Things to See & Do

Nakatsu Castle

The Oldest Stone Wall in Kyushu.
The Most Recognisable Water-Castle.

Kuroda (later lord of Fukuoka) began building the castle in 1588, and Hosokawa (later lord of Kumamoto) completed the project in 1600. Afterwards another lord, Okudaira (Tokugawa family), governed Nakatsu until the end of the Samurai era in the 19th century. We are proud of the castle and the legendary lords who started their careers from here.

Open:7 days/week 09:00-17:00

Afternoon Half-day Bus Tour
Guided Walking Tour
Access MapMAP

Yukichi Fukuzawa’s
Former Residence

The Legend of the ¥10,000 note.
Founder of Keio University.

Yukichi Fukuzawa (1835-1901), a distinguished pioneer of the after-Samurai era, introduced advanced social systems from overseas. He founded Keio University and advocated the importance of education. The old house where he grew up is open to the public. 83 years after his death he became the key figure on the ¥10,000 note.

Open:7 days/week 09:00-17:00(except 31 December)

Guided Walking Tour
Access MapMAP

Temple Streets

12 Temples crowded into a narrow area. Stroll or cycle to explore.

There is no place like Teramachi (temple district), where 12 temples are in a small neighboring area. There are many unique temples built by respective lords of Nakatsu. A must-see!

1.Fumonin,2.Horenbo Anzuiji,3.Horenbo,

Guided Walking Tour
Access MapMAP

Komojinja Shrine

The Root of 44000 shrines in Japan.
A Sacred Pond is worshipped there.

Usa Hachiman, a famous neighboring shrine, is headquarters for 44,000 out of the 110,000 shrines in Japan. Komojinja Shrine endowed Usa Hachiman with a sacred figure made of “Komo”, a water plant that grows in the pond which the shrine is named after. It is no wonder that big Hachiman shrines in Kyoto, Kamakura, and other places are descended from this shrine.

Afternoon Half-day Bus Tour
Access MapMAP

Mt. Hachimen

Mountain of Big Stones and Big Views.

Mt. Hachimen is a distinctive table-mountain and a popular local symbol. Ancient monks had ascetic training on the mountain. And sacred activities were held on a big stone stage of 19m height and 57m width, which is the biggest wild worshipping stage in Japan. There are various well-maintained trekking courses on the mountain.

Mt. Hachimen Guided Tour: Coming soon

Access MapMAP

Ao-no-Domon, Kyoshuho

A hand-made tunnel was dedicated.
Riverside rocky hill was conserved.

An amazing work dedicated to worshippers has been partly preserved. About 280 years ago many people traveled to Rakanji temple along the riverside cliff. A monk decided to dig a tunnel in the cliff for safe travel. Yukichi Fukuzawa protected the hills above the tunnel to preserve the natural environment. The hills are called Kyoshuho. Today we can enjoy walking through the hand-made tunnel and viewing panoramic hills thanks to the two local heroes’ accomplishments.

Afternoon Half-day Bus Tour
Full-day Bus Tour
Access MapMAP Koyo MapMAP
Fresh Green MapMAP


Panorama of Rocks and Leaves.
Old fashioned Shopping Street.

Hitome (glance) Hakkei (8 views) is a well-known spot for new leaves and autumn red contrasted against pillar rock mountains. A rustic shopping street is nestled in the mountains giving off a fantasy-like feeling. You can try good soba-noodles and soba-manju. An annual hiking event is held during the fresh greenery season.

Shin-Yabakei Walking Event
Golden Walk 2019 29 April


Full-day Bus Tour Access MapMAP
Koyo MapMAP Fresh Green MapMAP

Keisekien Garden

Garden that represents Local Nature.
The Photogenic Scenery of Koyo.

Keisekien Garden was developed to commemorate the inauguration of Yabakei Dam in 1987. The garden has a land area of 20,000 square metres, and utilizes more than 30,000 trees to create a replica of the beautiful natural environment of Yabakei.
The artistic landscape and tree-layout produces a photogenic scenery for visitors.

Open: 7 days/week
Admission: Free

Access MapMAP Koyo MapMAP
Fresh Green MapMAP

Mabayashi Gorge
Sarutobi-Sentsubo Gorge

Connected Gorges to walk.
Quiet, Clean, and Mysterious.

A rush of water rolled stones onto rocky riverbeds at the upper Yamakuni River. That is how these mysterious gorges were made thousands of years ago.
Mabayashi means Magic Forest, Sarutobi means Jumping Monkeys (there are no longer any monkeys there now). There is a footpath along the gorges that takes tourists closer to this wondrous world.

Access MapMAP Koyo MapMAP
Fresh Green MapMAP

Yabakei Bridge

The Longest Stone Bridge in Japan.
It is called Holland Bridge.

A beauty of Yabakei, completed in 1923, this stone bridge has 8 arches is 116m long, a length which no other stone bridge in Japan has. The bridge was built mainly for tourism purposes, however it’s also been utilized as infrastructure for proximity access.
Among local people the bridge is called Holland Bridge because the structural style is seen a lot in Nagasaki, where only the Netherlands was officially permitted to trade in the Feudal era.

Afternoon Half-day Bus Tour
Access MapMAP

Things to Do

Making Authentic Sweets

Have a Unique Experience in Japan by Making and Eating Sweets.

Making authentic Japanese sweets is a unique experience even for locals. If you have the opportunity while in Japan, you should make try it. You’ll mix dough and wrap them together to shape it into a beautifully tiny figure. All done under a chef’s guidance.

Making Japanese Sweets Experience
The detail is to be advised.

Experience of Makeover

Wear a Gorgeous Costume and become a Princess.
A Sublime Photo Opportunity.

This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for you to be an ancient Japanese princess. The costume is not an ordinary kimono but an exquisite brocade for the aristocracy. A divine hall with a golden folding screen in a shrine is your stage.

Princess Costume Experience
The detail is to be advised.

Afternoon Half-day Bus Tour

The Highlights of Nakatsu City (English speaking guide)

This is the best option for tourists with limited mobility or seeking a quick sightseeing.
Operating date: 03(Thu), 06(Sun), 10(Thu), 13(Sun), 14(Mon), 20(Sun), 21(Mon) October
Price: ¥3,000 inc. tax per person
Start: 13:00 Finish: 16:40
JR Nakatsu Station→Nakatsu Castle→Komo Shrine→Ao-no-Domon→Light meal→JR Nakatsu Station

JYP 3,000


Full-day Bus Tour

Japan Heritage Yabakei & Kusu (English speaking guide)

Japan Heritage of Yabakei & Kusu consists of mus-see spots with fascinating stories.
Operating date: 05(Sat), 12(Sat), 19(Sat) October
Price: ¥5,000 inc. tax per person
Start: 10:00 Finish: 15:00
JR Nakatsu Station→Ao-no-Domon→Shin-Yabakei (Lunch)→Bungomori→JR Nakatsu Station

JYP 5,000


Japanese Cultural Experiences

Nakatsu’s traditional Cultural Art (English speaking guide)

This is an easy and quick way to experience Japanese art.
Price: ¥2,000 inc. tax per person
Start: 13:30 Finish: 15:00

Tea Art
Try making Japanese tea.
Operating date: 05(Sat), 06(Sun), 14(Mon) October

Flower Art
Enjoy making Japanese traditional artifact.
Operating date: 12(Sat), 13(Sun), 19(Sat) 20(Sun) October

Flower Art


Tea Art