Popular for fishing and traditional ceramics from Arita, Imari and Karatsu
Saga prefecture is located in the northwest of the island of Kyushu. Fishing is popular due to its location with the Genkai Sea on the North side and and the Ariake Sea on the South side. Yobuko is famed for fresh squid, and Yobuko morning market is one of the Japan’s three morning market.
Saga is well known for traditional ceramics made in Arita, Imari and Karatsu whose techniques were brought from the Korean Peninsula.
Yobuko squid - Fresh squids from the Genkai Sea is Yobuko’s local foods.
Mutsugoro-no-Kabayaki (Grilled Mudskipper) - Mudskipper its rarely seen in Japan but it lives in the mud of the Ariake Sea. It is grilled with soy sauce, sugar and sweet rice wine.
Dago jiru (miso soup with dumplings) - Dago jiru was first made by busy farmers to save time for cooking by putting vegetables and dumplings called Dago to miso soup.
Dabu - Soup with variety of vegetables, which is a must food for celebration or mourning.
The most famous place in Saga is the Yoshinogari Historical Park that houses Yoshinogari Ruins. It is the largest ruin during the Yayoi period (300 B.C. to 400 A.D). Dozens of dwellings, elevated warehouse and tombs were discovered along with items used in daily lives of people from the Yayoi period.
It has been controversial discussion as to where Yamatai-koku, an ancient kingdom ruled by a queen, Himiko, was located.
Yamatai-koku was first mentioned in Chinese chronicles called “Gishi Wajinden” and it is said the Yoshinogari Ruins may have been remains of Yamatai-koku.
Yobuko morning market is another go to place in Saga. The market is open everyday except for New Year’s day and attracts people with its local seafoods.
Saga is best known for pottery. Arita ware produced in the town of Arita is Japan’s first porcelain.
The history of Arita ware traces back to early 17th century when a Korean potter invited from the Korean Peninsula found raw porcelain materials in Arita. It was originally blue and white but later a potter named Kakiemon invented colorful ware and it was appreciated in the Western culture. Arita ware was exported mainly to Europe from a port in Imari, and it’s called Imari ware too.
Karatsu ware that is said to have started in the late 16th century is known as an origin of pottery. Its technique was brought by potters from Korean Peninsula. Its simple design for daily use items have been loved by many people including tea masters.