Karatsu Castle

Karatsu Castle: Hours, Address, Karatsu Castle Reviews: 4/5

Karatsu Castle
Historic Sites • Points of Interest & Landmarks • Castles
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9:00 AM - 4:45 PM
9:00 AM - 4:45 PM
9:00 AM - 4:45 PM
9:00 AM - 4:45 PM
9:00 AM - 4:45 PM
9:00 AM - 4:45 PM
9:00 AM - 4:45 PM
9:00 AM - 4:45 PM
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.

479 reviews
Very good

Tokyo140 contributions
Mar 2011 • Friends
Firstly, I'm amazed that you've found this listing! Karatsu is WAY out there, so cheers to you! I came across this breathtaking castle while on Day 2 of a week-long hitchhiking tour of Kyushu. My English friend and I were setting out from Fukuoka City, when a very courteous driver said he would take us to Karatsu. We were on our way to Nagasaki, but this was sort of a halfway point. He had a meeting, but told us he'd pick us up after some sightseeing and get us to a highway. What we found when we arrived blew us away. This gem was so far out of any tourist's sights that we instantly realized how big this hitchhiking tour would be.

The castle sits high upon a hill, like most, but once you're up there, you've got a 180° view of the ocean, with Takashima Island dead ahead. It's utterly amazing! We took a funky elevator up, but there are stairs. There were also a few school trips there, so we had lots of fun acting up with the local kids.

There are shops and food stands around the base, and a few atop, so you won't go starving. Seeing two foreigners here was clearly a big deal for most everyone we met. It was a very welcoming group of people working and visiting the site. It was a stand-out moment of my well traveled life.

The castle itself was built in 1609, but was destroyed, like most. Reconstructed in 1966, it still has a very weathered feel to it. I really do recommend visiting this quaint little town, and that you make your way up to see this amazing site. You're sure to have one of those "only in Japan" moments. This is a very special place, you certainly won't regret it.
Written December 22, 2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Seattle, WA8 contributions
Apr 2014 • Family
The Karatsu Castle is a necessary destination if you are in the area. The stairs up to the castle are quite a hike, but well worth it for the vistas of Karatsu and the beautiful 100 year old wisteria vine. It was in full bloom in late April when we visited.

The castle itself was undergoing some structural renovation to shore up the foundation when we visited. We were still able to gain entrance to the castle and view the exhibits, some in English. Once to the top, there were beautiful views of the Karatsu sea and the town.
Written April 22, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Sherry T
90 contributions
May 2016 • Family
Karatsu Castle is a hilltop castle and is quite easily visible from afar. If you're driving, there is a carpark across the castle. There is an underpass from the carpark to the pathway that leads to the castle.

To access the hilltop castle, there's a long flight of steps (should be to your right as you approach). Fortunately, for those with issues climbing those stairs, there is an elevator. All you need to do is to continue along the path (past a school on the left and some pine trees) until you come to a white building. Use of the elevator requires payment for adults. Senior citizens and (very) young children get to use it free.

When I visited in May 2016, there was extensive construction going on around the grounds of the castle. This marred the beauty of the grounds a little. However, you can easily see Karatsu Bay even from the base of the castle.

The castle itself is one of the smallest I've ever visited in Japan. A museum is incorporated within the various floors of the castle itself. The museum's focus is (obviously) on the history of the castle itself plus some other displays about feudal Japan.

The best part lies at the top of the castle really. The panoramic view from the observation deck is amazing. You should be able to get great panoramic pictures of Karatsu Bay and the city.

Because of the renovations and the smallish size of the castle, my parents and I spent about an hour and 30 minutes there.
Written July 8, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Thomas F
Singapore, Singapore31 contributions
Dec 2015 • Family
We have been to several Japanese castles and this is one of the smallest.

Take the city bus (ask the tourist info in the station).

On our day of visit, it was still under renovation but the top was still accessible. Our photo opportunities were ruined by the bad weather but I think the photos will turn out nice if weather permits.

Nice castle perched on top of a hill. Need to climb up a rather long flight of stairs. We took the lift just around the corner because of the rain and cold. Need to pay for the ride though. The entrance to the castle was free at that time maybe due to the renovation.

Nice ocean and city view on top floor.
Written January 23, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Scottsdale, AZ849 contributions
Oct 2012 • Couples
We came to Fukuoka by cruise ship and took a tour of Karatsu Castle.
It is a nice picturesque castle on top of a hill with very nice surroundings &
a great view from top of the castle.
There was some construction/renovation going on outside of the castle when we visited.
Written November 12, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Mark F
London, UK8 contributions
Apr 2019 • Couples
Located walking distance from the train station, Karatsu Castle is worth the exercise. During Cherry Blossom season, it is truly spectacular. The grounds surrounding the castle have many cherry trees and lovely view planes to capture the castle thru the blooms. Due to time constraints we did not enter the castle but were told the view out the upper windows was gorgeous as well.
Written April 7, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

The Villages, FL25 contributions
Oct 2018
My husband and I took the local bus to the castle, rode the elevator up, and just enjoyed the views from the vantage point. We did not go inside the castle - it is very photogenic from the outside!
Written November 1, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Fukuoka-shi, Fukuoka, Japan12 contributions
Nov 2017 • Friends
Over the years i have visited the castle with visiting friends and family on numerous times. With recent "updates" of the building, i feel embarrassed to take my visitors inside. Okay, the view from the top is still nice, but the displays inside are terrible. For example, each display's tittle is in English... but the explanation is only in Japanese.
Entry? Not worth the 500 yen fee. Just enjoy the castle garden.
Written November 25, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Singapore, Singapore116 contributions
Jun 2016 • Family
A must do...but we didn't get inside the museum as wasn't into such activities.
But the view and walk about was lovely
Written June 15, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Shanghai, China21 contributions
Apr 2016 • Family
The castle can be seen from all over Karatsu, perched on a hill next to the ocean. The granite stairs leading to the main grounds are uneven and long but when we were there, was being negotiated by 1 year olds and very senior citizens. The wisteria tree, the branches of which have grown horizontally across a tressel were in full bloom and fragrant like jasmine. There is another short set of stairs leading to the castle grounds and main entrance. We bought our tickets at the vending machine and worked our way up the five stair cases to the observation deck at the top. The pottery and sword exhibits are nice, but only in Japanese. The panoramic view of the ocean and Karatsu from the top was definitely worth the climb.
Written April 29, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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  • Sun - Sat 9:00 AM - 4:45 PM
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