Balloon and Art Exhibition

Carp Streamers in Rural Saga

Cherry Blossoms at Ogi Park

Daikozen Temple

The temple's bell tower is framed by colorful maples The precincts of the entire temple are awash with fall color A shrine to the left of the temple's entrance gate The leaves here are at their peak in late November Fall color lasts into early December here and in other parts of Saga The bell […]

Horie Shrine

Horie Shrine Torii Komainu: lion-dogs Torii O-mikuji: strips of paper with fortunes written on them Horie Shrine Horie Shrine is located in Saga City, Saga Prefecture. This is a small albeit very old shrine. For those interested in visiting landmarks of ancient history, you will enjoy this one. Horie Shrine and some of the statues […]

Kakiemon Pottery Showroom

A Kakiemon plate with beautifully painted flowers The kiln at Kakiemon pottery Inside the kiln at the Kakiemon pottery Vases ready to be baked in the oven at the Kakiemon pottery The workshop at Kakiemon pottery A potter at work, shaping the vase A Kakiemon plate with beautifully painted flowers At 10 in the morning, […]

Karatsu Castle

Karatsu Castle overlooking the sea A close-up of the castle A cutaway showing the castle’s construction A scale model of the old castle town A view from the castle’s highest floor Looking out from the observation deck A castle has stood in Karatsu on a promontory overlooking the Genkai Sea almost continuously since the early […]

Karatsu Kunchi Festival

Venue: Karatsu Shrine When: Early Nov 2021 For over 400 years, this autumn festival has been held at Karatsu Shrine and is one of Kyushu's major festival attractions. Highly decorated giant festival floats, known as hikiyama, are hauled across the sand at Nishinohama Beach to a soundtrack of traditional drums and flutes, during the Otabisho […]

Karatsu Kunchi Nighttime Parade

The Sea Bream, my favorite of all floats, known here as hikiyama As you get close to the parade, the street is packed with people Float number 1, The Red Lion Float number 3, The Turtle and Urashima Taro (folk tale characters) Float number 6, The Phoenix-shaped Ship Float number 8, The Golden Lion Float […]

In Photos: Karatsu Kunchi Festival

A float from the Karatsu Kunchi festival A float from the Karatsu Kunchi festival The floats lined up outside the Karatsu train station The first float in the parade Musicians sitting on the float’s base A float is pulled down the main street in Karatsu The Karatsu Kunchi is an annual festival that takes place […]

Kashima Gatalympics

View over the Gatalympics One of the competitors Preparing for the race to start Early Jun View over the Gatalympics (Photo: Jonathan Arnouts) Venue: Roadside station Kashima When: Early Jun 2021 Notice: The dates for this event are not yet confirmed. This page will be updated once the official date(s) are announced by the event […]

Kodomo Park

Snake-slide Kid's train Entrance Space ride Kid's cars Coin-operated rides Snake-slide Having lived in American cities such as San Diego and Tampa, I was provided with abundant access to some of the world’s greatest theme parks and attractions. I was within hours of Disney, Sea World, Bush Gardens, Balboa Park, and the famous San Diego […]


Kōden-ji Bonshō (temple bell) Path leading through Bridge near the temple Beautiful trees permeate the temple grounds Entrance Kōden-ji In my never ending expedition to discover interesting (and especially old) places, I finally made my way over to one of Saga’s hidden treasures, Kōden-ji. This temple has been called a symbol for one of Japan’s most […]

Matsubara Shrine, Saga

Huge red lanterns at Matsubara Shrine. The Matsubara Shrine main hall. Many Shinto shrines are places of intense calm with beautiful gardens. This place possesses a deeply spiritual atmosphere. At a Japanese shrine you often find statues of animals such as foxes or horses. These aren't statues of kami (gods) but of animals that serve […]

Miniature Life Exhibition: Saga

From the new “Stay Safe” series The Stay Safe series encapsulates feelings from 2020 Works often use regular, day to day items to create unique scenes Nov 28th Jan 30th From the new “Stay Safe” series (Photo: Tatsuya Tanaka/Saga Prefectural Art Museum) Venue: Saga Prefectural Art Museum When: Nov 28th – Jan 30th 2021, 9:30am […]

Nagoya Castle Ruins in Saga

What scenes may have taken place here half a millennium ago? A pond enhances the castle grounds Staircase leading up toward where the main keep was View from ground level on the honnmaru, where the main keep stood, looking east over Nagoya Bay Another view from 90 m up: the land beyond the bridge on the […]

Port of Yobuko

A ship leaves port as a yacht returns A statue commemorates the town's past history of whaling in front of the 250-year-old Nakao Mansion Signboards with Japanese and English relate the history of the Nakao Mansion The harbor is packed with interesting fishing vessels to explore from the town streets This ferry runs to Ogawa […]

Saga Balloon Festival

Saga Station Goldfish Scooping Floating over the horizon Saga Station Every year as October draws to a close, thousands of people come to Saga to see the festival which makes the city so famous. Going to work on the train everyday, crossing the prefecture, I can see hundreds of hot air balloons rising over the […]

Saga Castle

A view through the trees. Castle entrance Shachi no Mon Sakura at Saga Castle (April 2014) Saga Castle Entrance Sakura at Saga Castle (April 2014) Notice Saga Castle is closed until further notice to stop the spread of Covid-19. Latest on Saga Castle Saga Castle is located in Saga City of Saga Prefecture. This particular […]

Saga Prefectural Museum

The front of the museum Ceramics on display Kakiemon ware native to Saga at the museum The Saga Prefectural Museum was opened back in 1970 as part of a commemorative project celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Meiji era, and aims to educate visitors about this part of Japan. The venue showcases Saga's art, culture, […]

Shinrin Park

Enjoying the various turtles and fish Shinrin Park in the fall Peaceful stroll through the park Ample space Part of one of the three playgrounds Playground Enjoying the various turtles and fish Saga is without a doubt a small city. But the reality is that not all of Japan is a high-paced neon metropolis. Some use […]

Streets of Arita

The streets here just ooze charm (Photo: Kim B) Inventive uses for broken pottery – as a fun decorative piece! (Photo: Kim B) If it’s made of porcelain, you’ll find it in Arita (Photo: Kim B) Old and new (Photo: Kim B) If you need new plates, cups or porcelain wares this is your town […]

Summer Festivals in Saga

Arita Nouryou Fireworks Arita Nouryou Fireworks Arita Nouryou Fireworks Juuhachi-Ya Juuhachi-Ya Kawakamikyo Fireworks Festival Kawakamikyo Fireworks Festival Nouryou Fireworks Juuhachi-Ya More Events If you happen to be in Saga this summer, be sure not to miss out on some of the local festivals in the area. Have a look below for a taste of some […]

Super Saga City

Saga‘s famous ceramic at its Shrine Saga Shrine moat Moody Japan feeling in Saga University tree lined walks Western styled buildings Old fashioned coffee shop Size doesn’t matter in Saga City. Indeed, this is what’s super about this eponymously named capital of Kyushu’s smallest prefecture. Bundled up neatly within its relatively small space of 431.4 […]

Takeo City Library

The architecture here is really neat! The library’s exterior There’s an on-site Starbucks and seating so you can peruse your books of choice If you want a library that you can get excited about, look no further than Saga's Takeo City Library. The venue boasts some incredible architecture, coffee shops inside the premises, and books […]

TeamLab: A Forest Where Gods Live

Jul 22nd Nov 8th (Photo: TeamLab) Venue: Mifuneyama Rakuen When: Jul 22nd – Nov 8th 2020, 12:00am – 11:59pm Notice: While this event is confirmed, outdoor events can be subject to sudden cancellation or postponement due to weather or unforeseen circumstances. Our listings are only updated periodically, so please check the official site closer to […]

Tozan Shrine

The unique porcelain arch greets you (Photo: Kim B) The striking blue and white of the pottery makes the shrine even more beautiful (Photo: Kim B) Be sure to go up close and check out the beauty (Photo: Kim B) Porcelain ema are a change from the usual wooden variety (Photo: Kim B) The area […]

Yoshinogari Historical Park

Overview of the park Traditional houses A traditional house in the park Bastion and trench A small road A view inside the museum Saga Prefecture is not only famous for its agricultural plains but also its diversity of nature. As we visit Saga, we can enjoy the beautiful beach in Ariake or even the mountainous […]

Visit Yoshinogari Historical Park

Beautiful raised-floor building in the South Village. Minami-no-mura (South Village): This is the area where ordinary people called “geko” lived. The South Village contains 27 reconstructed buildings, including pit dwellings and raised-floor buildings. Entrance of a pit dwelling at Minami-no-mura The inside of a typical pit dwelling at Minami-no-mura Another pretty raised-floor building at Minami-no-mura. […]

Yoshinogari Koen, Saga

View of the park Tombs Ancient Buildings View of the park When I first heard about Yoshinogari Koen (Yoshinogari Historical Park) I was perplexed. How can a place that is so infamous and well known as a tourist destination with Japanese people can be somewhat of an unknown with foreign tourists? It's just a brisk […]

Yūtoku Inari Shrine

The main entrance to Yūtoku Inari Shrine is an impressive, majestic structure that really sets the tone for your visit. In front of the shrine there are ponds filled with massive koi (carp) that you can feed or just admire. The striking vermilion colors against the green backdrop is a very powerful and beautiful sight. […]

Arita and Imari Porcelain

Izumiyama Quarry, a National Cultural Heritage site in Arita Raw kaolin at Izumiyama Quarry Memorial for the First Potters at Izumiyama This wall was made from pieces of old kilns There's an ancient ginkgo tree here that's registered as an official natural monument  The plaque describing the ginkgo tree, like others here, are also in […]

Arita Ceramic Fair

There are thousands of ceramic items on sale, from cheap tea cups to large expensive vases and decorative plates. For a week, the town of Arita buzzes with a festive atmosphere and a remarkable number of visitors – nearly one million over the course of the fair! Nearly 600 stalls and shops spill out into […]

Arita Ceramics Fair

Venue: Arita When: Late Apr – Early May 2022 The Arita Ceramics Fair is an annual event that takes place over the Golden Week holiday (April 29th – May 5th) in the town of Arita in Saga Prefecture. Arita is considered the birthplace of the porcelain industry in Japan, when Korean potters who had been […]

Gen-Emon Kiln in Arita

Arita porcelain Arita is the birthplace of Japanese porcelain. It’s origin dates back to the beginning of the 17th century when deposits of white porcelain ore were found in Arita’s Mt. Izumiyama by Ri Sampei (Korean name, Lee Cham-Pyung), a potter from Korea. Ri Sampei is still honored in Arita to this day. He was […]

Hydrangeas at Mikaeri Falls

Early – Late Jun Making the most of a rainy day at Mikaeri Falls Venue: Mikaeri Falls When: Early – Late Jun 2021 The rainy season comes to Japan every June, bringing a month of wet to most of the country. This is a blessing to not just the nation’s crops and the people they […]

Ochozu Falls Campsite

Enjoy the greenery along the river Ochozu Falls is the main attraction on this hiking trail just outside of the city of Tosu in Saga Prefecture, an easy but scenic walk through the woods good for a family outing. But if you’re looking to spend the day extra leisurely or want to spend a night […]

Round 1, Saga

Dance dance revolution The first time I went to Round 1 in Saga City I was disappointed. I was disappointed that I had spent ¥1300 for 90 minutes in there, when for just ¥800 more I could have stayed for as long as I wanted. I have never been in a place that has so […]

Saga International Balloon Fiesta

Venue: Kase Riverside When: Late Oct – Early Nov 2021 Held every autumn along the Kase River just outside Saga City, the Saga International Balloon Fiesta brings together hot air balloon enthusiasts from around the world. In 2016, the 22nd FAI World Hot Air Balloon Championship took place in Saga for the duration of the […]