Saga Prefecture

Saga Prefecture [佐賀県]

Saga Prefecture is in the northwest part of Kyushu Island.

It is one of smallest prefectures in Japan, and is about 80 km from east to west and about 70 km from north to south in width.

The northwestern coast faces Genkai Sea connecting to the Sea of Japan, and the southern coast faces Ariake Sea.

Ariake Sea has a great tidal range, and wide mudflats spread on the shore.

There are few high mountains in the prefecture.
The highest mountain is around 1,000 meters above sea level.

There is only one inactive volcano is in Saga Prefecture, but many hot springs are dotted.
Ureshino and Takeo are the popular hot spring resorts.

Okawachiyama district in Imari city
Okawachiyama district in Imari city

The west part of the prefecture has the towns of porcelains since the ancient times.
Since the 17th century, this area has been created excellent porcelains.

Karatsu (唐津), Arita (有田) and Imari (伊万里) are well-known as the town of porcelain.

The prefectural capital is Saga city located in the southeasten part of the prefecture.
It is on the main route between Fukuoka and Nagasaki.

To visit Saga Prefecture, it is convenient to use JR lines.

To the southern part of the prefecture, JR limited expresses run from Hakata frequently.

To the northern part of the prefecture, JR trains run through the subway of Fukuoka city from Hakata and Fukuoka Airport.

Welcome to Saga



  • To Saga from Hakata : By JR limited express, about 45 minutes.
  • To Arita from Hakata : By JR limited express, about 1.5 hours.
  • To Karatsu from Hakata : By Fukuoka subway and JR Chikuhi Line, about 1 hour and 10 minutes.


Saga Airport is located by Ariake Sea about 14 km south of Saga station.

It has the flights from Haneda (Tokyo).

Saga Airport

Main events in Saga Prefecture

Kashima Gatalympics (Sunday around the end of May)

Kashima Gatalympics
© Saga Prefectural Tourism Federation

Kashima Gatalympics is the annual event of Kashima city located in the south part of Saga Prefecture.

It is held on the mudflat facing Ariake Sea.

The mudflat is the athletic field, and jumping contest, bicycle race, obstacle race, tug of war, and some other competitions are held there.

Of course, the participants get muddy.
When they fall into the mud, flashy individual performances attract the visitors.

This event has been held since 1985.

Of course, "Gatalympics" is a coined word of "Gata" meaning mudflat in Japanese and "Olympics".

SAGA International Balloon Fiesta (Late October to early November)

SAGA International Balloon Fiesta
© Saga Prefectural Tourism Federation

SAGA International Balloon Fiesta is the big event for hot-air balloon in Japan.

It is held along the Kase River flowing on the west side of Saga City.

During about a week, Japanese National Hot Air Balloon Championship and some official competitons are held.

Every year, more than 100 hot‐air balloons from Japan and many other countries join, and over a million spectators come to see the fiesta.

Karatsu Kunchi (November 2 - 4)

Karatsu Kunchi
© Saga Prefectural Tourism Federation

Karatsu Kunchi is the annual festival of Karatsu Shrine in Karatsu city.

It is said that the word "Kunchi" means ninth day from Kyushu dialect in Japanese and the festival had been held on 9th, 19th or 29th day in September in the lunar calendar.

But Karatsu Kunchi has been held in early November since 1968.

The main attraction is the parade of the floats with large papier-mache statues.
But the statues are the excellent craftworks with lacquering and gilding.

Each of 14 districts in Karatsu city has a different statue.
They are lions, fishes, samurai warrior helmets, etc.

In 1979, these floats were invited to Nice Carnival in France, and got a favorable reception.

Local foods and products in Saga Prefecture


© Saga Prefectural Tourism Federation

Mutsugoro is a kind of mudskipper, and it makes its habitat only in Ariake Sea in Japan.

The length of the body is about 10 centimeters, and it lives in the mudflats.

This fish is one of the cooking ingredients of local cuisine in Saga Prefecture.

It is commonly cooked by grilling with dipping in shoyu (soy sauce) and sugar or stewing in soy sauce and sugar.

They look terrible but they are delicious because it is not as greasy as eel.

Shishirian Raisu

Sicilian Rice
© Saga Prefectural Tourism Federation

Shishirian Raisu is a local dish in Saga city.
The name comes from "Sicilian Rice".
But it is never an Italian dish.

It is made by frying sliced beef and onion, putting them on rice, topping it with lettuce, sliced tomato and cucumber, and putting mayonnaise on it.

It was created by a cafe in the center of Saga city around 1977.

The dish looked like a Mediterranean Sea cuisine because seafoods were used in early times, so some say that such name was given.
But it is not sure.

Most of the cafes and restaurants in Saga city serve Shishirian Raisu.

Imari Porcelain

Imari Porcelain
© Saga Prefectural Tourism Federation

Imari Porcelain (Imari-yaki) is a well-known Japanese porcelain ware.
Tt is called Arita-yaki (Arita ware) rather than "Imari-yaki" in Japan.

The porcelain has been created mainly in Arita town, and Imari city had a embarkation port of the production.

In the early 17th century, potters from Korea created the porcelains in Arita.

Then, in the middle of the century, colorful porcelains had been created by technical innovation.

The productions had been exported abroad, and they were appreciated as art object in the world.

Arita is still producing many porcelains.

Return to Kyushu Region

Other prefectures in Kyushu Region

The climate in Saga city

[Monthly average temperature & rainfall (1991-2020)]
Mo. High ℃ Low ℃ Rain (㎜)
Jan 10.1 1.8 54
Feb 11.8 2.6 78
Mar 15.2 5.7 121
Apr 20.7 10.2 162
May 25.6 15.2 183
Jun 28.0 19.9 327
Jul 31.6 24.0 367
Aug 32.9 24.6 252
Sep 29.4 20.7 169
Oct 24.3 14.7 90
Nov 18.2 8.9 89
Dec 12.4 3.6 60