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Guidance on Study Tour

Karatsu area has several scenic and sightseeing spots.
Many tourists visit the area and enjoy various restaurants and retail stores serving or selling “Yobuko’s squids” and many other fresh marine products from the Genkainada Sea.
Other than operation and management of the demonstration field, MATSRA receives study tours as part of its activities to promote science and technology and vitalize agricultural, fishing, and rural communities and hilly/mountainous areas.
If you are interested, please read the following guidance and contact us.
The information is also available in the official website of the government of Saga Prefecture.

Official Website of Saga Prefecture

Download an Application for Study Tour and Notice of Acceptance of Study Tour as follows, fill in the necessary items and send it to us by fax or email.

Application for Study Tour and Notice of Acceptance of Study Tour (Excel format)

Application for Study Tour and Notice of Acceptance of Study Tour (PDF format)

[Send to] Non-profit juridical organization MATSRA
FAX: 0955-72-1458
Kaigandori 7182-233, Karatsu City, Saga Prefecture 847-0873; TEL: 0955-72-1458)

* We should have received the application at least two weeks before the applicant’s requested date of tour.
* When an application was filled and accepted and we received the Application for Study Tour and Notice of Acceptance of Study Tour from the applicant, we will contact the applicant.
* In case the applicant received no call from us within three (3) days after his/her application, contact us by phone.
* We have the right to adjust the date and content of study tour, and will send a Notice of Acceptance and the tour schedule at a later date.

Click here to view an enlarged map using Google Map.

Click here to view an enlarged map using Google Map.
(1) Study tours are available only on weekdays.
(2) Each tour takes about 200 minutes in total.
(3) Please note that we have the right to adjust the study tour time depending on the condition of tour applications, and will do so whenever judged necessary.
(4) Applicants are required to have their own means of transportation to come to the tour starting point. We will arrange a marine taxi (charted boat), which is necessary for an offshore tour.
(5) Offshore tours may be canceled depending on the marine condition on the date of the tour. Please be noted that in case we decide to cancel a tour because of weather condition, we will contact the representative of the tour group and change the tour to the landside one to ensure safety of the applicants.
(6) Study tours are free. However, we will charge the actual cost incurred in hiring a marine taxi (charted boat) for an offshore tour. The offshore tour group is required to pay the amount indicated in the payment slip, and pay it at an appropriate financial institute at a later date.
(7) The area is a scenic tourist spot. Tour members can enjoy various marine products fresh from the Genkainada See at restaurants or retail stores. Please feel free to contact us about such information.

Contents Contact TEL FAX
Sightseeing of Karatsu Karatsu Tourist Association 0955-74-3355 0955-74-3365

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 410 for adult and JPY 200 for child
[Opening hours] 9:00 to 17:00
[Closed] December 29 to 31
[Contact] Tel: 0955-72-5697
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.