This promotional video introduces Nakatsu Castle in Nakatsu and Kanbei Kuroda, who was the creator and first master of the castle. The stone wall he constructed is said to be the oldest stonewall in Kyushu. Nakatsu Castle is known as one of the three mizujiro (“castle on the sea”) in Japan, together with Takamatsu Castle in Kagawa prefecture and Imabari Castle in Ehime prefecture.
Nakatsu is located in the northwestern part of Oita prefecture and is also known for being the place where the famous, Japanese author Yukichi Fukuzawa spent the first 19 years of his life.
From Haneda Airport to Oita Airport takes about 1 h 30 mins. Then another 1 h and 30 mins by limousine bus from the airport to Nakatsu station.
It takes about 5 h by bullet train from Tokyo station to Hakata station, then by express train 1 h to Nakatsu station.
Nakatsu – a beautiful castle town
While Nakatsu is very famous for its castles, there are many more beautiful scenic spots to enjoy; both in nature and the city. Yabakai gorge is one of the must-see places, which has been designated one of the “New Three Views of Japan”, a “National Scenic Beauty”, and a “Heritage of Japan”. The gorge shows different, beautiful scenery throughout the year but is the most popular during autumn. Yabakei is fascinatingly different from other gorges due to the interestingly shaped rocks rising along the riverside; Ao-no-Domon (the blue cave entrance) that is said to have taken 30 years to make during the Edo period; the Rakanji Temple with 3770 Buddha statues inside; Yabakei Bridge, which is the longest arched strone bridge; and much more!
In the city, there are also many must-see spots, such as Usa Jingu shrine – also known as Usa Hacimangu and is considered the headquarters of over 44,000 Hachiman shrines nationwide – and Himejima, an island, which is definitely worth a visit if you have time.
The local cuisine of Nakatsu is not only Karaage!
Since there are many poultry-farms in Nakatsu, chicken has been popular for locals and there are many karaage (Japanese fried chicken) shops. A lot of people in Japan think the most famous food in Nakatsu is karaage, but there are many unknown foods in the city – especially if you are a meat love: you can enjoy wild game, such as boar and deer, but also the specially grown pork of Nakatsu called ‘Kinunton Pork’.
You can also enjoy seafood, such as hamo (pike conger) and oysters called “Higata-Bijin”, the latter cultivated in tidelands, which Nakatsu was the first place in Japan to do. There is also Yabakei Suppon, which is soft-shelled turtle! And if you are a ramen lover, you should try Nakatsu ramen, too!
Why don’t you visit Nakatsu and enjoy both great nature and food?
Oita Prefecture’s – “Japan’s No.1 Onsen Prefecture Oita” – official tourism information site.
- Fuysukaichi Onsen, a must-visit place when visiting Chikushino City, Fukuoka Prefecture