Silversea Luxury Cruises À KARATSU (Kyushu island)

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The romance of the seas, small ship sizes and intimate atmosphere, Silversea has long been a leader in the ultra-luxury market. Travelling to both iconic and secluded ports, Silversea’s award-winning itineraries inspire wanderlust and exploration. With over 900 destinations, longer port stays and more late-night departures than ever before, even the savviest traveler will find something new. A butler for every suite, a complimentary in-suite bar stocked with your preferences, all-inclusive exquisite dining, award-winning onboard entertainment and an unparalleled space to guest ratio all contribute to the Silversea experience. Not forgetting our famed Italian hospitality, where new faces become old friends. Bienvenuti a bordo.

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Excursions depuis KARATSU (Kyushu island)

Folklore, Arts & Traditions

Karatsu is a coastal city in Saga Prefecture on Kyushu, about 50 kilometers west of Fukuoka. In the past, Karatsu was a major stop for ships making the journey towards Korea and China because it is one of the closest Japanese cities to the Korean Peninsula.


Ningyo Joruri (Puppet Theatre)

"Ningyo Joruri" (puppet theatre), traditional Japanese performance where performers, Shamisen and dolls all blend to form the artistic theatric performance. Ningyo means doll or puppet, and Joruri means narrative. While there are some variations of this art being performed across Japan, Awaji Island in Kansai is considered to be the birthplace of Ningyo Joruri. Over 40 puppet troupes from Awaji Island once travelled all around Japan in the 18th century, entertaining millions with their stages. Skills have been passed down from generation to generation there, and it's no surprise to hear that the Awaji Puppet Theatre is a National Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property.


Nakazato Taroemon Kiln

Then you will head to the Nakazato Taroemon Kiln.The Karatsu-yaki ware is one of the Japan's three great tea ceramics along with the Raku-yaki ware and Hagi-yaki ware. Fondly named Chato, literally tea ceramics, Karatsu-yaki ware has been loved by masters of the tea ceremony from ancient times. The Karatsu-yaki ware is believed to begin in Mount Kishidake adjacent to Kitahata in Karatsu.


Kinsho-ji Temple

Before returning to the ship, you will visit the Kinsho-ji Temple for a Green Tea Ceremony. Kinsho-ji Temple is said that Chikamatsu Monzaemon studied for some time of his young days. His literature has been cherished for hundreds of years, mostly in Japanese traditional theater-arts like Kabuki and Bunraku. In Bunraku, puppets are worked by puppeteers, and the story is told in a style of music called Joruri.


Your tour concludes with an approximate 15-minute transfer back to the pier.


Please note: This tour involves an easy amount of walking for approximately 0.52 miles (about 0.83 kilometres),with a few steps to negotiate to get on/off the coach, few steps or slope at Puppet Theatre and Nakazato Taroemon Kiln. This tour is not suitable for guests with limited mobility or those who utilises a wheelchair. Guests are advised to wear lightweight, comfortable clothing, sun protection and sunglasses to protect your eyes from ash particles that may be present. The tour sequence may vary. Shoes must be removed when entering Puppet Theatre, Nakazato Taroemon Kiln and Kinosho-ji Temple. Japanese Yen is required for any purchases.

Highlights of Fukuoka

Fukuoka is Kyushu's largest and one of Japan's ten most populated cities. Because of its closeness to the Asian mainland (closer to Seoul than to Tokyo), Fukuoka has been an important harbor city for many centuries and was chosen by the Mongol invasion forces as their landing point in the 13th century.


Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine

Depart the pier for the approximate 100-minute drive to the Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine. Among the hundreds of Tenmangu Shrines throughout Japan, Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine is the most important one alongside Kyoto's Kitano Tenmangu. Tenmangu Shrines are dedicated to the spirit of Sugawara Michizane, a scholar and politician of the Heian Period. Because of his great learning, Michizane has been associated with Tenjin, a Shinto deity of education, and is popular among students. A wide range of good luck charms can be purchased from the shops around the main hall. Most popular are education related charms which are supposed to help students pass exams.


Kushida Shrine

After having lunch, you will head to Kushida Shrine. It was founded in 757 when Hakata was the point of arrival and departure for trade and diplomatic missions between Japan, China and Korea. From early to mid July the shrine hosts the Yamakasa Gion Festival, the biggest festival in Fukuoka. On the last day of the Festival, seven teams from the seven neighborhoods of Hakata race carrying giant floats called "Kazariyama". Each of the floats are decorated with traditional figures and scenes and are up to 10 meters tall and weigh1 ton. One of the huge floats is on permanent display in the shrine grounds.


Fukuoka Tower Tower

Your last stop is Fukuoka Tower. It was built in 1989 for the Yokatopia Expo that was held to commemorate the 100th anniversary of municipalizing Fukuoka as a city. The tower stands 234 meters high and is Japan's tallest seaside tower. From the observation platform at 123 meters above the ground, visitors enjoy a 360 degree panoramic view that covers the city of Fukuoka to Hakata Bay.


Your tour concludes with an approximate 85-minute transfer back to the pier.


Please note: This tour involves an extensive amount of walking for approximately 1.98 miles (about 3.18 kilometres),with a few steps to negotiate to get on/off the coach, 100 steps, gravel surfaces and a steep slope at Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine and Kushida Shrine. This tour is not suitable for guests with limited mobility or those who utilise a wheelchair. The view from the Fukuoka Tower depends on the weather. Guests are advised to wear lightweight, comfortable clothing, sun protection and sunglasses to protect your eyes from ash particles that may be present. The tour sequence may vary. Japanese Yen is required for any purchases.

Inside Saga Region Tour

Saga Prefecture is located in the north west of Kyushu and is the island's smallest prefecture. The capital is Saga City its prefecture's best known tourist attraction is its pottery, especially the pottery from the town of Karatsu, Imari and Arita. On this tour, you will visit one of Japan's Big Three Inari Shrine, Mifuneyama Garden and Local Sake Brewery.


Yutoku Inari Shrine (One of Japan's Top Three Inari Shrines)

Depart the pier for the approximate 100-minute drive to the Yutoku Inari Shrine. It is located in Kashima City, southern Saga Prefecture. It is considered one of Japan's Top three shrines dedicated to Inari alongside Fushimi Inari Shrine in Kyoto and Toyokawa Inari Shrine in Aichi Prefecture. One of Shinto's most popular deities, Inari is associated with rice, prosperity and foxes.

Founded in 1687 by the wife of the local lord, Yutoku Inari Shrine is built into the steep hillside of a valley. Its main hall stands on tall wooden beams 18 meters above the valley floor, not unlike Kyoto's Kiyomizudera Temple. The shrine is widely spread out with both stairs and an elevator to gain access to the main hall. If you're feeling athletic and adventurous, continue up the pathways leading up the hill. You'll notice on the way up the vivid colors beginning to fade into more weathered patinas


Minematsu Sake Brewery

Next, you will head to the Minematsu Sake Brewery. This sake brewery was originally opened in 1914 but has since been remodeled for tourists, and the president of the brewery himself will be glad to explain to you the history of sake brewing and Kashima. They deal in a wide selection of items from shochu to sake and to taste their sweet flavors.


Mifuneyama Garden

After having lunch, your final stop is the Mifuneyama Garden. It is a very large garden in Saga Prefecture, with grounds covering over 500,000 square meters. It was opened by the owners of the land, and the name stems from the beautiful view of the mountain Mifuneyama that towers behind the gardens. There are numerous attractions to see within the garden over 500 statues of Buddhist saints, in spring you can see over 5,000 cherry trees and azaleas in bloom here, and in fall you can enjoy the autumn leaves of a near-200 year old maple.


Your tour concludes with an approximate 80-minute transfer back to the pier.



Please note: This tour involves an extensive amount of walking for approximately 1.8 miles (about 2.9 kilometres),with a few steps to negotiate to get on/off the coach, approx. 300 steps and uneven surface at Yutoku Inari Shrine (but guests can use the elevator to up the main hall) and few steps and un even surface at Mifuneyama Garden. This tour is not suitable for guests with limited mobility or those who utilises a wheelchair. Guests are advised to wear lightweight, comfortable clothing, sun protection and sunglasses to protect your eyes from ash particles that may be present. The tour sequence may vary. Perfume and Smoking are prohibited at Minematsu Sake Brewery. Japanese Yen is required for any purchases. Guests must be at least 21 years old to participate in tastings of alcoholic beverages.

Introduction to Karatsu

Karatsu is a coastal city in Saga Prefecture on Kyushu, about 50 kilometers west of Fukuoka. In the past, Karatsu was a major stop for ships making the journey towards Korea and China because it is one of the closest Japanese cities to the Korean Peninsula.


Hikiyama Festival Float Exhibition Hall & Karatsu Shrine

Departing your ship, you will first visit Hikiyama Festival Float Exhibition Hall and Karatsu Shrine. It is a Shinto shrine and original one was founded in 755. And it was rebuilt by Terazawa Family in the early 17th century.Since that, it had been the main shrine of Karatsu Domain.In 1819, a man dedicated a beautiful and large papier-mache red lion statue to this shrine. He traveled Ise Shrine, visit Kyoto on the way home, and saw Gion Festival. And he impressed by the sight of beautiful floats, so he and his friends created such statue.The statue was paraded at the annual festival of this shrine, and it has developed into the big festival "Karatsu Kunchi". From November 2nd to 4th, Karatsu Kunchi is held every year. Now there are 14 floats with various papier-mache statues, and all of them are displayed during the off-season in "Hikiyama Museum" near the shrine.


Former Takatori House

Next, you will head to Former Takatori House. This structure is the former home of Koreyoshi Takatori (1850 - 1927), a successful coal baron. This residence is a National Important Cultural Property and is an important structure teaching visitors about the period when Karatsu flourished as a coal producing area. Visitors to the Takatori House can see a structure with an exquisite design complete with a restored Western-style room with a plaster ceiling, cedars doors with paintings, transoms decorated with animals, reliefs of plants and a Noh stage. Visitors will not be disappointed by the grandeur of the modern Japanese-style architecture.


Mt. Kagami Observatory

Your last visiting spot is the Mt. Kagami Observatory. It is 284m tall and boasts of a superb view of the city and the countryside below it. It also offers views of Nijinomatsubara(Rainbow Pine Grove), Karatsu Bay, and even a silhouette of Iki Island (in Nagasaki). Nijonomatsubara is considered one of the three largest pine tree forests in Japan.


Your tour concludes with an approximate 35-minute transfer back to the pier.


Please note: This tour involves a moderate amount of walking for a pproximately 0.62 miles (about 1.0 kilometres),with a few steps to negotiate to get on/off the coach, 50 steep steps, gravel surfaces and a steep slope at Karatsu Shrine and slopes and 30 steps at the Kyu Takatori-Tei. This tour is not suitable for guests with limited mobility or those who utilises a wheelchair. Guests are advised to wear lightweight, comfortable clothing, sun protection and sunglasses to protect your eyes from ash particles that may be present. Shoes must be removed when entering Former Takatori House. The view from Mt. Kagami Observatory depends on the weather. The tour sequence may vary. Japanese Yen is required for any purchases.

Silver Shore Privato: Private Car & Guide (Full Day)

Explore Karatsu at your leisure during your full-day (8-hour) sightseeing tour via private car. Customise your own itinerary or choose to see an overview of the area's highlights.


Depart the pier with your driver and English-speaking guide in an air-conditioned car and discover the city and surrounding areas at your own pace. Your exclusive tour concludes back at the pier.


Please note: This tour is non-refundable if cancelled within 5 days prior to arrival in the port. Actual vehicle type varies depending on availability. Guide is English-speaking. Participation is limited to 2 guests per car. The price, exclusive of meals, entrance fees and gratuities, is per vehicle. Therefore, when making your reservation, please indicate the number of vehicles, not the number of guests. Only one person in the party needs to reserve this program. Please see the Shore Concierge Office on board the ship to arrange your individual itinerary. Due to the limited availability of qualified English-speaking guides in this region, this service is in very limited supply and at a premium. Japanese yen is required for any purchases: guests are advised to exchange money at the airport prior the cruise.

Silver Shore Privato: Private Car & Guide (Half-Day)

Explore Karatsu at your leisure during your half-day (4-hour) sightseeing tour via private car. Customise your own itinerary or choose to see an overview of the area's highlights.


Depart the pier with your driver and English-speaking guide in an air-conditioned car and discover the city and surrounding areas at your own pace. Your exclusive tour concludes back at the pier.


Please note: This tour is non-refundable if cancelled within 5 days prior to arrival in the port. Actual vehicle type varies depending on availability. Guide is English-speaking. Participation is limited to 2 guests per car. The price, exclusive of meals, entrance fees and gratuities, is per vehicle. Therefore, when making your reservation, please indicate the number of vehicles, not the number of guests. Only one person in the party needs to reserve this program. Please see the Shore Concierge Office on board the ship to arrange your individual itinerary. Due to the limited availability of qualified English-speaking guides in this region, this service is in very limited supply and at a premium. Japanese yen is required for any purchases: guests are advised to exchange money at the airport prior the cruise.

Silver Shore Privato: Private Van & Guide (Full Day)

Explore Karatsu at your leisure during your full-day (8-hour) sightseeing tour via private van. Customise your own itinerary or choose to see an overview of the area's highlights.


Depart the pier with your driver and English-speaking guide in an air-conditioned van and discover the city and surrounding areas at your own pace. Your exclusive tour concludes back at the pier.


Please note: This tour is non-refundable if cancelled within 5 days prior to arrival in the port. Actual vehicle type varies depending on availability. Guide is English-speaking. Participation is limited to up to 3-6 guests per van. The price, exclusive of meals, entrance fees and gratuities, is per vehicle. Therefore, when making your reservation, please indicate the number of vehicles, not the number of guests. Only one person in the party needs to reserve this program. Please see the Shore Concierge Office on board the ship to arrange your individual itinerary. Due to the limited availability of qualified English-speaking guides in this region, this service is in very limited supply and at a premium. Japanese yen is required for any purchases: guests are advised to exchange money at the airport prior the cruise.

Silver Shore Privato: Private Van & Guide (Half Day)

Explore Karatsu at your leisure during your half-day (4-hour) sightseeing tour via private van. Customise your own itinerary or choose to see an overview of the area's highlights.


Depart the pier with your driver and English-speaking guide in an air-conditioned van and discover the city and surrounding areas at your own pace. Your exclusive tour concludes back at the pier.


Please note: This tour is non-refundable if cancelled within 5 days prior to arrival in the port. Actual vehicle type varies depending on availability. Guide is English-speaking. Participation is limited to up to 3-6 guests per van. The price, exclusive of meals, entrance fees and gratuities, is per vehicle. Therefore, when making your reservation, please indicate the number of vehicles, not the number of guests. Only one person in the party needs to reserve this program. Please see the Shore Concierge Office on board the ship to arrange your individual itinerary. Due to the limited availability of qualified English-speaking guides in this region, this service is in very limited supply and at a premium. Japanese yen is required for any purchases: guests are advised to exchange money at the airport prior the cruise.

Views of Karatsu

Karatsu Prefecture is located along the coast of the Sea of Japan in the Chubu Region. It is famous for its high quality rice, beautiful coastal and mountainous sceneries. Karatsu City, with a population of over 800,000, is the largest port on the Japan Sea coast, and the capital of Karatsu prefecture.


Karatsu Castle (Photo stop)

Depart the pier for the approximate 20-minute drive to the Karatsu Castle for the photo stop. It was built in 1608 and renewed in July of 2017. This castle is located facing the sea and is situated in the northern part of Karatsu City. Karatsu Castle is also known as Maizuru (Dancing Crane) Castle as it resembles the figure of a bird with its wings spread wide as there is a pine grove extending left to right and because its donjon (tower keep) is thought to look like the head of a crane.


Marine Centre Fish Village

Next, you will head to Marine Centre Fish Village. At Marine Centre, you can see fresh fishes caught in Karatsu and special products made in local factory like dried fish and squid dumplings. You also have a chance to buy a local souvenir.


Mt. Kagami Observatory

Your last visiting spot is the Mt. Kagami Observatory. It is 284m tall and boasts of a superb view of the city and the countryside below it. It also offers views of Nijinomatsubara(Rainbow Pine Grove), Karatsu Bay, and even a silhouette of Iki Island (in Nagasaki). Nijonomatsubara is considered one of the three largest pine tree forests in Japan.


Your tour concludes with an approximate 40-minute transfer back to the pier.



Please note: This tour involves a moderate amount of walking for approximately 0.40 miles (about 0.64 kilometres),with a few steps to negotiate to get on/off the coach, few steps at each venues. This tour is not suitable for guests with limited mobility or those who utilises a wheelchair. Guests are advised to wear lightweight, comfortable clothing, sun protection and sunglasses to protect your eyes from ash particles that may be present. Mt. Kagami Observatory depends on the weather. The tour sequence may vary. Japanese Yen is required for any purchases.

Yoshinogari Historical Park & Pottery Town

Saga Prefecture is located in the north west of Kyushu and is the island's smallest prefecture. The capital is Saga City its prefecture's best known tourist attraction is its pottery, especially the pottery from the town of Karatsu, Imari and Arita.


Yoshinogari Historical Park

Depart the pier, approximate 100-minute drive will take you the Yoshinogari Historical Park. It is an outstanding archaeological site in Saga Prefecture. The sprawling park covers a large settlement from the Yayoi Period (300 BC to 300 AD) where dozens of pit dwellings, elevated store houses and over 2000 tombs were unearthed. It is the largest and most important Yayoi Period site in Japan, and the best place to learn about this era of Japanese. Of the reconstructed villages, the Minami Naikaku settlement at the center of the park is one of the most important. Enclosed by defensive walls and moats, this is where the Yayoi Period kings were thought to have governed from. Nearby is an exhibition house displaying tools and clothes of the Yayoi people as well as artifacts and displays explaining their agricultural techniques. Another section displays burial jars unearthed around the site. The exhibitions include detailed English descriptions


Kyushu Ceramic Museum

After having lunch, next stop is Kyushu Ceramic Museum. There are five exhibition rooms. In the fixed exhibition room, you can learn about the history of Kyushu porcelain through viewing pottery exhibits, charts, chronological tables and photographs. In the other four rooms, you can see a variety of displays that includes old and contemporary Kyushu porcelain that works by individuals or groups. There is also a collection of Mr. and Mrs. Shibata, which consists of Arita ware from the Edo period.

Okawauchiyama Village in Imari Pottery Town

Your last visiting spot is Okawachiyama Village in Imari pottery town. Japanese pottery and porcelain is one of the country's oldest art forms. Although pottery had been fired in Japan 12,000 years ago, porcelain was only produced when skilled Korean ceramics artisans were taken to Japan following Toyotomi Hideyoshi's raids of Korea at the end of the 16th century. These Korean potters produced Japan's first porcelain after discovering fine kaolin clay near Arita. The kilns in Okawachiyama first opened around 1675 to produce exclusive wares for the Nabeshima lord's personal use. The area was chosen for its hilly location to keep its ceramics technology under tight guard. Today Okawachiyama is an historical area in Imari - a village of ceramics in harmony with traditional culture, history and landscape. A ceramic arched bridge marks the entrance to the village surrounded by a necklace of steep hills. Old-fashioned shops selling beautiful Imari porcelain cluster together along a narrow road that wind steeply uphill. Visit one of the kilns to see the shaping, painting and burning that goes into Imari porcelain production before enjoying time at leisure to explore.


Following your visit, commence the approximate 60-minuste drive back to the pier.


Please note: This tour involves an Extensive amount of walking for approximately 1.7 miles (2,735 metres), with a few steps, to negotiate to get on/off the coach and at Kyushu Ceramic Museum and Okawauchiyama Village. It is not suitable for guests with limited mobility or those who utilise a wheelchair. Guests are advised to wear light weight, comfortable clothing, and bring sunscreen, a hat and sunglasses from the ship. At the kiln, you might not coincide with the most exciting process of the pottery making (such as burning). On weekends and Japanese Holiday, all kilns open only for shopping, the guests can't see the shaping, painting and burning that goes into Imari porcelain production. Japanese Yen is required for any purchases. 

An Introduction to Silversea Cruises

The romance of the seas, small ship sizes and intimate atmosphere, Silversea has long been a leader in the ultra-luxury market. Travelling to both iconic and secluded ports, Silversea’s award-winning itineraries inspire wanderlust and exploration. With over 900 destinations, longer port stays and more late-night departures than ever before, even the savviest traveler will find something new. A butler for every suite, a complimentary in-suite bar stocked with your preferences, all-inclusive exquisite dining, award-winning onboard entertainment and an unparalleled space to guest ratio all contribute to the Silversea experience. Not forgetting our famed Italian hospitality, where new faces become old friends. Bienvenuti a bordo.