Karatsu – the beautiful sea scenery and high grade ceramic ware

Known for the beautiful sea and high grade Karatsu ceramic ware
A one hour and half trip by bus or train from Fukuoka will take you to Karatsu. Karatsu is surrounded by beautiful coasts and mountains. I would like to insist that anyone visit this city, because Karatsu ceramic ware that leads the Japanese ceramic art is really outstanding. There are 70 workshops in this city. I will bet will be impressed by some of the best quality ceramic works. Karatsu will not only entertain your eyes but also provides excellent sea foods. Karatsu is blessed with an abundance of sea foods.


Karatsu yacht harbor
World-class yacht races have been held on many occasions in Karatsu. This yacht harbor has produced a lot of athletes, including Olympic players. Yes, Karatsu is famous around the world as one of the best yacht harbors. Staff members working this harbor said, “Karatu is best for optimal winds and excellent marine conditions for yacht.” Visiting this harbor made me feel local people’s passion for yacht.


Jacques Mayol in Karatsu
Have you ever seen the movie “Le Grand Blue”? This film is based on real person Jacques Mayol famous as a freelance diver. He often visited Karatsu in summer in his childhood. He encountered dolphins in this sea,learned skin diving, and was fascinated by diving. He spent part of the twilight years in this city. What did he think when he looked at this sea?


Ryuta-kiln
Potters’ works made in this kiln follow the tradition of the Nakazatos family, one of the most famous Karatsu-yaki pottery families and present a unique view, a combination of simplicity and beauty. It is said that the their works are recognized of functional usability and durability by a renowned chef in Japan. You can observe how they create new works in their workshop. If you love their works in their gallery located in the famous inn called “Youyoukaku”.


Tarouemon Nakazato’s workshops
Tarouemon Nakazato (1895-1985), the 12th master of Karastu-yaki pottery was a human national treasure. Karastu has the ability to produce great figures. You can enjoy watching his and his family’s masterpieces in this gallery.


Former Takatori House
Koreyoshi Takatori who made a fortune in the coal industry lived in this house. The house was designated as a nationally important cultural property. Just once, I’d like to live in a mansion like this in my life.


Karatsu Kunchi Festival
The festival is held on 2nd-4th of November every year. This is the biggest one in Karatsu. The high point of the festival is 14 parade floats. Each float feature luck charm, porgy, kabuto, lion, etc.


Niji no Mastubara (pine forest along the Karastu Bay)
One million pine trees occupy an area, 5 km long and 1 km wide. This is one of the three biggest pine forests in Japan. If you walk in this forest, you will feel just like you are walking under a pine tree tunnel.
If you feel hungry, you can get famous burgers from a burger truck in the forest. Let’s bite one while walking through this tunnel. The sauce is awesome!


Ikinari-dango(dumpling)-Japanese local traditional sweets
The rice dumpling made with local sweet potatoes and bean jam is popular among women.


Gyorokke fried fish cake
This is famous as a specialty in Karatsu, Fujikawa-kamaboko. Fujikawa fish cake shops produce popular Gyorokke flavored with curry or salt.


Squids in Yobuko
In Fishermen’s town Yobuko, you can enjoy Yobuko specialty ika-no-ikizukuri, a sliced row squid presented in its original shape. The fresh row squid tastes very good. In this town you can stop by at the market from 7:30 am to around noon and get local fish and vegetable.


Tategami, the best surf point in northern Kyushu
The well-known surf point called Tategami is full of surfers waiting for big waves on great surfing days. The tategami-iwa (stone) along the coast is known as a gigantic stone with unique shape.


Houtou-shrine
Houtou literary means “win a lottery”. The name of the shrine is attracting people who are going to win the lotto and want to get successful and so on. There are so many people come to prey from all over Japan. Come and prey, get a good fortune and an economic fortune!


Karatsu Castle
The Karatsu Castle was built in 1608. You can enjoy panoramic views of the beautiful pine forest along the Karatsu Bay called Niji no Mastubara and Karatsu town from the top of the Karatsu Castle.


Former Karatsu Bank head office
This building was designed by Kingo Tatsuno who is famous architecture in the 19 centuries (Meiji period). His famous representative structures are Tokyo station, the central branch of the Bank of Japan, etc.