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Wakamatsu and Kurosaki

At a Glance

Wakamatsu is primarily known for its beaches, which are small but suitable for relaxing or windsurfing. To the south, Kurosaki is home to the popular Kurosaki Gion festival in July.

Getting There

By train. Take the JR Kagoshima Line to Kurosaki or Orio stations. From Orio, take the Wakamatsu Line to Wakamatsu Station.

Points of Interest

Green Park is a rarity in Japan. It is an enormous green space including a Japanese garden, children’s play area, “Animal World” complete with kangaroos, tropical house with rare fish, plants and birds, herb garden, rose garden, observation tower and a lake with boating facilities. Take bus 199 from Kokura Station north exit to Green Park bus stop on Sundays and holidays. Alternatively take the bus from Orio Station to Green Park Kitagate bus stop. 9am-5pm; closed Tue (Wed if Tue is a holiday). Takenami, Oaza, Wakamatsu-ku. 093-741-5545. http://www.kpfmmf.jp/green/

Iwaya Beach can be a great place for windsurfing if you’ve got your own gear, but watch out for jellyfish. Catch the Kitakyushu City bus #41 from JR Kokura or Orio Station and #40 and #41 from JR Wakamatsu Station. Get off at the last stop, Iwaya.

Waita Fisherman’s Wharf (Shioiri no Sato) is popular spot on the Waita Coast with a community hall for weddings and concerts and a romantic restaurant for parties. You can also buy freshly caught local seafood at the market for reasonable prices. See the Tourist Information Center inside JR Kokura Station for more information. Market hours 10am-4pm; closed Tue. 3710 Oaza An-ya, Wakamatsu-ku. Tel 093-741-0111.

Eating and Drinking

Bravo! Public house is an Irish themed bar with Guinness on tap and a friendly ambience. You can also have parties here. After you exit Kurosaki station turn right, and walk down the road. Pass the Lawson and walk for about 3 minutes. It’s on your right. 6pm-3am. Happy hour 6pm-8pm. Kurosaki, 4-1-2. 093-642-1555.

Marquesas is a spacious warehouse-chic restaurant/bar. Explore their range of curry naan pizzas! They also have an English drinks menu. Walk down the stairs at the station, go through the covered walkway to your left, and take the second right. It’s on the left, opposite the pachinko parlor. There’s a statue of a man holding the sign. 7pm-5am. 2-6-17-2F, Kurosaki. 093-645-2032.

Morry’s is a warm and friendly bar in Kurosaki where Bob Marley rules the sound waves. Two doors down from Marquesas, before the flower shop. Look for the sign and follow the long staircase up. 7pm-4am. 093-622-4456.

ZEN is a sleek, popular, reasonably priced izakaya next to Marquesas. They have a good range of yakiniku and sushi. 5pm-1am. L.O 12am. 093-632-8882.