Kitakyushu is the northernmost city of Kyushu and has been an important hub for both land and marine traffic since olden times. The city developed as it was a crossroad for transportation due to its proximity to the Korean Peninsula and China. Various industries have thrived in Kitakyushu for many years. As such, much historic architecture remains. Kitakyushu is also located near regions boasting beautiful nature.
Kawachi Wisteria Garden
Kawachi Wisteria Garden is a private garden in the wooded hills south of central Kitakyushu, famous for its spectacularly presented, large numbers of wisteria flowers. The size of the garden is approximately 10,000 square meters, with 22 types of wisteria flowers blooming from mid-April to mid-May, depending on the weather. The garden's most prominent features are two, roughly 100 meter long tunnels made of wisteria trees of different varieties and colours, ranging from white to dark purple. Furthermore, there is a collection of large wisteria trees that together form an enormous roof of drooping flowers.
Activities: Garden visit Fee: JPY 1500 (spring); JPY 500 (autumn) Time required: 1 hour
Moji Port (Mojiko)
Along with Kobe and Yokohama, Moji was one of the three major ports in Japan, playing an important role in international trade. There are many architectures at Mojiko built in that period. The whole area has been turned into Mojiko Retro, a popular sightseeing spot in Kyushu, where several well-preserved Western-style buildings from the Meiji and Taisho Periods retain. Several of the historic buildings are open to visitors and house the likes of libraries, cafes, restaurants and museums.
Activities: Photo stop, Stroll around Fee: Depends on buildings Time required: 1 hour
Kokura Castle was built by Tadaoki Hosokawa in 1602. It is constructed in karazukuri style, and the fifth floor is larger than the fourth floor, which was especially rare at the time. Now it introduces the local history with displays, an interactive zone and a small theatre where visitors can get a hands-on and visual experience of past castle life. The castle's top floor offers panoramic views over the city. The castle grounds are now known as Katsuyama Park and are a popular cherry blossom spot that is usually in bloom around early April.
Activities: Photo stop, Castle visit Fee: JPY 350 (Castle/Garden only) Time required: 30 minutes-1 hour
Tanga Ichiba is called the kitchen of Kitakyushu and has a history of more than one hundred years. About 120 stores that handle local seafood, vegetables and delicatessen, are lined up inside this traditional ichiba (market). Most of the stores are located along the market’s main street, and the quieter side streets lead to dried food stores, and shops selling produce and goods. (Image via Japan Visitor)