Discover the best top things to do in Karatsu, Japan including Former Takatori House, Kagamiyama Observatory, Nijino Matsubara, Nagoya Castle Ruins, Nanatsugama, Karatsu Castle, Hikiyama Exhibition Hall, Previously Karatsu Bank, Yobuko Ohashi, Yobuko Morning Market.
Restaurants in Karatsu
4.5 based on 104 reviews
Visiting Karatsu by train from Fukuoka, we expected to see pottery shops, but instead got a unique look at a traditional Japanese home owned by a (very) rich family from early in the 20th century.
We didn't know at the time, but the decorations are clearly modelled on those of the Nijo-Jo in Kyoto – a World Heritage site.
This is a special place, where the owner sought to create a high-quality building in the stye of the old Shoguns. Perhaps as a coal baron he saw himself as a new shogun - but he certainly had style and the money to realise his dream. In its day, this would have been the grandest house in Karatsu, filled with exquisite painted cedar panels, delicate carved woodwork, and a private No theatre.
Visitors are taken through by a local guide who proudly pointed out special or unique aspects of the building. Not much is said about the owner, but it is due to his vision that we can see such an architectural gem.
Lovingly preserved and a highlight of our visit.
4.5 based on 93 reviews
Sitting on top of a hill, it has a nice garden, a temple with torii gates and a nice observations deck with a nice view of Niji No Matsubara (“Rainbow Pine Grove”). This place was named after a local legend about a princess and a mirror (KAGAMI) by her lover. A statue of her is located by the observation deck.
4 based on 260 reviews
Niji No Matsubara (“Rainbow Pine Grove” in Saga) – a grove about 3+ miles long with million+ black pine trees. We viewed this from atop Kagamiyama observation deck with a nice view of the Genkai-Nada seaside.
4 based on 107 reviews
4 based on 77 reviews
There were several caves at a cliff where faced sea. one of the caves was a tunnel. a small boat is able to go through the cave. ocean was very clear blue, and so beautiful! caves were very unique shapes. ocean waves are whittling walls of caves. it makes very unique and incredible texture of rocks.
4 based on 353 reviews
We arrived at the castle by car, but train is another option, as the castle is only 15 minutes walk away from the train station.The castle was built by Terazawa Hirotaka in 1609. It was torn down in the Japan Civil war (Meijii restoration) of the 19th century. The present day concrete reconstruction was rebuilt in 1966. In the original construction, materials were taken from the original Nagoya Castle, which is located 30 minutes away in the direction of Genkai Town. This is an important aspect of Japanese history, as Nagoya Castle was used as the base for the attack on Korea which took place in two invasions between 1592 and 1598, and was lead by Toyotomi Hideyoshi, who is credited as a "unifier" of Japan. The Nagoya castle ruins remain a tourist attraction today, and should not be confused with the castle in Nagoya, which still stands today.
The stone steps leading to the castle is a difficult climb, and will be a tiring 10 minute trek. Another option is to take the elevator to the left of the first flight of steps. A sign displays the price and hours of operation of the elevator. The cost was 100 yen for adults and 50 yen for children. If you are not in good physical condition, I would recommend the elevator. We had visited many Castles in Japan, and do not remember a more challenging approach to a castle.At the top of the stone steps, to the left, is a small shrine. Approach the water pavilion, and wash hands and mouth, then take a small stone and try to throw it on top of the torii gate. You will find that nearly all visitors perform this ritual before visiting the castle, and there is evidence of many stones precariously balanced on the gate.
The small garden area outside the castle entrance has quite a few memorial stones, and offers good views f the bay below. Public bathrooms are in this area, and it may be good to rest here for a few minutes before climbing the 5 stories of steps to the top floor of the castle.The entrance fee to the castle is 410 yen for adults and 200 yen for children. The main display area is on the ground floor.A weathered canon in seen on entry, and many examples of samurai armour. Karatsu is famous for it's ceramics, and there are many beautiful pieces on display here. The displays of swords and pikes was very well presented. There is a section which dispays the sailing routes that the Japanese used during the invasion of Korea. If you are interested in military history, this exhibit will be enjoyed.
It was a long climb to the 5th floor, but it was worth it, as the views of the bay were fantastic. There are photos of all the Castles in Japan to view, as is the case in all Castles. It was a hard walk but worth it. My only disappointment was the mainly concrete reconstruction. We had visited a few Castles that were restored with wood, and found these to be have a more authentic feel. Our visit took approx. 1 hour. Be sure to have a bottle of water before tackling the walk up the steps.
4 based on 115 reviews
This place is located just opposite from the Karatsu Shrine and displays 14 festival floats to be used during the Karatsu Kunchi(November 2,3 and 4)Festival. Off course it would be better to visit the festival but still you can feel the atmosphere of the festival by seeing actual floats used. Admission fee is about USD2.50.
4 based on 78 reviews
This beautiful building used to be a bank, which functioned until recently. Now it is open to public for free, and we can see its nostalgic main hall, reception rooms, safe etc. You can also hold up 100,000,000 yen imitation money and experience its weight.
4 based on 103 reviews
3.5 based on 180 reviews
Squid is huge there, you can find it in both dried and fresh forms. There are stalls that sell fresh seafood, like sea urchins, oysters. We tried the oyster as the shop have a self-service grilling station. I was expecting a more lively, jam-packed market. I'm not sure if most of the sellers went home already since we got there around 9:30 am.
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