"Enjoy The Town of Karatsu" Course
Karatsu has a long history and wonderful nature! We will stop by the exhibit, which is open all year-round, to see the Hikiyama, a parade float used in Karatsu Okunchi festival. After we tour around the castle town, let's take a walk in the Niji no Matsubara Pine Grove, one of the three most famous pine groves in Japan.
Hikiyama Exhibition Hall
"Due to the rebuilding of the Hikiyama Exhibition Hall, it has been relocated to the former Multipurpose Hall of Karatsu Furusato Kaikan Alpino and is now open. At the biggest festival in Karatsu City, Karatsu Kunchi, 14 Hikiyama floats that go around the town are open to the public. These various formative beauty is designated as an important tangible folk cultural property of Saga as an excellent craft that is rarely seen."
Former Takatori Residence
This is an old mansion of Koreyoshi Takatori, who was known as the owner of Kishima coal mine and other business enterprises. There are two large buildings on the site of about 300 square meters. Those buildings have various unique features such as a noh stage in the hall, fanlight with plant and animal carvings, paintings on the sliding doors and etc.
The original castle was built in 1608 by Terazawa Hirotaka, the first lord of the Karatsu Domain. The present castle keep tower was newly built in 1966 and you can overlook the Niji No Matsubara Pine Grove and the Karatsu Bay and the downtown area of Karatsu City from the top floor. It is also well known as a viewing spot of cherry blossoms and wisteria in Spring.
Niji No Matsubara Pine Grove
Niji No Matsubara is a black pine grove created artificially by the order of Terasawa Shimanokami Hirotaka, who was the first load of Karatsu Domain, in order for the purpose of preventing the wind and sand from the beach. Total length is about 4.5 km, it is counted as one of the 3 major pine groves in Japan.