Tourist spot in Fukuoka Prefecture

Yanagawa city [柳川]

Boat tour in Yanagawa city
Boat tour in Yanagawa city
Photo: Kyushu Tourism Promotion Organization

Boat tour in early summer
Boat tour in early summer
Photo: Yanagawa City

Yanagawa is a city located at the southwest part of Fukuoka Prefecture.

It is located about 60 km south of Fukuoka city, and Saga city is about 20 km northwest of Yanagawa.
There is Ariake Sea about 6 km southwest of the center of city.

In the late 16th century, a castle was built in this city.
Then, this city had developed as a castle town since that.

This area is on the flat land between the mouth of Chikugo River and Yabe River flowing into Ariake Sea.
And some branch rivers of them flows in this area.

When Yanagawa Castle was built, many canals connecting to the rivers were constructed to strengthen the defense of the castle.

After the 17th century, the canals were used as supply of water and for agricultural use.

The total length of the canals is about 930 km.
So Yanagawa is often called the city of water.

The central area is about 1.1 km square and is surrounded by a main canal.
And many canals run in all directions inside and outside the area.

Yanagawa Castle was in the area, but it was destroyed by fire in 1872.
After that, the schools were built on the site and few ruins are dotted in the city.

Town along the canal in Yanagawa city
Town along the canal in Yanagawa city
Photo: Kyushu Tourism Promotion Organization

Unagi no Seiromushi in Yanagawa
Unagi no Seiromushi in Yanagawa
Photo: Yanagawa City

Map of Yanagawa

The feature of the sightseeing in Yanagawa is the boat tours along the canals.

Some companies conduct the tours, and most of them set up the boarding point near the Yanagawa station of Nishitetsu railway.

We can enjoy the cruising for about 40 to 60 minutes.

Yanagawa city produced Kitahara Hakushu (1885-1942).
He was a poet and an author of fairy story, and most of Japanese people know the many children's songs written by him.

Seiromushi of eel ("Ungi no Seiromushi" in Japanese) is a popular dish in Yanagawa.

It is the dish made by steaming rice topped with grilled eel on chopped fried egg in a bamboo steamer.

The City of Water, Yanagawa

Namikura in Yanagawa
Photo: Yanagawa City

Shotoen garden in Yanagawa city
Shotoen garden
Photo: Kyushu Tourism Promotion Organization

Most popular spot along the canal is Namikura (並倉) on the east side.

Old red brick buildings face the canal.
They were built in the 19th centuty, and are still used as the factory of miso.

There is Garden in Tachibana Residence (立花氏庭園) in the southwest corner of the area.

Tachibana Akitora (1646-1702) was the 3rd lord of Yanagawa castle, and he built a villa with wide garden after retirement in 1697.
It was also called Ohana as the nickname.

Current Western-style house and Japanese garden was rebuilt in 1910, and the garden is called Shôtôen (松濤園).

Former Toshima House in Yanagawa
Former Toshima House in Yanagawa
Photo: Yanagawa City

Kitahara Hakushu Birthplace in Yanagawa
Kitahara Hakushu Birthplace
Photo: Yanagawa City

Former Toshima House (旧戸島家住宅) is on the west side of the area.

It was a former samurai residece built in 1828, and was owed by Toshima family from 1882.

The water in its Japanese garden is drawn from the canal.
It is designated as National Scenic Beauty.

Kitahara Hakushu Birthplace (北原白秋生家) is about 250 meters south of Former Toshima House.

Kitahara Hakushu was born in the family of merchant and sake brewery in 1885.
It is estimated that The house was built around the 1850s.

Since 1969, it has been opened to the public.
Next to the house, there is the memorial museum opened in 1985.

How to get here

From Nishitetsu-Fukuoka (Tenjin) to Yanagawa, about 45 to 55 minutes by express or limited express on Nishitetsu railway.

Other Tourist Attractions in Fukuoka Prefecture

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