Top things to do

Top Choice Tofu in Karatsu

Kawashima Tōfu

On the shopping street near the station, this renowned tofu shop has been in business since the Edo period and serves set meals starring tofu, plus other seasonal specialities, around the 10-seat counter in a jewel …
Top Choice Castle in Karatsu


This 1608 castle (rebuilt 1966) is picturesquely perched on a hill overlooking the sea, and houses antique ceramics, samurai armour and archaeological displays. It's a formidable sight even from the outside. To avoi…
Burgers in Karatsu

Karatsu Bāgā

In the middle of nowhere (in a parking lot) in Niji no Matsubara is a brown-and-white Toyota serving burgers so famous people line up to buy them, and have for decades. The 'Special' is the most popular: a steaming …
Historic Building in Karatsu


This fabulously restored late Meiji Period villa of a local trader is built in a mix of Japanese and Western styles, with lantern-filled gardens, a Buddhist altar room, a wealth of paintings on cedar boards and an i…
Museum in Karatsu

Nakazato Tarōemon

This kiln-gallery is dedicated to the life and work of potter Nakazato Tarōemon (1923–2009), who was responsible for the revival of Karatsu ware. His work is in the inner gallery.
Museum in Karatsu

Hikiyama Festival Float Exhibition Hall

This museum contains the 14 amazing floats used in the annual Karatsu Kunchi Matsuri. Floats include the Aka-jishi (Red Lion, constructed 1819), samurai helmets, and the auspicious phoenix and sea bream. There's goo…
Burgers in Karatsu

Karatsu Bāgā

This alternate branch of the famed Karatsu Bāgā can be found near Karatsu station. The menu items are the same as the original, with the 'Special' the top seller, the only difference is that there's no 1970s-era van…
Gallery in Karatsu

Karatsu Ware Federation Exhibition Hall

Adjacent to Karatsu Station, this exhibition hall displays and sells local potters' works, with prices ranging from ¥500 to I-can't-believe-someone-would-pay-THAT-much-for-THAT! Potters have a display area and many …
Cultural in Karatsu

Karatsu Kunchi Matsuri

Karatsu comes to life with this spectacular festival, dating from 1592 and designated a festival of national cultural importance. The highlight is a parade of massive, exquisitely decorated hikiyama (floats).
Food & Drink in Karatsu


This food festival and market is held in the town centre over four consecutive Saturdays from late July into early August, ending when Obon starts.