Make new discoveries pottering about in north-west Kyushu
Rugby World Cup 2019 Travel Guide: Saga
Head to the Tara Region to take in the unique sight of the Kaichu Torii Shrine in the Ariake Sea. The three red ‘gates’ are built into the beach and so different tides present different views.
In Kashima, you will find one of Japan’s most famous shrines: Yutoku Inari Shrine. It delivers great views too, as it’s on a hill.
With Saga known for its ceramics, head to the Imari area to discover a distinct range of pottery. At Pottery Studio Rokuroza you can create a unique souvenir – get your hands dirty to make your own dish on the pottery wheel and then paint it.
If you enjoy foraging for goods, you can do a ‘treasure hunt’ at the Kouraku Kiln in Arita. For around £35, you get a tour and can then rummage through 150 years’ worth of ceramics, taking home as many as you can fit in your basket in 90 minutes. Be sure to book as they allow only ten people to do it each day.
There are a plethora of local delicacies to try. For meat lovers, tuck into the highly-rated Saga Wagyu beef. If you enjoy seafood, visit Yobuko for squid – raw squid sashimi and dried squid are the most well-known styles there – and in Tara try Takezaki crab. Head to Hizenhama to sample different sakes for free at the long-running breweries there.
WORLD CUP VISIT
Saga isn’t hosting any games but you can fit a visit around the matches taking place on Kyushu island in Fukuoka, Oita and Kumamoto.
Related: Rugby World Cup venues
Going by bus, Saga is 35 minutes from Kyushu Saga International Airport and 75 minutes from Fukuoka Airport.
DID YOU KNOW?
Every year Saga hosts the International Balloon Fiesta in late October/early November, with hot-air ballooning teams from all over the world taking part.
Use two wheels instead of two legs to look around Saga. Find out more about the various places you can rent a bike via the link below.