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Kitakyushu travel guide

  • Kokura Castle


Kitakyushu is the 2nd largest city in Kyushu with a population of 920,00 and is located

at the northern tip of Kyushu. It is the gateway between Kyushu and Honshu and has

long between important location for industry shipping and land transport.

Kitakyushu was chosen for Japan’s modern steel industry from the 17 candidate locations

selected all over Japan and Steel works operation was started in 1901.

Since then the city greatly contributed to Japan’s Industrial modernization.


Kitakyushu possesses numerous natural wonders and tourist attractions.

Nature arears including Mt. Sarakura where is one of the most spectacular and dynamic

night views in the world can be seen.

Castle town area Kokura where Japanese traditional culture can be experienced,

Mojiko Retro facing Kanmon Strait where one of the most beautiful Strait in the World

and also Industrial area Yahata where is the birth place of Japan’s Steel industry.

Furthermore, many restaurants of local cuisines and shopping areas



Where to Explore  


Kokura area


Kokura Castle  

Kokura was the transportation hub from Honshu and all areas of Kyushu

during Edo period from 17th to 19th century. The Castle town was

constructed in the Kokura and Kokura Castle was build in 1602 and

spent 7 years construction at the north side of Kokura facing to Kanmon

strait and next to Murasaki river. The height of Castle tower is 6th tallest

in Japan after Himeji Castle.

Kokura Castle Garden

Beautiful Japanese garden with traditional Japanese architecture.

The building was made for the lord’s guest house which a building of the

style of Japanese domestic architecture, located next to Kokura Castle. 

You can enjoy the Tea Ceremony in the Japanese traditional architecture.



Moji area


Mojiko Retro

Moji is the beautiful port town and facing to Kanmon Strait where one of the most

beautiful Strait in the World. On the other side of the Kanmon Strait is Shimonoseki,

more than 500 ships are passing through the Strait everyday.

Moji Port designated as a Japan’s special trading port in 1889.

The area has contributed modernization of Japan as as a trading port.
There are many kind of unique designed building constructed which are harmonized
with European and Japanese culture.
Shopping, eating of local specialities and sightseeing can be enjoyed.


Mitsui Club

It was built by the Mitsui Co., Ltd in 1921 as a reception centre and to

provide accommodation for VIP’s.   Albert Einstein (1879-1955), one of

the world’s  most famous theoretical physicists, stayed here during his

visit to Japan with his wife in 1922.

Kaikyo Plaza

The shopping area in the Mojiko Retro district located by the sea.

“Full of a romance market which stir up forgetting contentment” is 

the direct translation of the concept Kaikyo Plaza is based on.  

The area has a very romantic ambience and evokes feeling of

nostalgia and contentment that will never be forgotten.

Mojiko Station

It is the only Station building that is designated as an Important

National Cultural Property together with Tokyo StationMojiko

Station is a beautiful station built in the Renaissance style and

modeled on the Termini Station  in Italy.

Mojiko Retro Observatory 

Situated on the 31st floor of the high-rise apartment building

“Retro Hi-Mart”.  The 103 metre-high observatory offers magnificent

views of the Mojiko Retro district, the Kanmon-kyo Bridge over the 

Kanmon Strait, as well as the Shimonoseki area.

Konamon Pedestrian tunnel

Only the place in the world !   You can cross the strait on foot. 

The Kanmon Strait, separating Honshu and Kyushu, is a very 

beautiful and busy waterway  with as many as 700 small and large

ships a day passing through it. the  Kanmon Pedestrian Tunnel,

which enables people to cross on foot,


Higashida area


Japan’s modern steel industry was started as Yawata steel Works at Higashida district

in 1901. Since then, the Works greatly contributed to Japan’s industrial modernization.

The three sites in Higashida have been registered on UNESCO World Heritage  as

Sites of Japan’s Meiji Industrial Revolution.


Higashida No.1 Blast Furnace

Blast Furnace is a Steel plant for making the pig iron from iron

ore and coke. Higashida No.1 Blast Furnace is only the Blast 

Furnace in the world which preserved as it was. 

The birth place where Japan’s steel industry began in 1901

It contributed greatly to the development of the Japanese steel 

industry and was used until 1972, and has been preserved just

as it was.

First Head Office of the Steel Works  / UNESCO World Heritage  

The the building for the Head office of the Imperial Steel Works

was constructed in 1899, two years before commencement of

Japan’s Steel Industry. The design of the building is a harmony of

European and Japanese architectural styles. The construction of

the structure below the roof is a European style and uses red

bricks for the outside walls. Aiming to symbolize a Good future for

Japan, the roof was designed with a traditional Japanese triangular

shape and Japanese tiles were used to complete the roof. 


Industrial Heritages


Kawachi Reservoir

The first-class civil construction heritage completed in 1927,

The Kawachi Reservoir was constructed for the industrial water

supply to Yawata Steel Works. The dam was constructed at the 

Okura River and upper stream of the dam was expanded and 

making the 7milion cubic metre reservoir

Minami Kawachi-bashi bridge
The only remaining lenticular truss bridge in Japan 
( lens type truss bridge), located at the south side of Kawachi
Reservoir and it was designed by Hisanori Numata.  This shape
and color really harmonize with nature and become a symbol of
the Iron town Yahata.
Onga River Pump Station UNESCO World Heritage

Built in 1910 on the east bank of the Onga River. It served, and still

serves, to deliver industrial water to Yawata via an 11.4 km pipeline.

 The site has been registered on the UNESCO World Heritage,

 Sites of Japan’s Meiji Industrial Revolution 

Kurogane Railway

Dedicated Railway for Yawata Steel Works. The railway connected

between Yawata and Tobata, completed in 1930. The most difficult

and hard work was making Miyatayama tunnel with a total  length 

of 1180 m due to suffering from floods. The gates of the Miyatayama

 tunnel are decorated with stately designs.

Yahata port

Japan’s Modern Steel Works history started here. Yawata was a rural

village  with a small population of agriculture and fishing industry. And this

place was decided in Parliament as the Japan’s Modern Steel Works 

construction site  in 1897.



The city is blessed with spectacular & stunning natural feature, about 960,000 people are
living in the area spreading in river basins where surrounding Sea and mountains.
The coastline belongs to Seto Inland Sea National Park and Genkai Sea Quasi-National
Park and also the city has Kitakyushu Quasi-National Park. 


Mount Sarakura, the most dynamic night veiw in the World

The height of the mountain is 622 meters level. At the top you are

presented with a magnificent and spectacular view of Kitakyushu.

​In 10 minutes, you can reach the summit from the Cable Car Station

using the Cable car and the Slope car. We offer the most dynamic

night view in the World that you never seen before.

Hiraodai Karst Plateau & Caves

One of the three largest Karst Plateau in Japan. It is located in

southeastern part of Kitakyushu-city.  At altitudes between 400 and

600 meters above sea level and stretching 6 km from north to south

 and 2 km from east to west.  

Kawachi Wisteria Garden

Kawachi Wisteria Garden is a private garden at the Mountain foot of

Sarakura and famous for its spectacularly presented, large numbers

of wisteria flowers.  The garden is opened to the public seasonally

during the wisteria season which usually peaks around late April to

middle of May. 





Manga Museum and Aru Aru City 

Manga Museum is located next to JR Kokura station. The museum is

located on the 6th floor of Aru Aru City, a multi-floored shopping mall

devoted to products and services for anime, manga, idol culture, and

cosplay fans, a kind  of Harajuku in miniature.



General information  


City hall ; 1-1 Jonai Kokura-kitaku, Kitakyushu-city, Fukuoka-prefecture

Cabinet designate city


70 minutes by a vehicle from Fukuoka Airport in Fukuoka-city

100 minutes by a vehicle from Saga-city

160 minutes by a vehicle from Nagasaki-city

100 minutes by a vehicle from Beppu

100 minutes by a vehicle from Yufuin


40 minutes by JR Express train from JR Hakata Station

19 minutes by JR Shinkansen (bullet train ) from JR Hakata Station  

Population 945,000            Population density : 1.920 / km2 






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