(not quite a) Year in Japan

So, finished with studying for the time being, off to do a bit of travelling over the course of the next 2 weeks or so.

So today it’s goodbye to Fukuoka (福岡) (i’m sure it’s just a temporary goodbye), and hello to Karatsu (唐津).

About an hour away by train, it becomes clear very quickly that Karatsu is going to be relatively ‘inaka’ (田舎) or ‘rural’ compared to Fukuoka.

First off, Karatsu Castle (唐津城).


Well sort of, I’d misread the time for a ferry I needed to take, so I ended up killing 30 mins or so admiring the exterior of the castle and the lovely view. Anyway, to get to that lovely view there was an underpass (complete with funky tile art)


and plenty of stairs




Also captured a little video of a boat making it’s way from Karatsu (mainland?) to a small island called Takashima Island (高島), which is in fact my next destination.

So, off to Takashima Island, known locally as ‘Cat Island’, but there’s not many cats, so lets just get that straight before we go any further.

It’s a 10-minute boat ride to the island, upon which there’s a lot of cat-based advertising, I say ‘a lot’, this is pretty much it


The reason for all the cat-themed stuff is because like 10 years ago some dude won the lottery after making a fuss over a cat at a local shop, the story spread, and now the island has become something of a pilgrimage for lottery players and cat lovers alike.

So much so, that if you follow the paw-prints


and make your way to the shrine


you’ll find winning lottery tickets and newspaper clippings from people that won after being blessed by the island’s cats.

All that aside, it is a good business for the island folk selling good luck charms.


Other than that it’s a pretty sleepy island with not much of anything, aside from a couple of restaurants/cafes and cool looking mountain/hill, I don’t mean that in a harsh way, I actually really liked it 🙂

And I’ve spent far too long talking without any pictures of cats, so here we go


Last up was Yobuko (呼子), a small town to the north of Karatsu that is known for it’s seafood, in particular squid.


Unfortunately I timed it super-badly, so not only was it very hot, most of the cafes/restaurants were closed, so ended up not spending a great deal of time here.

Much like Takashima island, it’s pretty sleepy, perhaps a little to quiet for me!

That was it for the sightseeing today, ended up not doing quite as much as I’d hoped, but the wait for getting the bus to various places, and the walking in-between ended up eating a lot of time. Part of me wishes I’d rented a car, but I’m not entirely sure there’s enough to justify renting a car in Karatsu!

Oh yeah, it seems they based a fictional town in an anime (Yuri on Ice) on Karatsu, as a lot (read almost all) of the shops and restaurants I walked by/went in had posters from said anime on the windows/walls, especially (as is the case with the off-license below) when the shop was featured in the anime.


And finally, after a long day of walking some horrific number of miles in the hot sun, I get to the hotel and got a free upgrade to my room – it has a lovely view of the bay 🙂


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