was evaluated by many architects and Cultural Affairs Agencies and this residence was designated as a National Important Cultural Property in 1998. You can enjoy the magnificence of Japanese original modern style architecture.

      Former Takatori Residence Former Takatori Residence
      1. The Former Takatori Residence → [15 minutes walk] → Karatsu Castle

      10Karatsu Castle

      This castle was constructed in 1608 by the first lord of the Karatsu Domain, Hirotaka Terasawashima-nokami. The Maizuru Park located on the periphery of the castle is a famous spot to view cherry blossoms and wisteria flowers when they are in full bloom. The Karatsu Castle is illuminated at night, making for a gorgeous sight to behold.

      Karatsu Castle Karatsu Castle