Karatsu is a beautiful seaside town not so far from Fukuoka. Grab an urban train to Meinohama and transfer to JR for the remaining 1-hour journey. This is not a very touristy place and the streets looked quite empty when I exited the train station.
The Karatsu Kunchi Festival is held every autumn and consists of a float parade through town. During other times, 14 giant floats, the largest of which is almost 7m tall, are kept on display in a dedicated exhibition hall.
A short walk later, I arrived at an empty beach with a beautiful view of islands, the sea, and unfortunately, a few industrial chimneys as well.
Karatsu Castle is a reconstruction from 1966 as the originals were torn down during the Meiji era to remove traces of samurai rule. A bit tired from viewing other castles in the country, I opted not to pay to go in but to admire the views from the park that surrounds it.
The weather forecast actually called for thunderstorms today, so it was a pleasant surprise to see blue skies all over.
Former Karatsu Bank