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Tara’s Natural Wonders


©︎Tara Town

HOME > Japan’s Local Treasures > Tara's Natural Wonders


Experience the pull of the moon in the Kyushu town of Tara

Saga Prefecture


©︎Tara-cho tourist association


Nowhere in Japan sees such dramatic tidal variations as the town of Tara in Saga Prefecture. Here, the combination of the moon’s gravitational pull and the Earth’s rotation creates a tidal range of up to six meters, a phenomenon that has fascinated locals and visitors since ancient times, making it a popular sightseeing destination. Morning, evening, and night, the Tara seascape is always changing.
Tara’s tides have a dramatic effect on one of its best-known icons, the trio of vermilion torii gates of the Ouo Shrine. At high tide, they appear to float on the Ariake Sea, while at low tide they can be reached on foot.
The Ouo (“Great Fish”) Shrine honors a deity of the sea, whose local culinary bounty includes fine seafood such as Takezaki crab, Takezaki oysters, and seaweed. To the west, Tara’s mountains provide an abundance of mandarin oranges and wasabi.
The 1,000-meter-high Taradake Mountains offer opportunities for trekkers and climbers, as well as those seeking peace in nature. A treasure trove of plants and animals, the forests of the Takedake Mountains are also home to local “power spots” that flourished during the Nara period (710-794) as sacred places for followers of shugendo, a native religion that combines ascetic Buddhism and Shinto mountain worship.
From mountain sunrises to star-filled night skies above magical Tara Takesaki Onsen—an open-air, hot mineral spring on the seashore—it’s hard not to be awed by Tara's natural wonders.


©︎Tara-cho tourist association

How to get there


From Hakata Station, take the express train to Kohoku Station  (about 1 hour). From Kohoku Station, take the Nagasaki Main Line to Hizen-Hama Station (about 20 minutes), then take the Nagasaki Main Line to Tara Station (about 15 minutes). The area is around 2 minutes by car from JR Tara Station.


Alternatively, the area is 65 minutes by car from the Takeo-Kitagata IC or 60 minutes from the Isahaya IC, both on the Nagasaki Expressway.

Tara-cho, Saga-ken


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