Saga prefecture has a fascinating mosaic of heritage, culture and handicrafts with a strong influence from ocean areas that are famous today for Saga nori and Yobuko squid. The mosaic also includes landmarks such as Karatsu Castle, one of few castles built along the ocean, with sweeping views of the beautiful Niji No Matsubara pine grove. And the Yutoku Inari Shrine, in the southern town of Kashima, is famous with its high mountainside perch atop pillars rising almost 20 meters.
The town of Arita is widely recognized as the birthplace of porcelain with Kaolin, the clay mineral needed for porcelain, first discovered at a local quarry 400 years ago. The rich blue and white colors of Arita ware are proudly displayed at the nearby Tozan Shrine was actually built with this distinctive porcelain. Karatsu ware offers a striking contrast to this refined Arita style. Made from iron rich clay in traditional climbing kilns, Karatsu ware has earthy tones and a natural texture, making it a popular choice for tea ceremonies.