Situated in the northwest of Saga Prefecture, Kyushu, Karatsu City is a castle town blessed with a variety of beautiful, natural scenery ranging from sea vistas to rivers and mountainscapes.
“Karatsu” derives from the location’s attributes as an ideal tsu (port) for passage to Kara (the ancient title for Korea and China). As the name indicates, Karatsu has been open to the world outside Japan since ancient times. We hope to continue to keep our door wide open to the world and we highly value our connection with peoples, goods and cultures of other countries.If you will indulge me, I’d like to “brag” a little about some of the characteristics that make Karatsu such a special place
(1) Rainbow Pinery (formed by the blue sea, white sandy beaches, and green pine plantation)
A million black pines extend in a belt 1 kilometer wide and 5 kilometers long. Years ago, this place was a popular summer resort, frequented by many foreigners. One such visitor was Jacques Mayol, a Frenchman whose exploits inspired the film “Le Grand Bleu.” It is said that Monsieur Mayol learned to skin-dive in the sea off Karatsu and was enchanted by his encounters with dolphins beneath the blue waters.
(2) Karatsu ware (pottery)
Its simple, “naïf” forms are still highly treasured by masters of tea ceremony. Karatsu ware is an ideal introduction to wabi (rustic simplicity) and sabi (elegant simplicity) ― the most representative of traditional Japanese aesthetics. Karatsu ware is said to have been initiated by Korean potters.
(3) Ruins of Nagoya Castle and its military stronghold
Nagoya Castle served as the base for Shogun Hideyoshi Toyotomi’s dispatch of troops to the Korean Peninsula. A museum built within the ruins introduces to visitors, amid remorseful reflections on historical facts, the history of exchanges that have developed between Japan and the Korean Peninsula.
We citizens of Karatsu are cheerful, happy people with big hearts. Come, visit us at Karatsu! You are sure to have your mind and body healed among us, and recover perfect health. Become one of those who love Karatsu!