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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 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.

Yobuko morning market

Approximately 20 minutes by car from the center of Karatsu.
Yobuko is where you can enjoy the rich natural blessings of the Genkai Sea.
Yobuko Morning Market, held every day from 7am to 12pm in Yobuko, is one of Japan's three major morning markets.
Fresh seasonal seafood and vegetables are lined up, and you can hear the cheerful voices of the sales ladies. I definitely recommend the squid.
Among them, the one that is dried overnight in the sun is exquisite.
The more you chew, the more you get addicted to the flavor and chewy texture.
This is a seafood dish that you must try at least once.


These mountains are located in the eastern part of Karatsu City and have an altitude of 284 meters.These mountains are rich in legends and have a long history and are mentioned in the Manyoshu.
From the observation deck at the top of the mountain, you can enjoy a panoramic view of Rainbow Matsubara, a nationally designated scenic spot, the city of Karatsu, and Karatsu Bay.
In spring, cherry blossoms and azaleas are in full bloom, making it one of the tourist attractions crowded with tourists.

Hikiyama Exhibition Hall

Karatsu's biggest festival held on November 3rd and 4th every year
14 floats from Karatsu Kunchi are on display.
Hikiyama is designated as an Important Tangible Folk Cultural Property of Saga Prefecture, and the Hikiyama Event is designated as an Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property of the country. It is registered as a heritage site.
*Due to the reconstruction of the exhibition hall, the venue will be temporarily relocated to the Old Multipurpose Hall of Furusato Kaikan Alpino from October 1, 2021.
[Admission fee] General (15 years old and over) 310 yen
Elementary and junior high school students 150 yen
[Opening hours] 9:00-17:00
[Closed] November 3rd and 4th (for Karatsu Kunchi parade), December 29th to December 31st
[Inquiries TEL] 0955-73-4361


Cape Hato, located at the northwesternmost tip of the Higashimatsuura Peninsula, is a recommended tourist destination for outdoor activities such as hiking, fishing, camping, and swimming.
There are also many military sites of feudal lords in the surrounding area.
A perfect point for history men and women.
The Genkai Sea spreads out in front of you, and the view is especially recommended at sunset.
It has been certified as a satellite of the ``Lover's Sanctuary Project,'' and the heart monument is a popular photo spot.
Hado Misaki's specialty, ``Tsuboyaki Turban Shells'', deliciously grilled by the ladies, is also very popular!

Suginohara Pasture

At the northernmost tip of Kabe Island, this ranch is surrounded by the sea on three sides, and cows graze freely on the grassland.
The contrast between the blue sea, green pastures, and white lighthouse is truly spectacular.
A promenade has been built all the way to the sea, so you can enjoy a relaxing time while looking out at the ocean.