Saga Prefecture has the largest archaeological site in Japan and traditional handicrafts along with an international face

Area Characteristics

Located in the northwestern part of the island of Kyushu, Saga Prefecture, which is next to Fukuoka in the east and Nagasaki in the west, is the smallest of the 7 prefectures which make up the island. It is also known for its wealth of marine products as it faces two contrasting seas in the Ariake Sea which boasts a tidal variation that is prominent on a global level and the Genkai-nada Sea with its fast-flowing tides. Saga is also famous for cultural properties such as the Yoshinogari Ruins and pottery including Arita-yaki and Karasu-yaki ware which flourished in the Edo Era.

Major Sites

The most famous site of Saga is the large-scale Yoshinogari Ruins whose excavation revealed many ancient buildings and relics dating back to the Yayoi Era around 400 BC. Ureshino and Karatsu are two large onsen areas in the prefecture and there are plenty of other highlights to visit such as the graceful Karatsu Castle, Tosu Premium Outlets, Yobuko Bridge and the Nanatsugama Sea Cave. In addition, at the Arita Pottery Market which is held during the Golden Week holidays, there are many lovers of pottery who come over from all over Japan. And every fall, there is the Saga International Balloon Fiesta which is the largest international ballooning competition in Asia and the Karatsu Kunchi Festival which is a representative prefectural event that has been designated as a National Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property.



Saga seaweed and Saga beef are famous nationwide. Also popular are Sicilian rice, Imari hamburgers, Karatsu burgers, Kanzaki soumen noodles, Ureshino boiled tofu and Yobuko squid sliced and presented in its original form. The Ariake Sea is a treasure house for delicacies with distinct appearances and delicious tastes such as grilled mudskippers, gobies and tongue sole fish. There are also plenty of sweets including Shoro manju buns and Ogi yokan (bean jelly).



Flying by air to Saga is the usual mode of travel from Tokyo. It takes 90 minutes to go from Haneda Airport to Ariake Saga Airport. Bus or taxi can be used from the airport but since it takes 30 minutes to head to Saga Station downtown by car, it might be handy to rent a car from the airport to go sightseeing.



In addition to around Saga Station, there are many accommodations in Karatsu, Tosu and the onsen area of Ureshino.