One of the most amazing locations in all of Kyushu is without a doubt the Karatsu Castle. It is located on an island overlooking the Karatsu Bay with the Black Pine Forests of Niji no Matsubara in close proximity. Everything about this place screams Japanese! The history, the culture the architecture and of course its purpose, to crush any uprising and discontent in the ranks of its people and rival factions.
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 as well as the downtown area of Karatsu City from the top floor.
The castle tower reopened after renovation in July, 2017. The history and culture of Karatsu City is exhibited with AR (Augmented Reality) equipment in the new exhibition room. This room showcases Samurai arms and armor including swords as well as the regions famous ceramic wares which are well known throughout Japan. In fact, I spent as much time checking out all the displays, even more than the actual view from the tower, which is a rarity for me.
Karatsu Castle is also well known as a viewing spot for cherry blossoms and wisteria during Spring. In the photos provided, my visit with my son was in summer, so i will attempt to return again next year in spring to check out the flowers and colors of this time of year.
Karatsu Castle is located approx. an hours drive away from Fukuoka and is an amazing place to visit on a Day Tour or as package 2 or 3 day tour of Kyushu Island. I am sure you won`t be disappointed even if you are here for just an hour because your time here will satisfy all your sightseeing needs.
Please check out Karatsu Castle here on a map:
Please click on the photos below to enlarge:
Please check out these video below to see more information about Karatsu Castle: