Sitting on the northwestern tip of Saga and technically not a part of Karatsu City, Genkai is a small town well known for its nuclear reactors. It is possible that cattle population exceeds the human population of 6000. What Genkai lacks in decadence, it makes up for in beautiful ocean views and picturesque locations worthy of a day trip!
Genkai has one ALT who teaches elementary and junior high school.
Places of Interest
As well as being known for it’s fish and tea, Genkai has some absolutely stunning views; it’s most certainly worth the drive.
- Hamanoura terraced rice fields – the location of one of Saga’s most iconic images (see below). The first week of May is supposed to be the best time of year to photograph. There’s a small omiyage type place that sells basic drinks/snacks and an amply-sized parking lot.
- Genkai Atomic Park – next to the power plant there are exhibitions, a cool green house and other things. Be sure to check out the newly opened Earth Pier near the power plant
- Undersea Observatory 玄海海中展望塔 – Accessible via walkway and spiral staircase, you can observe fish swimming and/or being gamely swept about by the strong currents through the portholes of this observation room
- Fishing – Genkai’s oceans are recognized as one of the richest fishing grounds in Japan, thanks to the Tsushima Current. The many natural reefs nurture red sea bream, yellowtail and squid, blowfish and abalone can also be found
- Historic sites – a number of archaeological sites and small museums are located in Genkai Town, from the Kofun through the Edo periods
- Kaijō Onsen Parea 海上温泉パレア – very nice facility. Open until 10pm. (get there before 9pm).￥500 for onsen, ￥300 for training, ￥300 for pool.
There is no train station and buses are scarce so driving is a probably your best option. Genkai may not have the conveniences of big cities, but it’s the most beautiful place in Saga. Be sure to go and visit!