These Historic Towns in Japan Are a Break From Your Usual Tourist Itinerary

Experience the rich culture of Yame and Chikugo!


For tourists who want a break from their usual itinerary and experience a quiet weekend, driving around Fukuoka City is the best thing to do. At Yanagawa in particular, the essence of Edo Japan until the Meiji period remains thick in the atmosphere, making it an area that’s rich with history.


In this article, we introduce the town of Yame, with its white-wall architecture, and Chikugo, where a shrine, in which a romance deity resides, is located.


Check out our itinerary below!


Kawakudari


Kawakudari is one of the representative tourist attractions of Yanagawa.


Kawakudari
means taking a boat ride down the waterways, which runs through the town like a grid. The town comes to life before your very eyes as you listen to the stories and songs of the captain. The boat travels about four kilometers and takes 60 minutes to arrive at the last stop called Yanagawa Tachibana-Tei OHANA.


Kawakudari


A Kawakudari boat ride is available at Mitsuhashi-cho, Yanagawa City, Fukuoka. There are four boarding places around the Nishitetsu Yanagawa Station. Rides are available from 9 a.m. to the evening (depending on the boat company) and costs ¥1,500 to ¥1,600 (depending on the boat company). You may contact the Yanagawa City Sightseeing Information Center at +81-944-74-0891.


Kabashima Hyouka


Ice Candy


Kabashima Hyouka
makes and sells Ice Candy (from ¥120 per bar) from ingredients produced in Fukuoka, such as tea from Yame City and Amaou strawberries. The mango flavor is especially worth checking out, as the mangoes are produced in their own farm. The cute hippopotamus logo on the ice candy package also makes for a retro design.


Their ice cream cups are popular too!


Kabashima Hyouka is located at 53-2 Honjo-machi, Yanagawa City, Fukuoka and is open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. except on Wednesdays. You may contact them at +81-944-74-5333.


Soba Kiri Fuminokura


Ten-mori Soba (Tempura served with cold soba noodles)


Soba Kiri Fuminokura
was started by the owner, who trained in a popular restaurant in Nagano, that specializes in soba noodles. Nihachi Soba, which is a mix of the locally-produced soba powder, is used for their Ten-mori Soba (tempura served with cold soba noodles) (¥1,200). This soba dish is made with seasonal ingredients.


The restaurant’s Soba Tea Ice Cream (¥300) is also delicious and offers a rich taste of soba.


Soba Kiri Fuminokura is located at 154 Motomachi, Yame City, Fukuoka and is open from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. except on Tuesdays, or when they run out of soba noodles.  You may contact them at +81-943-24-2227.

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Kawa no Eki Funagoya Koi Botaru


This bath will give you glowing skin.


The milky hot spring water at Kawa no Eki Funagoya Koi Botaru is enriched with minerals that make the skin glow. At the restaurant, they have a lunch buffet from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on weekends and on Japanese holidays (¥800 per person). You can also buy local Chikugo area seafood and vegetables at the souvenir shop.


Kawa no Eki Funagoya Koi Botaru is located at 298-2 Oshima, Chikugo City, Fukuoka and is open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. except on Tuesdays. You may contact them at +81-942-52-8866. Admission fees to the bath are ¥500, and ¥250 for elementary school students and under.


Kokusenji Temple


Kokusenji Temple
used to be the biggest temple in the Chikugo area. It was said that the temple was established by Gyoki, a Japanese Buddhist monk, in the year 728.


At the temple, you’ll find a pair of spectacular wooden Nio (two wrathful guardians of Buddha) statues that are about two meters in height. They were built during the Kamakura period and were fixed in 2006.


The pair of wooden Nio statues at the temple.


Kokusenji Temple is located at 565 Tanigawa, Tachibana-machi, Yame City, Fukuoka. You may contact them at +943-23-1982 (Cultural Promotion Department of Yame City). Entrance is free anytime.


Koinoki Shrine


A lot of women in Japan visit this shrine where the “god of love” resides.


Koinoki Shrine
was built in the Kamakura period as a branch of the Mizuta Tenmangu Shrine. This is the only shrine that worships Koi no Mikoto, a god of love. There are many Insta-worthy spots at this place like the heart-shaped shrine mark. The cute amulets and confectionery also make for great for souvenirs.


Koinoki Shrine is located at 62-1 Mizuta, Chikugo City, Fukuoka. You may contact them at +81-942-53-8625. Open all day.


Cha no Bunkakan


This place lets you experience Matcha Grinding and Hoji Tea Making.


Cha no Bunkakan (Culture House of Tea)
is located on top of a hill that overlooks several tea fields. Here, you can learn more about Yame Tea, one of the high-quality tea brands, through your five senses. Besides the exhibitions that show how tea leaves are grown and made into tea, you can also experience Matcha Grinding and Hoji (Roasted Barley) Tea Making (¥500 each). Dishes made with Yame Tea are being served here as well.

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Cha no Bunkakan is located at 10816-5 Hoshino Village, Yame City, Fukuoka and is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. except on Tuesdays. The restaurant Yame Saryo is open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. You may contact them at +81-943-52-3003.


Yanagawa Tachibana-Tei OHANA


The whole site is designated by the country as having great scenery.


Since the Edo period, OHANA was the residence of Tachibana Family, the feudal lord of Yanagawa clan. The place was designated as having great scenery, along with other buildings, like the Western buildings built for customers during the Meiji period.


From Taigetsu-kan, the restaurant, you can see Shoto-en, a Japanese-style garden, and enjoy rare seafood, like the Steamed Eel (¥3,240), from the Ariake Sea.


Yanagawa Tachibana-Tei OHANA is located at 1 Shinhoka-machi, Yanagawa City, Fukuoka and is open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. The Taigetsu-kan is open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. You may contact them at +81-944-73-2189. Entrance fees are ¥700 for adults, ¥400 for high school students, and ¥300 for elementary to junior-high students. You’re still required to pay the entrance fee, even if you’re going to the restaurant.


Italian Dining amp


Melt-Your-Heart Chikugo Pear and Marshmallow Dolce Pizza


Italian Dining amp
makes classic Napoli pizza in their wooden kiln. It’s a casual place with sofa seats that overlook the beautiful garden. The Melt-Your-Heart Chikugo Pear and Marshmallow Dolce Pizza (¥1,080) is definitely a must-try, with its melt-in-your-mouth marshmallows.


Italian Dining amp is located at 344-2 No-machi, Chikugo City, Fukuoka and is open from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. except on Tuesdays. You may contact them at +81-942-54-2424.


Provided by Japan Walker™, Walkerplus™, and Kyushu Walker™ (8 June 2019)


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