The south of Fukuoka Prefecture includes Kurume and Yanagawa, two old cities that prospered on the banks of the Chikugo River
- Kurume: A city in the southwest of Fukuoka Prefecture, notable for its shrines, temples and local crafts
- Yanagawa: The water city, explorable by boat with a trip through the city's ancient canals
- Akizuki Castle Town: The historic home of the Akizuki family, the leaders of a once-mighty clan that ruled over much of Fukuoka Prefecture
How to Get There
The southern part of Fukuoka is accessible by train and bus.
Both Kurume and Yanagawa can be reached by train, and bus services operate from within Fukuoka Prefecture and elsewhere in Kyushu.
Castle town Kurume
Kurume is a city in the south of Fukuoka Prefecture, on the banks of the Chikugo River. It is a former castle town surrounded by the Minou Mountain Range. There are many notable temples and shrines in Kurume including Suiten-gu Shrine, Bairinji Temple , and the Daihonzan Naritasan Kurume Temple.
Several Japanese crafts are also local to the area, including Kurume Kasuri and Rantai lacquerware. In late April to early May, the city explodes with color as the city's favorite flower, the azalea, blooms across Kurume .
Water city Yanagawa
Yanagawa is commonly referred to as the water city because of to its 930 km of waterways, which visitors to the city can explore on boats known as donkobune. The city is located close to the mouth of the Chikugo River, which feeds the waterways.
Go with the flow in Yanagawa
Yanagawa's historic waterways have been transformed from the defenses of a castle town into sightseeing waterways that can be explored by a cruise. An oarsman with a long pole pushes the boats along the waterways, offering commentary on the city's impressive history and singing nursery rhymes penned by the local poet Hakushu Kitahara. Many of Yanagawa's festivals, including the Hakushu Festival in November and the Ohina-sama Water Parade in March, center around the waterways and the boats atop them.
Enjoy cherry blossoms in Akizuki
Akizuki was the historic home of the Akizuki family, the leaders of a once mighty clan that ruled over much of Fukuoka Prefecture. The small castle town is packed with history and can be explored on foot.
Much of the city is organized around the castle and the main boulevard leading to it, Sugi-no-Baba. On this street, you'll find the Akizuki Museum, several tea houses including the excellent Kuromonchaya, the ruins of the Akizuki Castle and one of the most marvelous displays of cherry blossoms in Fukuoka Prefecture. The entire street is lined with cherry trees which, come the beginning of spring, bloom in unison.
Relax at Chikugogawa Onsen
Where there is water in Japan, there are frequently hot springs. Chikugogawa Onsen is located in the Chikugo River Prefectural Nature Park in southwest Fukuoka Prefecture, about 45 minutes from Kurume City.
The bathhouse has several different types of baths, including several which have views out across the river. It has a restaurant and several rooms so that visitors from the city can spend the night relaxing in comfort.
* The information on this page may be subject to change due to COVID-19.