Saga Prefecture is known for the Yoshinogari Ruins and it’s porcelain industry as well as it’s bountiful resources but in the northern part of Saga is Karatsu, which was loved by the legendary Jacques Mayol, free diver and part of the movie “Le Grand Bleu”. Only 30 minutes’ drive from the famous port of Yobuko, and contrary to the port city of Yobuko, Karatsu is a quiet resort area with long white sand beaches and calm seas. We take a look at Karatsu Seaside Hotel which in the summer the beach side pool can be enjoyed.
A seaside hotel that has a view of the wide open seas
The Karatsu Seaside Hotel is the closest resort hotel to Karatsu Station on the subway line from Fukuoka Airport. From Hakata you can get here by bus in an hour. Right in front of the hotel is a glistening white sand beach, and a view like the one above from all the rooms.
The island that looks like a mountain is Takashima, famous for Houtou Shrine which is known for its good luck with lotteries, easily accessible by boat from Karatsu Jyoka.
Also next to the hotel is Nijinomatsubara a line of pine trees that goes for 5km and has many trees which are several hundreds of years old.
There are many sights to see nearby and the sound of the waves when you open the windows is truly something.
The seaside pool that walks onto the beach
The seaside pool that is only open in the summer is very rare even for Kyushu and is attractive for the ability to enjoy both the pool and the ocean at the same time.
At night enjoy the barbeque in your swimwear while listening to the sounds of the waves!
The shore faces west so at dusk the whole area shows a different face from what you see in the day. Guests of the hotel can use the pool free of charge until 8pm and can hear the sounds of the waves while watching the sky change colors floating in the pool.
Karatsu Seaside Hotel the hotel that Jacques Mayol loved
The world famous free diver Jacques Mayol learned how to swim as a young boy in the seas of Karatsu, coming here with family every year in the summer.
The first person in the world to free dive deeper than 100m and moving to Italy from France yet whenever he found time he would still come out to this Karatsu Seaside Hotel to relax for a few days. He wrote in his memoirs “the best part of the Karatsu Seaside Hotel was the view of the ocean. There is nothing in between the hotel and the sea. I will probably come back here as much as I can while I travel the world”.
The desk, his memoirs while here and other things are shown in the lobby here. If you have a chance, take a look. Most likely because of this every room has a large desk facing the windows that look down at the shore that he so loved.
A leisurely outdoor bath with the seabreeze on your face
Another attraction here at the hotel is an outdoor bath where you can take in the view of the open seas while bathing.
The water isn’t a natural spring source but is fed through natural ore that releases its minerals and this has some effect on relieving fatigue and other ailments. The slippery feel of the water also makes it be known as a beautifying bath.
Indoors there is a large bath house and sauna but the outdoor bath is really where it’s at.
The gift shop with market prices
The shop in the hotel sells fish from Karatsu bay and Yobuko as well as original goods, and even some Karatsu porcelain as well as other prefectural gifts.
The most popular among them are the calamari dumplings that are served freshly steamed for breakfast! It is a delicacy which is a taste of the Genkainada seas using only the freshest squid from Karatsu and Yobuko.
The products on offer are different at night and in the morning, with many bounties of the sea such as horse mackerel and sardines and at times you can buy things cheaper than the morning market at Yobuko.
The seafood changes by season but there are things such as Ogi Yokan and locally brewed sake that are unique to Karatsu.
Too many attractions at the Karatsu Seaside Hotel to list here!
Inside the hotel there is an art space that can rival many a museum, 2 restaurants that serve meals from breakfast, and many other unique facilities that we can’t list all of here.
Best of all is the hospitality of the hotel staff, such as the free shuttle to the many sights making this a well talked about hotel.
There are no extra special systems or over-luxurious facilities but the simplicity and traditions here are of the good old days of a summer resort hotel. It is definitely worth a visit.
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