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Saga Prefecture

Saga Prefecture in Kyushu DistrictSaga PrefectureSaga Prefecture is at the northwest part of Kyushu Island.
It is one of smallest prefectures in Japan, and is about 80 km from east to west and about 70 km from north to south in width.

The northwestern coast faces Genkai Sea connecting to the Sea of Japan, and the southern coast faces Ariake Sea.
Ariake Sea has a great tidal range that creates the large mudflats.

There are few high mountains, and the highest mountain in this prefecture is around 1,000 meters high.
Also only an inactive volcano is in Saga Prefecture, but there are many hot springs. Ureshino and Takeo are the popular hot spring resorts.

The west part of the prefecture has the towns of porcelains since the ancient times.
Since the 17th century, this area has been created excellent porcelains.

The prefectural capital is Saga city.
Saga city and Karatsu city has the castles built in the Middle Ages.

To visit Saga Prefecture, it is convenient to use JR lines.
To the southern part of the prefecture, JR limited expresses run from Hakata frequently.
To the northern part of the prefecture, JR trains run through the subway of Fukuoka city from Hakata and Fukuoka Airport.

Saga Airport is located about 15 km south of Saga city near Ariake Sea.
It has the flights from Haneda (Tokyo) and Itami (Osaka).

Saga sightseeing information

The climate in Saga city
Highest Temperature (deg C) 9.8 11.4 14.6 20.4 25.1 28.0 31.5 32.5 29.1 23.9 17.8 12.3
Lowest Temperature (deg C) 1.3 2.3 5.3 9.8 14.7 19.6 23.6 24.1 20.2 13.9 8.3 3.1
Mean monthly rainfall (mm) 57 78 129 156 198 339 339 197 180 76 76 48

Tourist spots in Saga Prefecture

Saga Prefecture map

Yoshinogari site /1/
Takeo hot spring resort /2/
Ureshino hot spring resort /3/
Yutoku-Inari Shrine /4/
Arita town /5/
Karatsu city /6/
Yobuko town /7/

Scenic or Nature / Park or Garden / Resort / City, Town or Village / Quarter or Street /
Temple or Shrine / Museum or Laboratory / Market or Commercial facility / Factory /
Other Building or Construction / Historic place / Remains / World Heritage Site

Main events in Saga Prefecture

Kashima GatalympicsKashima Gatalympics (Sunday in Last May or First June)

It is the annual event of Kashima city located at the south part of Saga Prefecture. It is held on the mudflat facing Ariake Bay.
The mudflat is an athletic field, and jumping contest, bicycle race, obstacle race, tug of war, and some other competitions are held there.
Of course, the participants get muddy. When they fall into the mud, flashy individual performances attract the visitors.
The event has been held since 1985.
"Gatalympics" is a coined word of "Gata" meaning mudflat in Japanese and "Olympics".

Saga International Balloon FiestaSaga International Balloon Fiesta (Late October to Early November)

It is the big event for hot-air balloon in Japan, and is held just outside of Saga City, along the Kase River.
During about a week, Japanese National Hot Air Balloon Championship and some official competitons are held.
Every year, more than 100 balloons from Japan and many other countries join, and over a million spectators come to see the fiesta.

Karatsu KunchiKaratsu Kunchi (November 2-4th)

It is the annual festival of Karatsu Shrine in Karatsu city.
It is said that the word "Kunchi" means ninth day and the festival had been held on 9th, 19th or 29th day in September in the lunar calendar.
But Karatsu Kunchi has been held in early November since 1968.
The main attraction is the parade of the floats with large papier-mache statues.
But the statues are the excellent craftworks with lacquering and gilding.
Each of 14 districts in Karatsu city has a different statue. They are lions, fishes, samurai warrior helmets, and so on.
In 1979, these floats were invited to Nice Carnival in France, and got a favorable reception.

Local foods and products in Saga Prefecture


It is a kind of mudskipper, and it make its habitat only in Ariake Sea in Japan.
The length of the body is about 10 centimeters, and it live in the mudflats.
This fish is one of the cooking ingredients of local cuisine in Saga Prefecture.
It is commonly cooked by grilling with dipping in shoyu (soy sauce) and sugar or stewing in soy sauce and sugar.
They look terrible but they are delicious because it is not as greasy as eel.

Sicilian RiceSicilian Rice

It is a local dish in Saga city. But it is never an Italian dish.
It is made by frying sliced beef and onion, putting them on rice, topping it with lettuce, sliced tomato and cucumber, and putting mayonnaise on it.
It was created by a cafe in the center of Saga city around 1977.
The dish looked like a Mediterranean Sea cuisine because seafoods were used in early times, so some say that such name was given, but it is not sure.
Most of the cafes and restaurants in Saga city serve Sicilian Rice.

Imari PorcelainImari Porcelain

It is a well-known Japanese porcelain ware, and it is called "Arita-yaki" (Arita ware) rather than "Imari-yaki" in Japan.
The porcelain has been created mainly in Arita town, and Imari city had a embarkation port of the production.
In the early 17th century, potters from Korea created the porcelains first in Arita.
Then, in the middle of the century, colorful porcelains had been created by technical innovation.
The productions had been exported abroad, and they were appreciated as art object in the world.
Arita is still producing many porcelains.

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