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Town of Karatsu Rich in Nature and Historic Beauty

Karatsu in Chinese characters mean the “port of Kara (ancient name of China).”

Kara is the name used in ancient Japan to refer to China or Korea. Karatsu originally means the port used to go to Kara, that is, China or Korea.

One of the Chinese chronicles, Wei Zhi (the Book of Wei), mentions in its chapter of Wa, which is the ancient name of Japan, a state called “Matsura” as one of the states to go through to reach the state of Yamatai.

Today Karatsu has been the gateway to foreign exchange for Japan as a port that has the shortest route to the present Chinese continent.
The name MATSRA also connotes this ancient state Matsura.
Karatsu commands an excellent view of the grand Genkainada Sea and enjoys an affluence of attractive nature.

It features great historic beauty and charms, including elaborate and solemn artistic articles, the exotic wind as often described in an ancient collection of poems, Manyo-shu, and the remaining relics of the Momoyama Culture in the 17th century.

Sightseeing of Karatsu

Karatsu Castle
The castle was originally built by the first lord of the Karatsu Domain,
Terasawa Shimanokami-hirotaka, in 1608.
The top of the castle tower commands a panoramic view of the
Nijinomatsubara, a scenic beach with pine trees, the Bay of Karatsu,
and the urban area of Karatsu City. There is an excellent shelf of
wisterias in the compound of the castle that blossom from late
April to early May every year. Over 100 years old, these wisterias are
a must-see. The castle site is also famous for its cherry blossom viewing spot.

[Entrance fee of the castle tower] JPY 400 for adult and JPY 200 for child
[Opening hours] 9:00 to 17:00
[Closed] December 29 to 31
[Contact] Tel: 0955-72-5697
Yakataishi-no-Nanatsugama
It is a scenic coastal spot with sea caves, located in Minatomachi,
Karatsu City, designated as the nation’s natural monument in 1925.
“Nanatsugama,” which literally means seven pots, comes from seven sea caves.
In reality, there are more than seven sea caves.

Pleasure boat tours are available at Yobuko.
A boat can enter a few meters into some of those caves.

It is also famous for its connection to Jacques Mayol,
a world famous free diver who was the first free diver to descend to 100 meters.
When he was 10, he visited this place together with his family and learned
free diving from local fishermen and saw dolphins under the sea.
This experience was life changing for him.
Morning market of Yobuko
About 20 minutes by car from the urban center
of Karatsu Yobuko is where you can enjoy rich natural
blessings of the Genkainada Sea.
Yobuko’s morning market, held from 7:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. every day,
is one of the Trio of Japan’s Morning Markets.

The shops sell seasonal fresh fish and seashells, as well as
vegetables. You can hear the vendors’ energetic voices.
The most recommended one is squid. Among various squid
products, the exceptional ones are squids dried overnight under the
direct sunlight.

The more you chew, the tastier it gets. You cannot forget the
glutinous texture of the squid in your mouth.
You must not miss its taste when you visit here.
* More information is provided from time to time. Please check this website regularly.